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Fashion Seasons and Shows: are front rows disappearing for the sake of Sustainability?

Over time, fashion shows have transcended the limitations of seasonal practicality. It is not uncommon to see a sleeveless dress in a winter collection. Winter is not at the same time all around the world, so we might as well empathize, right? Not so fast.

With big names like Gucci announcing that fashion shows will never be the same, what’s happening right now? What is the purpose of a fashion calendar?

Now, this is a must-read regardless whether you are “the-one-dying-to-be-watching-a-fashion-show” or not. This is about the future of something we love.

COVID19 is pushing your favorite brands to change and rethink their fashion collections.

Is it the end of busy catwalks?

Is Season-less the actual non-trend trendsetting a new era?

Image Credits: Renoon

Fashion Seasons are following the weather, no? No.

Fashion relies on so many seasons and they can be confusing as their timelines do not correlate with the weather. One thing is sure, 4 seasons are not enough anymore. In the Fashion Industry, there are usually 2 to 8 fashion seasons. Let’s have a closer look at the different Fashion shows usually on the agenda.

#Womenswear

Womenswear shows are the most famous events that usually last over a month. It starts in New York and then goes to London, Milan and Paris. This event happens twice a year as there is the Fall/Winter in February and Spring/Summer collections in September. How weird is it to see crop tops before the winter?

#Menswear

These shows, such as the womenswear, happen twice per year for the collections Fall/Winter in December or January and Spring/Summer in June. These collections aim to show what will be the “men-trend” one year in advance. It usually happens close to another fashion event such as the Haute Couture in order to maximize attendance.

(Some brands such as Gucci or Burberry, do actually combine womenswear and menswear as clothes are supposed to be gender-neutral)

#Haute Couture

Certainly, everyone’s favorite! Clothes from Haute Couture shows are made by hand, using the most prestigious craftsmanship and savoir-faire of the fashion industry. This event happens biannually in Paris as there are two collections, the Fall/Winter in July and Spring/Summer in January. Only a few luxury brands, such as Chanel, Dior and Valentino participate in this show. The collection featured made-to-order items. Fun fact? No Haute Couture item is sold twice in a country in order to maintain prestige (and maybe to avoid two celebrities wearing the same outfit at a gala)

#Resort and Pre-fall

Also well known are the Cruise and the Fall collections, not every brand decides to exhibit these two collections through a fashion show. It was initiated at the beginning to promote collections for wealthy families who could go to exotic destinations during winter. As a consequence, these collections usually overlap the other collections. There are no strict locations or dates to respect for these two.

For example, Pre-Fall is shown in December by some brands and in January for others and locations varies a lot from the South of Italy to France and the USA.

These collections are the most important ones and are also the ones with longer shelf lives.

“It’s about creating desirable pieces that can take you from October through early spring”

Derek Lam, Fashion Designer

How Fashion shows are turning green ?
Image Description from left to right: Reformation Dress; Hailey Bieber wearing reformation dress from Home

Are traditional Fashion Shows collections sustainable?

Fashion shows are the moment for a creative director to express themselves through installations, clothes and guests. Most of the time these shows have a story to tell or a message to share. Without a doubt, they can be considered works of art.

However,  the fact that brands must create so many new collections that fit into these tight timelines has serious implications for the environment and the way that we consume. Did you count them? Brands could have up to 8 fashion shows per year! Could this ever be sustainable?

Are fashion shows and seasons really necessary?

#Strict deadlines

Fashion Brands do shows in order to build anticipation and gauge interest for what will be available in their stores. Of course, the pieces are not created yet. What you see on stage are prototypes.

According to what seems to be appreciated the most, they will decide on quantities and launch the production. This means they have less than 6 months to produce everything and to put it in the store. It can be stressful and most of the time, the environment or social wellbeing are overlooked in the rush to meet strict deadlines.

#Fast Fashion

Have you ever noticed Fast Fashion Brands have Trendy clothes at a lower cost?

Well, this brings us to the second issue of fashion shows. By showing the collections in advance, fast fashion brands can cut their designer cost and copy luxurious brands collections. In order to make them cheap and in time, we will let you imagine how much sustainability is considered. Fast fashion brands are able to present new collections every two weeks. For most of us, buying in fast fashion stores was the only affordable way (until new easy options like rentals become available) to follow the trends of big brands. As a result,  80 billion articles of clothing are purchased each year (CNN). Aren’t you tired of this system and want to know how to break up with fast fashion?

#Tons of Travel

From New York to London, to Milan and last but not least to Paris.

People (mainly celebrities and journalists) come from all over the world to participate in-person to these Fashion Shows.  Can you just imagine the amount of CO2 emissions coming from flights?

A study from Zero to Market estimated the total amount of CO2 emissions due to travel for fashion shows at 241,000 tonnes! Only for the Paris fashion week approximately 70,000 buyers and designers fly to the capital.

#High amount of Waste

Each thing that you see on set, from the chairs to the curtains and the lights are all brought to the country of the show is happening and then used only once. As the cost to bring them back would be higher to destroy them. Do you know where all these materials end up? The same place our clothes go when we through them away.

How Fashion shows are turning green ?
Image Description: Kevin Germanier Upcycled Outfit; Kevin Germanier Upcycled outfit on Animal Crossing

Is there the need to cancel  Fashions Shows to make them sustainable?

Due to COVID Fashion shows planned between May to September are highly impacted. Some have been postponed, come cancelled and others held digitally. Is now the time to start doing things differently? Last year the trend was to make Fashion shows carbon neutral. Is season-less the new sustainable trend? Is the Fashion calendar becoming obsolete? What does it mean for the fashionistas out there following trends?

Let’s see different ways brands are managing the season-less due to COVID19.

#Cancelled Shows

It all happened during the lockdown. While some brands are still thinking on how to manage September fashion week, other brands, such as Saint Laurent made a public statement they will not hold a show in September and will from now on make their own agenda (BBC). Will this last Post Covid?

#Reduced Collections

It all happened during the lockdown. While some brands are still thinking on how to manage September fashion week, other brands, such as Saint Laurent made a public statement they will not hold a show in September and will from now on make their own agenda (BBC). Will this last Post Covid?

#Fashion From Home

During Covid19, the fashion industry had to find a way to keep working. Since the fashion shows were not allowed anymore, brands had to think differently in order to present their collections. It actually leads the industry in a lot of creativity such as shootings through facetime like the one we all loved of Bella Hadid for Jacquemus. How cool is it to see new collections in celebrities homes?

#Digital Fashion

Who said we needed to travel to see new collections each season?

Digital is always stronger in fashion and it would be no surprise that digital runways and showrooms will certainly play a larger role in the near future (BOF).

Recently, the photographer Kara Chung and the stylist Marc Goehring organised for the first time ever a Fashion Show on Animal Crossing including looks from Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Loewe (Vogue).

Will Fashion collections be presented digitally in the future? It would solve many environmental issues that the traditional shows currently have.

#Seasonless

In other words this would mean a collection without any seasonal changes. For a long time now, fashion seasons have been disconnected to actual seasons. 

#No-season = follow your own

Fashion is something we can’t be without. But, what we are seeing even now with Covid-19 is its true essence: creativity. How did people get so creative? The virus has forced them to adapt. Can brands extend this same creativity to their efforts in sustainability?

Why can’t we wear what we like? Are Leggings old fashioned? Yes. But there are still the most comfortable pants ever.

Sustainable brands often go for timeless fabrics and items in order to ensure we wear them longer such as the core collection of Filippa K, designed to be timeless.

Find more from Filippa K

Why did we wear ballerina shoes for years and suffer from stinky feet? Let’s never go back to that, please – or oops, if ballerina flats are your thing, whatever; you do you.

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Just by looking at their Colour: can you tell if Clothes are Sustainable?

Which colour fits you the best?

Do you wear pink on Wednesdays?

Colours are one of the most important elements of fashion and social recognition.

In the Middle Ages, colours were often synonym of social status. Blue and Purple often symbolized royalty and wealth, as they were some of the rarest colours: only a few plants, fruits and veggies can actually get these colours.

Even today colours are the first thing you see or filter for when choosing fashion items. They come way before materials, sometimes size or even price.

We all have that colour we feel so comfortable wearing. Which one is yours? Is it a toxic one?
Did you know that the dying process requires a lot of water? Each tone of fabric needs 200 tons of water (Fashion Revolution).

To make colours that are resistant to water, shiny and durable in time, many chemicals are used and often released into freshwater without any prevention.

Sadly, Fashion dyes are the second most polluter of freshwater: they contaminate 20000 tons of water each year (Advanced Science News). Is it possible to have less impact by just looking at the colour of an item?

To answer that question let’s see first the types of dyes available out there.

Is it possible to detect sustainable clothes by their color?Image Credit from left to right: Mean Girl; Green Peace (hazardous chemicals discharged into the Cihaur River, a tributary of the Citarum River)

What are Synthetic Dyes?

The least sustainable dyes are certainly the synthetic ones.

The most famous of them are the azo dyes.

Even if this kind of dye allows a stronger colour, this chemical is toxic as it contains aromatic amines.

Does your Wednesday Pink outfit contain these toxic chemicals?Maybe.

The most toxic pigments used are, the Blue made with Cobalt or the Yellow made with Zinc. They are linked to high probability of containing carcinogens.

These substances, and many other azo dyes, are harmful to your health and the environment.
Could you recognize them just by looking at an outfit?

Probably not. There are so many colours variations and chemicals out there that the only way to know if it is a toxic one would be for the brand to release more information about the chemical content.

Hopefully, legislation such as the REACH in Europe and the Proposition 65 in the US limit the amount of toxic chemicals allowed on materials, but it does not guarantee the manufacturing process especially if it happens out of these geographic areas.

Sadly, Greenpeace found traces of them in an area where big brands’ manufacture happened. Water in China was contaminated so much that it could cause cancer (Greenpeace).

One thing is sure! An alternative to the current method is necessary.

To push for a change, the Detox Campaign from Green peace has made a huge pressure on brands to improve the traceability of the chemicals used during the manufacturing process.

Many brands have since been collaborating with Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation (ZDHC) in order to improve its chemicals choice and to become less toxic (Detoxing The Fashion Industry)

Could natural dyes be the solution? 

Is it possible to detect sustainable clothes by their color?
Image Credit from left to right: Kings of Indigo; Indigo powder

What are Natural Dyes?

Back to the basis.

Beetroot for purple, green from spinach, yellow from turmeric, pomegranate for black.

This is something we ‘’as humans’’ were doing well and kind of lost over time.

Natural pigments are – as the name claims – made from natural sources. Plants, Fruits, Veggies or seeds are common sources of natural dyes. Completely Toxic-free, this solution is really attractive. The most famous and the oldest used natural pigments are Indigo, used as blue and Logwood, used as purple.

However difficult to use them for a large production.

On an industrial scale, the production of natural pigments could have terrible consequences on the environment as the land required and maybe the chemicals to grow the crops could be a consequence. Natural dyes are meant for small productions. It would require too much land treatment to go mass.

#Is it possible to recognize natural dyes at first sight?

The naturally made colours are less strong than artificial ones and they shade faster. Washing it or letting it too much under the sun could accelerate the fading.

To improve longevity or the contrast of the naturally made colour some brands still use some chemicals or natural salts to fix it better into the textile. Substances such as Chrome, Tin, copper sulphate are the most commonly used chemical in order to achieve strong contrasting colours with natural dyes.

Isn’t it a contradiction? Are natural dyes therefore still considered a solution?

Don’t worry!

Natural ways to keep the colour and to wash those fragile pieces are possible. Washing it with salt or vinegar is a natural solution.

Is it possible to detect sustainable clothes by their color?
Image Credit from left to right: Pangaia; Sakura Powder

Which colours are the most sustainable then? 

Is it possible to recognize a sustainable item just by its colour?

Not really… Green is not a colour.

Please stop with the idea that sustainable colours have to be neutral.

Sustainable colours are most of the time in neutral tones such as white, beige or light pink not because the dyes are safer but simply because neutral tones will last longer and will remain timeless.

An item paint with natural pigment will be easy to recognize not by its colour but by its colour ‘’irregularity’’ which actually make each piece unique.

The shades could vary through the production and through time. Honestly, this is certainly the beauty of natural dyes. Too sad fast fashion does not agree with this characteristic.

You want to know which colours are the most sustainable?

#Undyed colours

It is pretty rare but it does exist. Items that actually keep the colour of its materials au naturel. The colours of these pieces are usually white, beige or light pink. Less is more right?

#Timeless tones

As you will wear them longer and will never go out of fashion. Don’t forget slow fashion is certainly one of the best solutions to make fashion sustainable.

Here 5 steps to create your own sustainable capsule wardrobe

#Natural dyes

Made from fruits, veggies and plants. Some natural dyes can be quite strong such as the Indigo blue use for jeans.

Find the perfect pair of Jeans sustainably dyed from Kings of Indigo.

#Certified chemicals shades

Natural dyes are not always the most sustainable colours if fixed with other toxic chemicals. One way to ensure no toxic substance touches your precious skin is to go for chemical certified items. The most famous one today is the Oeko-Tex standard. Any item certified by Oeko-Tex has been verified not to use toxic chemicals.

Have a look at Woron’s underwear certified Oeko-tex

#Dyes on natural materials

It is always more chemically intensive to dye plastic. Have you ever tried to draw on a plastic element? Way more difficult than to draw on paper right? The same is for clothes, as it is easier to dye on natural elements such as cotton, hemp or linen, less toxic chemicals will be required.

Find out which colour fits you the best from Pangaia

Ok, so we know this topic is quite harsh, but we don’t want you to stop having fun with colors. Make sure to create an account and let Renoon do the work of finding good options.

Now, we have decided to wear only sustainable colours on Wednesdays. Don’t know about you. 

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This is How You Buy Clothes that Stand the Test of Time

It’s that time of year again. As you pull out your summer clothes and start to organize your closet, you may have accumulated a large “donate pile”. 

While you may have removed the ghosts of fashion trends past that no longer fit with your style or “spark joy” if you follow the Marie Condo method – something lingers. Glancing at those bags of clothing, it’s hard to ignore the feeling of guilt – the energy that was used to create the garments, the money that you spent on them, and the knowledge that they will eventually end up in a landfill. Some of the items might still have the tags on them.

Looking at this manifestation of overconsumption, I bet you’re wondering “if I create this much clothing waste as an individual, how much is created globally?” An average American consumer throws away a whopping 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of clothing per year (world wear project). Globally, we produce 13 million tons of textile waste each year 95% of which could be reused or recycled.

While donating clothes may make you feel like you’re contributing to something positive, the unfortunate reality is that most clothing doesn’t end up in the arms of someone who will love it as much as you once did. 

While the best clothes are resold at thrift stores, the vast majority of items are wrapped into enormous plastic bundles and shipped to developing countries. Pakistan is the top importer of used clothing, with 11 percent of the market, followed by Malaysia, with 7.1 percent, according to M.I.T.’s Observatory of Economic Complexity

So what’s the problem with shipping unwanted clothing to developing countries?

Foreign clothing imports can have detrimental consequences for emerging economies by creating an oversupply. When there is an oversupply of clothing, prices and demand are driven down, inhibiting the development of local textile sectors. This problem has become so significant that three East African countries have fought back and initiated a ban on secondhand clothing (New York Times). This move has created tension with the U.S., as these East African markets are worth over $43 million and provide 40,000 American jobs, including sorting and packing clothes.  Instead of being dumped in East Africa, the clothing now gets shipped to a U.S. landfill. 

How to Buy Clothes that Stand the Test of Time
Bales of clothing to be shipped abroad courtesy of HorizonEX

So how can this all be avoided?

You can keep your clothes for longer and consume less. When shopping for new clothing, here are some important questions to ask yourself to ensure that your new item will not end up in a landfill next summer. 

4 Questions to ask yourself to find garments that last:

1. Will I wear it again?

How to Buy Clothes that Stand the Test of Time
Kate Middleton // Getty Images

When deciding on a new shirt or pair of shorts ask yourself if you can see yourself wearing a year from now. Does it fit well? Does it match with your other clothes?

One unfortunate trend of the digital age is that many people feel pressure not to repeat outfits in their Instagram posts. In a recent Barclay survey, 9 percent of shoppers in Britain admitted to buying clothes online for the sole purpose of posting Instagram. After the photos, they simply return it.

There is no reason to be ashamed of re-wearing your clothing. Take a page out of Kate Middleton’s book and repeat your outfits!

2. Does it feel good to the touch?

Let’s face it: if a piece of clothing isn’t comfortable, you won’t wear it. If quarantine has taught us anything about the fashion industry, it’s that in times of crisis, people prefer comfortable clothing. 

One of the few apparel companies that has been thriving during COVID-19, at least online, is Lululemon, thanks to its wide array of hoodies and leggings that keep you comfortable in your home office (New York Times).

How to Buy Clothes that Stand the Test of Time
Note: Year-over-year change in sales through April 29  ·  Source: Earnest Research

3. What is it made of?

How to Buy Clothes that Stand the Test of Time
Jessica Pettway for The New York Times

For professional suits and dresses, a lining can greatly extend the life of your item.  For everyday work clothes, Tencel is an excellent option. Made from dissolved wood pulp, Tencel is strong, durable and comfortable. Luckily, Renoon has a wide selection of Tencel products for you to get started. 

For sweaters, pilling is the main issue as nobody wants to find themselves covered in those unsightly balls of fuzz. Synthetic fibers and blends have a tendency to pill more than natural fibers such as cotton or wool.

For T-Shirts, look for organic cotton. Organic cotton is typically more durable than conventional because it is less processed and not treated with harsh chemicals (like chlorine bleach and formaldehyde) that can wear down fibers. Once again, Renoon has you covered with our wide selection of organic cotton clothing. 

The bottom line: When it comes to materials that last, look out for linings, Tencel, and high-quality organic cotton.

4. Can I maintain it?

How to Buy Clothes that Stand the Test of Time
Image credit: Bea Fremderman

Buying high-quality clothing is the first step to ensure the longevity of your wardrobe, but like most good things in life, you need to treat them well. 

For example, bras tend to last longer when you hand wash them or use a lingerie bag on a delicate cycle. 

Elastic based items such as underwear, workout gear, and swimwear should never go on the dryer as the heat destroys the elastic. This rule extends to jeans and T-shirts as well.

The bottom line: To make your clothes last, wash them in cold water and hang to dry.

Beyond washing, you need to learn to replace buttons and stitch holes or find a trustworthy tailor who can do it for you. 

You can extend this level of care to your shoes by spraying them with a protective spray, which can prolong the life of leather and suede when exposed to the elements. If your favorite pair of booties start to fall apart, you can have them re-heeled at your local cobbler.

While overproduction and planned obsolescence in the clothing industry is a major systemic problem to tackle, the best way to start is with your own closet. But buying fewer “forever” items that you intend to wear well into the foreseeable future, you not only reduce your impact but signal to the industry where your values lie.

By next year, you may find that there is no need to clean out your closet at all. 

Find Sustainable Fashion Options

Cover Image: Audrey Hepburn (Eva Sereny / Iconic Images / ACC Art Books)

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The 3 Least Sustainable Items in Your Wardrobe

When you were a child, did you ever have nightmares about monsters hiding in your closet?

What if they have been in there all this time but you just couldn’t recognize them?

Today we bring your attention to the real monsters hidden in your closet: the unsustainable pieces of your wardrobe. Lucky for you, there are many ways to replace them and reduce your environmental footprint.

3 unsustainable pieces of your closet
Image Credit: Saey

The monsters hiding in your closet

#1 Swimwear

Whether or not it will be possible to go to the beach this summer remains uncertain, but worst-case scenario, our Instagram feeds will be full of balcony sun tanning pics.

Even though your bathing suits hold precious memories of the ocean, they could be toxic for you and the environment. Bathing suits are designed to endure harsh conditions, whether it be sand & salt water or the chlorine in your pool. This usually means that there are a lot of chemicals involved.

How is it possible for an item that makes us so happy to be terrible for us? What makes a bathing suit a “monster” when it comes to the environment?

 #Plastic

Most of the time your swimsuits will be made of Nylon, Spandex, Lycra, and Polyester. These synthetic fabrics are made from oil. They are also very cheap, so brands tend to use them a lot. In fact, an estimated 65 million tons of these plastic-based materials are generated every year. (Fast Company).

As with any plastic material, there is the issue of microplastic pollution. Even though we can’t see them, microplastics are released into the environment each time you wash plastic-based garments (Fashionista). To create a sustainable swimsuit is a challenging feat, as it needs to be both stylish and durable. The more common alternatives are the ones made from recycled materials or simply made from the regenerated nylon from plastic bottles called ECONYL. However, keep in mind that it is still made from plastic. Last year, the sustainable brand Reformation, launched a swimwear collection made from Econyl. Even though they were excited about this recycled collection they titled the release campaign “This swimsuit is not sustainable enough”, a nod to the fact that this solution still involves plastic and is far from perfect (Fashionista).

Check out Renoon’s collection of sustainable swimwear made from Econyl.

#Chemicals

Did you know that the dyes used in our swimwear are linked to cancer?

As you can imagine, in order for your beloved bikini to keep its neon colour when exposed to saltwater and sand, it has been dyed with strong and resistant chemicals. Common dyes include  VOCS, Lead, Chromium VI, all of which are highly toxic and could cause damage in the reproductive system as well as cancer. To prevent chlorine from turning your bathing suit yellow, waterproofing chemicals are necessary. The chemicals used for water resistance are known as called PFCs, which have also been linked to cancer and are highly toxic in the environment (Goop).

Shop MYMARINI swimwear, which are certified by Oekotex to not use toxic chemicals.

3 unsustainable pieces of your closet
Image Credit: CLOSED

The monsters hiding in your closet

#2 Denim

You can always count on your favourite jeans to give your legs the perfect shape. However, don’t count on them to be good for the environment. Sorry to disappoint you but your beloved pair of jeans might have huge consequences for the environment. You may be asking yourself how can I find sustainable jeans? And don’t worry, there are many options but first, let’s explore what makes this item one of the monsters in our closet.

#Water

Look at your jeans. How many litres of water do you think were required to produce them?

Its hard to believe, but one kilogram of cotton – equivalent to the weight of a shirt and pair of jeans – can take as much as 10,000–20,000 to produce (The Guardian). After the cotton is grown, it will need to be bleached, which requires more water to wash it out. Fortunately, innovation is on our side and we now have materials like Organic Cotton, which use much less water.

#Chemicals

The famous blue colour of our jeans is not as nice on the environment as it is to look at.

Sadly this famous dye has been known to pollute and contaminate entire rivers, especially in Asia.

There is a joke in China that says you can predict the ‘’it’’ colors of a fashion season by looking at the color of the Pearl River at Xintang, the blue jeans capital of the world. Do you want to find jeans that do not contaminate freshwater? Go for Indigo jeans.

#Sandblasting

Do you like jeans that look vintage but are actually new? Well in order to make them look old, denim is actually ‘’sandblasted’’. There are different ways to do it. The cheapest, most common methods scraping the surface of the denim with an abrasive material. This process is toxic for the manufacturers, as it releases silica dust into the air. Silica is linked to many respiratory health issues (River Blue). But don’t be discouraged, there are many alternative solutions to avoid sandblasting. The first is to actually buy jeans that are not damaged or go for jeans that have this worn-out look made from clean laser technologies. Have a look at Closed jeans!

3 unsustainable pieces from your closet
Image Credit: Veja

The monsters hiding in your closet

#3 Shoes

Who could have guessed that an item such as shoes, who’s primary purpose is to make us exercise are actually bad for our health? Shoes might be the most complex item in our closet as they contain many different materials and chemicals. Shoes are considered as one of the most terrible monsters in your closet for the following reasons.

#Leather

You might already know that leather is often criticised from an ethical perspective. Some brands such as Stella McCartney have all of their products animal-free. However, leather also criticised for its environmental impact.  An animal skin without any treatment would smell bad, dry quickly, and decompose in a short period of time. As you can imagine, there are a whole host of chemicals that go into making the leather suitable for purses and accessories.

On the bright side, there are many businesses using alternative methods of skin tanning such as vegetable ones that do not include any Chrome VI. If you want your leather to have less of an impact on the environment, you might want to go for less toxic leather or simply, chose vegan leather.

#Rubber

Rubber is a must-have, especially right now with the trend of “dad-shoes”. But what is rubber? Few people actually know that rubber is a natural liquid called latex made from plants. Being a high demand material, many forests have been destroyed to make way for rubber plantations. Natural latex is linked sadly to deforestation by Greenpeace and WWF (BBC). In order to respond to the high volume of requests and not be linked to deforestation, rubber is made artificially with a toxic material called PVC. This material has been boycotted by many famous brands as its production has had health consequences for workers.

To sum it up: The best option is natural rubber, but make sure it comes from a controlled and secured plantation! Check out Veja’s shoes, which have a rubber-sole that comes from responsible forests in the amazon.

#Landfill

Shoes are the most difficult pieces to donate. Once you don’t use them anymore and the comfort is gone; its value is lost. As a result, this item is often thrown away. What happens to our clothes when we throw them away?

The fact that shoes combine so many different parts make them difficult to recycle. Some shoes could last up to 1000 years in landfill (The Guardian).

It is estimated that worldwide, 20 billion pairs of shoes are made each year (The Shoe Industry). We will let you imagine how much landfill waste that generates.

#Chemicals

You might wonder how come some shoes especially the one you use for training, don’t smell bad while others do?

Well, of course, it can depend on our hygiene, but it could as well depends on the amount of anti-mold chemicals that the manufacturer has put inside of your shoes. In order to last longer, shoes need protection from moisture, mold and fungus. However, the chemicals used are as you can imagine quite toxic. One of them, called Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF) used to prevent the mold, was banned only 10 years ago.

Don’t pop the champagne just yet. The chemicals used to replace it are still quite bad for our health and could be particularly dangerous for vulnerable people, especially children.

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Here is where to find Sustainable Swimwear made from ECONYL® 

First things first, what exactly is ECONYL?

ECONYL was designed by the Italian company Aquafil as a sustainable alternative to nylon.

ECONYL is made by taking synthetic waste such as consumer plastic, deadstock and abandoned fishing nets, and regenerating it into a new material that is equal in quality to virgin nylon.

While ECONYL is a fantastic brand of sustainable material, recycled nylon is another eco-friendly alternative to look out for.

So, where can I find sustainable swimwear?

Don’t worry, Renoon has you covered.

Here are 3 beach-worthy, ECONYL based sustainable swimwear brands on Renoon that make us say, shell yeah.

1. Holiday Romance

Your Guide to Sustainable Swimwear made from ECONYL

Inspired by the romance of travel and the irresistible idea of a life lived away from the mainland and mainstream, Holiday Romance is an environmentally conscious swimwear label designed for the faultless female form and founded on principles of sustainability.

Find Holiday Romance on Renoon.

2. SEAY

Your Guide to Sustainable Swimwear made from ECONYL

SEAY designs, produces and distributes collections of sustainable beachwear using certified materials, a short supply chain and a marketing plan that encourages environmental awareness of the consumers by aiming for a circular economic system closed through the project called RE3.

Find SEAY on Renoon.

3. FISCH

Your Guide to Sustainable Swimwear made from ECONYL

Launched in 2017, FISCH was born from the desire to create statement swimwear with a superior fit and timeless design that helped to keep waste out of the ocean by up-cycling.

Find FISCH on Renoon.

Don’t forget to check out Renoon’s full selection of sustianable swimwear.

So, is Econyl swimwear truly the most sustainable option?

Your bikini can now be made sustainably with recycled material,  so what are we missing here?

Microplastics. These tiny pieces of plastic are released in the environment when we put our swimwear through the wash. These microscopic fibers cannot be seen with the naked eye, but end up in the ocean, where they can be swallowed by sea animals, and make their way through the food chain.

The good news is that microplastic pollution from your washing machine can be reduced by using filters like GUPPYFRIEND . You can also reduce your impact by washing in bigger loads and avoiding the tumble dryer whenever possible.

The verdict: While there isn’t currently a biodegradable material with the durability and qualities necessary for a swimsuit, recycled swimwear is the next best alternative. So, even if it’s not 100% sustainable, Eoonyl is a step in the right direction.

Cover image: FISCH, Bower, Filippa K.

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This is why ethical fashion is important

In wealthy cities, finding clothing is never a challenge. Basic items such as t-shirts and jeans can be found at any street corner, and are often taken for granted. However, there are many people who put their lives on the line each day in order to create the abundance of clothing that is enjoyed in the global North.

Today, May 9th, in honour of the World Fair Trade Day, we would like to draw your attention to the possibility of a better world for the workers behind our clothes.

Did you know there are workers that risk their lives each day by entering the factories in which they work?

Did you know that many garment workers still receive salaries that are far below national living wages?

Doesn’t everyone deserve decent wages and working conditions?

The recent scandals of unpaid workers have made it clear. Lives of garment workers are constantly at risk. Now more than ever, fair trade is needed!

Fair trade businesses are committed to honouring worker’s rights, prioritizing the wellbeing of artisans, farmers and manufacturers in their supply chain. It is a business model based on human and environmental well-being (Home of Fair Trade Enterprises).

Why is ethical fashion important?
Image Credit from left to right: Mayamiko; Mayamiko Garment Worker

What is fair trade in the context of fashion?

If a garment is Fair Trade Certified, it means that the employees & producers involved in the supply chain received a fair price for the product or their work.

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of fashion brands operate in accordance with fair trade principles.

Why is fair trade not the norm?

The reality is that paying people fairly costs more than we are used to paying. This causes consumers to question why fair trade products are so expensive when they should be asking how non-fair trade certified products are so cheap. Many people avoid asking this question because they know they will not like the answers that they find.

Why is ethical fashion important?
Image Credit from left to right: People Tree; People Tree garment worker

What do fair trade companies do differently?

#Ensure Safe working conditions

Did you know that even today, there are workers that risk their lives by producing clothes?

Take the Rana Plaza collapse, where garment workers were working in a building that had floors illegally constructed. The workers noticed the building was going to collapse but were still forced to work inside. If this business has been fairtrade, 1,134 lives could have been saved (The Guardian).

A fair trade business model makes sure that working conditions comply with local safety standards.

#End poverty

Another point that fair trade businesses make sure to cover is to distribute fair wages. What do fair wages mean? Well, they are usually based on local living wages. The idea of fair wages is to make sure that workers receive at least a salary that will allow them to afford basic necessities. Shouldn’t this be a legal requirement? It sounds crazy but there are many garment workers that are paid less than living wages and need to work overtime in order to cover their basic expenses.

Some ethical brands such as ArmedAngels supported their supply chain workers during the pandemic by committing to keep paying them despite cancelled orders. However, this is not the case for most garment workers. Among those who lost their jobs, is 21-year-old student Waleed Ahmed Farooqui. Farooqui relied on the earnings from his job in the garment industry to pay his university tuition and support his family of seven since his father, a driver, is out of work.

“What else can we do? If this lockdown continues and I can’t get another job, I will have to go out and beg on the streets,” he said.  (Bloomberg).

According to a recent article from the New York Times the pandemic has caused global poverty to rise for the first time since 1998, leaving half a billion people in destitution by the end of 2020.

#Tackle inequality

Some fair trade business models create opportunities for marginalized people and communities. They help to boost economic opportunity in areas that need it most.

Moreover, some businesses will re-invest a part of their profits to social projects. Did you know that 92% of Fair Trade enterprises reinvest all of their profit to advance their social goals? (WFTO)

Why is ethical fashion important?
Image Credit from left to right: Veja; Veja’s Factory in Porto

How can you tell if your clothes are fair trade?

It is not easy to tell whether your clothes have been made ethically or not. Unlike the material composition, it is not something that is mentioned on the scratchy label inside of your T-shirt.

However here are 3 possible ways to discover if your clothes are fair trade.

#Familiarize yourself with fair trade labels

If you are lucky, the symbol of an ethical organization or simply the words ‘’Fair Trade’’ could be displayed on the label or on the description tag. Don’t be fooled by Greenwashing – it is important to recognize the certifications that are credible and well-known. The most famous fair trade certifications are:

Fairtrade International, Fair Trade USA, Fair For Life, World Fair Trade Organisation and Fair Wear.

Yes, there are a lot out there!

If you find a logo that you have never seen or a vague statement about sustainability, a quick google search can ensure it’s not a marketing trap.

For example, ArmedAngels is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) which means they have a strict code of conduct for suppliers in order to ensure that workers conditions are up to code. They audit their suppliers and train the workers with the Fair Wear Foundations in order to ensure that they know their rights.

Shop ethical clothes from ArmedAngels. 

#Is the brand certified by a third party?

Go for brands that are certified by an official organization. You can go on the fairtrade certification website in order to see which brand is certified from them. For example, if you go on the official website of Fair Trade , You will see that fashion brand People Tree has been approved.

Another official website you dig into is the World Fair Trade Organization. A brand that you can find on the website and on Renoon is Mayamiko. This brand goes as far as letting the consumer know who made each product.

Other material certifications such as the Global Organic Standard Textile (Gots),  make sure that workers in the entire supply chain are safe. Discover organic and ethical clothes from Neeve.

#Understand your favourite brand’s business model

Certifications and labels may be too costly for start-ups and small businesses. Just because they don’t have the certification doesn’t that they are not ensuring fair working conditions for their workers. There are brands that prefer to give the money that could have been spent on certifications back to their workers. This information can usually be found on a brand’s website.

A great example is Veja, a brand that pays their farmers and manufacturers 30%-100% more than local market rates. They don’t spend money advertising this information, opting instead to dedicate it directly to people in need.

Why is ethical fashion?
Image Credit from left to right: Filippa K; Filippa K’s supplier

How can you celebrate Fair Trade Day?

Since its creation in 2004 by the World Fair Trade Organization, Fairtrade day has never been more important. Don’t you want to make sure the workers behind your clothes are safe during the pandemic?

Here are ideas on what you could do today (and every other day of the year) to create a more ethical world.

#Spread the word

Luckily, nowadays we don’t need to take to the streets to spread awareness, as this would be difficult during COVID-19.

However, in your hand, you have a huge platform to create awareness. It is your smartphone.

And as you know, “with great power comes great responsibility’’. Right, uncle Ben?

Just share the news! It is possible to look stylish while ensuring an ethical way of living for others. You could have more impact than you think.

#Buy Fair Trade

Many are committing to a more sustainable approach to fashion for the post-pandemic period. What if, from now on, you could buy only sustainable clothing? There are many different ways that  an item can be sustainable, and fair trade is definitely one of them. Why not commit to buying only ethical clothes?

Just imagine. You will be able to answer all those “I love your dress’’ comments with a cool, ‘’Thanks, it’s fair trade’’.

A fairly paid worker often allows for the support of an entire family. When families are able to thrive, entire communities are lifted out of poverty. By buying fair trade and spreading the word to make fair trade the norm, you can actually help break the cycle of global poverty and create a better world.

Finding sustainable clothes might seem time-consuming. But hey! That’s why we are here!  Renoon curates a wide selection of sustainable items that you can trust.