In 2019, fast fashion is all too easy, and with the rise of brands like In The Style and Nasty Gal, it’s possible to fill an online shopping basket with ten pieces and only garner a total price of £20. It’s quick, effortless, and most of all, incredibly cheap. But it’s time that we start looking beyond the price tags and the trends, and into what is behind the £5 neon bikinis and sparkly flares of fast fashion brands.
Fast fashion is the world’s second-largest pollutant, emitting 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 each year, and using 80 billion cubic metres of fresh water. The social and environmental impact of fast fashion is far too high and we need to start doing something about it.
Take a step towards improving our planet by trying these seven brands, all of which are dedicated to producing clothes in a sustainable and ethical way without damaging the environment. We all need to become more conscious consumers and this is a great place to start.
1. Lucy and Yak
Lucy and Yak brands itself as “sustainable, ethical and indie clothing”, and it sticks to this promise with its stylish (and unbelievably comfortable) collection of dungarees. Beginning in New Zealand, sewing clothes on the beach and selling them to travellers, Lucy and Yak is now immensely popular and is a leading brand in producing fashion that is ethical and sustainable.
Lucy and Yak’s central message is that everybody in the chain of clothing production should be happy, so they are dedicated to providing exceptional working conditions in their factories and paying all their workers fairly. In terms of environmental impact, all of the packagings that you receive with a Lucy and Yak order is biodegradable, reusable and recyclable. The future of Lucy and Yak is even more exciting, as they start to work on fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles.
2. PACT Organic Apparel
PACT is a clothing brand committed to the power of conscious consuming. Based in Colorado, Pact uses only 100 percent organic kinds of cotton; a much more sustainable material for long-term use. Not only is their material much more environmentally conscious than other brands, but it is incredibly soft and good quality so your pieces are comfortable and much longer-lasting, to combat the fast-fashion phenomenon. Pact promises that none of its clothes contain toxic dyes or pesticides, and as CEO and founder Brendan Synnott puts it, they are committed to showing kindness towards humans and the planet.
3. We Are Tala
Just this year, influencer and entrepreneur Grace Beverley (also known as GraceFit), released her new activewear brand We Are Tala. Their mission is to create activewear that is on-trend, affordable, ethical, sustainable and, most importantly, completely transparent. Tala clothes are created in Portugal, where sustainability is held at the core of every stage of the process, their main fabric being Q-Nova: a fully up-cycled and sustainable material.
Not only this, but Tala is dedicated to body positivity and empowerment in their campaign using an extremely diverse range of models to represent their brand. To find out more about this new brand, watch this video, as the Tala team visit the factory in Portugal to keep their promise of brand transparency and explain the sustainability behind the clothes that they produce.
In the face of Love Island’s neon swimwear and the £1 Missguided bikini that has filled recent headlines, it is clear that summer is the season in which fast fashion thrives the most. This summer, shop for your swimwear a little more consciously by trying out brands such as Summersalt that are committed to creating swimwear that doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment.
Summersalt uses fabric created from recycled plastics and post-consumer materials like plastic bottles and fishing nets, and they are constantly working towards improving their environmental impact.
Although brands like this are a little more expensive, the swimwear that you purchase will actually last you longer than one beach holiday so it is definitely worth it in the long run, for both yourself and the environment.
5. Know The Origin
Know The Origin prides itself in its complete brand transparency, releasing a complete list of its supply chain as well as images of production in factories to support its mission of sustainability and ethical fashion. The brand uses zero-waste dyes as well as selling their own zero waste kits of wooden toothbrushes and reusable tote bags alongside its clothes. Part of KTO’s website is made up of articles discussing sustainability, including plastic-free periods and sustainability tips for festivals.
Reformation defines its efforts towards sustainability in four words: product, people, planet, progress. Since 2015, Reformation has been carbon neutral and have implemented programs for customers in which they can receive store credit for making environmentally-friendly changes in their lives.
Reformation also releases a quarterly sustainability report to contribute to its brand transparency as well as publishing their future plans to improve sustainability, such as redesigning their range of jeans to ensure that they are made from 100 percent regenerative or organic materials using no toxic chemical processes by 2021.
7. People Tree
People Tree sticks to a 10 step environmental policy that includes avoiding any polluting substances and only using natural fibres in their clothing. Since its founding thirty years ago, People Tree has been committed to ensuring every product that they make is at the highest possible ethical and environmental standard. People Tree is considered a pioneer of ethical and sustainable fashion, producing incredible clothes and proving that you don’t need fast fashion to look good.