Sustainable clothes in UK
There are many ways in which the UK fashion industry impacts the environment and communities, from the sourcing of the fabrics to manufacturing, transport and right down to selling and recycling.
I don’t like to use the word sustainable, because I find people are scared of it and don’t understand it,’ says Orsola de Castro, Founder and Creative Director of “Fashion Revolution”, an organisation which educates brands on how to produce clothes than don’t exploit the planet or people.
There is no fully sustainable brand at this point in time. There are certainly brands that are embedding sustainability in the way they design and think, she says.
There is a lot of confusion between the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’, and while UK brands often try to address both concerns, the two aren’t the same. There are different ways to produce ethical clothing, and according to the Ethical Fashion Forum, they fall into 3 categories – social, environmental and commercial, specifically tackling these issues:
Providing resources, training and/or awareness raising initiatives.
Addressing toxic pesticide and chemical use, using and/or developing eco- friendly fabrics and components.
Minimising water use.
Developing or promoting sustainability standards for fashion.
Countering fast, cheap fashion and damaging patterns of fashion consumption.
Defending fair wages, working conditions and workers’ rights, and supporting sustainable livelihoods.
Recycling and addressing energy efficiency and waste.
Protecting animal rights.
Discover the brands that are winning when it comes to sustainability, employee rights, fair trade and good style – and while you are here, shop our favourite ethical clothes too.