Your Guide to Shopping for Clothes Sustainably

  • 2nd February 2017

Kristi, our Merchandiser, recently came across an article called ‘Emma Watson’s Stylish Guide to Shopping Sustainably’, and it got the BIDBI team thinking about our shopping habits and how we could be a little eco-friendlier when shopping, especially in the world of fashion when clothing styles change constantly and we can be easily persuaded to buy into cheap ‘fast-fashion’. We used Emma Watson as the inspiration for this blog; she signed up for the Green carpet challenge in 2015 and ever since has been promoting ethical fashion and sustainable brands. Check out her Instagram where she posts her #ootd and is often promoting her green wardrobe.

 

Some brands that Emma commonly promotes are as followed;

1.)    Simon Miller

Famous for the Bonsai Bucket Bag. Simon Miller produces his range entirely in the US, using organic mills to reduce impact on the environment.

2.)    Veja

To reduce our Carbon footprint (quite literally), Veja uses plastic bottle and wild rubber to create the soles of the shoes.

3.)    Golpira

Emma often wears the designs of the Golpira label. The jewellery is handmade and sustainable with the use of fair trade gold.

4.)    Kitx

Kitx is committed to using organic recycled fabrics. The dress below is made from recycled plastic bottles.

5.)    Behno

Behno has a mission to bring awareness to the craft and character of ‘Made in India’, their main aim is to improve factory conditions on a Global scale.

Another Approach

Seeing as we’re probably not A-list celebrities and our budgets won’t stretch to the designers shown above there are still eco-friendly options available offered by high street brands to accommodate a more ethically minded consumer.

1.)    H&M has been a pioneer in promoting sustainability and fashion. H&M claim that sustainable fashion is a long-term way of looking at style for seasons to come. On their website, H&M have stated;

‘We want to use our influence to bring systemic change to the industry and across the lifecycle of our products. Together with our colleagues, customers, stakeholders, business partners and peers, we can do this.  We can do this in many ways, from improving the livelihood of a cotton farmer, to encouraging our customers to recycle their clothes through our garment recycling scheme’

2.)    Marks and Spencer’s introduced Plan A 10 years ago, with the aim to be more sustainable in every sector of the business, including fashion. M&S had the slogan ‘There is no plan B’ to promote the companies ethical move.

M&S have stated

Plan A is our way to help protect the planet – by sourcing responsibly, reducing waste and helping communities’

M&S have aimed to remove all plastic microbeads from products, in which can cause havoc in the environment. They have also addressed many social and environmental issues associated in the fashion supply chain, including the aftercare of the clothing. Obviously the longer the clothes feel new, the longer the customer will keep them, equaling less waste. In 2012 M&S introduced the Stay New technology with the aim to make clothing last longer and have a positive impact on the environment. They also did a Shwopping collaboration with Oxfam to promote the recycling of clothing.

 

3) ASOS has an area on their website dedicated to eco-friendly brands called the Eco-Edit.

‘ASOS is committed to reducing our impact on the planet. By working with eco-friendly brands and global initiatives, we've put together an edit of clothing, accessories and beauty products that fit within our criteria for sustainability. We're particularly proud of our fair-trade clothing label ASOS Made In Kenya, made in partnership with SOKO Kenya, but whether you're looking for clothing that's made with a lower environmental impact or beauty that's natural and organic’

Another easy way to shop sustainably is to frequent charity shops, much cheaper than high street brands and you’ll be doing a good deed as well. Many of us in the office mentioned that we would find it hard to shop less, so why not at least do it in a less wasteful way.