Sustainable Fashion Is Serious Business

More and more clothing brands are making sustainable fashion, and we’re seriously happy about it.

The textile industry is responsible for a huge amount of waste. Whether they’re end of the line, unwanted or simply forgotten, fabrics are thrown to the wayside with very little thought, left to gather dust or rot. Failing to pull in the same kind of headlines as plastic or other synthetics do, textiles are rarely considered part of the environmental game. And when it comes to upcycling fabrics for better use, many companies are blasé. Around the world, however, things are slowly starting to change. The sustainable fashion industry is gradually gaining traction, growing at an ever-increasing rate each year. Taking old fabrics and giving them new life, sustainable fashion paves the way for the future.

Just what makes a brand sustainable, though? That is the million-dollar question, and by understanding it a little more deeply, we can change our shopping habits. Getting to the nitty-gritty of how clothes are made is an essential step to understanding the whole process. So before we embark on the whirlwind ride around the world that is sustainable fashion, it’s time to learn a few good lessons.

Taking the time to read care labels before you make a purchase can help you locate sustainable, organic fabrics. If you want to go further, look up the company’s “about” page online to find their core values, how they source their materials and their production process. If a company uses sustainable methods to produce their stock, they’re going to shout it from the rooftops.

It’s much easier than you think to ensure your clothes use materials that have been ethically sourced or upcycled. Once you’ve narrowed down the kinds of processes you’re looking for, the fun can really start. Sustainable fashion brands have been popping up everywhere over the last few years, so finding them can be as simple as a Google search.

People Tree goes directly to the source in their production process. Via iStock.

High street fashion has had a hold on the industry for several years and for People Tree, it was all about pioneering change in a world that seemed so ephemeral. Having hit the fashion industry 25 years ago, the company pushes an environmental and social agenda without venturing into piousness, a formula that has worked in their favor. The last quarter of a century has featured a string of hits for the company, and no matter where you look down their timeline, you can pinpoint something impressive. Did you know, for example, that People Tree was the first company to introduce seed-to-garment clothing? Or perhaps that 90% of their products are sourced from fair-trade suppliers (and they project it will be 100% in their future)? How about the fact that 80% of their cotton sources are certified organic, helping to mitigate fabric production’s harmful environmental effects? Team these qualities with chic, effortless designs and you know you’ve got a winner.

While People Tree has led the sustainable fashion pack for years, other major companies are slowly coming out of the woodwork, offering a perspective that’ll get your heart racing. Sustainable brand Kowtow, for example, has all the makings of a minimalist luxury fashion line, offering its clientele a serving of eco goodness alongside their chic collection. Doing the fashion impossible, Kowtow has managed to produce a formula that speaks to both social and environmental issues, while pushing the boundaries of luxury design. That’s no small feat for a clothing line. Production for all the brand’s pieces takes place in Kolkata, India, following strict environmentally safe procedures. Using 100% organic cotton, the brand pays attention to the dyeing process, even finishing off their pieces with hemp-based hardware. Best of all, Kowtow takes interest in their employees, offering each one a guaranteed living wage, social security, medical insurance, paid vacations and a pension. Kowtow is all the proof you need that a responsible approach can be incorporated into a successful fashion brand.

Kowtow takes a fashion-forward approach to sustainability.

High street fashion is bringing about a safer, more responsible message in the clothing industry. While that message is doing great things for the business, it is confined within certain creative boundaries. Brands like People Tree, Kowtow and Shaina Mote all fit well within the limits of sustainable fashion, and they do so with everyday clothing, creating a neutral palette for the fashion forward. In the world of high fashion, however, anything goes, and thanks to the visions of a number of eco-conscious designers, things are really starting to take a turn.

After having discovered that over 17,000 tons of textiles were thrown away each year in her native country of Israel, haute couture designer Dana Cohen decided to take matters into her own hands. A closer look into mass production proved

How Edward Enninful’s Appointment As Editor Of British Vogue Will Change The Fashion Industry

Lynette Nylander | Contributing Writer | 1 hour ago

How Edward Enninful’s Appointment As Editor Of British Vogue Will Change The Fashion Industry The Debrief: Vogue’s first black Editor in Chief, Enninful has a dedication to diversity and is social media savvy. In twenty years’ time, we will cite his appointment as an important shift in the fashion industry’s paradigm.

The whispers of who would take the helm at Vogue and, with it the most prestigious job in British fashion, had been a topic of conversation and contention since its outgoing Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman announced her departure in late January. The rumour mill churned with the names of all the obvious contenders: would it be Katie Grand? Conde Nast’s enfant terrible of sorts, whose unconventional covers, notoriety amongst celebrities and luxury brands, her independent publishing background and success of her publication LOVE, (where she has managed to put everyone from Beth Ditto, Miley Cyrus and Kendall Jenner on the cover), made her a perfect candidate to move across to the top spot at Vogue House. Could longtime Deputy Editor Emily Sheffield take the step up? Or would former Vogue Features Editor and current FT Fashion Editor Jo Ellison (rumoured to be well-liked by Ms Shulman), be the left-field candidate the Editorship needed. While all solid choices, none were particularly unexpected; they all fit the mould of what you would expect someone ascending that position to be. Female, white, well-dressed and well-respected.

So, when Edward Enninful, W’s Fashion and Creative Director was announced to be Shulman’s successor, who departs after twenty-five years, the choice drew a collective celebration from across the industry and beyond. While Enninful is widely respected and a rumoured candidate from the beginning, few thought it would actually happen. In part, perhaps, because in its 101-years British Vogue has never had a man at its helm and Ghanian-born, London-raised Edward is one of the few black editors of a major publication and the first black editor of Vogue ever. His appointment has been marked by Anna Wintour as ‘a brilliant choice’, and Conde Nast Chairman Jonathan Newhouse described Edward yesterday as ‘an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist.’ This is apt as Edward has made the cultural zeitgeist his ammunition and point of difference amongst a stream of cookie-cutter editors; never shying away from political, racial and cultural issues in his styling, he constantly does away with hierarchical ballasts and traditional notions of blue-chip styling. His work is brash, bold and at times in your face. It’s a decided decision by Conde Nast to go left when in the magazine world everyone is seemingly turning safely to the right.

But Edward Enninful’s appointment at Editor-in-Chief of one of the most esteemed edition of Vogue is about much more than a job and a title. It is not an exaggeration to read his appointment as hardened proof that the industry is indeed changing for the better, that the establishment is listening to the public’s demand that diversity needs to disseminate from the top down in the fashion industry because without it there is no moving forward. His appointment sends the message to creatives, especially those of colour that sometimes the establishment chooses the ‘underdog’ or the ‘surprise’, giving us hope that, one day, the appointment of a person of colour to a position like this will be the norm, no longer unusual.

More than this, Edward’s success hasn’t come by chance. The Fashion Director of i-D at just 18, Edward was something of a prodigy. He’s best buddies with Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, rubs shoulders with Rihanna and has long been a front row fixture across international fashion weeks. He has crafted the most cover images for W in his time as their Fashion and Creative Director. He calls Tiffany, Lanvin, Carolina Herrera his current commercial clients and still finds time be the industry’s champion for diverse models and racial inclusion across the board, a stance that so few people in his position have been openly willing to take.

In particular, it’ll be interesting to see how he transfers this dedication to diversity to British Vogue, which has come under fire in the past for not doing enough to push models of colour. He was one of the masterminds behind Vogue Italia’s now iconic Black Issue and during his time at i-D and W was instrumental in the success of black models such as Jourdan Dunn, Lineisy Monteiro and Chanel Iman, so you can expect a wider pool of cover models during his tenure. And unlike many of his fellow editors, he is a behemoth on social media, using his 500k+ Instagram platform for everything from showcasing editorial shoots to clickable #TBT’s to glimpses to his personal life; he’s the perfect bridge betwee