Appreciated for its commitment to social equality and the environment, Radley London (re)states its green production plan and new collections with its latest campaign: 'Earth, we’re by your side'.
grüum, Manchester-based skincare and haircare brand, launched a new range of sustainable wash bags to help fighting ocean pollution thanks to a toiletry essential.
In an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint, we may adopt sensible choices such as buying secondhand clothing, switching to LED lights or public transport; maybe even changing our search engines! Ecosia, the green search engine for excellence, is now partnering with visual artists with nature-inspired T-shirts to plant trees.
Your haircare routine can be more sustainable both inside and outside the bottle. This is Arbonne's novelty: a newly launched haircare range reimagined to be completely green: TrueSmooth.
Taking off makeup does not have to contribute to global warming.
Photo by EcoPanda, Unsplash
Single-use wipes are becoming an extremely unfashionable accessory to store in makeup bags. Slowly but surely, society has come to the realisation that they do absolutely no favours for the skin, and even more importantly, the environment.
It is time to wash away the global unhealthy habit of using makeup wipes as a quick fix while ignoring the long-term knock-on effects.
We all know, everyone dreads reaching the end of a long day and having to take their makeup off. This small task requires a surprising amount of effort, which is made much easier by grabbing a wipe from the bedside table. More time for beauty sleep, right? Well actually, maybe not. As convenient as these little wipes are, they really pack a punch when it comes to their ingredients list, meaning our skin could in fact be getting worse overnight.
The truth is, 9.3 million makeup wipes are flushed down the toilet daily. They play a key role in polluting waterways and can lead to enormous sewer build ups. London’s ‘Fatberg’ last year amounted to an astonishing 11 double-decker buses. Coastlines too have been affected, with statistics from the Marine Conservation Society showing the number of makeup wipes washed up on beaches has increased by 50% since 2013.
While these figures are alarming, the wipes themselves are also made from harmful materials such as polyester and polypropylene. Further packaged in plastic, the entire product is non-biodegradable and ends up in landfill where it can take up to 100 years to decompose. Not only this, but ingredients in the wipes themselves such as alcohols, chemicals and parabens are really going to upset the skin. Included to keep the product moist and effective, it is clear to see they do more harm than good. From irritation to increased sensitivity and even enhanced breakouts - is convenience really worth bad skin and a poorly planet?
So, what can be used instead?
Do not panic. There are now many solutions on the market that offer a perfect swap out to help soothe skin and save waterways. Below are a few examples of best-selling products.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki, Pexels
1. Face Halo Reusable Makeup Remover
Made from HaloTech fibres, these handy little spheres only need water to rid the face of makeup- magical. Face Halo also goes one step further in helping to reduce produce in landfill with their upcycling incentive. At the end of a Face Halo’s life, they can be sent back and re-made again. Approximately £15.50 for a pack of 3, they can each be used up to 200 times.
Photo by Face Halo
2. My Little Eco Shop Clean Sponge
An award-winning makeup remover, this ideal oval traps makeup and gently exfoliates the skin while doing so. By simply using this product, hundreds of single-use makeup wipes are being saved from landfill – it is that easy. Made from ethical microfibers, this remover puff is great if you are on a budget, at only £3 each.
3. Tendertouch Organic Cotton Pads
Plastic-free and fully biodegradable, this makeup remover solution can be composted once it reaches the end of its life. If you do not already know the benefits of organic cotton, it is dubbed one of Earth’s most efficient substances. To name one, the material requires little to no additional water meaning there is no strain on water supplies. These are not to be confused with traditional cotton pads however. Unlike disposable one-time use pads, the Tendertouch pads can last a year if cared for properly. The pack contains 8 cleansing pads which come in an organic drawstring bag for £9.99.
With all this information there is no excuse to not make the switch, so what are you waiting for?
It is incredible how something simple and trendy like buying second-hand shows to be the best choice for the planet and ourselves when paired with a healthy decluttering and an organised spring cleaning.
Photo by Cottonbro, Pexels
Choosing second-hand can help our finances and break today's consumeristic chain. To kickstart the change, consider decluttering. Interiors therapist Suzanne Roynon offers expert advice on how to carry out a sustainable spring cleaning.
Social Habits And Data
Photo by Julia M. Cameron, Pexels
We all collect more than we need either for the sentimental link to gift, an impulsive shopping spree or the hope to squeeze back inside some dear, old and shrunk clothes. An annual wardrobe spring clean can be the perfect way to give unwanted clothing a new lease of life. The latest data from Shpock’s annual Second Hand Effect report, released ahead of World Environment Day (5th June), shows Britons potentially saved 5,175 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions last year by buying and selling on the app – which is the equivalent amount of emissions as driving around the world in a standard car 574 times or driving to the moon 60 times.
Pros Of Decluttering And Second-hand
Photo by Victoria Borodinova, Pexels
Decluttering is a satisfying and healthy habit to gain more space and clear our mind in one go. It often starts from clothing and it ignites a green renovation. Giving away, or re-homing pre-owned clothing contributes to a circular economy; while buying second-hand translates into saving in gas emission, usage of water and wastage during the production chain. From January 2021 to March 2021, Shpock data saw the number of fashion items sold on its website increase by a third on average (33%) and future predictions show that by shopping on marketplaces, Britons could be potentially saving 1.2 million tonnes of plastic, 7.8 million tonnes of steel and 0.7 million tonnes of aluminium.
Photo by Rachel Claire, Pexels
Interiors therapist Suzanne Roynon shares her top tips and tricks on how to carry out a sustainable spring clean:
- 'Give yourself time and focus on items not bringing you joy. Spring cleaning the wardrobe isn’t a ten-minute job, but when you get it right, you’ll save yourself countless hours in the months and years to come. Take everything out of your wardrobe and pile it on the bed. This is where you get totally honest about each item; does it remind you of anything unhappy, disappointing, hurtful or bring you down in any way?'
- 'Always Think Sustainably - give pre-loved items a new home. When it comes to letting your unwanted clothes and possessions go, use marketplaces to sell items on, they have a huge array of buyers and it's also a great way to earn money. Never send stuff to a landfill.'
- 'Tackle drawers, shelves and anywhere else you keep foldable clothes. Follow the same principles to assess how they make you feel and if anything does not make the grade, let it go. Do the same with accessories, jewellery, gadgets, and products – anything you don’t use isn’t serving you and it’s taking up space.'
- 'Time to organise and clean - give the items you're keeping a fresh space. Before putting anything away, vacuum and give every drawer and cupboard a wipe down with a suitable cleaning product inside and out. Your clothes deserve a fresh, clean space and so do you!'
- 'Think about the clothes-hangers you use. The brain responds well when things are ordered, so using hangers which match rather than a jumble of odd shapes and colours is a simple mind-hack as well as being visually rewarding.'
- 'Order your wardrobe. Hang clothes so items of the same type are together and sort them by length; that way you’ll know exactly where to find your perfect outfit every day. This method makes putting away laundry much more straightforward and your eye will appreciate the organisation each time you open the door.'
The 'three Rs' rule never fails: reduce, reuse, recycle.
Original data by The Red Brick Road
CBD can be found everywhere, from healthcare to body care products, but CB.Do - premium CBD-infused tables - is a bit different.
The independent fashion galaxy has a new star shining today: POPS&LO. Born out of the pandemic stillness, this 100% British brand feels like a gust of spring air. Although young, this local brand has a clear vision in mind: empowering every woman to feel feminine and confident every day with unique garments made to order.
Sustainability doesn’t have to mean giving up the things that make you happy and keep you feeling beautiful.
It has been estimated that in the UK alone around 350,000 tons of clothing ends up as landfill every year. According to Earth Pledge, a non-profit organisation committed to promoting and supporting sustainable development, "At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25% of the world's pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. This causes irreversible damage to people and the environment, and still two thirds of a garment's carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased." (Source - Wikipedia)
It is clear that the fashion industry needs to work harder in order to reduce this huge impact on the environment. It is everyone’s responsibility to reduce this impact, not just the large fashion houses, and Fashions finest has recently looked at how consumers can support the fashion industry become more sustainable, however, our question today is to designers. How sustainable is your product and company, and how can you improve on the environmental impact you already have?
What Is Sustainability All About?
The goal of sustainable fashion is essentially to create flourishing ecosystems and communities through its activity. The aim is to reduce usage and waste, reuse products and materials as well as recycle as much as is possible. These targets can be met through working on causing less pollution from production and consumption, ensuring better wages and no labour exploitation for workers, reducing waste and recycling, producing longer lasting garments, and promoting local production.
Sadly however, even though sustainability is the goal, some would say there is much more work that needs to be done.
According to the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, when taking the long view and examining fashion and sustainability progress since the 1990s, there are few actual advances in ecological terms. As the Union observes, "So far, the mission of sustainable fashion has been an utter failure and all small and incremental changes have been drowned by an explosive economy of extraction, consumption, waste and continuous labour abuse." (Source - Wikipedia)
There are many theories as to why this has been the case, such as the extra costs of sustainability and the continually changing fashion trends, which potentially leads to fast fashion.
Why Should I Be A More Sustainable Fashion Designer?
Even if the existential impact on our planet is not enough to persuade you that being a sustainable designer and fashion producer is a good thing to be, it has been noted that more and more consumers are looking at buying ethically sources, green and environmentally friendly products. Ensuring that your business ticks some of these boxes can help your Unique Selling point for potential customers. Also being aware of how your raw materials are made, where and by whom can help you sell more products, as many customers enjoy knowing the back story behind their garment. There are also elements of saving time and money through thinking about packaging, and places products are made.
Is It Even Possible To Be A Sustainable Fashion Designer?
Although it would be extremely difficult, very expensive and almost impossible to reduce your carbon footprint to zero, and take all the steps necessary to become fully sustainable all in one go, you as a designer should be looking at your business, materials, sources, production line and selling in order to focus on one area you can control, and work on making that area more sustainable than it already is.
Maybe you are already working on becoming more sustainable, and are looking for another way to improve your business, or maybe you haven’t even tried yet. Either way, take a look at Fashions Finest tips to becoming more sustainable:
Look at the raw materials you use. Are they sustainable/eco/green? Do they have a low impact on the environment? Think about the chemicals that are used in the making and refining of them, as well as how far they have to travel to get to you. Can you change or re-think your raw materials to make them more sustainable and eco-friendly?
Look closely at your production methods. Are they local/community based/natural? Do they promote fair trade? Do they have a low environmental impact? Think about ways you can improve your footprint in these areas.
Look at the amount of waste in your production process. Think about the waste materials after your products have been made. What happens to these? How do you use packaging, and what happens to your product at the end of its life?. Can you put measures in place to reduce any of the waste or usage here? It will not only save you money, but you will be improving your sustainability.
How can you plan ahead for the recycling of your products? Think about offering to take back garments people want to dispose of, offering extras to support customers, and make your products last longer including spare buttons, re-waxing of leather jackets, repairs services and instructions on washing and care of your product.
Typically, a garment used daily over years has less impact than a garment used once to then be quickly discarded. Studies have shown that the washing and drying process for pair of classic jeans is responsible for almost two-thirds of the energy consumed through the whole of the jeans' life, and for underwear about 80% of total energy use comes from laundry processes. Thus, use and wear practices affect the lifecycles of garments and needs to be addressed for larger systemic impact.(Source – Wikipedia)
Rounding It All Up
Any industry can be considered to be sustainable when it doesn't take away more than it gives back; the most sustainable industries actually improve the environment. That is what the Fashion industry is working towards. You can play your part in making this happen, and driving it forward.
Don’t get bogged down by the big picture, just begin by choosing one area you want to improve in, and march forward from there. Start by thinking about, and defining your ethical stance as a part of your business plan, and then stick to it! Be creative with the solutions you find as a designer, and have fun with looking for ways to be more sustainable. In this way you can add another dimension to your business model, and share your insightful knowledge with your customers, creating a loyal fan base, and attracting more customers with your new ideas.