Conscious trends can be found in a plethora of stores worldwide and are becoming more popular by the day, proving fashion is no stranger to the eruption of the eco-age. This trend includes anything from the use of organic cotton to the recycling clothes campaign in H&M.
The reason being that sustainable fashion is the future. The rising awareness amongst consumers, especially millennials, has led to higher demand for sustainable products. Microfibers from clothes are eaten by plankton in the sea, and due to bioaccumulation are capable of reaching toxic levels in humans. Dyes used in colourful and patterned clothes, a staple in almost every store, are the second biggest contributor to water pollution.
Sustainable fashion essentially refers to products that have been produced in the most eco-friendly manner possible. A fine example would be the use of organic cotton and hemp to make clothes instead of regular cotton or wool. The growth of organic cotton requires less water, fertilisers and pesticides than regular cotton or hemp. The Loop Shoe, a part of Stella McCartney’s 2018 fall collection, uses technical stitching to replace glue in trainers.
Not only have newer boutiques offering sustainable fashion sprung up, such as the luxurious Reve en Vert, but successful fashion brands have also taken steps to provide ethical fashion to its customers. Stella McCartney has avoided using fur and feathers in her products, and uses only recycled polyester. Companies such as H&M and Marks & Spencer offer customers the option of returning their used clothes to be recycled. An eco-collection can be found in well-known stores like Mango and the student-friendly Asos.
Norwich, a fine shopping destination, is home to many stores that offer ethical clothing options. Sahara offers elegant clothes made from sustainably grown hemp, although their prices can be quite steep. Nobody’s Child is a popular brand found in Topshop and other stores, that is known for its complete control over its supply chain and hence its ability to maintain ethical standards. Its prices are affordable for students as well, which makes it a great place to shop. Another ethical fashion brand with student-friendly prices is People Tree, a fantastic place to shop found by Castle Mall. Nancy Dee, Bibico and Thought are other online shops where one can find sustainably produced clothes. Primark, a student favourite, has also recently come into the spotlight with its Sustainable Cotton Programme. And of course, we have the well-known H&M Conscious and Asos’ Eco-edit collections.
While there have been plenty of measures taken to promote sustainable fashion, we still have a long way to go to revolutionise the fashion industry.