With customers being aware of the impact of the fashion industry on the environment, people and animals more than ever, famous fashion retailers are finally taking positive steps towards a change. Lately, many have introduced eco-friendly collections to show that they really care.
So what are high street brands doing? For start, they are trying to reduce their footprint by creating ecological collections made of responsibly sourced materials. Those include recycled polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, as well as ecologically grown cotton and linen that use only natural fertilisers.
Another fabric that gained popularity over the last few years is Tencel, a material made from wood grown in sustainably managed forests. , Also, innovative natural textiles such as Pintex (made from pineapple leaf ﬁbre), Orange fiber (made from citrus peel) and Bloom foam (made from algae biomass) are opening the way for some seriously interesting fabric alternatives.
Secondly, retailers are trying to be more socially responsible, especially with their supply chains, but there is still a lot that needs to be changed.
Do these eco-friendly clothing ranges make them 100% sustainable? Definitely not. However, they are more budget-friendly than most of the sustainable brands currently on the market, yet, a great start for those who want to shop greener.
Want to know which fashion retainers are starting to become more aware of their environmental impact? Take a look.
WHAT: The Spanish retailer introduced its first sustainable collection last year, which makes the Committed line a fresh addition to the standard fashion range. The collection is very much basic – each neutral garment is a great investment piece you can wear day-to-night. Mango Committed uses environmentally-conscious materials, including local, linen and organic cotton.
PRICE RANGE: from £19.99 up to £89.99
Zara Join Life
WHAT: Zara’s journey towards sustainable fashion started with their Join Life clothing range in 2015 as part of its social and environmental commitment. Being one of the most popular fashion retailers around the globe, Zara decided to respond to customer’s needs with the new sustainability strategy. Join Life range uses organic cotton, linen, recycled polyester and Lyocell.
PRICE RANGE: from £6.99 up to £79.99
M&S The Cotton Edit
WHAT: One of the biggest British high street brands, Marks & Spencer, decided to tackle the issue of fast fashion with its The Cotton Edit. The collection features women’s, men’s and kids’ classic essentials made of 100% sustainably sourced cotton. This fashion giant claims cotton is the most important raw material for them, which makes their decision to focus on organic cotton first logical. However, we hope to see the rest of their collections being more ethical and sustainable too.
PRICE RANGE: from £4.50 up to £59
Asos Eco Edit
WHAT: Created in 2010, Asos Eco Edit is a curated range of sustainable fashion, beauty and jewellery goods. It includes 36 brands that have an ethical approach to their business, as well as lower environmental impact. They use either sustainable cotton, recycled materials, organic ingredients, or the items are handcrafted or made by artisans and craftspeople.
P.S. Look for the Eco Edit symbol that appears on every sustainable item Asos features.
PRICE RANGE: from £3 up to £59
WHAT: The first H&M Conscious collection was launched in 2010, with the idea to create an eco-friendly fashion line made with sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester. As a leader in the fashion industry, this Swedish retailer received a lot of criticism over the years regarding the ethics and sustainability of their brand. Still, a lot needs to be changed, but at least they are making an effort, unlike some other high street brands. Every step counts.
PRICE RANGE: from £5.99 up to £149.99
Monsoon S.E.W Collection & Artisan
WHAT: Monsoon has recently introduced the S.E.W. collection (an acronym for “seeking an eco-friendly world”) that features pieces made from sustainable fibres such as organic cotton and denim. The brand is also known for its Artisan collection, a sustainable clothing line made of handcrafted, embellished pieces created by skilled artisans across Asia.
PRICE RANGE: from £14 up to £65 (Artisan up to £499)
WHAT: The iconic American denim brand decided to step up their sustainability game too with the Waterless collection. It takes a lot of water to make a single pair of denim (we mean a lot, up to 10000 litres!), so Levi’s came up with a water-saving technique that can reduce up to 96% of the water normally used in denim finishing. Great job!
PRICE RANGE: from £50 up to £95
Editor’s note: Feature image via H&M.