Thursday 29 August 2013

Style Is... finding an alternative to fast fashion

The Cate Shirt Dress by Nancy Dee.
Get it at Think Boutique
If Fashion Revolution has you thinking about fast fashion, and the connection between you and your clothes, then maybe you're starting to think about making a change. Maybe you're considering a shift away from Primark, Mango and the rest, and towards something with a little more proven sustainability.
Good for you! The big question is, where do you start? It's a tricky area to navigate. Some companies make big claims for ethical behaviour that simply don't stand up under scrutiny. But do you have the time and the energy to do the research? After all, you just need to pick up a new shirt for work, and something for that do next week. How do you make it through the moral maze?
Fortunately, you're not alone. Your first stop should be style is... Set up by fashion writer Ceri Heathcote, the prime focus of the site is to make it easy to find alternatives to fast fashion. It features a search engine that links to thousands of ethical choices. But it gets easier, as they've just compiled a top 50 (well, 51) chart of the names that will really get you started on the road to sustainable fashion.
There are some high street names on there, like Timberland. There are cult names, like TOMS and Howies. The big hitters in the ethical fashion game like People Tree and Patagonia are there. And there are plenty of names that you should get to know better, like the brilliant Nancy Dee (co-founded by an ex-workmate of yr. humble author, hi Tamsin!), Choolips and Antiform.
The list is a one-stop primer for all the names you need in UK sustainable fashion. A firm and hearty handshake to Clare and style is... for doing all the legwork, so you can just get on and do your shopping.
Read the style is... 51 Alternatives To High Street Fashion here.
EDIT: earlier versions of this post incorrectly credited Arthur & Henry founder Clare Lissaman as the writer behind style is... We apologise to both Clare and Ceri Heathcote for the confusion.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see that Nancy Dee clothes are sewn in the UK!

    If you know any sources of UK-made T shirts, I'd love to know. I'm putting a list together on a google doc as there doesn't seem to be a good directory available. Contact via the facebook page is fine.

    As for Lissaman - she's not aware that there is a democratic welfare state in the UK, and that (plus a factory auditing work for the likes of Nike) clouds her judgement. It seems bizarre, but it's true. This is the quote.

    Adam Vaughan, journalist:

    "If we can generally guess what the problems are, can we shop by country, picking good ones and bad ones? Usually you can see where
    a product was made."

    Clare Lissaman, taxpayer-funded consultant, up the road from Brick Lane:

    "I don't think you can compare countries. You're just as likely to have a sweatshop down the road here in London in the east end as you are in China, India or Bangladesh. One of the best factories I've come across in the world was in China. One of the worst factories I've come across in the world was in China."

    Enough said.