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Fashion Revolution Week 2023 | Our Favourite Sustainable Clothing Brands
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Fashion Revolution Week 2023 | Our Favourite Sustainable Clothing Brands

Fashion Revolution is a global movement that appreciates and loves fashion but hopes to spark progressive, and much needed, change in the industry. The foundation works to scrutinise industry practices and raise awareness for pressing social and environmental issues. Beginning on Earth Day and encompassing the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which took place on April 24th 2013, Fashion Revolution Week will encourage people to recognise the clothing industry’s environmental impact, value quality over quantity, and ask retailers and producers for transparency by using the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes. 

 

 

The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally damaging industries that exists as well as often being one the most unethical. Around 150 billion garments are produced annually, leading to more pollution and landfill waste than ever before. It takes 2720 litres of water to make a single t-shirt, the same amount of water most of us will usually drink over a 3 year period. It is also estimated that up to 95% of landfilled textiles are actually recyclable. Not only is the impact on our planet huge, garment workers are also at the 2nd highest risk of modern slavery of all workers worldwide. In fact, a recent study of workers in India’s garment industry found that 99.2% of workers were subject to conditions of forced labour. That’s why it is so important to us to support small, ethical businesses with sustainable practises that align with our own ethics, both as a business and as individuals. There are some incredible businesses out there that produce their clothes ethically and in an environmentally friendly way and so we wanted to share some of our personal favourites with you to help you get started on your ethical clothing journey...



For Basics: TWOTHIRDS
This Barcelona-based brand focuses on simple, staple pieces for your wardrobe that you can keep and love forever. Overproduction and throwing away of unused clothes and fabrics is an under addressed issue in the fashion industry. It is estimated that in some big retail chains, about 10% of the garments are not sold, leading to enormous amounts of clothes lying around. Because of this, TWOTHIRDS uses a pre-order system meaning they only produce what they sell, resulting in a much lower environmental impact. They produce all of their garments in Braga, Portugal to ensure European labour standards are met. Everyone they work with is paid a living wage which is periodically checked to ensure everyone is always being paid fairly for their work. All the fabrics used by TWOTHIRDS are environmentally friendly and they are always researching new fabrics and looking for ways to improve their environmental impact. They are also engaged in different projects including EDMAKTUB which is an organisation working  in the field of marine research and SUPerando , an organisation working to improve social inclusion. All of their products are sent in recycled and recyclable paper bags to further reduce their environmental impact.

 

For Statement Pieces: Humphries and Begg
Husband and wife duo Alice Begg and Robbie Humphries create bright, boldly printed clothing in comfortable, relaxed fits, making them the perfect statement pieces for everyday wear. All of their clothing is created by a small team in Jaipur in India. Alice designs all of the prints which are then screen printed onto 100% natural fabrics. Every year Humphries and Begg support a different charity. In 2020, they are supporting Becky’s Bathhouse which is located in Moria – Lesvos largest refugee camp. They provided 30 showers a day to women and children in need. Each user of the centre receives toiletries, a towel, new underwear and they can enjoy time to relax in a female-friendly space. The facility is also equipped with wifi, tea and fruit, and a play area. The Bathhouse also has an osteopathic clinic who provide alternative healthcare to women who are living in Moria refugee camp. So not only is all of their clothing produced sustainably, it also does good for a community that needs it.

 

For Sportswear: TALA
Yes, even your activewear can be ethical. We love online brand TALA for their comfortable, simple workout clothing that comes in a great range of sizes and styles to suit everybody. They are on a mission to make their clothing 100% up-cycled and are currently 92% of the way there! All of their packaging is recycled AND recyclable and their tags are made from 100% plantable paper - meaning you can pop them in some soil and watch them grow into plants! TALA uses recycled cotton for their hoodies and joggers, meaning they save 4817 litres of water per tonne of recycled cotton used compared to cotton grown. They are always transparent about their supply chain at every stage, meaning you will always know exactly where their clothing has come from and how it was made. Their factory group has been audited by Sedex which checks the business for Labour, Health & Safety and Environment and Business Ethics, meaning the well-being of the workforce is constantly being monitored. They are always researching and trialling new sustainable materials to ensure their products are the best they can be. From sports bras to leggings to even sports socks, TALA really does have everything you need for your workout clothing and leisure-wear. 

 

For Colourful Prints: McIndoe Design
McIndoe Design is a Lewisham-based brand that uses hand-drawn, jungle-inspired prints in bright colours to create their unique, eye catching clothes. Their clothing is all made in Jaipur, India by a team headed by the greatly experienced Abhay. Abhay runs the production unit that his own grandfather started, he’s known the master screen printers that he works with since he was a toddler. All printing and sewing are done in-house at Abhay’s workshop meaning the clothing is produced in small runs,  which means McIndoe Design only produce what they need and so wastage is kept to a minimum. Mary, the studio manager, is heavily inspired by South America and this passion for playful, colourful patterns is clear in all the garments she creates! We love that McIndoe Design offer lots of coordinating pieces, meaning it is possible to buy a matching set of tops and bottoms.We think co-ords are particularly great as they offer up so many options for styling, either as separates or together, making a couple of items of clothing go a long way

 

For Footwear: Po-Zu
Po-Zu is a London-based company that creates sustainable and ethical footwear including simple trainers and stylish boots. All of their shoes are made from natural, renewable and sustainable materials that are kind to the environment, healthy for your feet and safe for all their workers throughout the supply chain. All materials used are responsibly harvested, contain no pesticides, bleaches or toxic dyes and are sourced locally wherever possible. Some of the materials they work with include linen, Piñatex™, organic cotton, FRUMAT™ Apple skin, wool, cork, natural rubber and more. All of their shoes are made in carefully selected factories in Portugal and Sri Lanka that are committed to high standards of ethical manufacturing. Nearly all waste products in the production process are recycled including fabric off-cuts and water. They are certified by the Ethical Company Organisation as a company that upholds human rights and animal welfare and works to protect the environment. They have also been ranked number 1 shoe brand by The Good Shopping Guide for 11 consecutive years! We love the practical and wearable designs offered by Po-Zu at an affordable price point.

 

Honourable Mentions (There's so much ethical goodness to choose from!): 

 

Birdsong- Hand-made in the UK in partnership with skilled women makers that face barriers to employment 
Heza- Sustainable brand with a focus on minimalist design, print and colour
Know the Origin- Fairtrade and Organic ethical fashion for men and women with a 100% transparent production process
Idioma- Ethical clothing for men and women with a focus on multiculturalism 
Isle of Shee- Scotland-based brand using all natural, sustainable materials and offering a custom made service
Batoko- Environmentally responsible, independent, British swimwear brand making costumes from recycled plastic
Kowtow- Everyday basics made from certified organic cotton and accredited by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS)
Komodo- The original ethical fashion brand since 1988 working with 1% For The Planet
The Emperor’s Old Clothes- One-of-a-kind clothing created from vintage, deadstock materials in the UK operating under a zero fabric waste policy
Uskees- UK-based brand focusing on timeless pieces and offering free, lifelong repairs
Riley Studio- Gender-neutral essential made from recycled waste materials

 

Whilst building your new ethical wardrobe, it is important to remember that it is okay to hold on to any old fast fashion pieces you already own as getting rid of clothing unnecessarily only causes more harm to the environment. Make sure to love the clothes you have until the end of their life-cycle, or donate them to a charity shop if they are in good condition or to a textile recycling scheme if they are no longer wearable. Try to make any basic repairs to clothes yourself, learning to resew buttons is super simple and will save your favourite blouse from landfill. If you are on a tight budget, consider buying more secondhand clothing. Charity shops, vintage shops and even antique shops can all have some real hidden gems at affordable prices. You could also try clothes swapping or sharing with your friends, meaning you’ll double the size of your wardrobe without having to buy more. Ethical clothing is an investment, not only in the clothing itself but in the lives of the workers who produced it, alongside a solid investment in the future of our planet.

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