19 Jul 2017,

How to make ethical and sustainable wardrobe choices

Ethical and sustainable fashion brands are, thankfully, on the increase. But exactly what is ethical and sustainable fashion, and how can consumers ensure that they make decisions that fit in with a kinder ethos?

In essence, ethical fashion is the opposite side of the spectrum to fast, throwaway fashion that encompasses much of the British high street. According to the Fashion Revolution* movement, much of the fashion industry is “opaque, exploitative and environmentally damaging, and desperately needs revolutionary change”.

Recent news reports have exposed various fashion brands and the way they work, so the issue of ethical fashion has been hitting the headlines. A high profile example is Ivanka Trump’s luxury fashion range. After being investigated, reports showed that the Indonesian factory workers who made the garments were paid “poverty wages”, were made to work overtime for free and subjected to daily verbal abuse by their superiors**.  Suddenly, high-end fashion doesn’t seem so glamorous…

Additionally, recent research by Sainsbury’s has found that 235 million items of unwanted clothes were sent to landfill in Britain this spring alone, which is damaging to the environment. Quite simply, we cannot sustain this throwaway approach to our wardrobes for much longer.

Luckily, there are some simple steps that can be taken to make more ethical and sustainable decisions when it comes to your wardrobe… 

1. Look for brands that are honest and transparent.

When choosing a new outfit, take a moment to research your brand of choice before pressing the “buy” button or taking your haul to the tills.  Do they have an honest and transparent policy, that tells you where their clothes are made, and who by?  Do they have a transparent pricing policy so you can see where your money is being spent? Many luxury brands that charge a fortune for designer labels have been shown to make their clothes in “sweat shops” where workers are paid less than a living wage. A quick Google search will help to show you which brands are ethical, and which have a long way to go.

At Two for Joy, we work closely with our suppliers and aim to build solid, long-term relationships with them. We insist that all local laws are adhered to in regards to working age, wages, safety and working hours.

2. Buy second-hand or swap with your friends

Britain’s charity shops are teaming with incredible goodies, and a keen fashionista can always find something interesting and unique in one of the many high street shops.  It is always worth a rummage! Additionally, organise a Swishing Party with your friends - simply fill a bag full of unwanted clothes, jewellery and shoes, grab a bottle of Prosecco and have some fun trying on gear whilst recycling your stuff.  Most people have a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes that do not get worn for various reasons - share the love and swap with your mates for an instant, free, wardrobe boost.

3. Recycle old clothes and give them to charity

The Sainsbury’s study also found out that a whopping 49 percent of Brits didn’t realise that charity shops accepted old, worn out clothes as well as items in good condition. In reality, chains such as Oxfam can use almost anything, no matter how grubby or used, and if the clothes cannot be sold they can be recycled. So, don’t chuck your clothes in the bin, fill a few bin bags and take them to charity shops or clothing recycle bins that can be found in many supermarket car parks. Simple!

4. Check the compositions of your clothes

Certain yarns and fabrics are processed in a more environmentally friendly way than others. Natural fibres such as cotton, wool and hemp are the most sustainable choices. Look for garments with higher percentages of sustainable fibres.

5. Always Slow Fashion…  

Although it can be easy and attractive to buy cheap, high street clothes that can be chucked away when they are no longer in style, fast fashion is not the way forward for any ethically-minded shopper. It is much better for the environment and your own conscience to buy longer lasting, investment pieces that will last throughout the seasons. Create a capsule wardrobe that works all year round - be clever, be stylish and remember; less is more!

* http://fashionrevolution.org ** http://www.independent.co.uk/n...

Join the revolution today!

Our Forever Essentials approach to fashion encompasses all of the above points. We believe in timeless fashion and garments that are designed and made to last, as well as looking effortlessly stylish and sophisticated.

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