The pandemic has given us plenty of time to think and to reconsider our own impact on the planet. Additionally, financial restraints many have shouldered made us more mindful of our expenditure and therefore more sustainable fashion choices overcame fast fashion. This is very much a mindset and not a fad, therefore there’s little surprise it has shaped the landscape of staycation trends. Treat this article as your guide to what brands are truly worth investing into, and which ones are trying to adopt sustainability as a marketing tool.
Sustainable Designer Labels to Love in Summer
Sustainability in the fashion industry has been a concern of many years, long before the existence of covid. However, while the supporters of the movement were gradually growing, it was still relatively slow paced. In fact, we’ve started hitting the wall where every second brand would claim to be sustainable and organic just because those words became a selling point.
As a couple of these got debunked, the public learned not to take the word of the manufacturers. We have previously written about how it’s actually pretty unclear how the brands judge themselves being responsible - many are being shady as for the factors behind their claims.
Mindfulness has only grown during the pandemic as the fashion consumerism declined due to a series of global lockdowns. It’s influenced by quite a few factors: people not having occasions to wear new clothing to, decreased financial means not enabling active shopping or simply a desire to declutter the houses they were now spending all their spare time at.
Why Choose Eco-Friendly Designers?
You might wonder what’s in it for you to choose truly responsible designer labels. Often, their designs are more plain and tend to cost more. Of course, supporting the cause
helps the planet and better working conditions in third world countries, but is it really worth it?
To put it shortly - yes. By investing in sustainable brands you are effectively investing into your own future. Adopting a mindful approach to fashion is a long game of many dimensions that benefits everyone, including you personally. We have covered the topic in greater detail when speaking about why high end fashion should be chosen over high street - if you haven’t read the article, we invite you to.
Don’t Fall for Greenwashing
We have briefly touched upon quite few manufacturers being guilty of claiming they were sustainable without providing any evidence. This is widely known as greenwashing - another topic we have previously expanded on. While this is barely shocking that some labels would blatantly lie about it, at the end of the day we never suspect it being the brands we love.
If you’ve got a brand you’re loyal to, chances are you will believe their sustainability claims without checking them. Imagine how betrayed and foolish you would feel if someone told you that while thinking you’re supporting a good cause, you were overpaying for nothing else but marketing. That’s why regardless of how well you think you know the brand, it’s always worth doing the homework.
What Makes a Brand Sustainable?
This leads us straight into the next question - how can we tell whether the brand is truly sustainable? As mentioned above, the greenwashers will be very vague about the deciding factors of their responsible approach. Genuine supporters of the course, on the other hand, will be willing to showcase the numbers, outline their goals and keep the public updated on their initiatives in great detail.
Ultimately, there are two key categories that will be covered in genuine mission statements. We will discuss them each in detail below.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
The primary and best known reason behind adopting more sustainable practices is to reduce the impact the fashion industry has on the environment. It can come in many forms and isn’t limited to clothing produced from recycled materials only.
This umbrella term covers the very roots such as sourcing. Many fashion designers are investing into technology of creating fabrics artificially as opposed to producing it from nature. It also covers topics such as growing diamonds in the laboratory as opposed to mining them. At the present, artificial fibres can barely be told apart from the real thing, and few fashion powerhouses have already proudly presented products made from it to their audiences.
Another initiative is reduction of production waste: dyes, electricity, water and other resources. The pollution caused by mass production also falls into this category. Basically, factories have been running with little regard to nature for decades, and this has caused irreparable damage to the environment. Not to mention, factories are often dangerous to the employees they house. That takes us to the next category.
Sustainable designer labels also pay extra attention to the factory personnel. It’s no secret that most apparel is produced in third world countries. A lot of shocking evidence of inhumane work conditions, child labour and extremely low pay has slipped to the media in the past years, debunking the true price of clothing we wear.
Brands that are very transparent and specific about how they ensure safety and fair pay of their employees are a safe bet. However, again, you should always try and gather as much evidence as you can. Few brands that flashed in recent scandals of factory disasters have been played by employee advocates for years on end, up until the tragedy would strike and leak into the media.
Try and research different sources, independent from the brand. A truly genuine brand is likely to link to them as they are proud of their accomplishments.
List of Truly Sustainable Designer Brands
So, now that we have covered the importance of investing into sustainable designer labels, here’s a list of brands you can have no doubts about:
Sustainable Fashion Choices Shape the Industry
An important thing to remember is that, as a consumer, you are in a position to dictate the rules of the world of fashion. If everyone collectively refused to buy anything but responsibly sourced and ethically produced clothing, brands would be forced to adopt these practices or cease to exist.
In other words, everytime you make a mindful fashion decision, you send the designers a message that they can no longer get away with production that’s harmful to the environment. Remember, you’re not paying extra for a material that’s more expensive to produce: you’re paying for your right to a better future.
Global pandemic has spend up our journey down the path of mindfulness consumerism. Having learned our needs are much humbler than our wants has taught us to fight against impulse buying and instead invest into what matters.
Some brands are true advocates of the cause, while others try to lull you into believing they are. The good news is that now that more people are starting to challenge sustainability claims, the latter are steadily reducing in numbers and popularity. Our final words is the following: support truly sustainable brands and become the driving force of each brand becoming sustainable.
Sustainability is a big concern of ours. To read more of our insights, subscribe to our newsletter.
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