Trending Now: Fashion Revolution

Over the past decade we have been engrossed in a consumer style phenomenon known as ‘fast fashion’. Until recently, we have been a society of consumers with an insatiable addiction for needless consumption (cheap disposable clothes and lots of them). However, it seems the fashion industry has been flirting with disaster for too long.

The fashion revolution; a wave of conscious consumers questioning the ethical implications of ‘fast fashion’. So who has risen to the demands of ‘slow fashion’ and the dawn of the conscious consumer? Here’s who.

1. H&M Conscious

H&M is one of the few high street mega brands to even attempt to tackle the many ethical injustices in the fashion industry. H&M believe in a better fashion future, one where fashion both looks good and does good and proudly stands by theses seven major commitments:
– Provide fashion for conscious customers
– Choose and reward responsible partners
– Be ethical
– Be climate smart
– Reduce, reuse, recycle
– Use natural resources responsibly
– Strengthen communities

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They are also the first fashion company to launch a global garment collection initiative; you can hand in any clothes you no longer want which to reduce waste and give old products a new life. They are the biggest user of organic cotton in the world (paying more because it’s grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and contains no genetically modified organisms). That’s good news for farmers and the environment.

“Of the thousands of tonnes of textiles thrown away every year, 95% could be re-worn or recycled.”

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H&M also prioritise protecting childhood. They have been working alongside UNICEF since 2004 proving funding and support to help abolish child labour. They are a fur free retailer, and will only work with partners who have signed a code of conduct clarifying there requirements for social and environmental fairness.

“Eventually, we’ll close the loop on textiles so nothing ever goes to waste”

2. Asos Green Room

Launched in S/S10, the ASOS Green Room showcases the hottest labels in sustainable fashion.There eco-cool edit features a range of environmentally friendly textiles and supports fair trade principles and traditional craftsmanship. The Green Room also houses a range of UK made pieces supporting local manufacturers, as well as the ASOS AFRICA collection which is designed in-house and produced in Kenya.

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3. Matt & Nat

Check out these baby’s! Matt & Nat are a vegan line designed in Montreal Canada. Their ethos is to ‘live beautifully'; appreciating humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us.

Yes the concept alone had me at hello, but when you see the design, quality and colour pallets of these glorious creations your heart may well skip a guilt free beat!

Some ideas sneak up on you as if they were always meant to be. The idea behind MAT(T)erial and NATure originally came to life in 1995 in beautiful Montreal. They’re passionate and in awe of the world that surrounds us. Being inspired by MAT(T)erial and NATure means exploring the synergy between the two; the reflection of one on the other.

“At Matt & Nat, we live by a simple motto, “Live beautifully”. Our values include social responsibility, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, learning, authenticity and, of course, love. We are inspired by the textures and hues of nature and, to better protect it, we aim to constantly better our ways.”

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4. EDUN

EDUN is a high fashion line founded by Ali Hewson and Bono. It’s building long-term, sustainable growth opportunities by supporting manufacturers, infrastructure and community building initiatives in Africa, actively working toward increasing trade throughout the continent. Currently EDUN are manufacturing 95% of the collection in Africa.

“EDUN is committed to maintain long-term partnerships with our vendors. We build on relationships and skills that translate into beautiful quality garments made with integrity, care, and in compliance with our ethical values.”

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5. Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney have developed an innovative material; a coating made from over 50% vegetable oil which is a renewable natural resource. Using a vegetable oil means less petroleum in our products. Eco Alter Nappa is part of the brands ongoing commitment to using more sustainable synthetics, created from natural non-animal sources. McCartney has also developed biodegradable shoe soles, a phenomenal sustainable eyewear collection and are leather and fur free.

Stella McCartney collections also feature the Clevercare logo – a simple reminder to consider the environment when washing and caring for your garments – and are a long standing member of Ethical Trading Initiative along side Marni, Vivienne Westwood and Sass & Bide amongst others.

“We are responsible for the resources that we use and the impact that we have. We are always exploring new and innovative ways to become more sustainable.”

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My own personal retail habits are questionable to say the least. I reckon I have always been more of a ‘slow fashion’ kind of gal (I tend to spend a little more, but do it a little less often). I will admit I have ignored the odd niggle from my conscience when partaking in some retail therapy. Now having researched this issue and discovering some truly horrifying statistics, the realisation that the majority of the worlds biggest fashion brands have a sheer disregard for basic human rights and ethical responsibility (many of which having little or no code of ethics in place), has made me have to seriously reconsider many of my typical fashion haunts.

With the second year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory disaster upon us (April 24th), there is no time like the present to make a conscious effort to be a more ethical consumer. The fashion future could be bright, if we make fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable.

Nadine

Nadine is our resident Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle contributor on MintMag.ie. Currently Senior Educator at the Peter Mark hair group, she was recruited by the company in December 2012 due to a reputation of excellence and has an abundance of awards under her belt. She also has her finger firmly on the pulse of all thing fashion – her creative nature and eye for quality and detail has ensured her an impenetrable reputation amongst the cream of Irish beauty, photography, fashion and media experts. If you would like to contribute to MintMag.ie just email louise@mintmag.ie!

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