What once may have felt like a topic reserved for scientists, meteorologists and economists, Sustainability was definitely a word we heard more and more, during the latter half of 2015. And yes, it gets a capital, because as experts from many industries are telling us, now more than ever before, is when we need to seriously look at our habits, and the effect they may have on the planet. What you choose to stock your wardrobe with may not seem directly related to the sustainable lifestyle, but it certainly could make a difference if we start to really think about where our clothes come from. Materials, manufacturing and marketplace are all elements that are part of the fashion journey from sketch to storefront. As we welcome 2016, perhaps a resolution for some of us could include making more of an effort to know where exactly our clothes have come from. Sounds daunting, but it’s surprisingly simple, and quite en vogue. To help you start, we’ve shed some light on three stylish brands, all doing their bit for sustainability.
H&M Conscious Exclusive
This initiative, started in 2013 by the Swedish chain of stores, has focused on three areas of sustainability. Education, Clean Water and Strengthening Women, were chosen in on global online vote, and have since been supported with donations from the Stefan Persson family – Persson’s father founded the fashion brand in 1947. In the past two years, H&M have released multiple collections under the Conscious Exclusive label, with a promise to direct funds raised back to the chosen causes, to enable ‘real long term change for people and communities’. And just because they are for a good cause, doesn’t mean they look any less stylish. That typical cool Scandi design shines through their latest range (which includes maternity wear), making it all too easy to support.
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The outdoor and sports brand has taken a company-wide approach to sustainability, with not just specific items, but rather all of their products claiming to adhere to their environmentally aware ethos. They claim that their products are made in a way that practices Corporate Responsibility – a business movement, ‘that encourages companies to take responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, employees, communities and the environment.’ So, if you choose to buy that new rain jacket from the brand, you can add an extra dose of feel-good to those outdoor exercise endorphins – you’ll be contributing to a company that supports fairer working conditions, protects against worker exploitation and aims to reduce its environmental and social impact.
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The Danish designs have been welcomed to Dundrum Shopping Centre just last month, so it’s a perfect excuse to investigate, and perhaps invest in some new threads. They’ve been produced under the company’s commitment to the sustainability strategy, ’20 by 20′. The report lists guidelines, to help with the process of making significant changes to the manufacturing choices of the brand by 2020. One section, Environment & Chemicals, outlines steps to ensure their suppliers maintain ‘good water management and diligent wastewater disposal’. This promise hasn’t stopped them from providing a refined, grown up selection of pieces, including some beautiful, unusual accessories.
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Top image from spadesandsilk.com