19th June 2020

Culture / Featured / India Price

India Price is Right: About Ethical Fashion

17 5 mins 0

TThe time has come for me to talk about the thing I’m actually trained to talk about: fashion.

For 8 years, I’ve been lucky enough to do a job that I genuinely love: write about clothes. But the fashion industry isn’t as glamorous as people assume and by no means is it clean cut. In fact, the fashion industry alone is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

If we carry on as we are, this industry that I love so much will be responsible for 50% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Those are figures that we simply can’t ignore. 

India Price

So, what do we do about it? The answer isn’t simple and it’s definitely not an overnight fix. It’s going to take education and years of undoing for us to make a significant change because as Westerners, we’ve become used to a fast-paced and throwaway culture. And when it comes to fashion, that’s sadly been exacerbated by a generation who record their every move on social media, where they wouldn’t be seen dead wearing the same thing twice for fear of their Snapchat followers calling them out. A generalisation, but you get my point.

I’m referring to fast fashion: the clothes that are made in appalling circumstances by people who are treated like animals packed into a battery farm; that are made from toxic fabrics and dyes that have the ability to actually poison us; that we expect to be delivered to our doorstep the very next day, without giving a second thought as to where they’ve come from, who made them and whether we actually need them. Instead of supporting these brands, the huge conglomerates that produce thousands of pieces of clothing a day, we should be supporting smaller, more authentic and ethically minded designers who put their people and their customers at the forefront of their business. 

When I started to plan this article, I wrote a list of my must-haves when it comes to brands I shop from. I don’t get it right every time, but I try – and that’s all we can do. The list (which I haven’t edited) is as follows: 

  1. Supply chain = good
  2. Manufactured properly
  3. Transparent 
  4. Well-paid and treated
  5. Good materials + natural dyes
  6. Long-lasting
  7. No part of the process compromised

I also wrote this: 

  1. Don’t expect them to be cheap
  2. Do expect them to last you for years
  3. Very few brands are perfect – if you want an entirely ‘clean’ product, source the fabric and make the clothes yourself. 

And when making the clothes yourself isn’t really in your repertoire, try 3 of my favourite ethical brands that hit the mark as perfectly as they can. 

  1. Story mfg.

Story mfg.’s desire is to build an authentic, fulfilling and conscious brand that doesn’t compromise on its impact on the planet or people. They use regenerative agriculture to help reverse the damage done by the fashion industry; they use absolutely no animal products in any of their clothes; they educate their craftspeople and invest in giving them continuous and well-paid work; and everything they make is from organic, biodegradable materials that will, eventually, become a nutrient-rich fertiliser. storymfg.com

 

  1. Community Clothing

Community Clothing is the brainchild of one of England’s most influential menswear pioneers, Patrick Grant. The brand does what it says on the tin: create clothing for and by the community. Patrick started Community Clothing in the hopes of restoring economic prosperity in some of the most deprived areas in the UK by offering textile and garment-centric jobs and in less than 4 years, they’ve created over 130,000 hours of work. Every single built-to-last garment – and a large amount of textiles – from CC is made here in the UK, so you know you’re getting an authentic product and supporting a community a matter of miles from your hometown. communityclothing.co.uk

  1. Bassike

A recent discovery of mine is Bassike, an Australian brand whose philosophy is based on high-quality design and sustainable manufacturing by supporting local Australian industry by co-creating collections with trusted makers that the founders of the brand have known for years. The majority of their products are made in Australia out of organic cotton and jersey and the brand prides itself on consciously embedding sustainable practices at every point in the Bassike journey. bassike.com

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India Price, eldest daughter of Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, is a freelance editor, writer and digital strategist, specialising in fashion and lifestyle. Her clients include The Gloss, ASOS, John Lewis & Partners, Sir Plus, Next, Hackett and more. She is also an Associate Lecturer at London College of Fashion, tutoring 2nd and 3rd year students across various units in BA (hons) Fashion Journalism.

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