As we harness technology to reduce the amount of landfill waste and create eco-friendly fuels through recycling, the fashion industry has sometimes faced criticism for being slow on the uptake.
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However, some companies should be applauded for their efforts to go green — here are five ways fashion, textiles and beauty are embracing sustainability.
Few fashion houses can claim to have been at the vanguard of sustainable haute couture for several years.
But eco-friendly designer Stella McCartney has consistently championed ethical fashion in an attempt to clean up her chosen industry.
Her stylish faux leather shoes have proved extremely popular with customers, and a collaborative collection with Adidas featured jackets and footwear that were 100 per cent recycled.
Breaking into the competitive international sneaker market is no easy task — newcomer brands are not always easily accepted by choosy customers.
But Veja recycled trainers became popular thanks to classic minimalist styles that are as popular with casual fashion fans as serious collectors.
The firm sources sustainable rubber and cotton from Brazil and pays local farmers twice that market rate for raw materials. If bigger brands follow suit, it could make a major contribution to creating a more eco-conscious leisurewear industry.
Fashion and beauty go hand in hand, so it’s not surprising that more health and wellbeing companies are going green.
Sustainable beauty supplier Kijani Living is a case in point — offering a range of effective holistic products with natural ingredients like organic wheatgrass, blue green algae and wormwood.
Natural products can outperform synthetic equivalents in everything from skincare to digestive health and more customers are being convinced to make the switch.
As ethical beauty goes mainstream, this is one niche that looks set to expand.
Many materials that were previously thought to be of little value are now offered second lives thanks to innovative recycling.
Coffee ground fibre is a terrific example — the yarn from this material creates clothing fabric that’s comfortable, breathable and even offers UV protection.
And don’t worry — it doesn’t make you smell like an oversized cappuccino.
When traditional fabrics like cotton consume so much land and water, manufacturers are always on the lookout for sustainable alternatives.
You’d hope that a label producing rugged clothing for the great outdoors paid proper attention to ecological issues — it makes sense for their continued success.
And eco-conscious outdoor brand Patagonia don’t let the side down — since 1993 they’ve made a sterling contribution to a greener planet by using recycled polyester from plastic juice bottles in garments like board shorts, fleeces and shell jackets.
The company awards grants to grassroots eco-activists working on a variety of worthwhile projects and claims its recycling programme reduces water, air and soil pollution.
These five ways fashion, textiles and beauty are embracing sustainability prove that it’s possible to create stylish products without endangering the environment.
Do you use sustainable fashion products? Share your thoughts in the comments section.