Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Eco and Ethical Fashion Got Affordable

I have long been of the opinion that we should make an effort to live in both an ethical and sustainable way including the clothes that we wear. I have even set up a clothes swap website to help promote the recycling and reuse of clothes. I often rant for some time about second hand clothing being the best option and the ultimate in eco fashion as it has minimal environmental impact but is still affordable. But whilst I often buy second hand or vintage clothing, when I need (or want) new clothes, I have often shied away from Eco fashion and ethical fashion in the form of clothes made from organic, fairtrade, recycled and other sustainable fibres due to the high price and lack of choice.
Things are improving though and there has been a distinct increase in design quality and choice over the last few years. No longer are eco and ethical fashionistas limited to buying organic cotton t shirts and relatively bland leisure wear, there are a steadily growing number of innovative ethical and eco fashion labels.

Renewal Rare Eighties Party Dress £70

Whilst recently researching an article on ethical and eco fashion, it suddenly struck me that eco fashion has become distinctly more affordable with the growth of companies like People Tree and Ascension, even Urban Outfitters stocks a line called Renewal Rare which brings back to life old vintage pieces.

Eley Kishimoto for People Tree Tunic - £48-£64

The People Tree designer collaborations are amazing, with pieces by Eley Kishimoto, Bora Aksu, Richard Nicoll, Karen Nicholl and Jessica Ogden available in all the main sizes in the sale at the moment.

Ascension bamboo Isabel Dress - £28.50

Annie Greenabelle Panelled Pinafore Dress - £29.50

Ascension stocks a number of different labels including Bibico, Karen Cole its own label which includes organic cotton and bamboo clothes produced ethically at price comparable to the mid to high end of the high street (the above two items are in the sale).

The great thing with about ethical and eco fashion is that not only do you get a guilt free conscious but also a really comfortable and well made piece of clothing that is likely to last for years. As gorgeous and affordable as these clothes are, I will be sticking to my shopping ban for now, as buying clothes that you don't really need, however eco friendly the clothes are, is not really sustainable or ethical.


Allie said...

Thanks for pointing out some chic sustainable lines for us - I have similar complaints as yours. I question the motives of popular brands coming out with a "green" collection - there's not enough transparency there. And I have always said that buying secondhand is the most eco-friendly route. My thoughts on the subject are in this post http://analoguechic.com/?p=762

All Women Stalker said...

This is why I buy second-hand. It's good for the environment. I have a shopping ban but only on brand new stuff. This way, I get to shop, save money, and save Mother Nature.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Fabulous, well-researched post! It's hard to find decent sustainable lines, and you've given us a great amount here. Cheers to being eco-friendly!! :)

Bibico said...

Good article
Bibico is another great ethical fashion brand to add to the list you have


lifestyle week said...

Thank You for writing such a good article about being eco-friendy. This post says it all about being fashionably eco-conscious. from buying second hand to using the natural fabrics and dyes for making clothes...you have the exact suggestion. Good work.

Kaulquapclaire said...

Please also check out indie eco labels like studio anglindo. they are based in indonesia, using organic cotton and supporting a womens group.

Ethical footwear said...

Thanks for some great ideas. It is good to see that there are stylish, ethical and affordable alternatives available.