Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guest post: Why can't fashion be eco-friendly?

Howdy! Do you love ASOS? Who doesn't?! Today I have a guest post from them with a heads up on how to choose proper eco-friendly fashion and not being swayed by the fake claims. Go forth and spend wisely!

Nowadays, the words 'eco-friendly', 'organic' and 'sustainable' get thrown around a lot, but is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Well, obviously this is a good thing, except sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between a brand that's genuinely eco-friendly and trying to make the world a better place, and one that's just jumping on the bandwagon in an effort to increase sales.

So how can we distinguish what is truly eco-friendly?

Do your homework

Countless times we may trust brands that claim to be eco-friendly without doing research into why. By doing a little research on the brand you are about to purchase, you can find out a little more of the story behind the product. This is not only a great way of finding out if a brand is genuinely trying to make the world a better place, but it gives your wardrobe new meaning - every piece of clothing has a story behind it!

Designers often have some source brand information on their own site or retailers. People Tree is an example of this and a great brand. They clearly define who they are as a brand, and how they strive to help the world be a better place! They are a popular retailer on ASOS Australia, and have this bio on the site:

"Most people are busy like you and me, but want to be a part of the solution, not the problem. That's why I started People Tree in Japan 20 years ago, to make great clothing that is 100% fair-trade and uses hand-woven and natural fabrics which are 100% organic. There are a lot of people like me who helped turn People Tree into a pioneering label. I worked with Anita Roddick when she opened the first Body Shop in Japan. It would be great if People Tree could do to the fashion industry what the Body Shop did to the beauty industry". - Safia Minney, Founder/CEO of People Tree.

Learn about fabrics

There are many different eco-fabrics that are available, and simply checking the label to see the material can reveal if a piece of clothing is truly sustainable. Some of the favoured materials are organic cotton and wool, soy and modal. Tencil is also a great alternative to cotton - the soft, silky, biodegradable fabric is made of wood pulp cellulose.

Recognised organisations

There are a variety of recognised organisations which provide a symbol or logo to a brand or product if it is deemed eco-friendly. One of the most recognised symbols is the Fairtrade mark. The Fairtrade Foundation is recognised as an ambassador for the eco-friendly and green movement, and focuses on establishing fair trade in underprivileged countries. To get the Fairtrade mark, a company and its produce must meet the rigorous international Fairtrade standards, and in some cases, sacrifice a percentage of their profit to help support the underprivileged - in this case, cotton farmers.

ASOS has realised that simply claiming a product is eco-friendly is not enough, and has recently released a new section on their site called the Green Room. While also using the Fairtrade 'Certified Cotton' mark, they have created a set of symbols that can help point you toward the issues you care about the most.

Different products are awarded different symbols above if they meet the criteria to do so. The "Made in UK/Africa/USA" symbols, however, do not just outline that they are made in that part of the world, but they have helped in that area as well. You might see detailed information such as:

"Manufactured in Africa, helping growth and empowerment, and encouraging artisans and community groups as well as larger producers across the continent."

Check it out!




3 comments:

  1. As if I need another excuse to waste hours browsing on ASOS!

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