THE SUSTAINABILITY ISSUE
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
Welcome to the first edition of FM140, our new annual publication. This is a voice for fashion in the eyes of the creatives that will shape the industry of the future. The Sustainability Issue, it might sound like the buzzword of the moment, a fleeting fad of fashion, but we believe this trend is set to become a classic, in the ambitious shift towards zero waste and a circular economy. This issue asks the new generation of consumers what they think about the question of sustainability and what can we do to change the way we produce, consume and dispose of our clothes. The Year 1 BA(Hons) Fashion Marketing students collaborated with the Year 1 BA(Hons) Fashion Photography students at Falmouth University. We put our heads together to consider the issues surrounding the impact of the fashion industry on the global environment. We are striving to change the way people shop. We want to emphasise the challenges in communication of the sustainable message, avoid the â€˜green-washâ€™, and create engaging content that speaks to a new generation of consumers. From all of FM140 we hope you enjoy this first issue. We want to know what you think about the issues we are talking about, we are thinking differently. Stay updated by following our Instagram account @_fm140
4. First the Worst, Second the Best- by Katie Horsgood 6. The Green Scene - by Imani Mahal 8. How to Switch Your Style to Second Hand- by Alice Page 10. I Shop Therefore I Am - by Iris Aguado 12. Skate Sustainably or Die - by Tallulah Jones 14. A Self Proclaimed Professional Intern - by Rachel Stacey 16. Old Jeans Never Looked So New - written by Abbie McKenzie 18. Just Jeans? - written by Yasmin Flowers 20. Say Hello to Your New Favourite Brand - by Phoebe Toups 22. Consuming the Planet - by Mira Todorova 24. Shopping the way to Sustainability - by Amy Saunders 26. Who Made Our Denim - by Yasmin Wong 28. A Fashion Divide - by Alex Beck 30. Pret a Vintage- by Jessica King 32. The F Word - by Olivia Tregonning 34. The Good Guys in Fashion - by Ellie Graham 36. Buy Less and Buy Better - by Rose Coppen Manns 38. The Sustainable T-Shirt Movement - by Georgia Lamb 40. The Elephant in the Room - by Sandra Larsen Mjelde 42. Walk in my Shoes - by Patricia Szymanska 44. Are YOU Ready to Take the Next Sustainable Step? - by Maria Diaz
“SUSTAINABLE IS FASHIONABLE”
Photography: Tom Johnson, Milly Rodda, Myrth Floyd, Celia Croft, Jessica Keightley, Eleanor Harrod
FIRST THE WORST Second the best By Katie Horsgood As a consumer it is so easy to impulse buy, but is this really the issue? Obviously, in the long run, yes. Our ever-increasing consumption habits have a major effect on the environment. However, it would be naïve to expect instantaneous change. Everyone needs to work together, it’s about making progress as a community. So really, it’s not about the clothes that we are purchasing, it’s about what we’re doing with the clothes we no longer want, and our mindset about where and how we shop. Consumption CAN be sustainable. As humans, every single one of us holds partial responsibility for the damaging effects that the fashion industry is having on our planet. After all, it is an industry that we all buy into. People need to stop having the attitude that just their actions alone won’t have an impact, so why do it at all and start having a more optimistic outlook and help to spread the word.
"start having a more optimistic outlook and help to spread the word” Mintel, a marketing research company found that recycling of materials from old clothing into new clothing stands at less than 1%, and the average amount of times people wear a garment before stopping use is 36% lower than 15 years ago. This goes to show that we are becoming increasingly greedy as consumerism grows and our attitude towards re-using and recycling clothing is on the decline. With this being said, according to the Business of Fashion “66 percent of global Millennials are willing to spend more on brands that are sustainable.” This statistic would suggest that we are slowly making progress towards sustainability, however, there are still a lot of people that need educating on the issues that affect the planet. There are multiple ways that we can do things to help, we even do things subconsciously. A key example of this is Depop, a popular app allowing users to buy, sell and swap clothes. This channel of consumerism encourages a circular economy. You are helping the planet subconsciously. Maybe, the use of app’s such as Depop need to be advertised more, encouraging people to use it, it is a double win for the user, it allows them to make a profit from their unwanted clothes and accessories while also helping the planet. In the last 15 years, we
have doubled the amount of clothes we produce, and they only get worn an average of three times before they’re thrown away. Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to find ways to dispose of our clothing sustainably. Another way to help increase sustainability within the fashion industry is through shopping in charity and vintage shops. By shopping second hand, not only does the money go to a good cause, it encourages a circular economy which is critical to the reduction of waste. As pointed out by Stella McCartney, “It is estimated that more than half of fast fashion production is disposed of in under a year, and one garbage truck full of textiles is landfilled or burnt every second.” Although Depop is successful and should be encouraged, why is it that Depop is welcomed by the vast majority yet charity shops are perceived as dirty and only cater for one style? Do we just tell ourselves this to try and conceal our greed from wanting to profit from our old possessions or is there an underlying reason? The irony is, all clothes that are sold in charity shops are sorted and cleaned thoroughly before being sold, whereas, there are no rules on Depop that state the need to wash clothes before selling them. Arguably, it is human nature to wash something before selling it to someone- one would hope- however, it is not a requirement…still think charity shops are dirty? I used Instagram polls in order to research into people’s opinions on charity shopping, questioning their knowledge and views on sustainable fashion. Of 152 people, 65% said that they would shop in charity shops. I then asked the remaining 35% why they would not shop in charity shops giving them the choice of “Dirty” or “Not my style”, 37% answered dirty. Ironically, the fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry in the world after the oil industry yet trying to combat that problem is perceived as dirty. Ultimately, I’m not knocking either form of recycling, but simply comparing them and the accompanying stereotypes.
Everyone needs to do their BIT, How are YOU going to help?
THE ‘GREEN’ SCENE
VETEMENTS x HARRODS London, 2018
Necessity: a word drawing a parallel between streetwear and sustainability. With 2017 bringing the streetwear scene to the forefront of fashion, finally breaking the glass ceiling between street styles and high-end luxuries, can 2018 see the rise of the ‘green’ scene?
Excess consumption is the customer’s choice; excess extraction is not the planets choice. Having supplies exceeding demand, the fashion industry is continuously contributing to the depletion of our planet. With shocking statistics being brought to the public’s eye about fashions culture of consumerism, there is no better time for a call to action. Vetements, a high-end street style design collective, known to subvert from the norm, has taken a stand to highlight just how over produced the industry is. With the stigma being fast fashion brands are the ‘main culprits’,
Bloody O, expressing how he believes these individuals are ‘ahead of our time’, we asked his opinions on sustainable fashion: ‘To be honest, I have not paid it much attention. I am aware of the big supporters including Stella McCartney. I know Adidas have done some 3D printed shoes made out of ocean plastics, but personally style wise neither of them sit quite right with me’. Is this the next step? If brands in high demand use their influences to promote and make their supply chains increasingly green,
‘‘I THINK WE ARE ALL GUILTY OF BUYING INTO FAST FASHION’’ Vetements collaborating specifically with Harrods may suggest otherwise. Taking over four window displays, this installation became a hot topic of discussion. Maybe Harrods devoted customers did not appreciate the bold move from the Parisian brand, but it got noise onto the streets. To enable change within society we need a voice, could this be it? Ultimately the problem lies with greed. There are two sides: over consumption from the customer and mass production from the brand. It’s like the chicken and the egg dilemma, which one came first? Leading us to the question of which one do we tackle first? Or is there a middle ground in which must be met? When speaking to a streetwear enthusiast head to toe in fashions hottest brands, including Balenciaga and Alyx, he stated, ‘I think we’re all a little big guilty of buying into fast fashion’. Taking his inspiration from Ian Connor and
will this encourage street inspired individuals to invest their money into the cause. With the stigma of sustainability being the opposite of ‘cool‘, can influencers like Vetements change these stereotypes? Have a think, back in 2016 was the Dad shoe ‘cool’? No. The name came from somewhere? Yes, we had the likes of Ozweego’s, a continued collaboration between Adidas and Raf Simons, but the popularity surrounding this style of shoe has since rocketed when Balenciaga introduced the Triple S and Yeezy introduced the Boost 700 Wave Runners. It takes one voice to make a change. Here lies the final question, with all these developments needed to be implemented to ‘save the future of fashion’, will it limit the opportunities for designers? With the progression of creativity within the industry at an all-time high, will these steps to save the planet come at a cost?
Edit: Imani Mahal
How to switch your style to second hand. by Alice Page
Help the environment. Help your wallet. Help and be original.
An intimidating thought to some however it is possible to have a wardrobe that consists of mainly,if not completely, second hand items. The key is to know what you actually need and where to find it. Second hand shopping is becoming more and more popular especially with the younger generation. Second hand retailers such as Asos marketplace and Depop are making it even easier to save yourself money, and decrease consumption. However, when I asked a group of young adults on an Instagram poll if they preferred high street stores for clothes or charity shops 78% said highstreet. Later asked why they prefer high street, 76% chose â€˜easierâ€™, showing that to make second hand more popular we need to make it more accessible. Apps such as Depop are helping to make it more conveniant, which showed in a poll where 55% said they do use Depop to shop. There are a few ways of making second hand shopping more successful, such as making a list. Going to the store knowing what you want decreases the chance of impulse shopping. Find where you have gaps in your wardrobe and try fill these with second hand buys. To make sure the
items you are purchasing are worth your money and wardrobe space, ensure that before buying an item you have two things in your existing wardrobe that you can pair with it. Washing is also important especially when buying already worn item. They can get worn down easier and therefore can be more high maintenance, check labels before purchasing to see what the washing requirement are and if you are able to carry them out. With these easy tips and tricks there is no excuse to not try reduce your fast fashion ways and step into a second hand lifestyle.
To gauge more of an idea of what it’s like to be a millennial shopping in second hand shops, I interviewed Dec a film student in Falmouth.
What makes you want to shop in charity/vintage shops over high street? Mainly funds but also the prospect of finding vintage designer and other cool items that are not available on the high street.
What’s your favourite piece of clothing from a charity shop?
Pre-1998 Stone Island jacket which retailed at around £150 and I got it for £5. Which was insane.
Do you think you can live in an all second-hand wardrobe?
Wait me personally or other? Well either way, yes, and I think you could do it easily as well. Upcycling is also a really good way to help.
Would you say everyone should shop in them? Yes, but also no. They might find something that I would’ve preferred to get. It’s the worse when someone has something you want and its charity shop, so you’ll never be able to get it.
Do you think about the effect of the clothes industry on the environment? Recently I have, I watched a documentary called Cowspiracy about cattle farming and I believe everyone should watch it. Also did you know it takes thousands of gallons of water to make a pair of jeans? What’s your favourite area to shop?
Brighton is great, Bristol also has some good high street and vintage shops.
Whats some advice you would give to those wanting to start second hand shopping? Buy what you are drawn to and you are more likely to wear it. Also do some research on areas as some are known for getting good brands especially areas in London. This way you can find something you really want.
Do you shop on Depop?
Yes I do, and I try to sell on there too. Follow
Article by: Iris Aguado Photography: Emily Huntley
I Shop Therefore I Am
In the wise words of Barbara Kruger, does the western world’s obsession with fashion and all things material come at a high price for the planet? In your mind right now think about how many pairs of shoes an average person owns during their life time. What about tops and bottoms? Or picture the number of purses? Well the answer to those questions falls anywhere between 10 and 1000. But let’s dig even deeper. Now think about potential differences between someone owning 10 items of clothing and someone owning 1000. What comes to mind? If you automatically thought of their social status and wealth, yes, you’re human. What we can deduce from this mini experiment is that a surplus of material goods is equated to one’s ability to provide and this has evolutionary origins. It essentially boils down to natural selection. For instance, having sufficient resources and being efficient at acquiring them ensured the survival of hunter-gatherer communities. It’s a simple mechanism. The more resources you have the higher your status within the community and the higher your chances of survival are. This, in turn, was the establishment of social hierarchies. Now fast forward to today. Are we still motivated to overconsume to fulfil a certain motive of power and status? Yes, we are. Human beings are social animals so it is natural to have a desire to want to belong to a specific group of people and here fashion consumerism steps in. Most lifestyle choices we make are guided by materialism and a burning inner desire for status and popularity. The marketing departments
within the fashion industry have been able to use human nature to their advantage by placing products strategically to target one’s social values and lifestyle choices. This links closely to the marketing concept of strategic placement, the method of strategically placing psychologically embedded imagery where they will be seen by as many people as possible. Our need for love, respect and admiration is played upon through textual messages and images of our aspirations for wealth, beauty, status and sex. One of the marketers’ weapons of choice for appealing to our needs are influential individuals such as popular celebrities. We are bombarded everywhere by impactful ads trying to make us react and overconsume. Fashion trends are engineered by marketers and big corporations to enforce productive sales and inseminate a vicious cycle of consumerism. These marketing strategies are encouraging our social tendencies to conform to a collective wasteful behavior. And finally onto the big question: Does our obsession with fashion and all things material come at a high price for the planet? You will be stunned when you read that the clothing and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, right behind the oil industry. The colossal amounts of pollution and resource depletion resulting from overconsumption in the industry is enough to accelerate not only the decline of the industry itself but eventually the planet. Understanding the psychology behind our consumption and being aware of how marketers are exploiting our human nature should wake us up and open our eyes to the real issue. By giving in to the vicious cycle of consumption, we are giving in to the trashing of our planet. Now having all this in mind, will you reconsider buying that shiny red purse you really want but don’t really need? Did you know that extending the life of a garment by 9 months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%? So hold onto your clothes! Written by Iris Aguado
skate or die
(sustainably) Being a skater is hard: rolled ankles, broken boards and having to change your shoes way too often. But what if changing the way you shop means less replacing and better skating?
Shit. So you’ve just ripped another hole in the toe of your scuffed up Adidas skate shoes but you don’t feel like forking out fifty quid to replace them nor do you have the funds to do so. Not to mention you’ll be in the exact same position no less than a few months in the future (a few weeks if you keep practicing fakie heel flips).
You’re faced with two options: keep skating until the sole literally peels off, or take a break from skating until you can afford a new pair. Wrong. Changing the way you purchase your skate apparel presents you with a much better option. What if you chose to buy cheaper clothes which were also more durable?
words and images by Tallulah Jones
So i susta on y
We all know that hitting up charity shops for new garms is now the it thing to do. But it’s popular for a reason. If you can be bothered to sift through piles of questionable articles from the 2010’s then you might be able to find some real gems. Not to mention that picking up some lightly worn trainers for a fiver will not only help your bank account but also the environment. It’s far better to nip to the local Sue Ryder to get some dirty Converse which will keep you going for a few months than to waste £20 on some crappy brand new HUF shoes which will just make your feet hurt (to quote Christian Flores of RIDE Channel “This is just suede there’s no padding in it at all”) and end up in the landfill. If you can invest in a more expensive shoe then that’s preferable as you’re going to get higher pay per wear and your feet and ankles will be properly protected ( = less rolled ankles, which is always the goal).
Vans are committed to making their shoes sustainable and have a page on their website dedicated to ‘Green Sole operations’. According to their website, “our operational footprint represents less than 10% of our total environmental impact” and they are vowing to change the way that they create their products. One of the steps they are taking is by using better cotton to make their shoes, meaning that the product will last longer - so you won’t have to buy them as often. Win. Dickies are cool as f***. It’s a fact. Even people who when asked what a ‘truck’ is would respond ‘a vehicle’ own a pair. It’s a great example of a trend that skaters started going mainstream. But we don’t wear Dickies just because they look cool, they’re perfect for skating. Dickies are originally work trousers for builders making them ultra durable and hard wearing; essentially this means you can skate the hell out of them and they just don’t show any signs of wear.
So if you want to join the sustainability skate team, throw on your secondhand creps and indestructible Dickies and let’s smash some curbs - in the name of saving the planet. pictured left: charity shop vans that are still good to skate pictured right: £6 ebay air force 1’s
F*CK YOU PAY ME
A Self Proclaimed Professional Intern We are all for fair working conditions in factories, but are we setting a leading example here for our interns? Artwork and Article by Rachel Stacey
As a self proclaimed ‘professional intern’ I’ve found myself questioning whether the creative industry is for me. From 5am wake up calls for months, to nearly being arrested I wondered if I was part of a sequel to “The Devil Wears Prada”. Now don’t get me wrong, working in fashion comes with a heap of excitement and rewards but more often than not I’ve questioned myself why on earth am I doing this? After throwing a complete wobbly just a year ago if university was for me I decided to be productive and find myself an internship. By some small miracle (and a bit of exaggeration on my CV) I managed to bag myself a paid internship in a fashion house. A week later I had quit my cafe job and mid August I began my 9-6. From then on
while all my friends were galavanting on their summer holidays I began the 5am wake up calls to get my arse down to Shepherds Bush from Essex. As I sat in the long ikea plant filled office, computer screens with glamorous yet intimidating women sat behind I started to question all my previous misconceptions of what a fashion house was really like. Within minutes the admin email address
I was accountable for was inundated with emails from my boss who was sat less than a metre away from me sending tasks I had to complete. This is the point when I realised the fashion industry is 82% emailing. After weeks of crying on my train journey home, endless excel spreadsheets and 4,234 cups of tea I decided I needed to stage an intervention, know my worth. No amount of money was going to cater for the fact that ultimately, I was sad.
After previously learning that 82% of fashion is emailing and the remaining 18% was the art of bullshit, I composed emails to various brands and magazines selling myself to unpaid roles. I was surprised at how desperate and approachable people were for these roles and within a short amount of time I was employed by three different people including my old part time job to keep me afloat. After doing a few odd jobs here and there I already gauged a vague idea of the kind of job I was willing to partake in for free. PR was swiftly written off for me, not even getting paid travel expenses was another huge factor for poor eighteen year old Rachel. Being sent on errands that most
definitely did not come under my job description, nearly getting arrested for being in someone else’s house. Eventually I landed myself an intern role at a magazine. Suddenly I was excited to get out of bed, not even getting paid didn’t matter for me because each day came with new and exciting tasks. I met musician’s I loved, I helped style shoots, I got my name credited in a real publication and most importantly I worked with people that actually gave a flying flip about me. What I’m trying to get across is the fashion industry from my snippet of experience is not as glamorous as Vogue makes it out to be.
Behind the glossy covers and the beautifully styled models, is an intern who’s blood, sweat and tears have gone into every ounce of that image who’s name most likely was not credited, however without them it would not of been possible. You must know your worth, do it because you are passionate and want to, don’t let anyone mess you around.
Photographed by Megan Jackson and Jess Brass
Old jeans never looked so new Desire. Educate. Recreate. Avoid splashing the cash on those brand new jeans. Reuse your old ones for a more conscious creative you to make a positive stand in the world. Why reuse? Well, it’s simple. The future of the world is down to us. The actions we choose to take in our lifestyles contribute towards the environment and society we live in. Without realising it, buying a new pair of jeans is a contributing factor to the fashion industry being the second most polluting in the world. Did you know that, according to Treehugger.com, a single pair of jeans needs around 1,800 gallons of water to make enough cotton to produce them? One. Single. Pair. So what’s the solution? REUSING! With denim jeans being a staple piece it is common for everyone to not think before they buy. Everyone is guilty of that, let’s be honest. But with statistics like these it is vital to avoid buying a new pair each time and instead reuse existing ones to help create a more sustainable lifestyle for yourself and show your desire to help preserve our planet. In addition to the environmental impact caused, the fashion industry is known for the exploitation of its workers. This is not often an area that is talked about yet it is still 100% real. It’s time we did something about it. Don’t you agree? During London Fashion Week, a student called Hannah Barclay voiced her opinion on the matter of sustainability. Hannah was wanting to treat her wardrobe to a new pair of statement red jeans.
“By reusing I know that I’ve saved a lot of water, and given the jeans a new life” Instead of breaking the bank, she decided to take matters into her own hands - ‘I bleached Abbie McKenzie
and dyed an old pair of jeans that I never used’. Not only did it bring out the creative side in her, she felt good knowing she was not contributing to the unsustainable factors in the industry. This is just one example of how the staple pieces we greatly desire can be created ourselves. Being a student the cost of clothing is her ‘main concern’ and this is a beneficial alternative that, if everyone followed, can help the world in numerous ways over time. There are already a few brands that focus on maintaining the sustainability of clothes. If you haven’t heard about these then it’s definitely worth checking them out for yourselves, even if it is just to get some extra inspiration. Mud Jeans, believe in ‘sustainability at the core’ of their brand as they consider it to guide ‘every decision that we make’. They inform their customers that their prodcuts have been carefully produced in a way that has not harmed the environment.This sets a good example to other people to shop sustainably and recycle their worn jeans. In addition, Nudie Jeans, offer their consumers ways to reuse and recycle their old jeans, i.e. via their own free repair shops or by buying a personal repair kit. It’s 2018. It’s time for the industry to change, and this can be done with your help. It can be as simple as reusing your old jeans and transforming them into a pair that looks brand new. But that’s only the beginning. During the interview, Hannah mentioned “By reusing I know I’ve saved a lot of water, and given the jeans a new life”. This way of thinking is one that if everyone adopted could help to make a large impact within the fashion industry, not only on environmental factors but on the people who work within it too: reducing the demand for jeans in retail. It’s time for you to help make a difference in this world, and it begins with your jeans.
PHOTOGRAPHY DOMINIC WATTON
JUST JEANS? Your jeans can be the first step to a big change in sustainable fashion. But why jeans? They mean nothing right? Just something you throw on most mornings, ready to conquer the world. But what happens when you find that slight rip in the seam? That faulty button that just won’t stay on? And it leaves you with that agitated feeling of being let down, but yet you still find yourself visiting that same high street shop to purchase that same pair of disappointing jeans. So what now? Despite thinking there’s no solution, to your surprise there is. There are actually jeans out there that are designed to last, and it’s time for you to know how… A pair of jeans is that necessity that you need in your wardrobe, but so many of us are oblivious to the actual conseYASMIN FLOWERS
quences of not choosing them wisely. According to Mintel, people aged under 25 are most likely to buy from high street stores such as Primark, Zara and River Island. But little do they know that this is the mistake. These brands produce jeans that don’t really last as despite being cheap, results in you spending more money and effort having to constantly re-buy. So you might be thinking, what are my other options?
They have a variation of lines, most recently a Water<Less and Waste<Less collection that consists of products made of 20 percent post-consumer waste- specifically, recycled plastic bottles. But most importantly, Levi have a WellThread collection made from 100% cotton guaranteeing long lasting jeans you have always hoped for.
But wait. What about even when you have a good quality pair of jeans, Well retailers such as Le- time passes and you vi’s and Imogen and Willie eventually find a rip or are amazing substitutes tear? Well, that’s where that produce ethical, duImogene and Willie rock rable jeans that you won’t up. They don’t only offer be let down by. How? For a one year guarantee for starters, Levi is one of their jeans, but also offer the biggest, most popular to fix jeans at a very reajean brands in the busisonable price, so now you ness so they ensure there don’t have to throw away jeans are perfected with your favourite jeans. regards to sustainability.
Say Hello To Your New Favorite Brand If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will soon. Introducing Ragyard; they’re on the rise and making a big impact on the street of Portobello, but not hurting the environment to do so. Words by Phoebe Toups Images by Phoebe Toups and Georgia Lamb
Let’s start with who Ragyard is; it’s a brand based in London perfectly placed on Portobello Road that sells one-ofkind individually made pieces. It’s part of a bigger company called N16Vintage, which started with a sourced men’s Indian backpack being sold to ASOS. From there, it started to create t-shirts and dresses, which then turned into a full-fledged brand with the catchphrase, “We Love to Create.” Two years ago, the brand Ragyard was born with the idea of empowering its consumers with the clothes they wear. It caters to a creative market with embellishments and fine details covering every piece. So, why should you support Ragyard? Besides the fact that it’s a “slow-fashion” brand, the team also actively makes sustainable choices to reduce fashion’s negative impact on the environment. Not to mention the constant support they provide for the LGBTQ+ community. A better question would be, “why shouldn’t you support Ragyard?” Here are some things to know about the brand. The name Ragyard came from the fact that the clothes are sourced from global rag yards and brought back to life. Additionally, every piece from Ragyard is globally-sourced, which means the materials used are taken from different markets around the world. This in turn allows the brand the ability
“Every piece is made in the UK by happy people and limited edition to allow for individuality.”
“The clothes all have their own personality, but don’t overpower their customers’ individuality.”
to offer lower pricing for the products. Moreover, according to Maria from Ragyard, every piece is “made in the UK by happy people and limited edition to allow for individuality.” Furthermore, all of the products are made of recycled garments and/or fabrics to help reduce fashion’s impact on landfill. Lastly, the designs are made to be timeless so the company doesn’t need to breed sheep. If you’re not convinced yet about why you should be supporting Ragyard, here’s some more sustainable work the brand is doing. In stores,100% recycled cardboard hangers are used, which are biodegradable and printed with non-toxic ink that doesn’t harm the environment. There’s also similar packaging for their ecommerce sales channel in the works. After speaking to Maria, I learned that there is a new line launching soon called “Cool Hand Wash,” which will feature up-cycled vintage sportswear, which would otherwise be in a landfill. Not to mention, when you purchase an item you’re given a super cool reusable cloth tote instead of a plastic bag. Pulling the focus away from sustainable work, I want to mention general good deeds the team at Ragyard does. To start, they’re huge supporters of the LGBTQ+ community and even have specific pieces
designed to show that with sayings like “Love Will Win.” They also have a tradition of planting a tree whenever there is a birthday in the office because they are a fully green team. If you’re still looking for more reasons to support them, every year they get involved with a different local charity that they spend the time to raise funds for. They’re also working on a campaign called “No Waste” where they are going to use the remnants of fabrics to create new and improved pieces. After all, they love to create. To finish off, let’s talk about the fashion since, at the end of the day, it is a fashion brand. The clothes all have their own personality, but don’t overpower their customers’ individuality. Ragyard is making positive changes for the environment and showing the rest of the fashion industry that you don’t have to make sacrifices in style to be ethical. Ragyard is part of fashion’s future. The creators are constructing a brand that is taking exciting steps towards a more ethical prospect. Even in doing so, they’re refusing to sacrifice who they are at the core of their business. Not to mention they sell super charming and unique clothes. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll want to support the cool, edgy and ethical brand that is making waves.
Western consumer culture began in the post-war period, right after a period of starvation and deprivation. The liberalisation of trade opened up the gate to consumerism and so it began. But what about today’s consumerists? What are they deprived of? Today’s consumers are driven by greed and the inescapable need of wanting to fit in. Whatever is trending in the magazines is whatever the masses will be wearing. Let’s conduct a little experiment. Step outside with a trendy article of clothing in mind, preferably onto a university campus or a busy street. Now spend the next hour counting how many people will be wearing that exact article of clothing. I picked the yellow Roseanne jacket from FatFace and spent about an hour on the main shopping street in Falmouth. It was a particularly sunny day and I counted around 27 women with that exact jacket. Are FatFace in any way sustainable? Yes, they use organic cottons and have joined the Better Cottons initiative. But were all of those women wearing the FatFace jacket or were some of them wearing dupes from brands contributing to the world of fast fashion?
According to UK market research firm Mintel, 10% of women aged 16-24 currently prioritise sustainable clothing when buying fashion. Sure, you may want to fit in and be trendy but there are ways to do so without contributing to the world of consumerism and instead contributing to the circular economy. What’s a circular economy? A circular economy would be purchasing a certan item and instead of chucking it away once you don’t want it anymore, giving it back to the manufacturer so they can reuse certain aspects of it. Or, not purchasing brand new items and instead buying pre-loved goods. In a nutshell, becoming part of a circular economy could mean purchasing clothes from sustainable brands, purchasing second-hand clothing, or returning clothes to the manufacturer, so they can extract and reuse certain elements.
58% of consumers agree that fashion retailers should be more environmentally friendly. Realistically speaking, people can’t become sustainable overnight. I wouldn’t expect someone who shops at Gucci to all of a sudden become the British Heart Foundation’s favourite new client. But in reality, if you are driven by purchasing branded clothing, you can always find second-hand ones online on websites/applications such as Depop. Purchasing second-hand items will contribute towards the circular economy rather than consumer culture and give life to something pre-loved. Repurposing articles of clothing or just using them as they are, are factors that in the long run make a difference.
Recycling of materials from old clothing into new clothing stands at less than 1% So what happens now? Do we all just go on with our lives and continue purchasing clothes from non-sustainable brands as if we’ve never read this article? Will we all shake our heads in disappointment when we hear the 8pm news telling us about how the Earth’s resources are running low? In 20 years, will we wonder how it all came to this? Maybe. But it’s always good to try and influence a positive change in people. After all, it’s up to us how we treat ourselves, others and our home – Earth.
Article: Mira Todorova Imagery: Valentina Filipova Artwork: Mira Todorova Statistics: Mintel Academic
Shopping the way to sustainability By Amy Saunders-Pesce
I understand this doesn’t make sense. Shopping the way to sustainability? But... I’ve come to realise that it ’s not how often we are shopping, it ’s what we are buying. As much as I was opposed to buying second hand, I have come to the conclusion that it is far from the be all and end all. I always thought the fun in shopping was browsing through the high-street, never realising that shopping in vintage and charity shops can be just as fun, maybe more.
Secondhand shopping is definitely growing in popularity, and there are ways to ensure you pick up some great pieces. So, these are my tips and tricks to getting the best of the best out there and not for those extortionate prices. Plus, it’s doing our bit for sustainability. Why cave to the fast fashion culture when there are some perfectly good second-hand garments out there just waiting to be repurchased. So first of all, the classic vintage retailers we all know and love. London has such a variety of stores. Some places you can be guaranteed to find at least five different stores, like for example Shoreditch (Blitz is one of my personal favourites). As well as London, other places like Brighton and Bristol have their fair share of locations. In fact, I would say most places I’ve visited or lived have had at least one vintage store, so it’s really just about finding the right place. Next, charity shops are full of steals, baggy tees, jumpers, even the odd pair of designer jeans, and this is just your local high-street. The best places to go browsing at charity shops is in areas with high house prices,
for example, Hampstead and Belsize park are some of your best bets. Designer pieces no longer wanted going for prices as low as £30. Definitely worth a look. As well as shopping in store, there are many online retailers selling second hand pieces across all price points. Vestiaire Collective generally sells higher end pieces at reduced prices. But there are some lower end options, the most popular of these are probably Depop and ASOS Marketplace. They have a wide selection of shops selling vintage pieces, collectable pieces and even everyday items no longer wanted, but just as worthy of a chance in someone else’s wardrobe. Styling these pieces has such variation and they are often key pieces, jumpers and jackets that make a statement to any outfit. Anyway, this isn’t saying we should never go to Topshop or browse through Pretty Little Thing again, it’s just that we need to reduce how often. Fast fashion really is catching up on the environment and this just suggests some of the many ways we can promote sustainability and lead ourselves towards a better future.
Photography: Tom Goddard Model:Lily West
“Who Made Our Denim?”
Victims Of Denim By Yasmin Wong
On a day-to-day basis we are wearing denim without much thought about where it came from. However, I’m here to look into those BEHIND our denim.
By the end of this article I will have made you more aware of the poor and deadly conditions the people who made those denim jeans you are wearing are in. It is important that we start bringing awareness of those innocent people who don’t have a voice and feel hopeless. Within this article I will be highlighting the work conditions as well as presenting ways WE can make a positive change. Before we start, here our some statistics I came across on ‘Statistic Brain’ you might find interesting. 124 million pairs jeans are sold yearly, 270 meters of denim is produced and there are 513 denim mills worldwide. 96% of US consumers own a pair of jeans and on average women own 7 pairs and men 6 pairs of jeans. Now keeps these facts in mind whilst reading the rest of this article…
At first thought, you may be thinking that the garment industry isn’t a high risk occupation, however due to the toxic chemicals and poor working conditions it has had its fair share of deadly practices, especially within the denim production. Blue jeans are one of the biggest demands within the fashion industry and this has lead to high demand on the workers. By the mid 1980s new techniques were used to make jeans looked “distressed” to make jeans look used. The fashion industry quickly fell in love with this style of jean and is still to this day one of the most commonly bought pair of jeans. This is done by a method called “Sandblasting” this method is where workers have to personally fire sand onto the denim under high pressure either using a machine booth or simply using an air gun attached to a hose.
This process is fast and cheap and therefore quickly became a big business. However, workers are often performing this without proper ventilation and this is exposing workers to serious risk of getting Silicosis which is a deadly lung disease caused by inhalation of silicon dust. The workers are extremely prone to this as the majority of workers aren’t trained on the equipment and forced to work up to 15 hours a day without hardly or sometimes no breaks at all. This technique is exposing innocent hard working people who are most likely just trying to provide for their family to a potentially fatal illness just because we want our jeans to look old, which could easily be acieved from buying our jeans from charity shop or even using popular apps such as Depop or Ebay. The ILO estimates that 2.3 million workers lose their lives at work yearly and a large percentage of this is from garment workers in China. Workers are forced illegally to work extremely long hours as well as unpaid over time which can reach to 100 hours which is three times the legal limit for overtime. On average workers in the garment industry earn around ¥3,000 monthly (£1 = ¥10). This is not a fair amount of money for the workers due to the hard work they put into making around 500 to 600 pairs of jeans a day. As well as putting their own lives at risk everyday to be able to provide food for their family, they are forced to risk their lives for the sake of a fashion detail today. On top of these unfair wages they also have strict rules to follow. If workers are late their wages will be reduced, they can get charged from around ¥10-50 for breaking rules, such as, forgetting their work card or creating a mess around the work space. A worker quoted “We are busy everyday month after month. We work harder than buffalo, but the management never treats us like human beings”. It is not okay that innocent people are suffering to make fashion what it is, we need to speak up for them and make a change. The first sight of change in the sandblasting industry was in Turkey. Turkey was the first country to pick up on the poor health conditions in the garment industry, especially when it came to sandblasting. In 2005 around 52 workers had already died from silicosis which lead to the ban of sandblasting in Turkey in 2009. However, this caused a higher demand on workers in places such as China and India. In 2010 Killer Jeans began their Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) to try and completely write out the use of sandblasting in the production of denim. This campaign made an impact on the fashion industry as it was bringing up awareness of the poorly treated workers
“Occupational health should aim to promote the maintain the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers...to adapt work for workers and each worker to his or her job” ILO definition of workers health
Both Levi and H&M made public announcements announcing that they were going to phase out the use of sandblasting within their designs. Soon after many brands followed, such as, Burberry, Gucci and New Look. However, till this day sandblasting is still taking place illegally hidden within factories. China has revealed that regardless if the brand has “banned” sandblasting it still continues behind closed doors. As well as new techniques such as hand-sanding, stone washing and chemical treatments which all still have equally as bad health risks. We need to do more than just ban the technique, there is an urgent need to increase workers awareness of safety as well as their working rights as many workers are unaware of their health rights and those who do ignore them due to the need to earn money to provide for their family. Although Killer Jeans CCC campaign did make an impressive impact the conditions still aren’t fully improved. These conditions could easily be improved over time if we made a stand and made positive changes. The government needs to do more than just banning sandblasting, they need to put in place more inspections as well as providing more training for workers on health and safety as well as helping them understand their rights. Brands can also make a difference by not working with suppliers that refuse to stop the use of sandblasting as well as ensuring the workers making their clothes are properly trained. Brands need to work with suppliers to make sure that workers are getting paid fairly and can live on the wages they are receiving. YOU can also make a difference. Workers are still being forced to risk their own lives for the sake of a fashion detail we want. So next time you go and buy new jeans, think about the people that have suffered to get those jeans there, and instead go and get a second hand pair of jeans or even recycle your old denim items. What you decide to do next could make a difference.
Photography by Megan Jackson and Jess Brass
Photography by Tom Johnson
A FASHION DIVIDE CHARITY VS HIGHSTREET
f you shop in charity shops are you compromising on style? Can charity shops really be as stylish as top high street brands? As you walk into a leading highstreet store such as H&M, Zara or River Island . You are greeted with wonders of visual merchandising and an intoxicating array of colours and fabrics all neatly organised ready for the impluse shopper to go wild! All highstreet shops will stock the latest trends which have trickled down from the catwalks of top designers. But can you get the same amount of style at a fraction of the cost? Charity shops may surprise the devoted online and highstreet shopper with how much designer brands you can find. I visited a local charity shop in Plymouth and found pieces from Versace, Dolce and Gabbana and Moschino. Obviously most, like myself, might be put off by the smell and the lack of shopper experience. But, even I, someone who has never purchased anything from a charity store before, was surprised at how much stylish and trendy things you can find if you really look. However theyâ€™ll need to work alot harder of there visual merchandising if there to convince loyal highstreet shoppers like me to take the plunge into charity shop shopping. With highstreet stores still having the upper hand when it comes to luring in impulse shoppers to splash their cash.
Pret A Vintage Why should you, high fashion shoppers, be open to vintage? Because it’s sustainable! A look into the sustainability of pre-loved clothing, and PROOF that it is just as good as this seasons luxury. Nicola Chinn, founder and owner of Pret A Vintage, gives us an insight into the fabulous world of old-time luxury.
The idea of welcoming sustainable fashion into ones life is often viewed as a rather daunting and unnecassary task. Those of us who spend our lives in luxury clothing find this especially relatable, and it makes sense as to why. Why would you consider sustainable fashion? What could possibly be a valid enough reason to persuade you into ignoring this seasons Christian Dior, and swaying towards ‘those sustainable trousers that used to be a coat’, or ‘that sustainable shirt that was once a Evian bottle!’ Doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?. However, there are many valid reasons as to why so many people want us; the high fashion shoppers of the world to welcome sustainablility into our lifes. There are other ways to do so besides bying the ‘Evian top’. What I tend to disapprove of, in terms of ‘going sustainable’, is the expectation to go 100% sustainable over night. Don’t get me wrong, if you wake up one morning and decide, “I must go sustainable”, and give all your designer gear away to be recycled, then bloody good on you. However for the most part, the average high fashion shopper, including myself, wants to keep their expensive clothing, shoes and accessories that they have worked very hard in order to obtain. Let me say, there is no problem with that, and you should never stop giving yourself what you deserve. PINNED magazine in no way expects any of you glamourous people, to throw away your Saint Laurent blouses, pack up the Gucci loafers and donate them to be recycled, and by no means is there an expectation to only buy sustainable products from then on. No. The suggestion is to simply look at the bigger picture. Open your eyes and realise that there are other ways for you to make that little bit of difference, that if many of you made would create a lot of difference. Perhaps when you’ve finished with a garment, go and get it altered, and create something that no one else has. Give something you don’t want to someone who needs it. Just simply be thoughtful when it comes to the beautiful garments you worked so very hard to purchase. All in all, what I’m trying to say to you, is that
sustainable is fashionable.
I have been working to find ways in which I could make ‘going sustainable’ attractive to the high fashion shopper, and as I said before, altering what you already have is a wonderful way to make a difference. However there is one main aspect in the fashion world that I believe to be the perfect way to go sustainable, whilst still wearing high fashion, and that is... VINTAGE. Looking into spending your hard earned cash on vintage, is something that should be so appealing to luxury lovers. Vintage fashion is one way, in which you can buy a garment, or shoes, or jewellery that have a product life cycle, with no decline! If you enjoy the exclusivity of some clothing, and especially like one-of-a-kind items, vintage can give it to you. The world of vintage is truley marvellous, and has no limits.
I am no expert on the vintage market, although I wish I was. So, in order to give you an insight into the fabulous world of old time luxury, I interviewed the owner and founder of ‘Pret A Vintage’, Nicola Chinn. Nicola has been a vintage dealer for eight years, and is an expert in her field. She has a popular Instagram page filled with photographs taken by photographer, James Muller, who helps showcase her designer vintage garments that she has found all over the country. She has also been named one of Instagram’s best vintage shops, by Elle UK. PINNED magazine has used garments sold by Pret A Vinatge for previous campaigns. Pictured on the right is model, Nami Darodwand, wearing a 1970’s Mungolian lamb coat, by Pret A Vinatge. Why do you think high fashion shoppers should be buying vintage? To me, high fashion shoppers are buying heirloom pieces; they are investing in high quality garments and accessories that are made to last and can be passed down to future generations, and that is the case with vintage, because pieces have survived many decades or even a century or more. Fashion trends change so quickly that designers are always looking for inspiration, and often turn to their own archives or vintage dealers for inspiration. Whether its the cut of a dress, a sleeve shape or a print or embroidery detail. As a high end vintage fashion dealer, I spend my time surrounded by fashion dating back as far as the 1890’s. I’m always searching for pieces that my customers can add to their warbrobes to enhance their own individual style, or for designers to use as inspiration pieces. To me, high fashion is about uniqueness and dressing to please yourself. So, investing in pieces that bring you joy is key. This is where good quality vintage comes into its own, and becomes a sustainable, unique alternative to high fashion. As well as being unique, high end vintage fashion generally costs a fraction of the price of new high end fashion, though it may still be pricey. Do you have many high end shoppers who purchase vintage in order to be sustainable? I do. These are one of my favourite kinds of clients, as they will come willing to spend a lot of dosh on some really fashionable pieces. I have one particular designer who visits me to purchase for themselves, but also to gain inspiration for future collections, who is particularly interested in the buying of vintage in order to be more sustainable. They believe that vintage is a really easy way to make a difference
towards the world of sustainability, especially if you are a fashion lover. Also a lot of people don’t realise that the majority of high end brands are using a lot of inspiration from vintage clothing, so much so that many of the new collections released recently look like they were designed anywhere from the 1970’s-1990’s.
“Vintage is a trend, and what better way to be on top of the fashion game than to buy the originals?”
Words by Olivia Tregonning Photography by Cullan Chapman
Is faux fur doing more damage than the real thing? A tender subject in the fashion industry. Fur. Most of us agree that real fur should be removed from the catwalks due to the principle of innocent animals being killed and while there are still more lessons to be learned, the fashion industry is trying to make huge strides to shift to a fur-free policy. During London Fashion Week, there were hundreds of protesters flooding the streets of Cental London, swarming the pavements with fake blood, banners and speakers blaring the sounds of animal cruelty- however it didn’t just end on the streets when demonstrations reached a grave climax when one activist made it onto the runway at the Mary Katrantzou show very shortly after it began Sources say that later in the show, the team ised a statement to guests stating that the the show was fur free and only faux fur was used. Outside of the Burberry show, where riot vans circled the entrance amongst many protesters, they were willing to talk; one explained their views which seem to be of many. “I’m here at London fashion week to protest against fur, they have designers here every season that show fur coats, hats, scarves and other garments and accessories. Millions are murdered by humans for these useless and vain items of clothing. I started coming to these around a year ago and finally realised what human behaviour was doing to the animals of
our world. The items have no purpose, they are worn and therefore are not a necessity.” When asked about whether they agree with the production and wearing of faux fur they answered with “Yes, as long as it’s not harming animals” Faux is becoming the norm, retail giants like Net a Porter and Selfridges have stopped producing and selling fur, we have also seen Gucci, Vetements and Tommy Hilfiger move to faux fur in the last few years. However, the controversial move by Tom Ford has got us all questioning the sustainability of faux and real fur. Ford recently has gone vegan and defended his choice of only using fur that is a by-product of food due to the impact that fake fur is having on the environment. Faux fur is considered to be part of a cruelty free and environmentally friendly- However, according to University of California, researchers have found that on average; a synthetic fur jacket releases 1.7 gram of micro fibres in each wash, leaking into our rivers, oceans and marine life. These micro fibres are tiny bits of plastic with the potential to poison the food chain whereas A real fur coat can last for 30 years and with a bit of clever restyling need never go out of fashion. Fakes on the other hand are 'disposable fashion' and hang around in most wardrobes for no more than five years. Is the ‘cruelty-free’ alternative to fur doing more damage than the real thing?
It is all too easy to focus on the ugly side of the fashion industry, we’re here to show you the good guys, and good news! What they are doing is easy for you to support and do your part in continuing to improve the current circumstances.
‣ Words and photos by Ellie Graham ‣ https://katharinehamnett.com/news/why-sustainability/ ‣ https://knowtheorigin.com/pages/our-journey
The Good Guys
‣ Words and photos by Ellie Graham ‣ https://katharinehamnett.com/news/why-sustainability/ ‣ https://knowtheorigin.com/pages/our-journey
in Fashion It is 2018, five years after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. The fashion industry is beginning to clean up its act. We are seeing positive changes every day but there is still a long way to go, there are still thousands of people living and working in slave like conditions as a result of the fashion industry’s practices. There remain companies that will not disclose their supply chains or details of garment manufacturing. We know there is still more to be done. The sole purpose of Instinct magazine is to educate people on sustainable and ethical fashion. Can we, as individuals, make a difference by taking a moment to think about “Who made my clothes?”. We want to praise those making positive steps, as a way of encouraging those with room for improvement to do so. Here are just a few examples of “the good guys in fashion”. We are, and always will be, supporters of the work of the charity Fashion Revolution. They are pushing the boundaries and speaking out to brands as well as informing the consumer on how they can make better choices when it comes to purchasing a garment. Following the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, we are looking back at some of the progress made by celebrating the brands who have come out and made positive movements, making their supply chains more transparent and significantly improving factory conditions. Their campaign “Who made my clothes?”, encouraging consumers to reach out to their favourite brands in search of an honest, and hopefully positive, answer has been well received, and has over 530 million tweets so far. Last year, 2,416 brands responded to the hash-tag, “Who made my clothes” including; Zara, M&S, Pull and Bear, Fat Face, Marimekko and G – Star Raw. We believe it is just as important to celebrate the positive movements as it is to raise awareness of the drastic changes still needing to be made. So what are you waiting for, ask your favourite brand; “who made my clothes?”. It’s not just charities making a difference in the industry, Katharine Hamnett; activist and fashion designer, creates garments like this t-shirt which, among others, are currently on display at the Fashion and Textiles Museum in Central London. Hamnett has dedicated much of her time towards raising awareness on the dire situation of the garment factory worker and promotes ways in which we can all improve our behaviour as consumers. She is passionate about giving those who make our clothes a fair wage and safe living conditions. She knows that “this gigantic business has a huge impact on people’s lives, the glamorous side is a tiny tip of the iceberg. Most people working in the garmenting side of the industry are working in conditions often worse than slavery.” She allows us to see the other side, the side that isn’t about celebrities, isn’t luxurious fabrics, isn’t mindless consumerism. The harsh reality of the fashion industry isn’t pretty, and Hamnett’s work certainly makes you think twice.
Know the Origin is another brand and ray of light that has come from the disaster of 2013. The founder Charlotte was both disturbed and inspired by what she saw on a trip to Bangladesh. Around the same time as the factory collapse, she knew she wanted to make positive changes and her brand shows how it can be done. An employee of the brand tells us that “Charlotte’s always believed that business can change things - create solutions and drive positive change to some of the most challenging social and environmental issues. So she jumped into creating a brand... free of weird itchy tree jumpers, £££ price tags, sweatshops, human trafficking, environmental destruction and super secretive supply chains.” On the website you can see not only exactly what your chosen piece is made from but also the talented tailor who made it. They ensure that employees are working in safe conditions and are paid the right amount. It gives consumers peace of mind that when buying from the brand, they are helping to prevent poverty and disrupt rather than creating it. Know the Origin should be an inspiration for other high street brands to disclose their supply chains and follow the Fashion Revolution campaign, by telling customers the details of their clothing. If being transparent becomes the norm, just imagine how different the lives of so many could be. The time for brands to change their mindset is here!
“Know the Origin should be an inspiration for other high street brands to disclose their supply chains and follow the Fashion Revolution campaign.” These are just a few positive movements being made as a result of the 2013 disaster. But what can you, a reader of Instinct magazine and (we hope) wearer of clothes do? We can only hope that our passion for improving the future of fashion rubs off and inspires you to go and make just one change for the better. Inspire and inform those around you, give sustainability a chance. We have to break down the suspicions and stigma around ethical fashion. Together, we believe we can begin to influence the future of fashion. By simply thinking about what we are buying and what we do with our clothes once we are finished with them.
FASHION WEEKLY TALKS
“BUY LESS AND BUY BETTER” It’s true, the most sustainable shopping habit you can adopt is to buy fewer clothes that you will wear for longer. This means we should be choosing quality over quantity, always.
Words by Rose Coppen-Manns Photography by Olivia Woodhead
TALKING TO CHARLI COHEN London based British designer Charli Cohen, is a new and upcoming fashion brand who launched her label in a bid to combine style and performance with sustainability. Charli Cohen follows a strong sustainable ethos, with 70% of the materials she uses, made from recycled plastic. Charli’s view on sustainability is that, ‘It should be the foundation for any business in today’s world’. Charli explains why it is important to her brand; ‘I’d question why being sustainable isn’t important for any brand. It wasn’t something I actively decided on, it’s just common sense and morality’. As her business grows Charli Cohen actively wants to become an even more sustainable brand, ‘I will have more power and resources in the future to implement further sustainability measures; of which is built into our strategy as a brand’. Charli Cohen’s designs are made to last. They can be worn throughout seasons and in various ways, making them highly versatile pieces. Furthermore, her garments are made with cutting-edge fabrics and specialist technical construction, making them durable and extremely wellmade items of clothing. They are clothes made to be worn numerous times over and able to last. They are garments worthy of an investment which justifies the price, as you are more likely to wear them in the years to come. Charli Cohen proves that sustainable fashion is taking a step forward and that it can be modern, versatile and fun.
M&CO LEADS THE WAY A high street brand that is also changing the way they view fast fashion is M&Co. I recently caught up with Steve Knott the Chairman of the Scottish clothing chain store, we discover that they are one of a few fast fashion chains bringing about a change to the way they view sustainability. Steve told me that, ‘All of our unwanted hangers are returned to our supplier for recycling and we also return a large percentage of our polythene materials (waste polythene bags from our stores nationwide) back to our Head Office for recycling. I also know that we remove the majority of our product packaging materials in store to minimise waste being passed on to our customers.’ Although not yet globally established they are recognised throughout the UK, with a solid foundation of 300 stores and future expansion imminent. M&Co have recently become members of the Ethical Trading Initiative and uphold the standards of the ETI base code which they expect all their suppliers to work to. With this in mind they have developed an ethical strategy to support the workers employed to make M&Co’s products. They work with their suppliers to tackle the broader and deeper-rooted issues in the supply chain. Steve mentions ‘We take the issue of animal cruelty very seriously and will not knowingly purchase any products that have been obtained through cruel or illegal methods. As well as this we do not sell any products made of real fur.’. M&Co also own ‘MEG Renewables’ which focuses on hydro schemes and onshore wind sites, mainly with-in Scotland. They were formed to provide a secure source of green energy for M&Co’s stores and to create a longterm income stream for M&Co. Steve told me that it is the company’s aim to generate as much renewable energy as it consumes, effectively becoming energy neutral.
How the graphic t shirt has taken the spoken word, with opinions and beliefs and has �ipped it. �rom well-known fashion designers to the fashion and textile museum, to making your own statements. This is how you can make your voice heard. Graphic t shirts are universally known for many different reasons. Some are created to express an emotion, whether you’re wanting to voice how you are feeling or if you want to voice your beliefs on a topic. Or even used to show your support for your favorite films and music artists. The graphic t shirt is a staple piece in many different wardrobes, it is an item of clothing worn by ordinary people going about their day-to-day lives; to high end fashion designers, examples being Vivian Westwood, Alexander McQueen. In most protests, people would be seen wearing a graphic t shirts with strong, powerful quotes written across them. An example of a historic moment, relating to this was when, fashion designer like Katherine Hamnett met Margaret Thatcher, wearing a t shirt saying in bold “58% don’t want pershing” as an anti-nuclear protest. The fashion and textiles museum has been holding “t-shirt: cult- culture- subversion” exhibition. As I entered the exhibition, it began by walk into a large room, which holds in the center, a large metal scaffolding which from it hung dozens of t shirts, which each hold their own individual story, each t-shirt is from different time period. There are some created for famous campaign to high end designer shirts, to vintage band shirts. Its full of inspirational shirts which took my breathe away. Each item has a description under each shirt to explain the back story and history to each shirt; which is really interesting to see. “We should all be feminist” was a shirt which I found very compelling. Even though a very simple statement, it gets the issue and point across straight away. The shirt was inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie TEDx talk and essay of the same name. the shirt was created by Maria Grazia Chiuri for her fist collection for Dior.
“When you’re done with me, please recycle” One of the things that came to my attention while visiting the exhibition was that each of the shirts radiated a personality and a sense of purpose. Almost that you can feel the presence of the person who created the t shirts. This though struck an idea in my mind. The idea of “each person who has created a t shirt here had a story they wanted to say. “ “This idea does not have to be limited to this exhibition.” “What if everyone had a chance to express themselves through a t-shirt.” This thought provoked a snow ball effect to occur in my mind. I decided to let my voice be heard by creating my own t shirts. Both displaying two separate quotes relating to something I want to be spread awareness to. First being sustainable fashion. The idea that once we have finished with our clothing that we find a way of them being recycled and re used, weather that be by being sent to a company, like recyclenow.com where they will recycle and create new products out of them. Or even you give away clothes you do not want to charity shops or sell them on online websites like Depop. There are so many solutions to this global cause, but for all of these causes, people need to be aware of what they should be fighting for. That is where my shirt I have created comes into play, with the quote “When you’re done with me, please recycle” written onto the shirt. The idea which plays of the circular economy and being sustainable. But also playing on emotional trauma by the statement it being writing in first person the use of “me.”
“the people are talking... let them talk.” As for the following shirt, this quote was taken from the Lorde song “A world alone” which states “the people are talking... let them talk.” The song is about fighting for yourself and for your beliefs. It states that not everyone is going to like you in life and that, people are always going to talk behind your back, but how you should continue to be unique. It also reminded me of another shirt in the textiles museum which read “what other people think about you is none of your business” which expresses a similar meaning. The more we bring awareness to issues like sustainability the more of a chance we have helping the world become more eco friendly and aware of the circular economy and helping towards the fight of saving the world is small steps.
Images taken by Georgia lamb and Phoebe Toupes
The one shirt which I also noticed, was the one by Vivian Westwood which was to bring awareness to the circular economy and to sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion has been an issue which has been around for many years, but with that said, it is still an issue which has not had enough awareness brought to it, there are many issues relating to it, which people are not aware of. “the life expectancy among cotton workers in India, its 40 years.” This is all because of the chemicals used in the cotton factories, and the conditions the workers have to work in. this is one of a large list of reasons why we need to become more aware and to then make a change, and to make that change now.
The Elephant In The Room By Sandra Larsen Mjelde
The fashion industry these days has a rather large elephant in the room and its name is: Sustainability. Now its time to address it and transform the elephant into a fly, for the planet and humans.
Photograph by Maria Valdes Diaz
One word that has become the elephant in the in the room for the fashion industry these days is sustainability. For our brains, it feels that we are constantly surrounded by the word, sustainable or sustainability. More so, are we struggling to understand it? No wonder people are starting to become question the word and its meaning. That’s why sustainability, as a topic, is hard to talk about and argue around. I am far from perfect when it comes to being sustainable. Altough not an expert on this subject, I still make conversation about it because I, as many others, don’t want fashion to be the cause damage for our planet and humans. Even if the reality is different.
environment.Around 70% of 16-24-year-olds want brands to include environmental thinking, as well as, showing more transparency, according to UKs market research agency, Mintel. Also, almost 1/3 of French adult females want to know where their clothes are coming from. This shows that more customers demand that brands deliver a product that is healthy for the environment. With a demand from customers craving more brands to communicate more honesty, more digital tools to help the customer to shop from brands that equal their values, have also emerged. Apps, such as, GOOD ON YOU, describe themselves as a source where you can rate brands that suit your values. The app’s slogan is: “Because you as a customer have the right to know”. The app works as a rating system where you as a customer get analytic feedback on the brand if you are unsure it stands by what it says regarding the planet, animals, and humans. This innovation is something customers appreciate, where they get help to shop more responsible. Like H&Ms CEO, Karl- Johan Persson, mention in the message regarding their work for a more sustainable future: “The idea is that people who enjoy fashion should be equally able to dress sustainably”, and I believe so too.
Funnily enough, most of the things we humans want is somehow bad for the planet, but that being said we would not be humans if we could not express ourselves, make art, buy clothes, and travel the world. It is not that you, as I, cannot enjoy fashion, it is about educating ourselves to know which purchase is the responsible to make. From my point of view that is still really hard. How can you actually know what you are buying is sustainable? How often is something claimed to be “green” for the sake of it, and the material is sustainable, but the process of it coming to your door, is not? We see today that fashion actually can be in for a change. More and more high-street brands are looking into sustainable solutions such as, H&M, ZARA, Mango, Nike and Primark with their sustainable collection which contains, for example, organic cotton. We see campaigns to encourage people to bring their old clothes to in-store recycle bins. More sustainable brands are showing up on the market, with new technology for production and materials, brands seem to aim to including the circular economy more than ever before.The fashion industry can be on to something, but is it enough? What most industries, scientists, and customers have accepted today, is that fashion is not going to change overnight. That is unrealistic. A fashion industry in the future is not going to be as we see it today. Designers, marketers, and business have to prepare themselves to work more with scientists, and we need a fashion industry where customers can rely on the delivery of a product, that it is healthy for the
As a matter of fact, what is important in this debate, is not making the production of clothes disappear or make it change overnight. We are part of the fashion industry and we have a huge power to influence the change. Its time to be on the same page, as a consumer and as a service. We as customers have to feel that we can trust a brand when they promote their product as “green”, and not question whether it is. Its time to feel that you can be fashionable by buying responsibly and not think twice when you buy, sustainable. We need to transform the elephant to a fly, and give it the wings, for the planet and humans. It is important that sustinability, no more is something we always talk about, but something that always is part of the fashion industry, now and in the future.
walk in my shoes “The symbol of our generation”
Shoes. They are an everyday essential, hundreds of pounds spent on hundreds of styles. As a generation big on street wear, the sneaker has become the symbol of our generation. We all wear them whether they’re Vans, Nike or Adidas, but has the thought ever crossed our minds about how unsustainable our shoes are? With the fashion industry moving in the direction of sustainabilty, why aren’t we? Should we even care? These are questions that probably never cross your mind that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. With so many big name brands, many independant shoe companies are overlooked, in our generation we buy for the label, it doesnt matter if we can get it cheaper elswhere let alone sustainably. This is where change has to take place, many people assume that if something is ‘eco friendly’ or ‘good for the environment’ that its automatically going to be unstylish and ridiculously over priced. That is where poeple go wrong, a pair of Veja shoes roughly fall at the £120 price mark, that is the same as buying a pair of Nikes and equally as stylish. Since 2005 Veja have worked closely with ecological and sutainable materials. Organic cotton, rubber from the Amazon Forest and minerals and plants for dyes. These are some of the ecological materials used in every pair of sneakers. But why should I care right? Big name brands such as Nike mass produce their shoes in low paid, low quality condition factories, using cheap materials such as EVA (ethylene vinyle acetate). Not only that, but their staff work ridiculous hours for very little pay. Veja pride themseleves in working directly with producers eliminating the middleman as well as taking a big part in the fair trade industry, furthermore trying to restore balance in global trade. All their shoes are made with 30-40% natural rubber sourced directly from Seringuerro communities for twice the price of synthetic rubber. As well as buying organic cotton produced by over 200 families, which they paid 90% more than market price. Not only that but their B-MESH shoe was the first to use fabric entirely made from recycled plastic bottles. With no advertising, Veja, reinject the amount allocated back into the products insuring that the producers are compensated correctly as well as given the respect they deserve. Since 2004, 180 tones of organic cotton and 130 tones of ruber have been purchased, that’s 9 years of employment for hundreds of people and partnership directly with producers, all through fair trade regulations. The point being, if you’re going to spend £100 on a pair of trainers then why not spend the same amount on a sustainable pair.
Are YOU Ready to Take the Next Sustainable Step Written and image taken by Maria Diaz Valdes
As consumer, we are the drive behind the fashion industry. Unfortunately, as a result many people are unaware of the damages caused on the environment due to the product lifecycle, and many products inevitable declines. Therefore we need to look at ourselves and see what we can do to change our lifestyle to ensure a sustainable future. Don’t worry though, here are 6 steps for a sustainable living that will not affect your budget or busy schedule. The fashion industr y is the 3rd most harmful industr y to our environment. Ever y step of the process in making a garment causes massive damage to our plant. According to the global market intelligence agency Mintel; since 2000 the growth in clothing sales has doubled, yet the usage of the clothes has decreased
“The fashion industry is the 3rd most harmful industry to our planet.” by 15%. This represents the ver y definition of overconsumption and shows that we have inhabited a mindset of “clothes are disposable” and we need to change this. These steps are simple to incorporate into a your lifestyle, and can also help you save more money.
1. BUY CONSCIOUSLY
The first step is simple. When you need something new maybe it´s a new outfit for the weekend, or you just really need that trendy coat of the season. Look towards conscious collections or second-hand shops. H&M, ASOS and Zara have sustainable collections, and especially with H&M the price range is the same as with their regular clothes, so it won´t affect your budget.
2. TREAT YOURSELF
If you can´t find what you are looking for in the conscious collections, tr y to buy investment pieces. Find a garment that is of a good quality and will last you for at least 4-5 years. When you are in a shop, ask for help. The sales assistants have studied the clothes, materials and production of tthe brand, they can help you find exactly what you are looking for. However, these garments tend to be a bit more expensive, but treat yourself! You know, once in a while it’s okay.
3.GIVE YOUR CLOTHES A SECOND LIFE
When you feel like spring cleaning your wardrobe and you are about to throw out your old clothes, sell or give them away, instead. Second-hand apps such as Depop, eBay and Trendsales are amazing. Here you can buy and sell used clothes. It is super easy, just snap a picture of your clothes and post it, ver y similar to posting a picture on Instagram, actually. -Easy earned money as well. If this feels like too much work, you can also give them away to a charity shop, they definatly need them. In case your clothes are not suitable to sell or give away, please recycle them! Do a quick google search for where your nearest recycling station is and go there or, go to H&M where they collect your old clothes and give you a discount on your next purchase. Amazing isn’t it?!
4. READ THE LABEL
This is a given, but needs mentioning, take care of your clothes properly. Check the lable on how to store, wash and treat them. Also, in todays society we wash our clothes way too much. Just air them
“A pair of jeans was worn for 15 months and had the same bacteria growth as one that was worn for 2 weeks”. out a bit before putting them back in your wardrobe (this does not apply to your undergarments). I know it can sound a bit unhygienic but actually is completely safe. A study conducted at the University of Alber ta, a pair of jeans was worn for 15 months and had the same bacteria growth as one that was worn for 2 weeks. By doing this, you will also save loads of time, money and energy, so really it’s a win-win situation.
5. LEARN MORE
To help you increase your knowledge of sustainable fashion and really understand the impact it has on the world. Here are some words to google; -sustainable fashion -sustainable brands -Patagonia -Rana Plaza -innovative fashion -fashions impact on the environment And then let the internet do what it does best - bring you down into the rabbit hole of fashion, happy researching!
6. SPREAD THE WORD
If there is anything to take away from these steps is this one. Educate yourself and spread the knowledge. By reading this you can´t say you don’t know how to act sustainably towards fashion. It is impor tant that you help us, that we help each other, so we can have a brighter future ahead. We all want to live until we´re 100, but not if the world is s**t.
BUY LESS. CHOOSE WELL. MAKE IT LAST. VIVIENNE WESTWOOD
#FM140 @_FM140 Year 1 BA(Hons)Fashion Marketing