The word “Fashion” resonates with a sense of glamour, style, trends, which make us look presentable and noticeable. As the saying goes “Dress how you want to be addressed.”, people have become quite perspicacious about their styling and fashion quotient. With the advent of social media, celebrities promoting fashion all over Instagram, have in turn motivated the younger brigade to become their discounted versions and achieve those unattainable or impractical standards of beauty and fashion. The global fashion industry stands at a network of a whopping $2.8 trillion. Yet, there are many questionable decisions and ethical glitches which may be condescending to the ecosystem. Thus comes the need to promote Sustainable Fashion.
Sustainable Fashion :
We had defined it in one of our previous blogs but let us do this again for you. Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change in the fashion industry by providing for an eco-friendly approach of addressing the pitfalls of the same and thereby bring about ecological integrity and promoting social justice. It is a comprehensive approach to addressing the entire system of the fashion industry, encompassing interdependent social, cultural, ecological, and financial methods. It also manifests a sense of oneness as it is perceived from the perspective of the many stakeholders- users and producers, all living species, contemporary and future dwellers on earth. Sustainable fashion belongs to the people and is a social responsibility of the citizens, public and private sectors. It primarily envisages value creation in the society, rather than mere wealth generation. This may include – increasing the value of local produce and products, prolonging the lifecycle of materials, increasing the value of timeless garments, reducing the harm to the environment, and educate people of environmentally friendly consumption habits. However, to some fashion houses,’ Sustainable fashion’ remains an oxymoron.
15 Global Sustainable Fashion Brands:
A revolutionary brand that has been promoting sustainable fashion and eco-friendly practices in the industry is Prana. It creates ‘Clothing for Positive Change’ ranging from everyday apparel to workout gears. They are Fair Trade Certified, cruelty-free, and use organic wool and they address upstream chemical management to their factories.
Reformation has been one of the top sustainable fashion brands that have been carbon neutral since 2015. And they make it easy for you to reduce your footprint too. Although they are on the high-end pricing wise, they promote a transparent business model as they post their sustainability reports enunciating where their fabrics are sourced, from and also their upcycled waste fabric details among other parameters. Their patterns and silhouettes are to die for by the way!
A conscious fashion brand which happens to be a unit of Auroville. It is literally the flag bearer of socialist and eco-friendly fashion practices. From post-tsunami trauma to farmers’ suicides and from littering of plastic to its usage, they creatively design their garments from waste products and locally sourced materials to addresses the aforementioned concerns.
This indie brand promotes upcycling and recycling of old clothes, reusing resources as fashion evolves, and trying to achieve zero waste They work towards spreading awareness and even experiment with fabrics like cotton polyester, corn, and banana practice. Remember those outfits in your closet, you haven’t worn more than thrice? This brand aims to recycle those and promote sustainable fashion.
This Mumbai based fashion house collaborates with weavers across the country to make handloom pieces from scratch. For a country like India, where indigenous artisans and workers are deprived of the wages and supplies, Runaway Bicycle is a boon to them They use natural dyes, khadi organic cotton, and other hand weaved fabric, to manufacture their apparels.
Nool by Hand
This brand promotes the sustainability of the handloom sector. It is a Tamil Nadu-based fashion brand that uses handwoven fabric for its designs while leaving the tiniest footprint of carbon. They specialize in the fashion of comfort with premium quality albeit at pocket-friendly prices.
Stella McCartney is a shining example of how a high-end fashion brand can successfully build an empire on ethical practices, yet be uncompromising in their superior collection and designs. It is the first 100% vegetarian fashion company committed to 0% animal cruelty. Stella herself advocates a realistic approach to sustainable fashion and realizes that it is a continuous journey to be pursued.
It is a recently launched fashion brand which sources sustainable fabrics and silhouettes such as Italian Sourced sensitive fabrics and makes elegant high-tech designs. Their eco-friendly materials are Oeko-Tex or REACH certified, whenever possible.
A brand synonymous with denim, which revolutionized the denim industry is Levi’s. Pieces of Denim usually required 2000 gallons of water, just to make a pair. Levi’s focuses on finishing the process to remove water wherever possible with its water < less collection, which it claims uses 96% less water than usual. Also, the brand shares in-depth sustainability commitments through its product lifecycle.
Everyone is one the most brands out there, which does not shy away from showing its markup process for each garment showcasing factories to give an idea of where it sources from. It claims every factory gets audited and scored during the selection process. It has an array of collections from clothing to footwear, to accessories to styles for men.
This luxury fashion brand ensures ethical practices in all its functioning- from fabrics to dyes and finishes, to repairs and waste at the end of the lifecycle. It is a premium brand but under the Renew Website, it resells its own label’s gently worn clothing at lower prices.
All of the cotton garments from this brand are certified organic by GOTS, hence the production process is carried out on organic guidelines. They are also Fair Trade Certified, which looks at ethical factors like wages and working conditions. They make apparel for the whole family including men, kids, and babies.
This self –acclaimed chic tomboy brand zeroes in on three sustainable pillars, fabric, printing, and waste. To minimize over-production, all of the garments are produced on demand. It defies the contemporary trend of fast fashion, which has a detrimental impact on the environment.
When the founders of Amour Vert learnt that fashion was one of the worst pollutive industries, they decided to start a company to change that. Production happens with zero-waste philosophy, using non-toxic dyes and sustainable fabrics. They also have initiated the reduction of carbon footprint in their production process.
Elroy was created keeping a story in mind. Their designers work with small developing communities in Indonesia and the company’s intent to support fair trade markets and by manufacturing where and how they do. The brand is helping to eliminate poverty and provide job opportunities for economically backward areas.
The challenges to making fashion sustainable require one to rethink the whole system and given all the murmurs and chatters around, there is nothing new about it. The point, however, is that despite all the discussions and round table conferences, not much is actually done. Till the big fashion brands keep sourcing in their products from a poor Vietnam and keep abusing the child labourers just to increase their margins, there isn’t much hope.
At BuzzOnEarth, we feel that it is about time that people take some action which will force the brands to reconsider and re-evaluate their processes. Till that is done, we do not think that the industry holds much hope in terms of sustainability in Fashion.