With a slowdown forced upon us, we’re pausing to reconsider our habits and realign our fashion values. Escaping unchecked consumption has helped us (and others) to reconnect to what’s important (saving the planet), not least a reliance on fewer clothes and a desire to shop with more independent and local brands. Fashion brands that are defined by their actions, not just their words.
For now we might be living in our favourite loungewear and foregoing our trend-led wardrobes. But what happens when we start to go back to normal? Will we, and the fashion industry, revert to our old ways of buying throw-away fashion? Or will our consumption habits change for the better, leading to us to invest in a more sustainable wardrobe?
Sustainability and fashion isn’t anything new. The fashion industry has woken up in the last few years, and as consumers we are more aware of our impact on the environment. You only have to look at the AW20 catwalk shows to see that sustainability is here to stay!
But can the fashion industry ever be truly sustainable?
It may take a while, with fast fashion retailers knocking up items worn by our favourite celebrities for the fraction of the price. But as our desire for newness fades, what fashion brands should we be buying from to create a more sustainable and eco-friendlier wardrobe?
Lets look to the high-end designers:
Vivienne Westwood is a champion in the sustainable fashion movement. For decades she has used her collections to comment on politics and climate change, and more importantly has been encouraging consumers to buy fewer, better made clothes to help protect the environment.
Since her brand launch in 2001, Stella McCartney has been committed to offering luxurious fashion that is sustainable and doesn’t harm our environment. Her use of vegetarian leathers, ‘no fur’ fur, bio-engineered silk, recycled nylon and polyester, and organic cotton has led the brand to become world-renowned for it’s eco-friendly credentials.
This year saw Richard Malone with the prestigious International Woolmark Prize for his latest collection. His mission is to create an “egalitarian, circular and slow fashion system that is transparent, traceable and open”.
He works exclusively with mills and weavers that implement Fair Trade, use regenerative farming techniques, practice recycling methods and use organic dyes. The fabric can then – after many years of love and repair – be recycled through Fibershed; an initiative that allows merino wool and natural fibres to be broken down into healthy fertile soil by worms.
Our favourite sustainable fashion brands:
Here at Fox Collective, we’ve already started investing in and building more eco-friendly wardrobes. We’ve done the hard work for you and pulled together a list of our favourite eco-friendly independent labels and retailers that are wish list-worthy and purse friendly.
We love the modern, functional, and considered design of this new brand’s sustainable debut collection. They consider every stage of a products lifecycle from design through to disposing of the product once you’re finished with it. They only use 100% regenerative, plant-based fabrics which means they are fully biodegradable at the end of their life. They also offer a take-back scheme, so rather than donating the item to a charity shop, you can send it back to them in return for cash so they can give your item a new lease of life. It’s a yes from us!
We love swimwear here at Fox Collective and when it comes to buying a one-piece we head to Batoko for their cartoon prints. Killer whales and lobsters on swimsuits made from plastic waste? Yes please!
You can never have enough trainers right? The leader in the eco and ethical production of trainers, Veja uses organic and ecologically friendly materials from fair trade farms. And they have a vegan collection (which keeps our Account Director happy).
One of the first names that springs to mind when we think ethical fashion. This brand partners with Fair Trade producers, garment workers, artisans and farms to product ethical and eco-friendly collections.
Looking for casual weekend staples? Komodo offers just that. Their oversized cuts, relaxed style and stand out prints made from organic, natural and eco fibres have made their way into our wardrobes.
Our go-to for prints. Each piece is lovingly handcrafted in India by a team of expert craftsman’s using heritage prints that go back generations. And, they support vocational training and empowerment programmes for women in Jaipur. What’s not to love?
It’s going to be a long process and as an agency we’ve been thinking about what else we can do.
Following the ‘Buy, Share, Sell, Care’ moto we pledge to:
- Buy clothing that’s made to last (rather than a £5 dress we’ll wear once and throw away)
- Where possible, we’ll choose clothing made from recycled, organic and environmentally friendly fibres
- We’ll swap old clothing with friends and family, or sell them on eBay for someone else to love
- We’ll dig out the sewing kit and fix clothing that would otherwise end up in landfill
- If an item is beyond repair, where we can, we’ll recycle it!
Will you join us in our pledge?
Image from The Trace Collective