Sustainable Fashion: Stay Stylish With These Retailers
Love Fashion and the Planet?
There’s no escaping the fact that fast fashion is destroying our planet. Fast fashion clothing retailers make fashionable and cheap products, but the real cost comes at a high price. The UN Environment Programme reported the fashion industry as the second-biggest consumer of water. Fast fashion alone is responsible for 8-10% of all global carbon emissions. As consumers in a capitalist society, we are automatically programmed to consume from these big-selling brands, but if you take a closer look elsewhere, you’ll see it’s perfectly possible to stay stylish and sustainable. You’re clothes don’t have to be so harmful to the planet.
A popular planet-friendly brand is the colourful and vibrant Lucy&Yak. With an online site, a permanent store in Brighton and a pop-up in Bristol, these funky statement pieces are pretty easy to get your hands on. Lucy&Yak was founded by Lucy and Chris whilst they were travelling in the van and making items from old clothes along the way. From the very beginning, they have been dedicated to creating clothes sustainably and responsibly, maintaining good working relationships with all of their staff. All items are sourced and made from sustainable materials with every person being paid a fair living wage (most fast fashion suppliers pay their garment workers very poorly!) Lucy&Yak have committed themselves to being:
Responsibly New: always organic, recycled materials, paying a living wage, long-lasting, versatile, sustainable packaging, simplicity in design to aid price accessibility and reducing carbon footprint.
Recirculating used or imperfect yaks: selling imperfect designs at a lower cost on Depop, customers are able to re-sell and pass on old clothes they no longer wear.
Responsibly reinvesting in our planet and our people; identifying and supporting grassroots causes that improve things for people and the planet.
Lucy&Yak have also recently teamed up with Beyond Retro – you can now take any Lucy&Yak item to a Beyond Retro store where they will re-sell or recycle the material in exchange for a £20 gift voucher per item.
Most of you will have heard of Depop but if you haven’t, it is an app that allows you to buy and sell second-hand clothing and other items. It’s incredibly simple to use, you just have to snap a few pics, give a few details about the brand, what condition the item is in etc, set a price and wait for someone to buy. Then just package it up and pop down to your local post office. It’s great for when you’re having a clear-out and want to make a bit of extra cash. It’s like a charity shop on your phone!
Elizabeth Whibley is a fashion designer based in Margate with a passion for slow fashion. “The design aesthetic explores the designer’s own experience of childhood and girlstyle, nostalgia from western 1960s and 70s influences outcomes to create a vintage vibe. Elizabeth Whibley independently researched Harajuku street style when visiting Tokyo in may 2017, this influenced the creation of her debut graduate collection called dreaming and doing. The title of this captures her mindset to live life to the fullest, achieve dreams and get stuff done!”
All items are made to order and limited edition pieces, meaning there is no overproduction and therefore no fabric or material waste. All fabric material is sustainably chosen, using organic cotton or bamboo, meaning less water pollution and no use of pesticides. Everything is locally made by a team of two who are both paid above the living wage. Whibley really does prioritise sustainability with an ethos of planet over profit. All items are vibrant, colourful, unique, and made to last!
ADORNED UK is a mother/daughter ran business selling unique and vintage style pieces. Ethics are at the heart of what they do. They work with other small, family-run businesses to ensure that nothing is mass-produced, making every item a unique and limited edition.
“It’s about style over fashion: whilst we’re mindful of what may be trending, we prefer to think about longevity – stocking and making pieces that you will wear for years rather than throw away after one season. Often we forget there’s a person behind the garments; we want to connect you to the process and show you who makes your clothes.”
By being transparent about who has made each item, customers can feel safe in the knowledge that their clothes were made with love and care whilst also knowing that each garment worker was treated and paid fairly.
With such a variety of designs and patterns, each one truly unique, there is something for everyone at Adorned.