As we celebrate World Earth Day, we wanted to look at some of the fashion brands that are trying to ensure that our love of style doesn’t have to cost the earth, both literally and figuratively.
Clothing production is one of the biggest polluters on the planet, that, alongside our consumption of fast fashion and tossing clothes after just a few wears means that landfills are packed with unwanted, sometimes unworn clothing.
So what can we do?
To start with extending the lifetime of an item of clothing even by just a short time really impacts on the environment.
With so many of us finding we have extra time on our hands, if you’re clearing out your closet (find our guide here: How to Spring clean your wardrobe), instead of throwing away clothes, why not donate them to a charity shop, refuge or recycling bank so they can be used.
If you want to earn a bit of extra cash, then think about signing up to eBay or Depop and selling clothes online, you can find our top tips here: Selling on eBay
Or when social distancing measures are over, you could try selling them at a car boot post isolation.
But until then we’ve rounded up 10 fashion brands that support sustainable fashion that we think you should know about too.
Pollution to pool side perfection
Everyday approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution end up in the ocean.
That’s 12 million tonnes a year – or a truck load every minute!
Stay Wild Swim cleverly turn the tables on plastic pollution by turning dumped marine plastic into premium Italian ECONYL® yarn to create beautiful, functional and flattering swimwear.
Create a capsule wardrobe
Champions of slow fashion, Baukjen offers timeless collections to help you shop less and shop better.
They are all about high quality investment pieces and all items they sell work with at least 3 other products which equals smart shopping.
Alongside all of this Baukjen offer a clothing recycling scheme to ensure less items end up in landfill.
Don’t shop, rent your dream wardrobe instead
Avoiding clothing going into landfill even for a few extra months makes a huge difference to fashion’s impact on the environment.
That’s why renting clothing from places like My Wardrobe HQ is not only cost effective, it’s a great way to feed your fashion habit whilst helping the environment too.
With a huge array of designers to choose from, from McQueen to Needle and Thread, Ganni and All Saints and everyone in between you might be tempted to never outright own clothes again.
My Wardrobe HQ is the perfect way to get that designer wardrobe you’ve always dreamed of but could never afford, or a series of stylish handbags like this Chloe one that would be just £12 a day.
It’s perfect for special occasions like wedding guest looks, too.
So don’t own it, rent it.
Think about your fabric choices
Phase Eight are introducing their first capsule collection of sustainable pieces this season.
‘Sustainably Sourced’ is part of the brand’s plan to review and evolve its design process to minimise their environmental impact.
While the range will maintain Phase Eight’s contemporary, high quality and beautiful design, it will also include more sustainable fibre alternatives.
Using recycled poly chiffon and lace as well as investing in more sustainable cotton alternative, the collection will extend to include outerwear, outing, chic day dresses and statement occasion wear.
Make your fashion choices build someone else’s future
White Stuff’s new denim collection has some pretty impressive eco credentials.
Their denim is produced with 98% recycled water and is 85% air dried using heat from the factory floor to further minimise energy consumption.
They use just 0.4 litres of water compared to the 1,500 litres used in traditional denim production methods and are one of the few high street brands to use this practice.
And if that wasn’t enough, the toxic by-products from the denim production are used to make bricks for building projects within the local community to help prevent environmental pollution and build a better future – literally.
The new trend led collection, Eco Aware range from Reserved combines the latest catwalk trends with sustainable initiatives to reduce the brands use of water, green house gas emissions and energy consumption.
The latest collection utilises both organic and recycled cotton as well more innovative fabrics such as ecological viscose from eucalyptus, beech and spruce wood.
Levi’s has been championing more sustainable measures for a long time and their latest Wellthread (TM) collection continues to demonstrate their on going commitment.
The range is made from cottonised hemp, as hemp needs less water and fewer pesticides for cultivation than conventionally grown cotton.
Each piece is then finished with the brand’s groundbreaking and innovative Water<Less technique that has helped save Levi’s over 3.5 billion litres of water since it was introduced almost 10 years ago.
This is denim with a whole lot of heart.
Embrace smaller brands
Mat(t)erial and nature or Matt and Nat as they’re more commonly known have been working on fusing sustainability and fashion for over 20 years.
The brand’s motto is ‘Live beautifully’ and this is expressed through their ever growing range of well crafted, sustainable and vegan friendly accessories.
Having always shunned leather and other animal based products in collections, since 2007, Matt and Nat have also experimented with recycled materials including plastic bottles and bicycle tires.
The result? Some of the chicest vegan accessories around.
Not all vegan leather is created equal
New Look has introduced a number of sustainable initiatives across their brand, showing that fast fashion is doing their bit for the earth too.
Most recently they have introduced a range of vegan shoes and bags that are free from animal products.
The collection is registered with the Vegan Society and is their first high street collaboration.
But this isn’t just another faux leather collection.
It may surprise you to know that not all PU is actually vegan as most PU leather is finished with ground cut leather sprays (which have animal products in them) for a textured appearance.
Recycle, because the options are endless
Made in Brazil, VEJA is about minimalism and innovation.
The canvas styles are made using organic, agroecological and fairtrade cotton, alongside Amazonian rubber for its soles and recycled plastic bottles to create an innovative mesh.
These aren’t just stylish sneakers, they are utilising the latest in sustainable and ecological techniques to make a shoe of the future, one that doesn’t cost the earth.
It took 4 years of research and development to develop VEJA’s first post-petroleum running shoe, The Condor.
Today it is 53% bio-based and recycled.
It mixes innovative fabrics such as the Alveomesh made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, and natural materials as Amazonian rubber, jute, banana oil, rice waste and ricinus oil – incredibly clever stuff.
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