After a green fashion
It turns out that sustainability does not necessarily entail fashion sacrifice.
Emma Rose discovers five clothing lines that offer ethically-sourced clothes that help the environment, and you to look good
Finisterre is an outdoor clothing company that aims to make practical, warm and flattering technical apparel with minimal environmental impact. The Cornish surf brand produces a line of waterproofs, jackets and hoodies using materials that are derived from recycled or easily renewable origins. ‘Biomimicry’ is an important part of Finisterre’s current development, exemplified in the ‘biomimetic’ waterproof jacket that uses a fabric system inspired by animal fur to wick moisture away from the body. Prices vary from around £90 to £250 for jackets and £25 for t-shirts.
Wall designs a wide range of luxury women’s clothing made from ethically-sourced, quality fabrics such as cashmere, silk, merino wool and pima cotton, which is cultivated only in the northern valleys of Peru and is harvested three times a season by hand, causing little damage to the cotton fibres and consequently resulting in very little waste. The fabric maintains its shape and colour effectively, and as a result, Wall produces clothing that is durable and hard wearing, reducing the need for regular replacement. Prices for coats range from around £75 to £250. Trouser
prices range from £75 to £189.
Inspired by the rapidly decreasing number of Wensleydale sheep, the North Circular makes knitwear exclusively from the wool of sheep that have been rescued from the slaughterhouse. Each garment carries a hand-made tag informing the buyer of how many sheep have been rescued to date and is spun and dyed naturally within a
120-mile radius of where the sheep are kept. Dresses are priced at around £350, scarves at around £150 and hats at around £75.
People Tree is dedicated to improving the lives and environment of the artisans in developing countries, such as Peru and India, that produce its clothing. Many garments are created by labour-intensive techniques such as hand weaving, which requires nine times more labour than a power loom. Other traditional techniques like hand embroidery, block printing and knitting are used to create clothes from a variety of materials ranging from organic alpaca to organic cotton. Dresses range from £35 to £100, men’s shirts and cardigans are around £55.
Inspired by her time in Malawi, Mia Nisbet mixes recycled fabrics and traditional Malawian materials to produce womanswear combining African and Western culture. The African fabric is cut and styled using Western techniques, resulting in garments that are rich, stylish and totally unique. MIA aims to promote the sale of locally-produced clothing in Malawi, where the majority of clothing sold in street markets are cheap secondhand items imported from the US, Europe and elsewhere. Dresses retail around £80, skirts £72.