Is the team at Selfridges HQ reading our minds? Just as we started to pen a piece on how a girl can put one foot into a more sustainable fashion realm along comes their latest blockbuster project, Bright New Things, where all of the above is coming to life right now. On the shop floor this month you'll find designers from Katie Jones, a knitwear designer who specializes in using surplus yarns and fabrics, through to hat brand Mich Dulce, who utilizes sustainable fabrics and traditional weavers in the Philippines, all wrapped up with the kind of super-luxe bow you'd expect from London's innovative department store.
Alongside these retail trailblazers there are many other ways you can nod to being a more responsible shopper. And none of them include wearing hemp sacks.
Scroll down to see the eight ways you can be eco and definitely chic-o today and forever more…
There are plenty of denim labels who are actively lowering the amount of water it takes to produce their jeans, as well as ensuring the indigo dyes used and distressed denim processes are less harsh on the environment. But you can also pick up the environmental baton at home. New wash care labels were recently introduced to educate us all into washing in the most economic way (visit the website CleverCare.info for further details). Also, insiders always say you shouldn't wash your jeans too often anyway… so take a day off laundry duty!
And they will take them off your hands! Yes. Really. It’s all part of the brands’ efforts to close the loop in textile production—apparently 95 percent of our clothing waste can be recycled and used again in any number of ways. It’s great to have a wardrobe clear out, so do it and then buy something your closet actually needs.
Manufacturing in the UK is finally on the incline, which is super news as Britain used to have a booming textile industry, exporting all kinds of goods from hosiery to knitwear. M&S Best of British, ex-Mulberry creative director Emma Hill’s new handbag line, Hill & Friends, plus new fast fashion website Nobody's Child are all championing this movement.
The Reformation team use excess bolts of fabric to create their highly popular collections—that’s just another reason why the pieces sell out so quickly. Or take Everlane, where’s there’s as much an emphasis on tracking the item’s production chain as there is on classically cool design.
One of fashion's biggest luxury conglomerates, Kering, is set on pushing into the future with the environment at the forefront of many big and small decisions. Their methods—from the Italian HQ where employees can take home vegetables grown on-site to the groundbreaking environmental profit and loss account created for Puma, and the gem in their eco crown, Stella McCartney who refuses to sell leather or fur—are well respected within the industry.
Yes, some shops are stinky and you won't want to rummage in them, but there are plenty of opportunities to locate great vintage pieces from the comfort of your living room. From Farfetch.com to Nasty Gal, fashion buyers have done the legwork for you.
How do you think brands and stores could improve their sustainability? Sound off in the comments box below.
Opening Image: Style du Monde.