Why sustainable fashion matters
What is sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion is where garments and accessories are produced or accessed in an ecologically and socially responsible manner - the word accessed is used because it is not limited to just the making or buying of new things.
The fashion industry is responsible for 4-10% of global greenhouse-gas emissions every year. For fashion to become more sustainable it needs to be created and consumed in a way that is protecting both the environment and the people producing garments.
Cutting CO2 emissions, tackling overproduction, decreasing pollution and waste, supporting biodiversity, and making sure garment workers are paid a fair wage and are working in a safe environment are all part of sustainability in fashion.
Why is sustainable fashion important?
Fashion has been harmful to environmental and social factors for a very long time now - sweatshops began in the industrial revolution and were heavily dependent on coal, plus the industrialisation of textiles meant a larger demand for cotton which created a huge drive for slavery.
The biggest problem we face in the present day is ‘fast fashion’ - it’s the culprit for modern-day slavery, toxic pollution and excess carbon emissions. Fast fashion is on-trend, cheap fashion that is produced very quickly in massive quantities. With this fashion model being built on an endless cycle of overproduction and overconsumption, companies are able to offer cheap prices because they’re ordering such huge quantities of garments.
They negotiate lower prices with factories therefore suppressing wages for workers and keeping safety standards low. Even with some fashion brands trying to incorporate some recycled and organic materials in their collection, this amount of production can never be sustainable.
How to find out if a clothing brand is sustainable
You really need to look at the initiatives and programs a clothes brand uses to identify whether they are truly sustainable and make sure their brands core values align with their sustainability goals.
A company’s ‘Impact Report’ shows how ethically the brand's clothing is - too many fast-fashion brands make big statements while mass producing garments they can not maintain in the future. Look out for ethical labels and choose smaller companies who know their garment workers by name.
It’s like anything in life - quality is always better than quantity! If we start to shift to a more sustainable fashion industry we can have a hugely positive impact on the planet and people.
Where can I buy sustainable fashion online?
Some brands are leading the way and here at Porters, we want to provide you with brands that really care about the fabric they use, the sourcing & production impact on the environment and the overall quality of the garments. If you buy our sustainable fashion brands online or instore, you can have complete confidence that you’re not supporting fast fashion.
We like to think of ourselves as ‘conscious buyers’ - buying brands we know you’ll love, not just for their trendy styles, but also for their ethical beliefs from production to the shopfloor. We want to be part of the fashion industry that’s taking the lead on making the fashion world a more sustainable one.
Seek out greener garments
Check out our list of sustainable brands available both in store and online:-
Nudie Jeans are recognised for their work with sustainability and aim to be the most sustainable denim company around. They offer free repairs on your jeans no matter when or where you bought them. All their jeans are made from 100% organic cotton and production is transparent.
Replay displays their focus on sustainability by introducing reused denim, reused cotton or recycled polyester. Less energy - less water - less Co2. Their Anbass Hyperflex Jean produces no toxic wastes and saves up to 75% of water, the bio fabric respects the environment whilst keeping its innovative technology that combines the authentic denim look with utmost comfort.
Universal Works makes a real conscious effort to be a more sustainable brand, most of their collections are made from organic or recyclable materials, including the wool in their knitwear. All their ‘save the tees’ are made from 100% recycled or organic cotton and their packaging is always recyclable. They create long-lasting products - they believe their customers notice the longevity of the clothing and therefore create a mentality of ‘buying less but better.’
Selected Femme strives for quality over quantity, creating collections that are always in style, but built to last! They want to push fashion towards a sustainable reality - they want to make a positive change by using resources efficiently, countering climate change and promoting equality and safe working conditions.
Oliver Spencer pays close attention to sustainability throughout his company. He has transparent relationships with a network of suppliers and manufacturing located in the UK and Portugal. The brand focuses on using less water and chemicals when creating fabrics, using organic cotton and high-quality British wool.
Scotch & Soda are very particular in who they work with, only using factories and suppliers that have fair, safe and healthy working conditions. They are part of the Business Social Compliance Initiative, who are committed to improving working conditions in the global supply chain. They also work with the Better Cotton Initiative - by 2025 their goal is to source 100% Better Cotton.
We can all do our bit in creating a more sustainable world, tackling fashion is a great place to start. We hope you have been inspired to think more about what your clothing represents and how to change to more ethically-minded brands.