More and more now we’re seeing the resurfacing of old fashion trends, currently those from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. We’ve all seem pictures of the clothes our mums, nans and aunties used to wear and thought, “why didn’t you keep those trousers, I want them!” As well as every fast fashion brand out there utilising this to recreate new (old) products, there has definitely been an increase in the amount of millennials, Gen Z-ers and those of the awkward age in between who don’t really fit into either group, looking to charity shops and other resellers such as depop, to bag a bargain and still be on trend. Young people now are so aware of the world around them especially when it comes to things like politics, climate change and just generally helping to make the world they live in a better place. Now, it’s great that so many young people are turning to charity shops and depop to buy their clothes from as it’s something that will only continue to become more and more popular and is helping to reduce the amount of waste created by the fashion industry every year and is also giving old clothes a new lease of life.
As well as recycling and up cycling (taking something old and changing it into something new that you want to wear now), sustainability is constantly becoming increasingly popular in the fashion industry as a way to try and help tackle the thousands of tonnes of waste created by fast fashion. When it comes to brands and shopping sustainably, greenwashing within brands is something you have to be very careful of. Greenwashing is when brands convey false or misleading information about how sustainable or environmentally friendly they are. To be a sustainable brand, everything from he product itself, down to the packaging used to send them in and even the environment in which the staff work in HAVE to be sustainable. Fast fashion brands especially will often release a collection and label it as “sustainable” or “vegan”, but you have to remember that being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean sustainable, and one collection does not make the brand itself sustainable at all. The materials themselves might be sustainable, but what are the working conditions like for employees? Are they safe? Are the getting a fair wage? These are all things that need to be considered when you want to buy sustainably.
If you are someone who’s more interested in buying from a good, solid sustainable brand where you know you’re going to get good quality products, rather than buying mainly from fast fashion brands, then smaller or newer sustainable brands are probably the way to go. Brands like this will often offer a more niche range of product choices, however this means that every aspect in terms of making the entire brand sustainable will have been taken into consideration. For example, Pure Clothing is a new sustainable brand based in the West of Ireland and was started by Peter and Richard, completely FROM SCRATCH. Pure Clothings vision is to “prioritise high quality products with a long lifespan” and to “only stock premium, organic garments. A stylish alternative that gives you the option to support more ethical supply chains”. Pure clothing is such a great example of a sustainable and ethical clothing company as their clothing, labels and embroidery and packaging are all 100% sustainable and eco friendly. These guys really have gone all out with this, everything down to the thread is recycled. The whole manufacturing process is Fairwear approved, so everything about the working conditions and wage is fair and safe.
It really does bring to question though, with younger people shopping second hand more than before and the ever growing awareness and interest in helping the environment, if smaller brands like Pure Clothing can be 100% sustainable and eco friendly, what’s stopping bigger fast fashion brands being a bit more aware of their impact on the world? They definitely have the budget for it. And if they don’t step up and make a change, how much longer will big fast fashion brands last?