With Fashion weeks coming to an end it provokes us to think about sustainability within the fashion industry and what it means to support local, smaller brands.
So what is sustainable fashion you may ask, well I hate to break it to you but there’s no such thing as 100% sustainable fashion. A main factor being when it comes to washing clothes it takes a massive hit on the environment using the obvious masses of water and electricity. Also, most laundry detergents used are not eco friendly, which is a further reason to invest in such products.
Being sustainable as a brand would mean considering in a way which is best for humanity and the environment. The goal is to have a system which works without leaving a negative footprint.
As the consumer, we can focus on thinking about what we buy, knowing which philosophies you’re supporting when purchasing from a brand and asking yourself are you going to wear that piece enough to justify it being made.
Where to begin with all of this?
Made to measure can be a bit of an investment however if you’re purchasing a piece that has only been made for you, that’s a clear indication that it’s better for the environment due to the fact it wasn’t mass produced and no waste is caused. A brand that specialises in this is Alina London found at alinascloset.com and currently at 305 Brompton Road London.
‘Slow Fashion’ meaning that you stick to what you have for a long time. For brands this means producing less too. However the cons of this are, lack of style evolution- so as your style adapts, you struggle with the urge to buy.
Quality is key here and investing in basics too.
‘Fair fashion’ Ensuring fair wages supports education and directly improves worker’s quality of life. If everyone had a living wage* we would see more equality and better living within the world.
Many smaller brands cannot afford certifications, so if they are not there this isn’t necessarily bad news. Look on their website to see what they say in their philosophy/codex/about page, check out their social media channels, and last of all ask the brands about it.
“Local production” is extremely important.
You can minimize your carbon footprint by shopping with a brand that makes locally. Alina London actually noted upon this when starting the brand, the brand is proud to be making locally in London. Garment transport puts out a huge amount of C02, which can be reduced by minimizing the distances during production.
However, obviously there’s the consideration of if you want to have a positive impact on working conditions in developing countries, your cant do that from a distance.
‘Minimalism’ Cutting down your wardrobe is quite frankly, never easy. But unfortunately it’s a great way to start upon this journey to purchasing less. You can always donate back into the world by giving what you get rid of to those in need. Don’t hesitate to ask the people around you either if they would like your pieces, although it’s a great feeling to give items to a charity – your friends, family and colleagues are the same recycle effect and might just be in need too! You can always donate money, if all your friends decide they love your pieces you’ve grown out of.
And last but not least consider the materials. If a brand focuses on materials they use this is of course one of the best successes for getting your wardrobe perfect.
Alina London has 3 staples to its philosophy in order to be more sustainable within the fashion industry:
– Made to measure, the brand makes one or two pieces for in the local store “Fashion Joint” found at 305 Brompton road (just a stones throw away from Harrods) and focuses on the ethos that if you’d like it, they will make it exactly to fit you in all the right ways.
– Making locally, the brands studio is also located within London. Not only does this help with the carbon footprints but enabling the brand to have the finished garments in Chelsea in just under 3 days.
– Giving back, Alina London supports many charities. Not only donating clothes but money too. The brand is is also working on events to support the movement for a better world for the next few months. Some of the charities supported are – UN Women UK, Plan international UK, Young Women’s Trust fund, Red Cross UK & Women’s Aid.
Alina London is a brand that intends to empower women, support each other and consistently reassess how it can improve to helping and giving back to the world.