Most of us are aware of ethical living and looking after the environment. Doing our bit by recycling, using less energy, growing our own veggies and using organic products, to name a few. Some live more eco-friendly than others, however I would say more and more people are becoming conscious of the vital need to look after our Planet.
What is Ethical Fashion? This is a broad term which encompasses a range of issues, from working conditions, fair trade, environment, sustainable production, exploitation of workers, animal welfare and more. Brands can be deemed ethical if they are working for one or more of these causes, and both socially and environmentally conscious.
A few friends and clients have asked me about shopping sustainably. Which brands are out there that are ethically conscious as well as fashionable. Now let's be honest, ethical fashion hasn't always been uber cool or stylish, it has been more associated with hessian and 'tree huggers' (no offence). However, brands have come a really long way from that stigma.
Rue Belle is going to list some of the favourite ethical fashion brands out there;
Matt and Nat - These guys are a Bags and Accessories brand, using recycled cork, rubber, nylon and cardboard to create a beautiful and simplistic range. All their linings are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. They say approx 21 plastic bottles are recycled for every bag they produce! Now thats a good cause.
Chinti and Parker - An innovative London knitwear brand who actively set off their carbon emissions through the carbon neutral company guidelines and ensure they are working with the most respectable mills. They have created a playful brand, using colour and texture, whilst also having a luxurious element using the finest cashmere, merinos and cottons. Their cashmere range is lovely, I could definitely see myself lounging around in one of their cashmere tracksuits!
H&M - have their Conscious - Sustainable Style range. Its great for basics and certainly won't break the bank with it's affordable pricing. Not the most innovative shapes, but definitely worth checking out and they use all organic linen, cotton and leathers.
Stella McCartney - is the luxury end of sustainable fashion, she is an activist for PETA and uses all sustainable materials for her garments, including regenerated cashmere from the post-factory waste in Italy. Worth breaking the bank for I say!
ASOS Eco Brands - Another one of our everyday names ASOS is committed to doing their bit too, by having their own Made in Kenya range and developing clothing that has lower environmental impact. They also stock a range of brands across clothing and beauty that share the same values.
New Balance - We are all still loving our trainers and they look like they will be around for a while, so it's great to hear cool sports brand New Balance are working with sustainable values in mind. Striving for zero waste by considering the design, materials and manufacturing to create sustainable paths.
Edun - A high end brand that's little under the radar. They manufacture in Africa investing in building communities and initiatives in the Continent by creating jobs. Worth the splurge as the cuts and fabrics are beautiful.
Let's all start getting CURIOUS as to where and how our clothes are being made. So many big retailers are still using unregistered suppliers where working conditions and questionable cost saving short cuts are being made at the price of our environment and people welfare. Awareness of this issue is a great starting point.