There’s no doubt about it - consumers have begun questioning where their clothes really come from and second guessing the retailers they came to love. As more well-known brands work towards offering more sustainable options, we’ve also started to hear the term “greenwashing” flying around. But what does “greenwashing” actually mean? Is it really that big of an issue, or is there something much more sinister happening beneath the surface?
This article will delve more deeply into these questions, while taking a look at high street retailers who claim to be on a mission to become sustainable clothing manufacturers...
So, let’s get into it!
Why is There a Need for
People are waking up to how, as humans, we've been collectively destroying our own planet. There’s pollution, overuse of fossil fuels and the destruction of our rainforests (to name a few).
Recent decades saw the arrival of “fast-fashion”, and the devastation this industry has had on our planet can no longer be hidden. High street stores opened their doors, offering bargains which seemed too good to be true.
I personally remember the excitement I felt when sale season came. While I scrambled through the seemingly endless rails of clothes, leaving with a literal suitcase full of goodies for no more than £100, there was also a nagging feeling of guilt. Who was making these clothes? Where did they come from? And how could they possibly be so cheap?
The fact is, that these fast-fashion giants took over our world, and any real sustainable clothing manufacturers that existed were overshadowed. The result? A throwaway mentality was created and promoted. We spent and spent, knowing that we can just discard our old clothes whenever we felt like it, at very little cost. Well, frankly, there is a cost...
We now have 10,000+ pieces of clothing being sent off to the landfill every 5 minutes, amounting to £140 million each year! More than this, there’s the cost to human life. There are, as we speak, 200 millions child labourers working tirelessly to create these “fab deals”. They are paid unspeakably low and work unimaginably long hours in the most inhumane conditions.
So, What is
As manufacturers work to keep up with the times, they are realising that more consumers now wish to purchase clothing which comes from sustainable and ethical suppliers.
Sustainable has started to become the new fashionable, but as these fast fashion giants haven’t proven to be trustworthy this far, or shown any interest in these topics, who's to say they’ve suddenly had a change of heart?
Sure, some companies are trying to make a genuine change, but greenwashing comes about when brands claim that they are sustainable clothing manufacturers, but in reality they aren’t being transparent with their consumers. At all.
How Can We Spot
Sustainably and ethically made fashion is not supposed to be cheap as chips. For starters, if something is made with a completely ethical supply chain then we expect to pay more to ensure that the workers are paid fairly.
If you have the lingering feeling of something feeling off, it most likely is. As consumers, we must do our research before purchasing from brands who claim to be sustainable. Make sure to check the actual amount of sustainable materials being used, and who is making the clothes.
Our advice? Choose brands who've always practiced what they preach. Brands who are transparent with their customers from the get go. Brands who offer sustainable items with a more realistic price tag.
Goodonyou.eco is a fab directory which lets you search for brands and take a look at their ethos, so you can do a little digging yourself!
What Can i Do To Ensure
i'm really using Sustainable
Do you have your own brand or are looking to start your latest venture, but are deeply concerned about the things mentioned above? You’re probably wondering where on Earth to find sustainable clothing manufacturers who treat their workers with the respect and human rights they deserve. Well, don’t panic! We’ve got you...
Using an ethical fashion agency like Masala Threads ensures that at every step of the way you'll be proud of your business. We offer fabric sourcing, printing & dying, design & pattern cutting, manufacturing, photoshoots and eco-packaging!