With fashion week having just passed, once again we have seen the industry face media scrutiny. For the ethics of fashion, from sourcing to manufacture and ultimately profit, has been the subject of countless articles. This is not one of them. Although serious issues remain, it’s not all doom and gloom out there in the ever-evolving world of glamour. To restore your faith in clothing kind we bring you 10 “chieco” (pronounced chic-o) warriors that are changing the principles of fashion one garment at a time.
1) Stella McCartney An ardent animal rights campaigner, McCartney is the face of virtuous luxury fashion, creating clothes free of leather and fur. Her ‘eco-collection’ is comprised only of organic and recycled fabrics and uses low impact dyes. McCartney firmly believes that designers should completely avoid using animal products; a sentiment that she feels should also be applied to both the food and beauty industries.
2) ASOS Green Room Perhaps surprisingly one of the biggest online shopping outlets is also adjusting its policies by taking the environment into account. The ASOS green Room is a platform “dedicated to collections with an ethical or eco-conscious story to tell.” The Green Room provides a glossary that explains why each product is regarded as an ethical or eco-conscious garment. Launched in 2010, the Green Room has been hugely successful, now housing some of the most talked about labels in sustainable fashion.
3) Blue Q Brothers Mitch and Seth Nash are the creative minds behind the label Blue Q. They make some fabulous environmentally friendly bags from 95% post consumer material. Furthermore, they don’t test on animals and neither do the manufacturers they work with. A clean sweep all round!
4) From Somewhere This is a designer brand that combines sustainable thinking with fashion forward design by working with “pre consumer surplus from the manufacturing houses and textile mills of the luxury fashion industry.” Although they describe their work as “exquisite rubbish” we couldn’t disagree more! Just check out this jumper:
5) Estethica Founded by the British Fashion Council, Estethica showcases the movement of designers committed to working sustainably, evolving to become the hub of the London ethical fashion industry. All Estethica designers must adhere to one of the three Estethica principles of fair-trade, ethical practices or use of organic and recycled materials.
6) Bottletop This is a little label, doing big things. Bottletop creates chic handbags out of... you guessed it, bottle tops! Bottletop are included under the Estethica tag for their contribution and commitment to sustainable fashion. Their products are created both by highly skilled artisans around the world and also by people that have been trained to make them, providing fair wages to families in the process.
7) Katrien Van Hecke Creating organic hand dyed and hand woven artisan garments, Van Hecke also possesses the Estethica tag. Her ideal clients are those who are aware of the unique workmanship that goes into her products.
8) Pachacuti This is a company that creates contemporary Panama hats through fair-trade production and promotion. Their mission is to “redress the inequalities in the global fashion industry through demonstrating that it is possible to run a successful retail and wholesale clothing business which benefits the producers and is environmentally friendly.”
9) EABURNS Specialising in high impact, modern statement accessories, this is a British brand that prides itself on both its style and green credentials. EABURNS recently introduced a range that is manufactured from 100% recycled silver and 18 carat gold vermeil (a metal made by coating a base of sterling silver with gold). They also source their leather from discarded scraps that other UK manufacturers find too small to be useful.
10) Lost Property of London Taking salvaged fabric, Lost Property of London transforms it into stylish yet practical accessories. Their ethos, to create stylish pieces that are kind to the environment, is strengthened by their commitment to only source vegetable tanned leather.
We hope that these ten “chieco” fashion warriors have given you a little more faith in fashion and eased some of your grievances with the style world. What’s more this is just the tip of the iceberg, for environmentally conscious style is gaining momentum within the industry. Especially as a growing number of celebrities campaign against the use of fur, testing on animals and the impact of fast fashion. Although we cannot discount the issues within the fashion industry that we see so often in the media, it’s great to see companies taking a stand on issues that ultimately impact the whole planet.
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