A change in the industry starts with the customer. Quality is key when it comes to sustainable fashion unlike fast-fashion, clothes need to be designed to withstand wear after wear, constant seasonal changes as well as repeated washing; this is the reason for sustainable clothing being so expensive to produce.
It’s the processes involved with sustainable products that are more complex than that of fast –fashion products. It is mainly sourcing the right materials that will last and finding factories that run through ethical processes with fair paid employees; these are factors that contribute and make up the higher price. Sustainable production is a better design method, with the life span of each product incredibly increased, this truly represents and justifies the higher prices.
Working with recycled and environmentally friendly techniques and materials such as using the end of rolls as well as using off cuts. Although sustainable practices are at a higher price now, many believe that if more people invest in sustainable fashion, it will eventually become more affordable. Consumers need a shift in mindset in order to achieve a positive change. It is true when people say that the power is with the people.
Luxury retailer Browns has launched ‘The conscious Edit’ this autumn, where they will now be a host of sustainable brands and products. The designer is the latest to create a section in which is allowing their customers to shop freely knowing that the items they are purchasing meet the retailer’s strictest ethical standards.
The Conscious Edit features products from Ganni as well as well-known sustainable brand Stella McCartney. The edit will also welcome Dutch Designer and LVMH nominee Duran Lantink with an exclusive capsule collection with whom Browns have recently made a 3-part documentary on the topic of sustainability. The documentary follows Lantink as he went to Browns warehouse, chose a selection of past season pieces that he then had the task of reworking into new garments for an entirely new collection.. Browns is the latest in luxurious shopping brands that has made the change in order to make sustainable shopping easier for consumers.
Buying director for Browns Womenswear and Menswear departments Ida Petersson stated that although Browns has a long way to go in regards to being actively sustainable, they are constantly looking for new ways to do better and offer their customers the choice to shop the conscious edit; this is currently happening business wide. The buying team is always looking for new designers to showcase alongside the current labels within Browns retailers.
Regardless of sustainability being classed as a trend or not, it is vital that we take it into consideration when purchasing goods. Consider what the item will offer you; will the piece of clothing be durable, of good quality, multi functional, will it last repeated washing? These are what we need to think about when we are purchasing goods. The main question to ask yourself as a consumer, is the product made from sustainable materials? Research if it has been produced with little environmental damage being caused. If we all started to consider these factors our environment would soon be changed and saved for the better.
By Alex McCluskey