According to The European Clothing Action Plan, in the UK we buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe, with an average of 26.kg of clothing per person, per year, yikes. However, there is no doubt that sustainable fashion is on the rise, with 42% of millennials wanting to know what goes into their products before they click ‘order’.
We’ve all seen the pictures of deer wandering the streets of England, the canals in Venice clearer than ever before, and the coyotes which were spotted on the Golden Gate Bridge. There is no doubt this pandemic has helped wildlife around the world and lowered our pollution levels. Nature is healing, and it’s not just nature that’s reaping the benefits of COVID, the fashion industry is also taking a well-earned break.
With climate change hitting mainstream news more than ever before, younger generations are voicing their intent to do their bit and to seek out a more sustainable way of living. In terms of the fashion industry, this could mean anything from upcycling to using cruelty-free products. Last year, the fashion search platform Lyst saw a 47% increase in sustainability-related keywords in their user’s searches, such as: ‘organic cotton’ and ‘vegan leather’.
Publications such as Elle and Vogue have also incorporated more sustainable fashion into their magazines, with research showcasing an increase of 83% in editorial mentions of the term ‘sustainable fashion brands’. Not only are smaller, independent businesses pushing to the front of the fashion world with their eco-friendly pieces, such as Pact, ABLE, and tentree, they are also kickstarting bigger brands to think more consciously about their fashion. 2020 marked 100% recyclable packaging for online company ASOS, as well as an option to filter your website search to just sustainability clothing. Fashion houses such as Armani, Gucci and Versace have ditched the fur to produce eco-friendly products and H&M have launched a global Garment Collection programme which allows their customers to bring in bags of clothing for recycling with the incentive of a £5 voucher to be used when you next shop with them. Mindsets are finally changing, with nothing but positives for the future.
Here at Voir, we’ve rounded up the most affordable sustainable brands even if you’re on a budget:
Perfect for your basics, this affordable organic clothing company is ideal for your everyday wear and has ranges for both adults and kids.
This brand focuses on fair pay and equal treatment for all women, their pieces are made all over the world and offer consumers intricate bags, jewellery, and wardrobe staples.
Not only is Kotn affordable, but they also produce their clothes in a safe production environment. Working directly with farmers, the company ensures fair pricing for cotton.
4. REF Jeans
Launched in 2017, REF Jeans creates affordable denim with just a third of the water used by mainstream denim companies.
5. Girlfriend Collective
With sizes ranging from XXS to 6XL, the company makes their clothes out of recycled materials such as old hot water bottles and fishing nets. Workers produce clothing in safe working conditions with fair pay.
Words by Grace Dembowicz
Graphics by Georgia Walters