What Makes a Sustainable Fashion Brand?
Today's consumers are more discerning than ever, with environmental sustainability as a top priority for many. This public demand has led to the rise of sustainable fashion, with Wired estimating that cheap clothes shed over 100,000 microfibres with each wash. It's up to brands to do better, and there's lots of consumer pressure for them to change.
Types of garments used
Fabric choice is one of the first things consumers should look out for. Lots of brands use recycled textiles to make their designs, but that's not the only thing you should be looking out for. As a general rule, anything with nylon, (virgin) polyester, and/or acrylic should be avoided as much as possible. Recycled polyester is made from old PET bottles, and is a better alternative. Aside from that, organic cotton, hemp, linen, and silk are great picks. Fabric choice is often why sustainable products are a bit more expensive than your typical fast fashion garment, but rest assured you're getting something that's made to last.
Worker safety and compensation
You should also be asking yourself who makes your clothes. Many retailers still rely on underpaid workers to make their clothes, and don't take the necessary steps to look out for their workers. If a clothing brand you support isn't transparent about their worker treatment, it's worth asking them about it. Brands that aren't upfront about worker treatment, or even those that give pithy statements, should be steered clear from at all costs.
Eco-friendly delivery and packaging
Plastic isn't just found in the clothing, it's in the packaging too. From upcycled boxes to compostable plastic bags, there's a lot of options available for brands who want to minimise their packaging wastage. However, the carbon footprint of deliveries still remains a problem. To help bypass this, avoid brands that promise expedited shipping and free returns: these promises are convenient for the customer, but definitely not for the planet.
Closed-loop systems are now growing in popularity as a way to both minimise waste and encourage customers to buy products that will last. This is why JECKYBENG created their own closed-loop system that includes a lifetime repair service. Once you've loved your JECKYBENG product to its ultimate end, they're also happy to take your well-loved and worn out pieces to create newer products like hip totes and bags. After all, it only takes a little of creativity to turn old scrap fabric into new pieces!
Taking the time to opt for sustainable brands not only helps take care of the environment, but these choices will make your clothes that much more meaningful to you, too. Their previous post entitled 'Time to Rethink' underscores the importance of making mindful purchases. The clothing industry literally suffocates on its own overproduction, and this cycle is all based on how brands assume consumer demand might look like. Yes, might! While JECKYBENG also estimate future demand, they do so in small volumes.
But they're looking to break this cycle. They're opening up slots for their new "Tell us what you wear this fall" collection in order to make sure every garment they make goes to a good home.
Written by Allie Cooper
Exclusive for jeckybeng.com