Founders of Nudnik, twins Lindsay and Alexandra Lorusso were raised in a house where waste management was a part of routine their lives. Their father, who is a co-founder and owner of a Canadian waste management company WasteCo, taught the twins about the harmful effects of one – use products on the planet. So it is not a big deal that the twins went on to create Nudnik, a company that’s almost spearheading sustainable fashion in 2018. But is this enough? Apparently, not.
Nudnik turns textile garbage, clothes that end up in the landfills as waste, into beautiful children wear. This is, by far, the most ecofriendly idea that is at work in the sustainable fashion industry. But this is a small scale efforts. And small scale efforts don’t get to show up on a global stage. This is one concern that bothers eco-friendly people, who also love to be fashionable.
Brands embracing sustainable fashion in 2018
But it’s not that the big fashion brands are trying to convert themselves into sustainable fashion brands. AllBirds is a well-known footwear brand that is actually trying to battle carbon footprints by designing eco-friendly shoes. The brand makes the world’s most comfortable shoes, which are highly sustainable too. It uses merino wool for its wool runners and eucalyptus tree fiber from the farms in South Africa to create the fiber loungers and runners.
Big brands are indeed catching up with sustainable fashion in 2018. H&M and Patagonia are recycling old clothes to make new ones. Everlane and Reformation are totally focused on ethical manufacturing, and ensuring that not too labor is exploited in the process of making clothes – because let us admit it – this happens more too often. Eileen Fisher and Karen Kane are also keeping an eye out at the supply chains, so that their subcontractors don’t fail to adhere to ethical and sustainable fashion guidelines.
Despite this, Anne Pringle believes that completely turning over to sustainable fashion in 2018 isn’t an easy process for bigger brands. The one and only reason – hard cash. The other one is regulatory obstacles, though these are not that difficult to overcome. Pringle claims that the consumers aren’t turning to sustainable fashion in sync with the big brands. And profit then, becomes a major concern for these companies.
All hope is not lost
There are still companies in the sustainable fashion industry which are paving the way for a bright future in the field. Outland Denim, an Australian brand, deals directly with the factories that make clothes. This company also ensures that the factories they associate with are themselves associated with some social cause. For instance, some factories that Outland Denim works with have formerly trafficked women as employees and they use sustainable practices to design the clothes.
Outland Denim’s jeans are made from completely organic cotton and organic dyes. These dyes are derived from the indigofera plants. Through Outland Denim’s approach to sustainable fashion in 2018, a lot of its consumers leave a lesser carbon footprint in the world.
Then there is Amsterdam, which is slowly turning into a hub for sustainable fashion industry. An organization named Fashion for Good aims at promoting ethical and eco-friendly fashion. To do this, it funds European fashion brands and startups which are focused on sustainability. Moreover, it also offers advice and guidance to such startups on topics related to marketing and promotion. Fashion for Good has also partnered with Adidas to bring about a monumental change in the functioning of existing brands.
During the Fashion Takes Action Wear (World Ethical Apparel Roundtable), Reformation a sustainable and ethical brand by Yael Aflalo stole the limelight. The brand, uses vintage and waste fabric, materials such as recycled cotton, wool, nylon, and hemp to create fashionable yet eco-friendly clothes for people around the world. The label also works in collaboration with various conservation projects to clean and restore waterways in the United States. Apart from that, Reformation also publishes an online RefScale report every once in a while to inform the costumers about the workings of the brand and also how every garment that they purchase actually has an impact on the planet.
Such sustainable fashion brands practice the principle of inclusivity, whereby they help other brands or startups to create their own ethical clothing line.
What can we do?
Of course, for those of us who are ecologically conscious, sustainability is vital – even in fashion. The problem is that more often than not, these sustainable fashion brands are expensive. And fast fashion is pocket-friendly. So how can we solve a dilemma where we want to help our planet, but without burning a hole in our pocket? Here are 4 ways of being sustainable. And you won’t even have to check your bank balance twice to do this.
Fix your clothes
If your dress’s zip is broken, get it fixed and wear that dress numerous times in your life. Don’t throw it away just because a fixable part of your outfit is torn or broken. Go to a tailor near you and get it fixed. Reduce textile garbage. It will help your planet in the long run. Speaking of long run…
Swap/donate clothes you don’t need
Not all old clothes are gold when it comes to fashion. One of the ways of being sustainable is to spend less on fast fashion. To do that, first donate the clothes you don’t need to a charity or non-profit organization. And if you want more sustainable clothes while saving money, the best thing to do is gather your friends in one place, and swap your clothes with each other.
Buy clothes for the long run
Buy clothes which you know you will wear even 5 years down the line. That will save your money as well as the environment. And admit it, this is the least you can do. For once, ignore the fickle fashion trends and go for something lost lasting.
Rehashing is the trend for 2019. Browse your closet for clothes that you thought were outdated. You see, they are not outdated anymore. Be it a stained t-shirt or ripped jeans, it’s vintage. It’s cool. And it’s useful. Go vintage and reduce the amount of clothes that end up in the landfill. Also, save money and look at the top of your fashion game.