Let’s start with some facts:
- 68 pounds is the amount of clothing the average American discards every year, 85% of which ends up in landfills and incinerators.
- 4% of the global landfills are filled with clothing and textiles.
- 700 gallons of water are used to produce a single cotton T-shirt.
- 2,6% of global water is used for growing cotton.
- 99% of used clothing is estimated to be recyclable.
The horrendous effects of mass production of clothes on the environment grow year by year. With tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, and waste getting dumped into our rivers and oceans every day, the apparel industry needs to start making some changes.
Lately, we have seen international brands like H&M use organic cotton for some of their products, but since this represents just a needle compared to their full catalogue, it’s far from making an actual change.
On the higher end, designers such as Stella McCartney, a long advocate for sustainable fashion, recently spoke the ugly truth on her interview on WIRED UK.
“90 percent of the environmental issues that are mentioned in the fashion industry are based around marketing,” and added “They’re not heartfelt. They’re not really genuine.”
So, we decided to put a list of 4 British sustainable fashion brands together. You’d be amazed by the price range as well as the power behind these brands.
Beaumont Organic is an international ethical ladieswear brand that combines signature styling with contemporary classics. They are inspired by making changes and paving a way for fashion to have a more sustainable future. They do this by asking questions, producing ethically, reducing wastage, using off-cuts where possible for sampling and keeping consumption low.
Teaming contrasting fabrics and unique silhouettes with luxury organic, fair trade and eco fabrics to create a renowned style, they aim to design and create responsibly using luxury fabrics for the modern woman. They have even created hand-made, organic beds for our fluffy friends.
P.i.C Style started out as an obsession to do fashion the right way. They want people to know where their clothes come from and who makes them. Their aim is to create the fashion of the future and initiate a fashion revolution, all the while caring for the planet. P.i.C is consciously designed and lovingly made around the corner in their local London factory. Not only they’re very strict with resourcing local, sustainable, and organic fabrics, P.i.C is never mass-produced.
They have also created a guide for you in order to mix and match their clothes, creating more than 50 clean looks with just 8 beautiful pieces. Their collections are rotatable and interchangeable, giving you more flexibility. They believe there is a better way in clothing manufacturing and they urge you to stop overbuying and choose stuff you love and invest in it.
People Tree, being an active member of many Fair Trade organisations and having been accredited by the WFTO, the Fairtrade Foundation, are noticeably a pioneer in ethical and sustainable fashion. For over 27 years, People Tree sources the majority of its Fair Trade products from marginalized producer groups in the developing world and it uses natural resources to promote environmentally responsible initiatives (like shipment by sea) for a sustainable future.
With people and the planet being the centre to everything they do, People Tree is a different kind of fashion business giving customers an alternative to fast fashion. Their contemporary, accessible, and desirable garments are made with organic cotton and sustainable materials, by artisans and producers who work to Fair Trade standards. People Tree has been a pilot case for certification for Fair Trade Manufacture under the World Fair Trade Organisation and they were the world’s first clothing company to receive the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product mark back in 2013.
They are the feminists leading an ethical fashion revolution. At Birdsong, they want to revolutionise the way you dress. From sourcing their goods from women’s charities to refusing to use Photoshop, they want to create fashion that’s fairer for women and get people to expect more from their wardrobes.
It’s estimated that 60 million women worldwide, aged 18-35 work in the garment industry earning less than a minimum wage. These women are hidden in the fashion supply chain, making it near impossible to track where your clothing comes from and who made it.
For them, worker’s rights, funding cuts and a lack of diversity are all top priorities. Believing in collaboration and making women’s voices heard, they work solely with incredible women’s knitting groups or impoverished migrant women’s circles as well as charities in order to produce their clothing, always ensuring a London living wage and access to a range of holistic support.
Always remember: “There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness” – Mahatma Gandhi