May 24,2021

Eco fashion

Can fashion be ethical in times of growing consumerism? Yes! Not only that: a well-balanced fashion becomes trendy! In this study, you’ll find out what it is exactly and which eco brands you should choose. Stay with me 😉

 

When you think about fashion, do you see large stores in shopping centres, filled from top to bottom with clothes, bags, shoes, and accessories? Or maybe endless catwalks for models presenting beautiful outfits during fashion weeks that are organised around the world? The amount of clothes we produce is terrifying. Fast fashion that develops in Bangladesh, India, and China has an enormous, destructive impact on the environment and society. Each day, the factories produce tons of clothing – usually made of synthetic fabrics. Can you imagine that ONE wash of acrylic sweaters leaves over 700 thousand fibres that end up in rivers and other bodies of water? The studies have shown that as many as 70% of fish caught in the Atlantic had leftovers of microplastic inside of them! Fabrics pollute the soil and our food. They are made from derivatives of petroleum that are not biodegradable and remain in the ecosystem for many years. Additionally, the working conditions surrounding fast fashion often violate the rights of human dignity. The factories don’t meet the safety requirements, the wages are minimum, the employees can’t form trade unions, they often work in excess, with no insurance, and no chance to fight for their rights. The plants often employ children and teenagers, too. All of that, just to satisfy the consumerist needs of the citizens from the “civilized” West. How can we stop this immoral madness? How to be an aware and responsible consumer? What can you do, even today, to help improve the world?

I. Choose brands that pay attention to ecology! Buy fewer clothes, but pick the ones that are of great quality, made of organic, environment-friendly materials, leave a small carbon footprint (because they are produced and sold in the same country), have approved certifications (e.g. Global Organic Textile Standard, Fairtrade), and the employees’ rights are respected while they work in safe conditions.

Polish eco brands:

1. Osnowa – clothes that are perfect for your capsule wardrobe; a wide selection of outfits for men and women;
What they write about themselves: “Osnowa was created because we want to build a truly sustainable brand that will have a positive impact on people and our environment. We create in harmony with our values – we care about the quality of fabrics, we value high-quality tailoring, we respect experienced craftsmen and we are not indifferent to the condition of our planet.”
2. Koko World – clothes, jewellery, handbags decorated with amazing patterns and colours inspired by different cultures from around the world.
What they write about themselves: “We love original patterns, colours and designs inspired by cultures from different parts of the world. Our mission is to create collections that from the idea to the piece of cloth go far beyond commonness. However, we do not want to contribute to damages that the clothing industry does to people and the environment. That is why we object to the idea of fast fashion and do fashion on our own terms.”
3. Limitless – beautiful hand-made handbags, bumbags, and clutch bags
What they write about themselves: “LIMITLESS is a new way to think about fashion within a sustainable economy. Thus all bags and accessories are handmade of leather or Eco leather collected from shoe and apparel factories. Meaning each piece is treated individually making each product unique. LIMITLESS is characterized by simple and timeless design which aims to complement a variety of outfits and to reduce the need for purchasing new trends. In the production process the company engages women and men over 50 who have lost their jobs due to the digitization and automation at their previous companies.”
4. Pontiki – colourful and unique clothes for children
What they write about themselves: “Seen as we are a small, family-run business, we put our hearts into our work. The ethics of our brand have been the most important thing for us from the very beginning. We produce eco-friendly items and feel responsible for the people who make our clothing. Thanks to FAIRTRADE and GOTS certificates we know, that human rights are respected and harmful chemicals are not used during the whole production process. Our products are natural, ethical and environment-friendly.”
5. NAGO – minimalist clothes that will help you build your base
What they write about themselves: “Our clothes are ecological and produced in a conscious and well-balanced way. We optimise the use of materials, place importance on the functionality of products, and the process of creating our collections is strictly examined and conducted according to the fair trade rules. We choose the solutions that minimise environmental damage.”
6. Argentum Yacht Tuning – bags and handbags made out of used sails
What they write about themselves: “Argentum Yacht Tuning is a small Polish company that manufactures bags from already used sails. The owners look for sails, which have already gone through many adventures, choose the right ones, clean them and give a second life. There is a stamp with a geographical position inside each bag, which indicates where the sail spent most of its life. Each of the bags is unique. It has been designed and hand-made in Poznań.”
7. Mon Petit Bébé – clothes for children and babies, made with the utmost care
What they write about themselves: “The entire production of Mon Petit Bébé babywear is based on the highest quality organic PIMA cotton and is backed by intricate work of medical experts, designers and market research. Our yarns and fabrics are imported directly from Peru, where the most exclusive version of cotton, organic PIMA, grows in the juggle.”

Foreign eco brands:

1. Nudie Jeans – a Swedish brand whose jeans are sewn with ecological cotton that comes from an Indian organization – Chetna Foundation. The foundation cooperates with minor and marginalised farmers.
2. Dedicated – a Danish brand that makes beautiful clothes for men and women. They have the GOTS and Fairtrade certificates.
3. Mud Jeans – a Dutch brand that makes vegan jeans that are not only sold but also lent. Pants are sewn with certified cotton and dyed with ozone, which reduces the negative impact on the environment and the employees’ health.
4. Po-Zu – a British brand that makes shoes out of innovative materials: pineapple fibre, coconut husk, nutshells, india rubber, naturally obtained cork.
5. Kowtow – a brand from New Zealand that uses ecological cotton, free from GMO and harmful pesticides.

II. Buy clothes at second-hand shops, vintage stores, garage sales! It’s an infallible way of finding one of a kind clothes of great quality. Pre-owned and used – the longer it circulated, the more ecological it will be.

The most interesting vintage stores available online:

https://www.somavintagestore.com/pl/
https://www.kexvintagestore.pl/
https://www.decobazaar.com/
http://hoplastore.pl/
https://vintageforever.pl/
https://www.simpleretro.com/
https://www.rokit.co.uk/
https://www.atikalondon.co.uk/shop

III. Alter, create, change, and process your own clothes to give them new quality! Use your imagination. There are no limits and the effects might exceed the expectations. Here are a few ideas:

IV. If you want to get rid of clothes, but they’re still in good condition, don’t throw them away! Consider an action such as ubraniadooddania.pl (your clothes turned into money will support a foundation of your choice) or throw it into a Polish Red Cross container. Red Cross cooperates with companies that will manage 100% of your waste, or – at worst – turn it into an alternative fuel.

Our planet is so polluted with tons of waste, that it’s worth supporting it in the fight for a better tomorrow. If each of us makes more aware and responsible purchases, we’ll improve the fate of the world and humankind. The small steps mentioned above will suffice for a start.

Author: Iza

Translated by: Konrad

The article was created as part of project called Teenage Action for the Environment. The project is conducted thanks to the grant from Active Citizens Fund National, financed by EEA.

 

Bibliography:

Artwork by Marcin Lenkowski, follow on instagram @teironius or on website www.teironius.pl

Tkaniny naturalne, sztuczne i syntetyczne. Dlaczego materiał ma znaczenie?


https://osnowa.co/
https://www.kokoworld.pl/
Small Versatile bag
https://pontikibaby.com/pl/
https://nago.com/
http://www.monpetitbebe.pl/eSklep
https://dobrezakupy.ekonsument.pl/pl/ubrania
https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/blog/what-is-eco-fashion-and-how-to-be-responsibly-fashionable/
https://www.nudiejeans.com/
https://www.dedicatedbrand.com/en/
https://mudjeans.eu/
https://po-zu.com/
https://nz.kowtowclothing.com/
https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/what-to-wear/g19491797/the-best-and-still-chic-sustainable-brands/
https://www.ubraniadooddania.pl/
https://paulinagorska.com/czy-rynek-second-hand-jest-ekologiczny