Often people approach me in a situation along the lines of “I want to act more consciously when thinking about what to wear – but where do I begin?! What advice would you give me?” It’s world environment day and probably about time I put pen to paper with a response to this.
Last week I went along to two events with Redress, the environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry. Firstly, I got to see the launch of their new book: Dress with Sense. The following evening I went along to W Hotel to watch a screening of their new documentary: Frontline Fashion.
Both evenings gave me a sense that sustainable fashion is stepping up it’s game to attract a mainstream global audience in really exciting ways.
The media keeps telling you the climate is changing, right? Though the whole thing just seems completely un-relateable for those of us sat here reading about it on our smartphones.
I think climate change needs a re-brand.
Just as I return from visiting garment factories in Myanmar, a stream of press attention focuses on challenges facing this area. Although there are challenges, my trip has only made me believe in the unique opportunity this country represents to change the future of how our clothing is made. Amidst the media headlines there lies potential for real solutions on the ground that can work alongside these challenges and retailers.
This piece is also published on The Crowd.
Some fashion brands are known as daring pioneers in the field of sustainability. From Patagonia with their ‘Don’t buy this jacket’ campaign to Kering and their open source Environmental Profit and Loss methodology. Though what is it that makes fashion a unique draw for those consumers intrigued by sustainability? It could be the creative and fun element it introduces to topics typically branded around science and fear. Or it might be fashion’s intrinsic link to individual expression and a way to display our values, for example about the environment.
As we adapt our wardrobes for more sustainable ways of dressing, you’ll be choosing an item off the hanger with a different looking list of ingredients. Many fashion brands are switching to new types of materials, most recently ethical brand People Tree launched a campaign to introduce a fabric called Tencel® into their line. I wanted to find out more about how these new ingredients lists were coming about, and how soon we as consumers should expect to try and understand what they mean.
Last week was a wooly week for most of the UK, not just because our temperatures seem to have suddenly dropped, but because it was Wool Week. I got an insight into what wool means for us as we strive to shop more sustainably, when I visited clothing brand Finisterre to get an insight into the type of retail and brand experience that tells us a story.