By Farryn Stock|
February 10, 2022|
5 mins read
Finally, we are starting to see a change in the face of fashion. It may be a slow process but there is a newer, slower type of industry taking shape and we want to show you how to be a part of it.
The fashion industry is one of the largest and most economically successful industries in the world. According to a recent study, ‘Globally, 80 billion pieces of new clothing are purchased each year, translating to $1.2 trillion annually for the global fashion industry”. This amount has increased over the years as the progression of fast fashion has also grown. Whilst this may appear at first thought as positive, the rise in fast fashion also means that our clothing turnover is even bigger, resulting in huge amounts of clothing ending up in landfill.
On average, 300,000 tonnes of clothing ends up in landfill in the UK each year. That’s the equivalent of roughly £12.5bn worth of clothes. This level of overconsumption and encouragement of throw away culture then has catastrophic effects on our planet, and people’s lives.
Thankfully, the world is waking up to such a problem, and whilst fast fashion is still extremely popular around the world, slow and sustainable fashion is on its way up. With sustainability working its way into mainstream living, shopping consciously has become much more accessible. As we know it can be tricky to spot the difference between brands that are greenwashing and those that are legitimately trying to better the fashion industry, we at Wearth wanted to offer a guiding hand.
Here is our ultimate slow fashion guide for all your shopping needs:
The Best of Brands
There are now plenty of brands in the UK that have mastered producing environmentally friendly clothing that doesn’t sacrifice on style or quality. With so much on offer, these are some of our favourites.
Perfecting the art of minimal fashion is Glasgow based brand Law. Founded by Scottish designer Gillian McNeil, the utility styled clothing brings together functionality and fashion. From linen dungarees to oversized t-shirt dresses, there is a continuity that runs through the whole array on offer, which is that it is all made-to-order with love and care.
Kohr’s neutral classics are proof enough that sometimes less can be more. With a range of effortlessly beautiful pieces for both men and women, the brand focuses on quality items that won’t date so that they can last in your wardrobe forever. All materials used are organically grown and are environmentally friendly.
Day to night, Blonde Gone Rogue has got you covered. Their range includes everything from simple t-shirts for every day to floral midi dresses that are the essence of a summer’s evening. All clothes by this charming brand are made from upcycled, recycled, or organic fabric and is carefully and responsibly made in Bulgaria.
A slow fashion brand that doesn’t compromise on style, Before July is a collection of bold and vivacious statement clothing. Created by British designer Elisa Jaycott, the brand’s goal is to convert people away from fast, throw away fashion and into a much more sustainable way of shopping.
With print and pattern galore, this eco-conscious fashion brand is filled with sophisticated and chic occasion wear. Hide The Label is not afraid to add a little colourful splash to their clothing and neither should you. The masterminds behind the brand are siblings Shereen and Ryan Barrett, who wanted to form a brand that was filled with timeless classics, that could be worn again and again.
Heiko Clothing is a brand on a mission, and that mission is to make sustainable clothing accessible to all. With a range of sweatshirts and t-shirts that are decorated with artsy designs, there is plenty to choose from and all at affordable prices too. The brand is dedicated to making clothing that is not only good for the planet but also good for our souls, as they work with Fair Wear Foundation and donate 50p from every sale to charity.
If you’re looking for a little urban edge, then look no further than Cariki. This London-based streetwear brand is unisex and ensures its clothing is all made from ethically sourced materials. Describing themselves as “made for the raver, the change-maker, and the rule-breaker”, this is rebellious fashion with a difference.
Something to get those happy feet dancing is Leiho’s gorgeous socks for good. The name of the brand means ‘how are you?’ in Cantonese and the name reflects the conscious nature of this incredible brand. With clean socks being one of the most highly requested items at homeless shelters, the brand was created to help this. For each and every pair of bamboo socks sold, a pair will be donated to a person that is homeless. A great excuse to dress up your feet with some funky socks.
This sustainable fashion brand focuses on circular design when it comes to making their clothes. Circular design in fashion is a process that aims to minimise waste and pollution by maximising the product and material lifespan. Rakha does this by looking at regenerative farming and creating high quality products that will last.
There is nothing more adorable than matching mother and child outfits, and someone who knows that best is Katrina Parsons. Founder of Me and Maeve Grace, the sustainable mummy and daughter brand creates delightful matching outfits, that are also new-mum friendly. The clothes come well adapted to a mother’s needs (such as breastfeeding), whilst not compromising on appearance. Me and Maeve Grace are dedicated to helping mums look and feel great, with a conscious mind.
The UK’s first-ever 100% not-for-profit fashion brand, Origin Africa was created to fund social enterprises in Africa that will help with proper sanitation for children and female classes around female empowerment for young women. The brand’s clothes are sustainable casual-wear that can be worn every day, and all proceeds go towards a fantastic cause.
Taking inspiration from the natural world, Morcant is a gender-neutral, environmentally friendly brand that looks at creating the foundations for every wardrobe. With simple designs and colour schemes, these are essential items that will work with everything, which is great for capsule dressing. The clothes are all ethically manufactured in Bangladesh and are made from organic materials.
Playa has cleverly crafted the ultimate beach shirt, made from Turkish peshtemal cotton. The perfect sustainable cotton, with 600 years’ worth of history behind it, the material is lightweight, super soft, and with a towel like absorbency that makes it ideal for beachwear. Each capsule collection is released in connection with a different land and is altered to fit that specific place, with the perfect “beach” shirt even for the UK.
ReflexOne has given sportswear a sustainable lift. Creating comfortable and attractive sportswear from organic or recycled materials, this range of activewear is as flattering as it is powerful. The sets come in a range of pastel colours to brighten up any morning run or afternoon Pilates’ session. Also, as an added ethical bonus 5% of all proceeds go to The Bee Foundation Philly USA- Brain Aneurysm Research & Prevention.
The Brighton-based slow fashion label was founded in 2016 by Emily Evans, a fashion industry expert who wanted to break away from the destruction that was being done by fast fashion and create a brand that consists of primary staples made from premium, sustainable fabric, that is made to last.
Rosana founded the brand Rosana Exposito in 2019, where she decided to make clothing that was joyous to wear as well as to look at. A womenswear brand with contemporary elegance, the clothing is made to work with the female form rather than against it. All products on the site are made from natural fibres and recycled deadstock by Rosana in her studio in Glasgow.
Fashion that is the epitome of British summertime, Stidston Studio is a colourful and ethically produced brand. Their range features both clothing and swimwear that reflects the warm breeze of summer in England. All production is also done within the UK to keep the brand as ecologically savvy as possible.
A conscious and ethical women’s brand, Sabinna puts sustainability at the forefront of everything that they do. Dedicated to understanding the modern woman, Sabinna makes sure all women are represented on their site. The brand features everything from headbands to velvet suits, but one of our personal favourites is their ‘Love Fair Fashion T-shirt’.
Veryan’s paired back, minimal tailoring style focuses on classic silhouettes and a neutral colour palette. With clothing that can be worn and adapted from office to evening, to the weekend, it makes it ideal for forming the basics of every wardrobe. Shopping with a long-term mindset is a great way to shop greener.
Salt is a female-empowering brand, that began its journey in 2019 by two best friends. Helping women to channel being unapologetically themselves, Salt collaborates with young female artists, which create designs to go onto their t-shirt collections, so each item has a story or message behind it.
Buying second-hand clothing was once restricted to the confines of charity shops and the odd vintage stores dotted about in London and for many, that’s still what is associated with pre-loved clothing. However, it has now grown to be so much more. With the popularity of Depop shops and online marketplaces where people can buy and sell goods, shopping secondhand has been revolutionised. Here are some of our favourite spots to find pre-loved treasures:
Influencers are now some of the biggest fashion inspirations we have. Their extremely influential capabilities mean that they are key to a brand’s success and are an essential marketing tool used in fashion. For this reason, they are adorned with hundreds of parcels every month, from fashion labels all over the country.
As these clothes tend to be used mainly for social media and then discarded, Reliked has discovered a way to breathe new life into them. The website builds a bridge between customer and influencer, allowing customers the chance to shop through their favourite influencers’ wardrobe. You can either shop by brand, influencer, or just browse through all that’s on offer, and the best part of all is that it gives clothes that would have been forgotten about, a chance to really be appreciated.
@comcwithmissjason has become a national favourite via Depop sales, having only recently started their account. Miss Jason is a completely non-profit account selling preowned items from celebrities and designers alike, in order to raise money for The UKQTIBIPOC Hardship Fund which provides financial support to queer and transgender people of colour in the UK, who were affected by Covid 19. The account has had glorious pieces donated from the likes of Lily Allen and FKA Twigs to name just a few.
This unisex brand has found its niche selling vintage goods of high quality at a reasonable price, which isn’t always easy to find. Selling across multiple platforms on Depop, ASOS Marketplace and at both Portobello Market and Brick Lane, there’s a multitude of ways to access this streetwear style vintage goodness. The clothes come in a range of inclusive sizing and all packaging is eco-friendly, making it a fantastic sustainable shop all around. Unlike a lot of second-hand shops, items can also be returned and will most importantly be resold if they are not what you were originally looking for.
An on-trend second-hand online shop that offers everything from fashion to homeware almost seems too good to be true… but it isn’t. We are cow has both a range of stores across the UK and an online space to home all of their goodies. One of our favourite parts about this online vintage store is its reworked collection, where second-hand shirts and clothing are transformed into new dresses and cleverly crafted outfits.
Hire Me Please:
Another element of sustainable shopping that has taken real form over the last few years is renting clothes. An ingenious solution to the constructed belief that every new occasion requires a new outfit. Of course, this is false and re-wearing the same clothes hundreds of times is a great way of making fashion better for the planet. However, we understand that everyone wants to feel special on their birthday, or for a wedding or a social occasion, which is where rental works perfectly. So, if you’re looking for that dress or suit to make you sparkle, these are our favourite rentals.
Huur is home to some of the best outfits that a girl could dream of. Specialising mainly in designer items, from dresses to heels to bags, they have got your entire outfit sorted. However, they are much more than just beautiful clothing with sustainability at the heart of what they do. Huur is a proud member of Ecologi, a group that helps to reduce the carbon footprint of their employees, as well as offsetting their employee’s business travel. They also opt for a green dry cleaning service and ensure that their bags are all reusable.
The UK’s first rental site to have an app, by rotation is proudly leading the way in Rental Services. Winning a Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards in 2020 for ‘One To Watch’, we can very much understand why. Their vibrant range of womenswear helps create an inclusive approach to new fashion, as rented items are significantly cheaper than what they are originally sold for. As well as being able to shop via the app, By Rotation has also recently introduced the new option to buy clothing. This is based upon lenders of course, but the “buy” option gives shoppers the chance to potentially keep hold of items that they adore too much to give back.
Like many other elements of fashion, rental for womenswear happened to be many steps ahead of rental for menswear in the UK. That was until Garmentry stepped on the scene and came to match the female retail. Working off the concept of circular economy, the site aims to keep clothes in circulation to expand their lifespan for as long as possible. Although a much smaller selection of clothing on offer than female rental stores, their initiative to do the same in menswear retail as what’s being done in womenswear is recognition-worthy.
Starting in 2020, For The Creators is a rental site reshaping the world of maternity dressing. For those that are conscious of spending copious amounts on clothing that can only be worn for no longer than a few months, this is the rental site for you. Started ‘by new mums, for new mums’, as their slogan would say, wants to address what they see as a forgotten market in terms of fashion. The rental scheme hopes to be the solution to the wasteful consumption of maternity dressing, whilst still helping pregnant women feel beautiful.
As you can see there is so much out there for anyone who is looking for new and exciting ways to shop sustainably, and this is only scratching the surface. For more on all our sustainable products, visit the Wearth site where you can shop sustainable brands for fashion, home, beauty, and much more.