This new era of eco-fashion has introduced a plethora of words and phrases into the sales pitch and as a conscious shopper, it’s easy to get confused by what it all means. Now that sustainable fashion is ideal, the notion of green washing an otherwise not-very-sustainable brand is rife. There’s a lot of mixed messages out there and subsequently, a lot of confused customers.
So how do you know what’s sustainable? How do you know that the label you’re buying is as ethical as you want it to be? How can you shop with awareness and trust that the item you’re buying ticks all your eco priorities?
Transparency is essential as is the clear defining of ethical clothing, sustainable clothing and slow fashion. Put simply:
Ethical fashion concerns the men and women who dye the fabric, create the patterns and sew each collection for Fabrik. If you have read my previous posts, you know that I work closely with a plant-dye factory and a studio that pays their staff a fair wage and honours all religious holidays and ceremonies. The staff work in safe, healthy and comfortable conditions and are offered paid overtime but are never obliged to take it. I visit the dye factory and studio multiple times a year to oversee production and I enjoy connecting with my workers who have become friends over the years.
Sustainable fashion directly concerns the environment and I believe that this is an area that I, as a designer, can constantly improve on. The environmental cost of fabric production is significant and utilising fabrics such as linen and hemp are a priority for me as they use significantly less water and create less waste than cotton. That said, I still use cotton in my collections but where possible, I choose a cotton/linen or cotton/hemp blend. All the offcuts from my designs become bags that each order is packaged in and I encourage you to reuse them as shopping, library or storage bags….they are beautiful decorations to hang off a bedroom hook and just as useful for keeping receipts, birthday cards and important documents safe.
For me, slow fashion is a considered wardrobe that surpasses seasons and trends. It’s a quality garment that you can mix and match with the rest of your wardrobe; something you can layer when it’s cool and wear as is in the warmer months. It’s about being open minded and imaginative with your clothes, forgoing restrictive dressing and wearing the same frock to the beach, the playground and a fancy restaurant. I design each Fabrik piece with consideration of the collections that have come before it and in the hope that my customers will mix and match, treasure and care for the garment so it lasts for many, many years to come.
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