Brands Paving the Way for Affordable Sustainable Fashion
In the late 1900s, there was a boom in fashion. With manufacturing taking place in foreign lands, the increase in global communication, and the advancement of technology, cheaper and accessible fashion was pushed to the forefront. People began to purchase more, leading to drastic production growth. This acceleration led to what is known today as fast fashion. Around the same time, eco-fashion companies also began to gain traction. While fast fashion was addictive and cheap, its detrimental effects on the environment could not be ignored.
Currently, we are able to see the importance of slow fashion and a holistic approach to production and consumption. Recycled and upcycled fashion has been gaining popularity and eco-friendly brands are being fully encouraged and supported by the public. While we are nowhere near the sustainability goals we need to obtain, brands like Patagonia, Janji, and Happy Earth are paving the way for affordable sustainable fashion.
Paving the Way: Patagonia
Since 1973, Patagonia has been paving the way for affordable sustainable fashion. Since 1993, clothing items began being made with recycled materials. In addition, Patagonia operates its own recycling cycle as well. If a consumer owns an item of clothing from Patagonia that cannot be repaired or is unwanted, they may return it to the store to be recycled and reused. 64% of their fabrics were made with recycled materials, 100% electricity used in production was powered with renewable energy, and 56,000 clothing pieces have been repaired, recycled, and reused in their own recycling operation. Since the late 1900s, Patagonia has pledged themselves to be environmentally friendly, and evidently speaking this was certainly not a case of greenwashing.
As far as affordability is concerned, Patagonia is putting their efforts in as well. A t-shirt may retail for around thirty dollars, twice as much as a shirt from Walmart or Target. However, because they are devoting energy into paying living wages and sourcing ethically, it is a reasonable price to pay.
Following Suit: Janji
Another company focused on outdoor activity and activewear is Janji. One of their most passionate stances is their belief that water is a human right. To combat this global issue, Janji has decided to donate 2% of all proceeds to support clean water projects in the countries that inspire their collections. In the past, they have drawn inspiration from Africa and made clothing based on that. Not only do they strive to expose consumers to new and exciting cultures, but they also put an honest effort into bettering the environment and inhabitants with these cultures. Some partners include WaterAid from South Africa, Splash from Cambodia, Water for People in Bolivia, and many more. Furthermore, Janji has also started the Janji Collective. It is a membership program where consumers can pay fifty dollars to get a 15% lifetime discount and access to select drops. Janji then takes all proceeds from Janji Collective to donate to clean water programs.
As far as the actual clothing goes, Janji is very aware and eco-friendly. 100% of their fabrics are certified to be non-toxic and free of harmful chemicals by third-party organizations. At least one third of their current collection is made from recycled materials. For future goals, they are looking to introduce natural fibers without sacrificing durability and comfort. They are also creating running wear that can sustain multiple wears before washing in order to conserve water use.
Compared to cheaper retailers like Walmart and Target, Janji’s prices are at least twice as much. However, Janji is a small business that produces technical performance wear with sustainability at the forefront. Along with their pieces being able to sustain multiple wears before washing, there is reason to believe that one item from Janji will last longer and feel better. Janji cares about the environment as much as profits, if not more. In fact, the word “janji” actually translates to “promise” in Malay. As they have shown time and time again, their promise is always to the earth first.
An Earth-First Mindset: Happy Earth
Happy Earth is another brand that values the environment and tackles their products with a purpose in mind. They are sustainable with organic farming practices, using 100% vegan materials, and prioritizing fair trade, wage, and habitat over profit. In addition, they are also 100% carbon neutral and aim to keep it that way. They also participate in various projects in order to keep the environment clean. Specifically, they sponsor a program called the Native American Methane Capture where Ute members capture and get rid of methane, a substance twenty-five times more harmful than carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, proceeds go to purchasing affordable cookstoves for third world countries like Uganda. WIth more efficient cookstoves, Ugandans are able to use less resources to cook the food and expend less waste into their environment.
As far as prices go, their items are priced reasonably and affordably. Tee shirts cost up to twenty-five dollars. Currently, they are having a sale and prices have dropped to seventeen dollars. Compared to other fast fashion retailers, Happy Earth’s products are barely priced higher but offer a slew of positive benefits for the environment.
A Better Future Ahead
As people keep demanding changes, companies will keep stepping up. It is up to us to apply pressure and advocate for change. Numerous brands have begun to pave the way for affordable sustainable fashion, and there is hope that this trend is here to stay indefinitely. With climate change becoming a real issue, now is the time to change for the better and take care of the earth as well as she has taken care of us.
We at ÀLA.HAUSSE are committed to providing fashion lovers with a multifunctional ecosystem in which they can practice more sustainable consumption habits. Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.
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Originally published at https://alahausse.ca on August 21, 2021.