Photo by Tamara Bellis. Unsplash
Fast fashion is easy for consumers because it’s just that: fast and inexpensive. But in case you didn’t get the memo, our planet is breaking and while the words of ‘sustainable fashion’ may not appeal to the majority, it is actually an important answer to a very real problem. As Megan Markle put it when she spoke at the British Fashion Awards, "2019 is the year where it is ‘cool to be kind’".
Here’s a list of brands that make shopping an ethical and affordable experience as well as it making you look and feel good.
How Sustainable Are Fashion Brands?
There are many different ways a brand can comply with sustainability. The sustainable fashion movement works together to tackle issues such as:
-protecting animal rights
-defending fair pay and working conditions to adhere to workers’ rights
-cutting down on water waste
-counteracting the effects of cheap and fast fashion consumption
-addressing the use of toxic and harmful pesticides and working to develop eco-friendly and recycled materials and fabrics.
With more brands becoming focused on providing a sustainability, there are now more choices for fashion consumers, both online and on the high street.
Since launching her label in 2001, Stella McCartney has proved that it is possible to create ethical, sustainable and fashion-forward collections without damaging our planet. The company is always looking for new ways to be more sustainable as it feels responsible for the resources it uses and the impact its activities has on our planet. All Stella McCartney stores, offices and studios in the UK are powered by wind energy and abroad, they use renewable energy. Recycling is one of the key points of this brands philosophy.
Among the McCartney eco-friendly products, we can find a sustainable eyewear collection made from over 50% natural and renewable resources and raw materials from natural origins such as castor-oil seeds and critic acid. These are just a small portion of all the activities and initiatives undertaken by Stella McCartney.
Thanks to its distinctive and style ‘V’, you have probably already come across this brand which specialises in trainers to die for. Since 2005, Veja has been making fashionable trainers like no other brand, infusing each stage of production with a positive impact. Yes, every single component of Veja footwear has a story.
The cotton originates from an organic farm in Brazil where workers don’t have to worry about the harmful pesticides poisoning their villages, while the rubber is natural and sustainable, tapped by people in the Amazon using traditional techniques. One out of four trainers that Veja make are 100% vegan and they have even created a mesh fabric made entirely out of recycled polyester.
Sports and athletic wear are at the forefront of fashion thanks to the likes of Instagram. However, sportswear may not be at the forefront of your mind when you think of sustainable fashion.
Originating from Sydney, Australia, Horizon Athletic is the brainchild of professional athlete Marlena Gabriel who was in search of the perfect sports garments. Horizons ethics reflect their respect for the surrounding environment, and they hope to raise awareness of the amount of plastic waste which is currently polluting our beautiful oceans.
To make their active-wear and sporty swimsuits, Horizon use a material called Econyl, which is a recycled fibre made from consumer waste and abandoned fishing nets. This fabric is 5 time more durable than other leading fabrics when exposed to UV rays, salt water, chlorine and sun cream.
In 2018, Adidas took a huge step towards a sustainable future. Teaming up with a non-profit organisation, Parley, Adidas sold more than one million pairs of shoes made from recycled ocean plastic last year, with each shoe preventing around eleven plastic bottles from entering our oceans. Following on from this success, the brand has pledged to be more sustainable promising to only use recycled plastic by 2024. The brand has also promised to become more sustainable in its offices, warehouses, retail outlets and distribution centres with the goal to save an estimated 40 tonnes of plastic per year in total.
After launching their first product in 2003, Finisterre has worked tirelessly to create a collection of clothing which is stylish and built to last. Their recycled insulation jackets were pioneering development in fashion and led the way to create more sustainable practices.
Finisterre has developed their own blend of Merino wool, which took years to perfect and has many benefits. As well as it being sustainable and 100% biodegradable, Merino wool is antibacterial, moisture wicking, soft, breathable and warm; making it the perfect winter knit. Each batch of wool can be traced back to their farms which are found across New Zealand and must comply with Finisterre welfare rules to provide animals with freedom. Each animal must be free from hunger and thirst, have access to shelter and comfort in all weather conditions and they must be able to display their natural behavioural patterns.