Do you care where your clothes come from? I think if I asked anyone this, the vast majority of us would say yes. I know I certainly would. But I think when it comes to fast fashion and wanting to keep up with the latest trend, our concerns surrounding sustainability tend to go out the window!
I’ve had this need to buy new clothes ever since I was about 16. I worked for a certain very large retailer and they heavily encouraged you to wear their clothes at all times. Not only would you need to wear their clothes, but there was a certain pressure to wear the clothes which were currently in store. Not only does this put a certain pressure on a young 16’s bank balance, but it certainly put in place quite a damaging mentality that you must constantly buy new clothes, which definitely isn’t good for the environment. Since then, not much has changed and I’ve continued to probably buy way too many clothes than I needed, as I’ve definitely felt a pressure from society to do so. At times I’ve been so hung up on NEEDING that new thing, when in reality it was probably something I most definitely did not need. Then more recently, since I’ve started fashion blogging, I’ve felt a definite pressure to be constantly buy new clothes in order to provide new content for this blog. I’m thinking of doing a separate post on the pressures of having to keep up with the latest trends, but for the moment I wanted to address the issue of sustainability. Essentially, our need to always have the latest trend is having a massive effect on the environment and our attitudes towards it need to start to change.
Now I just want to put it out there, this post is not an attack on anyone who buys fast fashion items or wants to continue to do so. If that was the case I’d probably have you all screaming that I have double standards. Because I still want to continue to buy new clothes and try out new trends, I just want to cut down and find some better alternatives, which is what this post is all about.
Recently I’ve become more aware of the issues that the clothing industry is causing as it’s one of the modules I’m studying in my final year of university. It was recommended to us that we watched the documentary called ‘The True Cost’ which is currently available on Netflix and Youtube. It highlighted issues such as extremely poor working conditions for workers, the effects of chemicals and toxic waste on the environment and the tragic impact of toxic chemicals used on cotton farms, showing cases of farmers with brain tumours and children with serious birth defects. They had various interviews with the workers and I couldn’t help but cry at their despair at the situation. If you want to learn more about the current situation in the clothing industry, do make sure to watch it!
So, what are the alternatives? I’ve teamed up with a couple of sustainable brands who are doing their bit to make an active difference to the industry and I wanted to tell you all about them!
Data apparel are a sustainable t-shirt company, originating in Bath UK, who specialise in ethical clothing. A proportion of their profits are donated to charitable organisations that operate internationally to protect vulnerable populations.
‘Every Data Apparel purchase is a responsible purchase. All our t-shirts are made from organic cotton and sustainably sourced from our award winning provider Rapanui. Each t-shirt includes a QR code that exposes the entire supply chain (you can read more about ethical supply chain practices from UN Global Compact here). Nearly all of our packing and marketing materials are recycled. A proportion of each sale is donated to charitable organisations, so they can continue their great work protecting vulnerable populations around the world.’
(Data Apparel, 2018)
They were kind enough to gift me with this t-shirt, which like all of their designs, has a thought provoking message behind it. The design represents data on how life expectancy has changed over time in different countries. The card I received with the item, explaining the design, reads as follows-
‘This designs a representation of data on life expectancy in the different countries of the world from year to year. Typically this changes due to breakthroughs in maternal health or epidemics and in some years the data is simply missing, causing the gap in the lines. However, life expectancy has been steadily increasing across the globe in recent decades. … a proportion of the profits from this t-shirt is donated to UNICEF.’
The t-shirt retails for £25 and it’s great to know that you can stay fashionable whilst contributing towards a good cause. You can shop this design on the website, here.
Pela are a company which sell sustinable phone cases. Their phone cases are made from materials which meet the US and EU standards for composting in an industrial facility or back yard compost, which means they are fully bio degradable. I’ve taken a diagram from their website that fully explains the make up of the phone case. The designs come in a large variety of colours as well, so there is plenty to choose from!
The companies aims are listed below:
- ‘Reduce the amount of plastic waste created by consumer products
- Alleviate our dependancy on non-renewable fossil fuels and oil-based plastics
- Educate people about plant-based, sustainable alternatives that are both functional and beautiful
- Build the kind of company our customers would be proud to rally behind’
They were kind enough to gift me with one of their cases and I’ve been really impressed with the design and the quality of it since using it and couldn’t recommend it more! Plus, it’s pretty nice to know you’re using a product which isn’t harming the environment, win win! You can shop the style I bought here. For those of you that are keen Amazon users, they also sell their phone cases on there, see here.
Finally, I just wanted to draw your attention to ASOS’s eco edit. I wasn’t aware of this until I started searching for sustainable clothing retailers and I stumbled across this edit on the ASOS website. It includes all brands and clothing which ASOS deem as eco friendly and ethical and is a really easy way to shop more eco friendly clothing all in one place. Their Green Room range includes organic clothes, fair trade clothing and clothes made with organic cotton. I bought this Weekday track pant style trousers from the edit and they are honestly the most comfy thing ever. You can shop them on the ASOS website, here.
*T-Shirt- Data Apparel
*Phone case- Pela
Trousers- Weekday sold at ASOS
Reebok trainers- Urban Outfitter’s
And that’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and will go away having potentially found some new brands which you like who are helping towards changing the way the industry is run. If we all gradually start to make baby steps towards becoming more sustainable it will have a massive knock on effect! If you know of any other brands which are eco friendly I would love to hear about them, so please leave them below in the comments!
Until next time,
*Disclaimer- I was kindly gifted with the items in this post marked with a (*), from Data Apparel and Pela cases, however all opinions are 100% my own and I was not paid to write this post.
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