There are a multitude of factors to consider when we think about our sustainability. We can make a lot of basic changes in our lives that we won’t even notice, like changing to energy saving bulbs. But what can we do when finding clothing companies?
Our high streets are inundated with stores using factories in poor countries, paying workers next to nothing to produce that £50 pair of jeans you like. Do we think about the workers when we find a cute tee shirt in Primark or New Look? Even stores that try to be more transparent and pay their workers a living wage import goods from overseas. Air miles can be a huge issue, but is that better or worse than the amount of water used to dye our cloth? So what do we think of when we look for sustainability in our products? What is sustainable?
There’s been a huge rise in vegetarianism and veganism so it makes sense that stores are marketing goods as vegan leather, even though most of these are just PVC or polyurethane. Is that environmentally friendly? We all saw Blue Planet II and know the damage that plastics are causing to the oceans, and food chain. If people are still eating meat then surely it makes sense to use the hides for leather too.
I think that instead of focusing on just one aspect, we need to decide on a piece by piece basis. Is this top going to last me a while? Will I wear it enough to warrant the distance it has travelled? Have the workers been endangered by the production of it? If every person cares a little bit more, then together we can make a difference.
We try our best to make the right choices and be as sustainable as we can, as a small business this can be quite difficult. We don’t send any of our production waste to landfill, scraps are used to create new fabric, we use all energy saving bulbs, we have a renewable energy supplier, and we are constantly looking into more environmentally conscious fabrics to use.