When I hear words such as: sustainable, carbon footprint, toxic, ethical, organic and Fairtrade; a thought often flies through my mind – here we go again…
I probably shouldn’t admit it but I’m not much of an eco-friendly type. I understand the importance of it and I’m also not reckless in my actions. I would rather the paper was reused, plastic recycled and less disposable cups used but I am definitely not obsessed with it. I obviously saw Al Gore’s ‘The Inconvenient truth’ and I was truly touched by it but I also admit that I quickly went back to my bad habits.
I feel as if someone ‘up there’ is not happy with it and recently bombarded me with proof that I too, can and should, do something for the environment and local community. Since fashion was the subject I was obviously more likely to listen and well, did I hear…
Maybe it shouldn’t but it came to me as a shock to find out how much clothing goes to landfill every day. It is also worrying to discover that my lovely colorful tops were most likely treated with some toxic, chemical dye in order to make them look that cool.
Social, environmental and economic aspects of the production of clothing, when trying to deliver the latest trend to hungry fashionistas across the globe, are rarely taken into consideration. These are the clothes we don’t usually get a chance to wear more than once before they’re out of fashion. Quality leaves a lot to be desired too and I often wonder, have I had a daughter, would there be anything in my wardrobe I could actually pass on to the next generation? I have recently inherited some of my grandma’s clothes and although some of them look like they simply belong to a different era, there are many that I could get away with wearing and more than anything, are still wearable! Not too sure those Primark pants would stand the test of time…
We are lucky enough though to live in times when nothing seems impossible, especially when it comes to fashion. The number of companies that provide clothing produced in a sustainable way or working with organisations such as Fairtrade increases all the time. And with that, so does the competition and we are finally at a stage that it is actually possible to dress fashionably when wearing clothes that are better for the environment.
Wearing clothes produced by local designers is also a great way of supporting the ‘better fashion’. They are more likely to last long, they have been produced ethically and they will stay in fashion over the years.
How to get a fix of something that won’t leave you looking like you shopped at a Fairtrade store but will be good for everyone involved? Check out the brands below as an example:
Melissa, Zatchels, People Tree, the Green Room @ Asos (a platform dedicated to brands with ethical & ecological ethos), Edun, Cred, Komodo, Issi. H&M has recently launched a new collection for their Conscious line which is both affordable, cool and well, conscious!
Jason Wu for Melissa
The Orphan’s Arms tee
Vivienne Westwood for Melissa
H&M Conscious Collection