Posts Tagged ‘sustainable fashion’
Here is are some of our favourite ethical dresses for spring summer 2013 via www.style-is.co.uk and ideas for how to wear them. The great thing about ethical dresses is that they are manufactured with respect for people and planet including being made in ethical factories or under fair trade principles and being made from sustainable fabrics including organic cotton. They make a great alternative to much of the fast fashion found on the high street which can often involve exploitation of workers in countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia. The ever changing trends, short life cycle and low quality manufacture of fast fashion is not sustainable. These ethical dresses not only look great but will also make you feel great and will last for ages.
We love the delicate print on this pretty dress, which also has a flattering fitted waist, high neck and capped sleeves. Komodo make ethical fashion under fair trade principles and this dress was made in Kathmandu in Nepal. We would wear it with some strappy sandals and add a pastel coloured clutch for a special occasion like a day at the races or a wedding over the summer.
This colourful dress is light weight, cool and easy to wear making it ideal for holidays in the sun, festivals and days at the seaside. We would wear it with a pair of gladiator sandals or fair trade baseball boots with a vintage denim jacket or light weight cardigan for slightly cooler days. It is made in a small ethical factory in bali.
This cute dress by ethical fashion pioneer, People Tree would be perfect for a romantic date with your man. The bodice is hand embroidered and the straps are also detachable. We would wear with tan coloured pump.
We love the way this dress does the sixties Peter Pan collar dress with a twist. The empire line style with a flared skirt is super flattering and it could be dressed up for the evening with heels or down for the daytime with flats depending on where you are going. Skunkfunk create sustainable fashion and try to minimise their impact on the environment by using eco friendly fabrics.
This strappy little dress is perfect for the beach with flip flops and a slouchy beach bag. We love Seasalt Cornwall for their nautically inspired and high quality clothes. They also use eco friendly fabrics and manufacture in the UK when possible.
For a really simple and effortless style, we would combine this Camilla Norrback dress with ankle boots and a neon clutch. The beauty of ethical dresses by Camilla Norback is that they are timeless and will last for many seasons to come. They are also made from sustainable fabrics.
For a designer choice, we love this Edun dress with its striking zebra inspired print. Any brightly coloured accessories and a pair of killer heels are the perfect accompaniment to this dress. Edun works to create long term sustainable opportunities in Africa by supporting manufacture, infra structure and community initiatives.
The shift dress is probably the simplest form of frock around and the beauty of this style definitely lies in its simplicity. Shift dresses are perhaps one of the most versatile of wardrobe items being suitable for all sorts of occasions from work to weekend and even a wedding or day at the races. For spring 2013, there are some fantastic choices of shift dress to choose from. A classic shift dress can be accessorised in multiple different ways ensuring that it really earns its keep. But if you are on the look out for something that will really make you stand out from the crowd there are plenty of other choices too. We really loved the recent feature in the Guardian with shift dresses for the season ahead from the likes of Matches, Fenwick, Office and Whistles but today we wanted to share with you some much more affordable choices (and even better, they are all ethical and sustaianble too)
A neutral dress will give you the maximum opportunity to show off some amazing statement accessories. A chunky bib necklace, a bright vintage scarf or a beautifully embellished clutch bag. A neutral shift will act like a blank canvas allowing your accessories to really shine. One of our favourite looks for spring is a simple neutral grey or beige dress accessorised with a neon clutch or shoes. We found this perfect sustainable berri dress by SkunkFunk on style-is.co.uk.
Bold and bright prints are big news this year. This African print shift dress by uber coool brand Fair + True not only makes a big style statement but is also both ethical and sustainable. We would definitely wear it with a pair of killer heels and accessorise with a simple clutch. By keeping the accessories simple and understated, you can let the dress to the talking and keep the look really now.
Whilst the shift dress is a classic style, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find yourself one with a contemporary twist. Unusual necklines or hemline and interesting details all add a little something to keep the look right up to date. This wrap style shift, again bu sustainable brand Skunkfunk will effortlessly take you from daytime to evening just add a pair of chunky wedge heels to complete the look.
Last but not least why not go for the casual look. a comfy jersey or linen shift can be teamed with leggings and a cardigan for a cooler day. Seasalt Cornwall have a great selection of causal dresses featuring fun seaside inspired prints on eco fabrics.
Organic cotton is grown with out the use of chemical pesticides and is usually certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). The growth of conventional cotton uses a large amount of chemical pesticides and farmers involved in it growth can become trapped in a circle of poverty as pests become more resistant and the cost of agro chemicals grows. There are also many other ethical and environmental issues surrounding the growth of conventional cotton including the use of enforced child labour during the harvest in Uzbekistan and the shrinking of the Aral sea partly due to cotton irrigation.
Organic cotton clothing offers a solution to many of these issues and by buying organic cotton clothing consumers can help to minimise their impact on the environment. The ethical fashion industry is gathering speed and growing fast and it now much easier to buy a wide range of fashion dress made from certified organic cotton, you can even often find organic alternatives in your local jeans shop.
Here are 5 great reasons why it is well worth making the effort to choose organic cotton over conventional cotton for your clothing.
- Organic cotton clothing is natural and soft to wear. You can be absolutely sure that it is free of chemicals that could potentially be carcinogenic, toxic or allergenic. It is often recommended to choose organic cotton clothing for children and adults with eczema, because it is hypo allergenic.
- Organic cotton is farmed naturally and without the use of genetically modified species. This promotes a healthier farm and environment.
- No harmful chemicals are used in the manufacture of organic textiles making them better for the local wildlife and people.
- Organic farming offers farmers a more sustainable livelihood and helps them to break out of the cycle of poverty, needing to buy more and more agro chemicals to obtain the same yield as pests become resistant. The genetically modified seeds and pesticides used in conventional cotton production are controlled by just a few large agro chemical companies and have left many farmers in debt. Organic cotton offers a more sustainable alternative with a minimum price for organic cotton guaranteed. The cost of growing organic cotton declines over time as the ecosystem regains its balance.
- Organic cotton is also obtained from known sources so you can be sure that it has been harvested by forced child labour in Uzbekistan.
Style-is.co.uk has just launched bringing 1000’s of beautiful and sustainable fashion choices and over 100 innovative ethical fashion brands all under one easily searchable virtual roof.
The forward thinking website offers a wide range of sustainable alternatives to high street fashion from the outrageously luxurious to the surprisingly affordable, making it easy for shoppers to make a positive choice and discover fashion that will make them look and feel good.
All of the clothing, shoes and accessories on style-is.co.uk will give shoppers the chance to make a positive difference without compromising on style. They include organic clothing made using fibres that are grown without environmentally damaging pesticides, fair trade fashion that helps to reduce poverty around the world, vegan accessories as an alternative to leather and second hand, vintage clothing and dresses for hire which can help to reduce waste, pollution and the carbon footprint of fashion.
Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog is holding another ethical fashion outfit competition for fashion bloggers. I the last few competitions are anything to go by there is likley to be some great entries with stylish outfits made from vintage, second hand and ethical fashion pieces. Anyone with a blog and a twitter account can enter by taking a photograph of themsleves wearing someting stylish and ethical. There is no need to go out and buy anything to enter this competition charity shop, borrowed and even swapped clothes all count as ethical as they have less of an environmental impact than buying new.
The prizes which are worth over £250 in total include an outfit by From Clothing, an ethical fashion brand based in Devon, a skirt by Bibico, a label known for its contemporary ethical fashion and Grassroots Fashion, a fresh company offering upcycled and recycled fashion.
Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog is a personal style blog with a strong emphasis on sustainability. It features a variety of posts on charity shop, vintage clothes and ethical fashion brands.
Ethical fashion is one of those terms that seems to be bandied about all over the place but there doesn’t really seem to be any clear definition of what it is. The easiest way to discover it and see what you like and don’t like about it is to check out some of the amazing brands out there. Check out Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog for some great examples of ethical fashion.
I guess the reason the term ‘ethical fashion’ is so difficult to define is that ethics are very different for different people. For some ethical fashion is about environmental sustainability and preserving the environment for future generations, for others it is about ensuring that people working in the fashion industry are treated fairly and with respect and trying to use fashion it to alleviate poverty. It can also include treating animals with respect or vegan fashion that does not inlcude any animal products at all. Finally some also consider buying locally produced fashion the best option in terms of ethics as it cuts down on transportation , is easier to ensure fair treatment of workers and it supports the local economy.
Most people will look for a combination of the above when shopping ethically for clothing. Anything that encourages less consumption, better treatment people, animals and the environment, more sustainability and recycling, even in a small way, has to be a positive choice.
The variety and choice or ethical clothing is increasing all of the time and you know longer have to resign to looking boring, frumpy or hippyish if you want to dress ethically. Here are just a few ways that you can make your fashion more ethical.
Generally sustainable fashion starts with the use of some sort of sustainable material. This can include organic cotton, hemp, bamboo or Tencel, all of which are considered more sustainable choices than conventional cotton which is grown using lots of pesticides. There are also know innovative fabrics which use reclaimed materials including plastic bottles to make clothes. Recycling or upcycling is definitely on the up in fashion. The process of making something new from something old, be it a vintage or second hand piece or factory offcuts, seems to stimulate some amazing creativity.
Fairtrade is used to describe products that have been fairly traded with farmers in developing countries. There are now a growing number of fashion companies pioneering and developing their own Fairtrade programmes which not only make use of Fairtrade cotton but also local and traditional, artisan skills such as weaving, embroidery and beading. These schemes allow workers and communities to benefit from the profits made by the clothing. There are also a number of certifications that can be held by the factories which ensure fair treatment of workers.
Vintage and second hand fashion
One of the most sustainable ways of shopping has to be shopping for vintage and second hand clothing which has virtually no carbon footprint. There is a growing movement of people who buy there clothes in this way and look amazingly stylish on it.
When deciding which ethical fashion to buy, greenwashing can be a problem. There are many companies who call themselves ethical but with little in the way of ethical credentials. The easiest way to ensure that you are shopping ethically is to look for companies who have strong ethics and practice sustainability in everything that they do.
Some ethical fashion brands also support charities by donating a percentage of their profits or turnover each month.
Check out www.style-is.co.uk which features a wide range of ethical fashion brands and UK Fashion Store.
Image - organic cotton dress by Jackpot on Fashion Conscience.
Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant that can be used to make all sorts of products from clothing and shoes to rope. It can even be used for buildings. The beauty of using hemp as a replacement for a variety of different materials is that it is highly sustainable. Hemp can be grown without the need for pesticides or fertilisers making it a great alternative to cotton. Hemp is also really fast growing as it is a grass, this makes it easily renewable in contrast to timber and wood. The oil from hemp seeds contain amino acids and essential fatty acids making it a great food product but the oil is also used for a huge variety of other industrial products. The oil can even be used as an bio fuel which is a great alternative to non renewable fossil fuels.
The fibre of the hemp plant is also called bast and used to make textiles and paper. The plant typically produces 10% more fibre than either cotton or flax and is strong and quick growing. Textiles made from the hemp plant can be used to make shoes, clothing, sails and carpets. It was widely used for these purposes before the industrial revolution but its popularity then declined due to the availability of other textiles. Hemp clothing is now beginning to become popular again primarily because of sustainability of the plant. Po-zu Ecological Shoes uses hemp as an alternative to leather for manufacturing its ethical and vegan shoes.
It is hard to imagine but the strength from the hemp plant can be harnessed and used to strengthen buildings. Hempcrete, as it is known is made by mixing hemp hurds and lime. It is less brittle than concrete and therefore is more resistant to cracking reducing the need for expansion joints. Hemp has also been used in other composite materials for construction. The use of hemp in this way is really just in its infancy stage with it mostly being used for prototypes.
Hemp can also be used to make the composite panels for cars. The hemp bast fibre is mixed with fibreglass for a strong material
As well as it many other uses hemp oil, which is obtained from the fruit of the hemp plant, can be taken as a dietary supplement and has been shown to relieve the symptoms of eczema. It also has anti inflammatory properties and can be used for medical purposes.
The hemp plant is also very useful for ecological reasons. It can be used to clean waste water removing impurities like sewage. It can remove excess phosphorus from chicken effluent or other chemicals. It has even been used to clear contaminents after the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. The density and height that the hemp plant can grow to make it ideal for weed control. It minimises the pool of weed seeds i n the soil and is particularly useful for controlling tough weeds, helping to reduce the use of herbicides.
With its sustainability and many different uses, hemp could well be one of the crops of the future providing a partial solution to a number of environmental issues. There are however some issues surrounding the scale of hemp production which is partially limited by it status as a controlled crop in the US. With time, hopefully the production of hemp will become scalable allowing it to be used more extensively to make these many products.
Po-Zu aims to set new standards in ethical and ecological footwear manufacture with its range of vegan shoes and natural footwear that are healthy for your feet, safe for all the workers throughout the supply chain, and kind to the environment.