When shopping for ecologically conscious clothing and fashion items it is often helpful to tick the boxes on what you think is fair, ethical and environmentally sound.
Many manufacturers insist that any materials used are sustainable and sourced ethically. This may require that fabrics are produced from natural materials, like organic cotton or recycled wool. The living and working conditions of employees working in the industry, often in impoverished regions, needs to assessed and taken into account. The impact on the local environment due to the manufacturing process will also be considered.
Companies like Elephant Branded pay a fair, competitive wage to local villagers who make a set of well designed, practical bags from rice sacks, a locally sourced, recycled material. Not only do they get a fair, reasonable wage but they also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills that permit them to have a sustainable, effective way to get out of poverty.
The growing concern about single use plastic is encouraging designers to make use of recycled plastic, often to great effect. Many plastic products can be broken down into granular form and reused as a raw material. This can be spun into textile yarn to make new garments
Recycing materials or upcycling existing products is currently producing some great ideas for innovative fashion design. Ecofox stock a range of products from Elvis and Krasse which use repurposed firehoses to make beautiful designer bags and belts. This raw material is reworked to mimic plastic or leather and is textured and finished to produce a line of items that match any range of leather goods for style and quality. It is still possible to produce upmarket items using secondhand materials.
Sustainable fashion is becoming more popular and committed designers and manufactures are working hard for it to become the norm, making clothes and accessories that are produced ethically and have a timeless quality which will prevent changing trends making them obselete.