Ethical fashion used to be overlooked by the majority of shoppers due to a bit of a bad image. Uninspiring organic cotton basics and drab accessories made from hemp were never going to excite the dedicated fashionistas of this world, so they looked elsewhere. These days, more and more consumers are becoming wise to the fact that ethics and style can go hand in hand. Eco fabrics and processes, recycled and upcycled materials, and ethical production methods have all succeeded in inspiring many designers to produce less wasteful and damaging fashion products.
If consumers knew the story behind the goods they were buying, they would probably be more likely to seek out the ethical option. If more designers knew about the innovative techniques available to them, they would perhaps be inspired to create exciting fashion items that consumers really want. Spreading the word is vital to the success of ethical fashion. Thanks to innovative online retailers, effective search engines and busy social media sites, it has never been easier to find beautiful ethical fashion and share it with your friends. For example, I’ve recently discovered Kitty DoLittle, an online retailer which sells eye-catching accessories made by passionate designers who are inspired by innovative, sustainable or upcycled materials, and use production methods that consider the world around them. The website says:
“For me and my clients, eco-fashion is simply more considerate and soulful fashion. It’s fashion that considers the materials used and their origin; the way things are produced; the people who produce them; and the impact on the world around us. The items I sell are not produced in a massive factory using materials of mediocre quality and pushed out in high-volume.”
It was here I discovered Makki’s ‘Butterfly Fever’ clutch (pictured above) and found out that the eel skins used are a by-product of the food industry. I learnt that all Alkemi products – including their ‘Silverstone’ handbag – are certified Fairtrade and are handmade using only upcycled and recycled materials. I discovered vegetable ivory, banana yarn and buffalo leather. And now I’m blogging about it to spread the word. You don’t have to switch all of your clothes buying to ethical sources but, if everyone were to ensure even one item in their wardrobe was ethical, just think of the the difference it could make. Next time you go shopping for clothes, take a little bit of time to do some research and work out if it would be possible to get what you want from a more responsible retailer or brand. Together we have the power to make a change.