Can High-street Clothing Be Both Sustainable & Stylish? | Sustainable Dairies #1 – Nobody’s Child.
Sustainability is something that everyone is talking about nowadays, however, I find the whole things rather confusing if I’m at all honest. The main issue that I have is popular fast fashion brands jumping on the sustainability bandwagon for marketing purposes. It doesn’t make sense to me that a brand that has an overwhelming ‘new in’ section and 1000’s of products made from cheap, manmade and harmful materials can get away with marketing a nude tracksuit as ‘sustainable’ because it’s manufactured out of re-claimed materials. Please riddle me how that counteracts the rest of their products that created the fast fashion binge in the first place.
I will hold my hands up high and admit that I’m 100% not full sustainable when it comes to my purchases and my life choices. I try my very best though, I don’t eat meat and I don’t use plastic shopping bags or bottles. I also donate my un-wanted clothing to charities and family and friends, rather than having my unwanted items adding to the never-ending fast fashion landfill.
In the attempt to educate myself on sustainability and explore different ways I can adapt my life to be kinder to the world, I’ve decided to start documenting it all on my blog. Whether it’s trying various sustainable brands, cutting things out of my life and educating myself on the effects of the hobbits I obtain and (hopefully) showing those habits who’s boss.
“We can absolutely still love fashion while being aware of the environment at the same time,” says sustainable fashion activist Niomi Smart.
Can You Be Both Sustainable & Stylish?
One of my main struggles with being sustainable with my clothing is the fact that it can be very difficult for me to find second hand clothing that fit me properly. As a petite gal I find it hard to fit into second hand/vintage dresses if they’re not from the petite section. Luckily, I’m a lover of vintage clothing and tend to purchase items from my local second hand shops whenever I can and also purchase items from depop too. However, sometimes when I’m shopping second hand and vintage – although I love it, despite the difficulties I occasionally have with it – I feel like there’s ‘trends’ that I’m missing out on that I LOVE. I’m a lover of print and colour, so when my favourite prints and colours on in trend and being sold practically everywhere, it can be hard to not be completely sucked in by high-street deals and affordability when it comes to adding certain trends into your wardrobe. Although you can probably find something similar in your local charity shop, as a blogger, sometimes you do want something that is relevant and accessible to your followers. After all, blogging is all about sharing things and being truthful and honest about them before others go out and purchase them for themselves.
To answer the question though, yes, you can be sustainable and stylish. It’s all about doing your research and not allowing yourself to be sucked in by these over-compromising high-street brands. It’s important to discover brands that are like-minded and have sustainability at their forefront.
A Chat With Nobody’s Child Very Own Charlotte Haynes.
Sustainability is slightly different to everyone. Some people shop second hand, some people shop less and some simply up-cycle and reuse, what does sustainability mean to Nobody’s Child?
Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. At NC we start by designing a product we know you’ll wear on repeat, then set about making it sustainable. We source natural fibres, sustainable synthetics and upcycle fabrics to keep them from a lifetime in landfill. But it’s not just about a sustainable product, our people are important too. Every factory we partner with is required to reach internationally accepted social, environmental and human rights standards. That’s fair wages and good working conditions for all! It’s about balancing style, sustainability and value, without compromising on our desire to do good
As a consumer, do you have any ways we can be more sustainable?
Always! Our advice is to make considered purchases. Buy what you need, or what you know you’ll wear again and again. Also, let’s talk about your dirty laundry… roughly ¼ of your clothes’ environmental impact happens after it leaves the shop. Change the way you wash your clothes and make the environment, your bills and even your clothes better (see our About Us page for more info).
You’ve launched a collection of Organic Cotton Tee’s. What are the benefits of Organic Cotton?
Our 100% organic cotton T-shirts are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified. This means no chemicals or GMOs are used (regular cotton uses 16% of the world’s insecticides), making it better for the soil, farmers’ health and the waterways. Available in three colours, our essential tees are easy on the eye and the planet.
Do you think you can be trendy and sustainable – What are your tips for balancing the two?
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other. You can look on trend and be sustainable, that’s where we come in. Prints are a huge part of our brand DNA, from stars to hearts in your favourite shapes, that’s what makes our collections ‘trendy’. We take care of the sustainable part behind the scenes, sourcing sustainable fabrics, choosing the right partners, being mindful of our carbon footprint, we worry so you don’t have to.
What’s to come of Nobody’s Child in terms of sustainable fashion over the next few months?
We’re excited to launch new sustainable fabrics! Natural fibres are important to us, but to achieve the NC look and keep price points low, we also need synthetic fibres in the mix. That’s where our new Ecovero viscose comes in. Made from renewable wood sources and eco-responsible production methods, Ecovero generates up to 50% lower emissions and water impact than traditional viscose. Also look out for Repreve polyester, made from 100% recycled plastic (mostly post-consumer plastic bottles), resulting in fewer greenhouse gasses, while conserving water and energy. Plus, we’re keeping production of our autumn/winter knitwear in the UK, to reduce our carbon footprint.
5 Ways To Stay In Trend & Shop More Sustainably
Question Your Shopping Habits
Ask yourself if you really need an item of clothing in your wardrobe before you buy it. When you try an item on in a shop changing room, question the exact reason you’re buying, what fabrics it is made of what it adds to your wardrobe from a sartorial perspective, and how often you will wear it. If you can’t tick all four of those boxes, the item is probably not worth spending your money on.
Consider The Fabrics
Fabrics are something that we never really look at do we? If I like something and can afford it, I will like it without looking at the materials that it’s made from. However, some manmade materials are really harmful to the environment. Avoid non-biodegradable materials such as nylon, polyester and materials treated with toxic chemicals such as viscose. Instead, invest in fabrics such as linen and organic cotton that use less water in production than their non-biodegradable contemporaries.
Use a Tote Bag
I use the mesh net ones that fold into almost nothing inside a handbag. By using your own bag during a shopping trip, it means you’re automatically cutting plastic bags out of your life
Investigate brands’ delivery and packaging methods
Whenever possible, I would recommend shopping in person, but we all know that buying online is often more convenient. If you’re buying from eco-conscious brands, they’ll no doubt have eco-friendly delivery practices in place, such as multi-drop services and recycled packaging.
Clear out your wardrobe regularly
This is something I try to do before and after every season. Simply to ensure that everything in my wardrobe is getting enough wear and to make sure everything still fits. If I get rid of anything, it either goes on depop or to the charity shop. Another reason why I love clearing out my wardrobe is the fact it’s so easy to forget about some of the items you own, so it’s basically like I’m shopping my own wardrobe rather than the hughstreet.