Ethical and sustainable fashion is on the rise which is great because we as humans should be looking out for each other, as well as protecting the environment. 75% of consumers are more mindful of environmental and social responsibility according to the Global Fashion Agenda’s Pulse 2019 survey. However, only 61% of companies are investing in sustainable fibres and just 5% can show that they are paying workers a living wage at the final production stage according to The 2019 Ethical Fashion Report: The Truth Behind the Barcode by Baptist World Aid Australia. I am now making a conscious decision to buy more ethical and sustainable brands.
The words, ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ are used interchangeably at times which is wrong because they have different meanings.
Ethical fashion is to do with the workers who are involved in the manufacturing and supply of fashion apparel. It refers to their wages, working conditions, working hours, their human rights, as well as their health and safety. It also has to do with minimising environmental harm.
Sustainable fashion covers the life cycle of products, the raw materials used to make them, the methods used in the production stage, transport, storage and how easy it is to reuse, repair, remake and recycle the product and its materials.
I put together a list of ethical and sustainable brands for you so you can make this your go to guide.
Organic cotton is a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional cotton as it doesn’t use genetically modified seeds or toxic chemicals to grow it. The White T-Shirt Company produces 100% organic cotton relaxed t-shirts and 95% organic cotton for its slim fit range. Its t’s come in navy, grey, black and stripes. The packaging used is also biodegradable. Its website gives users detailed information on the journey the t-shirts make, from where the cotton is grown right up to when the garments get posted out to the customers.
Arthur & Henry offers a wide range of organic cotton shirts. It’s Oxford shirts are Fair Trade which means that the producers and farmers are given a fair wage. If you need a shirt to go with your suit they have them too.
Knowledge Cotton Apparel offers organic cotton knitwear in lots of different colours and patterns. Its knitwear is vegan and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) approved which means the brand harvests its materials in a socially and environmentally responsible global manner. It's garments are also PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) approved.
Chinos and blazers
Nudie Jeans offers a plethora of styles made from only organic, Fairtrade or recycled cotton, in different colours. In 2019, Nudie Jeans started the Rebirth project where it uses 20% recycled denim to make new jeans. The brand uses GOTS certified materials as well.
If you are in the market for a new pair of kicks that look the part and help you do your part for the planet you should consider Veja. There are lots of different styles and colours to choose from whether you need a pair for exercise or to wear casually, it has you covered. Veja use materials like recycled polyester, organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles to make its shoes.
Nae shoes are made in Portugal from sustainable material like Piñatex which comes from pineapple leaf fibres, organic cotton, cork, vegan leather and PET (polyethylene terephthalate). I’d recommend going for styles made from Piñatex, cork and organic cotton as they’re the most sustainable materials. The Jake cork bluchers are eye catchers as they are quite unique.
Knowledge Cotton Apparel boxers are available in many different colours and patterns. They are mainly made from organic cotton and have GOTS and PETA certification. They can be bought individually or in packs of two, three, six and ten.
Sundried gym gear is 100% made from recycled plastic bottles.The t-shirts and shorts use a straight forward design. So the only statement you’ll be making will be a sustainable one.
So, next time you are in the market for some new clobber, you should keep these brands in mind as you will be looking good, while doing good.
Note: Images are from Pexels.com and are free, thus don’t require attribution and are free to use for this purpose. The images are not related to any of the brands mentioned above.