Long ago, eco fashion shrugged of its frumpy image. Now aesthetics and ethics are merged.
Smugness is one emotion I don’t get the chance to experience as often as I would like. This is especially true for clothes. You can’t feel proud of your outfit unless you use the right methods. It is important to find the perfect outfit at the right moment and place.
This third option is easier now that green fashion brands have realised that people will buy ethical clothes as long as they don’t .look .like ethical clothes. Many labels combine aesthetics and ethics. Some people believe that the ethical component is organic. Christopher Raeburn, a British designer, makes clothes from recycled military fabrics and parachutes. He does this because he likes it, not because he is morally bound to. The new eco clothes show this change in attitude.
It’s also easier to shop ethically. There are many great boutiques that do the shopping for you, separating the good from the bad and ensuring your safety. You can just sit on the couch and browse their websites before you make a purchase.
My favourite two are The Acey and 69b. The former was set up by Holly Allenby, who worked at ethical footwear brand Toms, and the latter is by Merryn Leslie, an erstwhile fashion editor at i-D magazine. The 69b is a great option for basic basics in simple shapes or patterns. Although more trendy, the Acey is not as hard to find.
I love Reve en Vert too. Friends Natasha Tucker & Cora Hilts started this boutique last year. The site also stocks their own basics line, REV. I highly recommend the T-shirts. They are soft and delicious.
Try Gather and See. Steph Hogg is co-founder of this shop with Alicia Taylor. It’s a young eye that picked out their ranges of crop tops, playsuits, and short shorts. Gather & You can also see how clothes are classified by whether they’re organic or recycled, small-scale production or fairtrade. This appeals to me as I am often lost with eco terminology.
All of the above have great accessories sections, but if you’re looking for jewellery, do also look at Made and Justin Duance. Made’s fairtrade jewelry is handcrafted in Kenya by skilled artisans. They also offer training and job security. Justin Duance, a UK-based jeweller, uses recycled metals and reclaimed timber in his designs.
You will feel confident buying these products. You’ll be a happier person, and you may even find the perfect outfit for the right occasion. It’s not that you’ll find an incredible bargain. But it’s this unsustainable, selfish search that brought us to our current problems. Accept two of the three. This isn’t bad at all.