SUSTAINABLE FASHION – WHY?
By Sonya Vajifdar
Let’s take the example of any garment. It takes approximately 2,700 litres of water to make just one – that’s the amount of water an average person drinks over the course of 900 days!
Then there is process in which 1.7 million tones of various chemicals are used and not to mention the hazardous chemicals like PFC’s that leave a permanent impact on our environment. And what about the clothing that doesn’t make it to market? An estimated 400 billion square metres of textiles are produced annually, of which 60 billion square metres are left on the cutting room floor. I would know, I am a fashion designer myself! Each year over 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced worldwide, and after its short lifespan, three out of four garments will end up in landfills or be incinerated. Only a quarter will be recycled! This is just a statistical report of what we are aware of, and just seeing the waste cloth on the floor got me feeling uneasy so I decided to switch my brand to ECO FRIENDLY and ZERO WASTE! However, unlike the high street brands, some markets have still not recognized slow fashion as being important and so a lot of customers have a hard time finding it! I only write about brands I have tried and tested and know the composition of and have listed a few of my favorites!
MY TOP 10 ETHICAL FASHION PICKS
GOOD KRAMA – They sent me a package from Cambodia, comprising of their Jorani low back tank, made from 100% up cycled cotton jersey; their rachany hand-woven organza top, made entirely of handwoven silk organza and cotton threads and their maes sarong, hand stitched and made of 100% cotton threads. I have to say my pick was the Sarong as it has multiple functions, it can be used over swimwear on the beach and can also become a cozy winter scarf around the neck, and I also loved the colour combination! What really stood out for me in this brand was their transparency- they have a small write up below each item on their website stating the eco impact the making of the piece has on our planet and how much water was saved! The website is HERE.
PO ZU – The coolest shoes ever have been sent to me from Pozu. They sent me the Sqadron, which are vegan sneakers in organic cotton, which are licensed by Disney and made in Portugal, The materials used are cotton canvas, eco microfiber, natural latex and cork with a glueless side stitch .The Butterfly is a vegan lace up and the entire sole is made in locally sourced fair trade rubber sole! The foot mattress also consists of coconut husk and natural latex. Both shoes mould to the foot shape and are extremely trendy, comfortable and have multipurpose usage, for me at least! Their name is central to the way they go about their business. ‘Po-Zu’ stems from the Japanese ポズ, meaning to pause, and it is their mission to provide feet with unique respite from the frantic pace of busy lives, and to halt the damage that modern footwear manufacturing often causes to people and the planet.
They have seriously become my everyday pair!! Check them out HERE.
KIPATO UNBRANDED – Sent me their ballroom rectangle earrings, plated cuffe and their triple link choker. Kipato Unbranded is a social enterprise that collaborates with local artists, promoting their talents and skills and giving them access to markets. Kipato Unbranded is about beauty and unique designs. They create jewelry that is inspired by lay people and meant lay people. Their pieces are made from local materials that include brass, recycled bone and beads. The choker had to be my favorite of the lot as it looked complicated but simple at the same time! More info on them HERE.
TONLE – Were just getting into winter here in Dubai so Tonles package came at the best time! They sent me their sweatshirt dress -A classic zero waste staple made from up-cycled sweatshirt fleece remnants, featuring pockets and contrasting details
The Nataly dress – made from comfy cotton jersey remnants as a part of their signature zero waste process. What I also appreciated was when they arrived both were tied up with left over fabric scraps. Zero waste is a great policy to have, as I myself have seen dozens of workshops with a crazy amount of waste! From the people who work on your clothing, to using every single scrap of fabric that comes through our workshop, they care about every step during the process of getting a piece of clothing to you, and each person who touches it along the way. Take a look HERE.
AIKYOU – the lingerie label for small breasts. They are passionate about making small-boobed women feel wonderfully feminine in our underwear – entirely without any wires, paddings or push-ups. What’s more, from the very beginning, we have been working in a sustainable and eco-friendly way whenever possible. Inspired by a Japanese female name we called our label AIKYOU, meaning “love, charm and respect”. This attitude informs everything we do. Right from the beginning we had embraced acting and manufacturing in a sustainable way wherever feasible, extending to all aspects of our company. All in all, AIKYOU wants to contribute to a more conscious and responsible economy. Thus the label will make its wearers feel comfortable in that respect, too. They sent me two really comfy but sexy black bras! Our main fabric is super-soft, Fair-trade-certified organic cotton, the yarn for which is spun in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, where it is also knitted and dyed. HERE is their website.
HARA THE LABEL – I got an awesome orange innerwear set from Hara the Label, which happens to be my husband’s favorite color! HARA, meaning green in Hindi, is a clothing label designed for you and our earth collectively. Consciously creating pieces that are soft and beautiful with sustainable and ethical practices at the core. They strive from seed to store to empower lives and rejuvenate the earth. Their triangle cut bamboo bra has been made for pure comfort, using their OEKO – TEX 100 percent approved organic fabric and natural plant dyed to ensure top quality, which avoid chemicals getting absorbed into the skin. The same goes for their high-rise undies, which they recommend for dancing in the house and wearing under sundresses! Comfort is definitely top priority with this brand.
INDEPENDENT FOX – I absolutely love my white slip-ons from Independent fox, I also really love their logo. They end up being my smart casual as well as daytime go to slip ons as well!! They are lightweight, impermeable, anti-bacterial and anti-odor. The upper and the lining are made from an extremely breathable microfiber. The outsole is made of thermoplastic rubber. The insole is made of memory foam. The glue they use is free from all animal ingredients. A great pair of shoes that is not only beautiful but also comfortable and 100% cruelty-free, so both your feet and your soul will LOVE to wear them.
I am also a total fan of the sea so did not want to leave out one of my favorite sustainable swimwear brands – Shapes in the Sand . They are a small independent Australian brand. Their swimwear is designed and created with our planet in mind. It is made from an Italian fabric using ECONYL®. This yarn comes from 100% regenerated materials, helping to reduce the amount of global waste by collecting it from landfills and oceans and feeding it back into production cycles. These materials include fishing nets recovered from the bottom of ocean, resulting in cleaner oceans and a positive future for our planet.
The fabrics are printed locally using a printing method that does not require water or any harsh chemicals. Through this printing method they promise you rich, vibrant colorfast shades. Including the zero waste policy, they also sent me a scunchie, which matched perfectly with my bikini. HERE is their website.
Almost always paired with my bikini are my slippers from INDOSOLE! Indosole’s mission involves using and recycling old tyres and making them into slippers which I found really innovative and extremely interesting to read . In third world countries tyres are used as a cheap alternative for fuel. This along with tyres that catch fire due to lightning storms; result in toxic oils and fumes that are harmful for human health. They repurpose these indestructible tyres into the soles of some of the most durable footwear around. I have the sea salt slippers and they have proved to be pretty durable and strong! Check them out HERE.
Lastly the Ethical Silk company sent me a cute camisole and shorts set made from mulberry silk! It’s the first time I had heard about mulberry silk production that extracts the silk from the cocoon after the moth has left the cocoon. The result is a beautifully rich mulberry silk which, because of the particular way it is produced, is more like fine linen with a beautiful matt lustre rather than the shiny finish of traditional silk. It has a momme weight of 19. They also sent me a matching eye mask with it! The Ethical Silk Company has pledged to donate 10% profits to charity. They also use block printing as a technique to print their pieces. Check them out HERE.
The further we go into slow fashion, the cleaner and greener our wardrobes, skin and lives become!