Monkee Genes, A Q&A with the designer behind the phenom

Open your wardrobe and have a riffle around. It’s more thank likely that you will stumble upon a pair of jeans in less than 10 seconds.  With its durability and ease of wear, denim tends to be a staple in the wardrobe of most, and understandably so. If you are on the look-out for comfort wear or evening garments, denim – in all of its guises – is often the go-to.

Day to evening with Monkee Genes denim and Jumper from Beaumont Organic. Photo credit: Abdiwali Samatar

The impact of denim manufacturing on the environment is however, more than a little abysmal. Derived from cotton, denim is a labour-intensive and eco-abusive. At the start of their live, those jeans which finds themselves on the shelves retailing for as little as £4 (!) in a fast-fashion retailer may have passed through the hands of a Bangladesh garment workers earning as little as 23p an hour! As VICE explained, jeans are one of the few items we tend to keep for a long time, but their environmental toll is significant. We use huge amounts of water and chemicals to make them, though steps are now being taken to mitigate the impact. But with 2 billion jeans produced annually worldwide, it’s going to take a large-scale sustained effort to make a meaningful change. Read more…

How to Build An Ethical Capsule Wardrobe

Photo by Shalom Mwenesi on Unsplash

The issue of sustainability has been neglected for a very long time. Exploitation of workers, poor work conditions, minimum wage that doesn’t equal a real living wage are just some of the issues that are just now coming to the fore. Then we face such issues as chemicals that go into processing fabrics and the subsequent pollution and water waste – it takes around 700 gallons of water to produce a single T-shirt, not to mention the chemicals – non-organic cotton alone uses 22.5% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of all pesticides. Then we arrive to the lack of transparency by companies, as most of them don’t disclose where their fabrics come from, and some don’t even know where their garments are assembled.  Finally, there is the waste – did you know that an average person disposes of 81 pounds of clothing annually, and 73 percent of the world’s clothing ends up on landfills? We have many a fashion company to blame for the state of the fashion and our planet, but we also have to take a part of the responsibility. Yes, the garments we throw out usually end up where they do due to poor quality and lack of staying power. Hence, it’s our job to focus on quality, not quantity, shop responsibly so we throw away less and at least minimize our carbon footprint. Now, a capsule wardrobe comes with another set of perks – with a finite number of clothing items that mesh well together, you are able to create endless combinations that will make you look stunning every time. No more experimenting, no more wasting time on coming up with an outfit. There is nothing else left to do but take you on the ultimate guide towards building your own little pile of prized possessions that will stand the test of time, so let’s do this. Read more…

Armed Angels

Have you heard of Armed Angels? The Cologne-based fashion brand was founded by Anton Jurina and Martin Höfeler in 2007, and is slowly by steadily redefining what effortless sustainability is really all about. The brand, which I discovered with a simple google search and less than 5 minutes of research, creates a comprehensive and beautiful range of clothes for men and women, what it truly means to be organic is centered as Armed Angel’s core offering. Ethical fashion as a culture and business fairness as a mainstay are thrown in for good measure. Forget fast fashion, the future is about fair fashion and Armed Angels do it so well.

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Fashion Brands Approved By the Sustainable Movement

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

The sustainable movement is truly gaining momentum. The pillars of sustainability have been discussed at length at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, and a great number of brands, whether high-end, high-street or fast fashion have come to a conclusion that things need to change, immensely. Sustainability isn’t only about quality garments that will stand the test of time and create less pollution by not ending up in landfills quickly. It’s about fair and ethical production, decent working conditions and wages and environmental preservation. We want to know where our clothes come from, who makes them and if they’re paid fairly for doing so. The industry has their work cut out for them, but we as consumers have to take part as well. It’s our moral obligation to the planet to throw away less, and that is why we have a plethora of amazing sustainable and ethical fashion brands, approved by the sustainable movement, so let’s do our part and still look great.

Everlane

A brand whose clothes are produced in ethical factories, a brand who pays the utmost attention to quality – Everlane. This is a brand that spends months looking for the finest, purest fabrics as well as the best factories all around the world. Their policy is ‘radical transparency’. You know exactly what your clothes are made of and where they come from. The one thing that is highly specific about this brand is that they aren’t a slave to trends. They produce garments of the finest quality, but they mostly focus on quality basics, simple and flattering tees, minimalistic sweaters, Italian shoes, great denim and simple, understated dresses. They also produce incredible pieces for men, so everyone is welcome to shop at Everlane. It’s the perfect place to stock up on basics, and a heaven for sworn minimalists. Read more…

Lagom Collective

A huge thanks to The Lagom Concept for giving me the space to talk about THE TRIBE Empowerment Journal on Thursday. It was absolutely lovely to see what Madeleine and Alessandra are trying to build. One of the elements of sustainable fashion that most appeals to me is the independent fashion brands – small, emerging brands creating wearable fashion, brands you need to seek out off-the-beaten path. The pro? You know that the fashion you buy has a story you can discover much more easily, and you get to know more about the people behind the brand…they are just so more accessible.

The pop-up store will last for a few more days before Christmas so people can discover ethical brands like, YGN – a collective whose beautiful ethically handmade good are created by women supported by social enterprise in Myanmar, across to high-end JPL, an ‘Eco-Luxe for the Modern Woman’. I am a fan of pop-ups for many reasons…it gives brands the change to tell their story using innovative methods, and transforms an average shopping trip to much more of an event where you can interact with brands and ask questions…like Who Made My Clothes?

At The Lagom Concept, emerging and sustainable designers have been given a platform to showcase and sell their brands, allowing access to some beautiful pieces. If you are around East London this weekend pop in – there is a spa situation happening which you won’t want to miss. On a side note, it was great to start lactating halfway through the event – NOT! Real mama issues

Sustainable Maternity Wear

As the world of sustainable wardrobe slowly spreads its wings and includes more diverse options among its shelves, moms-to-be everywhere are starting to flock together around the very same cause – what on Earth should you wear? It’s these special days of your pregnancy that show you how our society still has some adapting to do. Simply put, sustainable wear is not on every corner, let alone garments that a future mom would be able to use.

However, as a devoted fashionista and a clever shopper, there’s so much you can to do diversify your beautiful pregnant capsule wardrobe and still stay true to your beliefs and preferences. Read more…

Leading Ethical Fashion Movements Right Now

Photo by Björn Grochla

Once upon a time, the decision-making process behind buying a simple t-shirt or a pair of jeans didn’t go further than checking the price tag. However, as we strive towards a greener world in all aspects of our lives, it was only a matter of time before fashion consumers everywhere would discover the truth of mass production, unbelievably poor working conditions for people making our clothes, and the toxins involved in the entire cycle.

Our obsession with trends and style has left us blind to the consequences of our own choices for a very long time. Now, however, we’re on the brink of a new era, when the price is not our only concern. We finally have ample insight into the brands and designer names that go the extra mile in their entire design-create-sell cycle. This gives us the freedom to opt for precisely what we want to support, not just merely in terms of fashion, but more importantly, in terms of values.

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