How To Check If A Brand Is Sustainable
The fashion industry and its effects on the environment are a constant source of conversation, and for good reason. The industry itself is one of the world’s largest contributors to pollution. Waste from the textiles used, especially certain fabrics that do not break down quickly, are causing massive environmental issues that affect everyone. While this is a slightly depressing thought, there are ways to check that brands are sustainable, and purchase clothing sourced from brands and marketplaces looking to change the face of the industry for the better.
Toxic waste caused by chemicals used for dying clothing is a big concern for the world’s waterways. These toxins are dumped into rivers after use, which can harm the wildlife in and around the water and eventually make its way to the ocean, making it’s harm even more widespread. Purchasing clothing from brands that use regulated water systems within their factories can help decrease the need for those who don’t regulate. Another effective way to help this issue specifically is to also look for brands like Vildare and NAE who use natural textiles and fibres that require no treatment making them excellent alternatives to those that do such as traditional leather.
Sustainable brands are looking toward fibres that will break down easily, as many textiles end up in dumps and landfills. Synthetics like Polyester take hundreds of years to disintegrate, and are not even considered a viable option compared to higher quality materials. Because it is cheap and easy to make, it is a widely used material, but fibres like hemp, cotton and linen are much better for the environment and produce higher quality garments. Choosing clothing made from materials like these can help diminish the long-lasting and harmful effects of other less sustainable fibres and are also much easier to repair and recycle. This means that not only does clothing like this last longer but it’s much more feasible to give it a second life once you are finished with it. Brands like Beatrice Bayliss are a perfect example of this using local factories in the UK to produce loungewear made from recycled & organic cotton.
In recent years, many companies have looked to sourcing more sustainable packing for their items. According to bulkbagreclamtion.com, “packaging contributes to an astonishing 77.9 tons of municipal solid waste per year- almost 30% of the total amount of waste.” Recent studies show that many consumers would rather pay more to have their purchases sent in eco-friendly, green packaging, and it is fairly easy to produce thanks to biodegradable materials. Items such as plant-based plastics, recycled bags, and paper can be reused and reformed to create safer containers in which to ship things.
With so many options now available to companies make sure you are being mindful of what packaging the brands you buy from are using, for example tote bag brand Vildare send all their vegan bags through reusable packaging Repack & Canussa send all of their products in beautifully designed paper baked packaging making it easily recyclable.
Work Ethic And Conditions
It is widely known that as an industry, the fashion world has not had a great track record with treating workers well or offering fair and safe working conditions. Poor working conditions in the fashion industry are a huge problem, and many big corporations have no way to regulate such things thanks to an overwhelming supply and demand chain.
The website labourbehindthelabel.org notes that workers are often subjected to 14 hour days, with overtime and injuries more commonplace than not. It can be difficult to know how every company treats its workers, but it can also be easy to find ones that offer “transparent” reports of their work environments.
All of the brands available on Ve Planet are vetted for transparency regarding the working conditions for those producing the products available on our platform meaning you don’t have to, however if you are shopping elsewhere be sure to do your due diligence to ensure you are supporting positive work environments for fashion industry workers.
Be Part of the Change
Generally speaking, finding sustainable brands can take a little more time than just buying clothes, shoes & bags from the cheapest and easiest accessible places which is why we have collated sustainable brands for you to shop.
It pays off to know where the clothes come from, how they are created, and how the people who make them are treated. It is important to help heal the environment so our planet can be a safe place for everyone. Changing the way you buy in small ways can change the world in a big way. Be part of the change!