We are constantly bombarded with stick thin women wearing trendy clothes, which are sometimes too much for their lean body to handle or too small for their pale skin to hide. The fashion industry has deliberately brain washed women on how she should look like, but should they be always concerned with their models’ appeal all the time? I think not. Giving importance to what she’s wearing should also be a criterion on the beauty of an item. Thoughts like these make me want to praise the world for giving us prestigious eco-fashion designers in the likes of Stella McCartney, Safia Minney of People Tree, Seth and Mitch Nash of Blue Q, David Harvey, and many others because they never ceased in providing us with trendy garments that are made ethically using sustainable materials. They’re commendable because of two reasons: they’re thinking of your health as well as the millions of laborers around the worlds when shopping for the materials to be used for their creation, and they’re really patient and creative as it isn’t easy patching pieces of waste materials and fabrics and turn them into something that even millionaires would want to wear.
Let us first define what post consumer waste mean. Post consumer waste is basically a type of garbage that people don’t use anymore, so they just throw them into garbage receptacles or dump them into bins or burn or litter them. Post consumer waste comes various types including bones in meat, fruit skins and seeds, unwanted flyers, leaves, old magazines, old and worn clothes, books, outgrown toys, rugs, and many others. Creative and ethical designers find their way to make these pieces become useful by creating pieces that are wearable and efficient.
There are many factors to consider in this feat. Firstly, the size, style, color, and texture of the materials may differ greatly from each other. Unlike new and unused materials with which you can choose the color, texture, and size, these factors may be too much to deal with for fashion designers who lack patience and determination. Secondly, it takes time to sort out waste materials and find the ones that best suit your designs. On the one hand, most designers use all of their gathered post consumer wastes and reconstruct them to standard size and shape either manually or automatically. Others design them first to make an initial patchwork, which is then further developed into a fabric fitting for the garment. Some designers create pieces of artworks that they can add to the main design while others make use of certain machines that help hasten the procedures to multiply production.
In order for us to learn more about their feat and their commitment to provide us with sustainable clothing, here are some of the giant names in the fashion niche that use post consumer waste for their creations.
If there is one name in the fashion industry that is renowned for its upscale designs made of sustainable materials, it would have to be the collections of Stella McCartney. It has been reported that the company had converted 34.3 metric tons of wastes from dumping sites into useful textiles. Every Stella McCartney site has its own recycling spot as the business aims to minimize wastes as much as possible in landfills. The business also uses organic cotton and other renewable natural components for all of its collections in order to lower the use of water and energy by as much as 30% every year.
‘For every piece in every collection, I am always asking what we have done to make this garment more sustainable and what else can we do’, quipped the English designer, Stella McCartney, when asked on how she keeps on producing garments that are not only fashion forwards, but environment friendly as well. Since she first launched her collections in 2001 in Paris, Stella has been making waves in the fashion industry because of designs that are wearable for women from all walks of life. Her designs are chic and casual and nothing atypical that only fashion junkies can dare to wear. Awarded last 2013 as the Best International Designer of the Year as well as the British Designer of the Year, Stella is no stranger to the challenges that the fashion industry may pose to all of them. She also has her own collection of eyewear that’s made from 50% natural materials derived from natural sources such as citric acid and castor oil seeds as well as an eco friendly lingerie line in which the gussets are made of organic cotton and recycled metal for the hardware. Apart from being a champion in sustainable designing, Stella McCartney is also an avid campaigner of animal rights, saying no to pure feathers and fur and replacing them with faux fur and feather instead. Her Falabella bags are sought after by celebrities all over the world.
If you’re fond of online shopping, you may have likely came across with ASOS, but if you’re like me who prefers to shop for design inspirations, you’ll still meet ASOS along the way because the online site carries a wide range of garment brands that are praised for their hip and urban appeal as well as sustainability. Some of its renowned brands include The People Tree, founded by Safia Minney, who never seems to run out of ideas when tailoring pieces that adhere to Fairtrade 100% and are made of 100% organic cotton and hand woven materials; ASOS Africa is the brand that features tons of jungle inspired prints that are made of 100% sustainable materials and handmade by African women who also have fair share of the proceeds; TOMS, a popular footwear, has been with ASOS for years as it continues to produce footwear made of recycled materials in which a pair of shoes is given for every pair sold; and Gloverall, which offer tough coats and jackets that are either handed down or repaired.
Aimed to diminish pre manufacturing products and surplus materials in the textile industry, From Somewhere is a clothing brand that has garnered several awards including the 2010 Observer Ethical Awards for its appealing pieces and impeccable craftsmanship from rubbish materials. Because of its commitment to sustainability, From Somewhere is undeniably a big part of Esthetica, the spot for sustainable fashion at London Fashion Week. Always a topnotch in innovativeness, the brand has reached worldwide with the opening of its online site as well as the numerous branches that it starts to put up in several countries and local sites. The label is also considered as one of the must-haves of several celebrities in London and in the US.
Known for his unique sense of style as well as U2’s front man, BONO, along with his fashion lover wife, Ali Hewson, the couple created EDUN, a clothing business that makes their tees and apparels in Africa. The main aim of the business is to promote African trade under 100% Fair trade laws. The materials are sustainable while the 85% of the garments are created in Africa, providing income to its African workers. On the one hand, such feat would not have been possible if not for LVMH who bought huge stakes to provide long term aid to the business as well as the people in Africa.