As the sustainable fashion movement gains momentum, we look at two leading eco-friendly brands, while exploring how conscious consumer choices influence a positive market shift towards ethical and ecological fashion practices.
Consider this: When you stand in front of your wardrobe, swishing your clothing from one end of the rail to the other, do you ever wonder about the journey each piece has undergone before you could glide it so effortlessly from side to side? Who is the person responsible for crafting your beloved t-shirt? What was the nature of their work environment? What is the origin of the fabrics used? The details on the label could reveal a story that may change your perspective entirely.
The “Fast Fashion” industry, known for its environmental impact and awful labour conditions, has unfortunately dominated the fashion landscape for decades. This predominantly affects workers in developing countries, often women, who bear the brunt of low wages and unsafe working conditions. However, the tide is slowly turning. A transition to ecological and fair-trade clothing, far from being an insurmountable challenge or financially prohibitive, is gaining momentum worldwide under the umbrella of the ‘Slow Fashion’ movement. One of the greatest catalysts for this shift is our purchasing power, which can send robust market signals encouraging industry-wide change.
Sustainable Fashion: The Brands
Let’s venture into the story of Jan ‘N June, an eco-fashion label that was birthed from the personal desires of two women, Jula and Anna, on a sunny day in Hamburg back in the summer of 2013. Jan ‘N June exhibits its commitment to sustainable fashion through its stringent choice of materials, which includes organic or recycled cotton, recycled polyester and polyamide, organic linen, and Tencel. Tencel is a botanic fibre that they source from Lenzing, a company recognized for its eco-friendly practices.
Jan ‘N June has also established a transparent and ethical production process, partnering with a family-owned factory, managed by the Ciborski family, in Wroclaw, Poland. This partnership is rooted in a shared vision of maintaining simplicity, transparency, and an unwavering dedication to ethical garment production. They acknowledge and take responsibility for the significant human effort that goes into clothing production, extending from the cotton farmers in India, to the sewers in Turkey, and all the way to the designers in Germany.
Another trendsetter in the realm of sustainable fashion is ArmedAngels, a German fashion label that started its journey in 2007. ArmedAngels is debunking the stereotype that eco-friendly clothing lacks style and is solely for ‘hippies’. They are redefining sustainable fashion as something that can be trendy, chic, and a form of streetwear that embodies social responsibility. They accomplish this by partnering exclusively with certified fair-trade companies, and making a definitive social statement that exposes the darker side of the fashion industry while also presenting a promising alternative.
By shedding light on the unglamorous aspects of the conventional fashion industry and championing sustainable alternatives, these brands are inviting us to become more conscious consumers. They remind us that the power to effect systemic change lies in our hands. Every purchase made can either reinforce the existing fast fashion model or contribute to the growth of a more ethical and environmentally-friendly fashion industry.
As consumers, we can play a significant role in the sustainable fashion revolution simply by making more informed decisions about the clothes we wear. This shift towards sustainable fashion is not just a passing trend but a necessary change we must embrace to ensure the future of our planet and its people.