Originally written by Nicole Lim, co-written and edited by Averie Tiong
Are Brands Really Sustainable?
Topshop, H&M, Zara, Nike – many fashion brands have been known to copy trends and release new collections frequently. However, this is often largely reliant on factory workers who are overworked and underpaid in unsafe environments.
Even when the building’s walls were cracking, workers at the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh were threatened by employers to return to work – at risk of losing their meagre pay. The deaths of more than a thousand from the collapse are not the only consequence of fast fashion.
As the demand for clothing increases, so does throwaway culture. In early 2018, Burberry admitted to burning over £30 million worth of stock to protect the brand’s identity.
Furthermore, cotton is a common material in fast-fashion stores. It is chemically-dependent and uses 12% of pesticides and 25% of insecticides. The chemicals alone are harmful to the environment, in addition to the large quantities of cotton production.
With all this in mind, it is about time we start turning to sustainable fashion!
What is Sustainable Fashion?
Sustainable fashion practices involve both buyers and producers.
As producers, it is one’s onus to produce fashion apparel in environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manners. On the other hand, buyers need to consume more sustainably, requiring shifts in attitudes and behaviour.
While it may seem like a chore, sustainable fashion lasts longer and is also more ethical and less damaging to the environment. As brands increasingly shift towards sustainability, sustainable fashion items may not be so difficult to grab after all!
3 Sustainable Designer Fashion Brands for People and the Environment!
The brand is committed to ethical values, and believes the company is responsible for the resources it uses and the impact it has on the people, animals and the planet.
As a strong believer in the UK Modern Slavery Act, releasing several Modern Slavery Statements from 2016 to 2018. The label is proof that luxury brands can produce popular and stylish clothes sustainably and ethically, respecting the environment at the same time! Sustainable designer fashion is achievable!
With its efforts to #DoGoodFeelGood, Alternative Apparel continually strives to lessen its impact on the environment.
The label uses recycled or organic cotton, saving the planet from herbicides and pesticides and reducing textile waste in landfills. As one of the top sustainable fashion brands, Alternative Apparel even produces sustainable accessories and home decor.
Famous denim brand Levi’s has also been noted as one of the more ethical brands in the fashion industry. Although it takes over 2,000 gallons of water to make a pair of denim jeans, Levi’s are made with 96% less water!
The brand also conducts regular studies to examine the impact of their jeans on the environment, making changes accordingly.
A small shift towards sustainability by each person can create a dramatic shift across the whole industry, including designer brands. In fact, the list of sustainable fashion brands has been growing longer over the years!
As our time left to save the earth shortens, there is an incremental need for sustainability.
Our world will need to last longer than the trends of today.