A Sustainability Framework: Stoffa and Permanent Style

Wednesday, September 15th 2021
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Over the past year, Agyesh Madan at Stòffa and I have been talking about how to create something useful together on sustainability. 

Today’s article is our first step. It sets out a definition of sustainability, and then a framework of all the factors that contribute to it. 

It is hoped this will lead to several other things. One is case studies, with this framework used to structure studies of brands that have tackled these areas. This could create best practice, which can be kept on Permanent Style and shared as a common resource.

By using a variety of companies, from small artisans to large brands, this could enable us to compare types of product as well as individual approaches. 

Another is guides for consumers. This framework already provides a way for consumers to rate sustainability - the things to look for and the questions to ask brands they buy from. 

That can then be expanded, for example with an explanation of the industry accreditations, which can often be confusing. 

Overall, the aim is to create consistency through reference to shared, informed criteria, and then promote an open discussion around them. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

What type of sustainability?

There are at least three major types of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. 

In this project we are not talking about social sustainability - such as maintaining skills in a particular community, or the ethics of producing and exporting out of a community. Nor are we talking about economic sustainability - such as the short or long-term nature of different business models. And we will avoid separate debates, for example around human or animal rights.

We are talking purely about the impact of a brand’s product on the environment. 

1. Packaging

We will list these areas of impact in order of how the consumer sees them, rather than the steps in production. The first one most people think of is packaging. 

Packaging is more sustainable, broadly, the less there is of it, and the less it uses virgin resources. So if something is both recycled and recyclable, that’s a good start. 

If something is not recycled, you want it to be sourced responsibly (eg FSC certification) or use materials that are less intensive to produce - eg Bananatex.

Bear in mind, also, that plastic will often be required at some point in the journey, to avoid the product itself becoming damaged and therefore wasted. It can be useful to think of what is required for each stage: production to warehouse; warehouse storage; warehouse to customer; and returns.

The questions to ask are:

  • How much is your packaging recycled and recyclable?
  • How energy intensive is the non-recycled packaging?
  • How much plastic is used?
  • And at every stage of the journey: 
    • In production 
    • From production to warehouse
    • Warehouse storage
    • Shipping to client / Pickup from store
    • Return and exchange packaging
  • How is waste from packaging and daily operations dealt with?

2. Raw materials

Raw materials - what the product is made from - is the second most obvious area, but the one that has the greatest environmental impact. 

The first thing to consider is whether the product is made from natural or synthetic materials. Sometimes - for example in waterproofing - synthetics have a real, functional purpose. But often they don’t, and they severely affect the ability of the clothing to biodegrade. 

If we then look at natural materials, the biggest issue is provenance. There’s no point talking about the environmental impact of a fibre if we don’t know where precisely it came from. For large brands, this is often their biggest challenge, as each product involves a network of suppliers. 

It’s then relatively easy to analyse the fibre itself: how it's grown, dyed and then woven or knitted, and how waste is dealt with along the way. 

The questions to ask are:

  • What percentage of your collection is natural fibres vs synthetic fibres, and why? 
  • Can you trace the provenance of your yarn, fibre and original source of your raw materials?
  • How much of the fibre is grown via regenerative practices?
  • What raw material certifications do your suppliers have? 
  • How are colors rendered in your fabric? Which process of prepping, dyeing and finishing are used?
  • How is waste managed at your raw material suppliers?

3. Production

The production of the clothes probably gets the least attention, except when it comes to other areas, such as labour practices. 

Essentially, this is about the environmental impact of the factory or workshop. How renewable is their power supply? How do they manage waste? It could get very broad very quickly, taking in the way employees travel to work for example. But best to focus on the ones the producer can control - and highlight efforts like recycling water, or supplying electricity back to the grid. 

The questions to ask are:

  • What are the key energy sources for the electricity/power used at your production. Do these come from renewable sources?
  • How do you manage your raw material waste – mostly textiles and sometimes hardware. Is it upcycled, re-used, recycled, composted or landfill?
  • Is wash and care ease and its impact considered during the design and production of the garments.

4. After sales

As discussed previously on Permanent Style, the best way to reduce environmental impact is to buy less. The more the impact of making a garment is divided over wears, the better it is.

Key to this is being able to refurbish and repair your existing clothing. So how does the brand you are buying from deal with repairs? Do they offer a service themselves, or at least have other resources they can recommend? 

The brand also makes a choice in the kind of materials they use, and the making processes, as some make long-term care easier than others. Bespoke tailoring, with its in-built presumptions of alteration and repair is a good example. 

However, the biggest issue in this area is often consumers, who often don’t understand the best way to care for the product, and so extend its longevity. Part of the responsibility must rest there.

The questions to ask:

  • How easy is it to repair this product?
  • How easy is it to alter it?
  • What services do you offer yourselves to do this? 
  • What outside services have you tried and can recommend?

5. Transportation

An often under-represented aspect of a product’s sustainability is transport: how far did everything, from the fibres to the fabric to the product, have to travel to get to you?

This can be complex, because there are often some many stages in the journey of a product, including things like farming the raw fibre and and processing it with dyeing, spinning and finishing. 

As with after-sales, both producers and consumers bear some responsibility here, because the consumer knows when they are shipping things around the world. And in particular, when they are using online shopping rather than local retail, which usually involves more returns and exchanges. 

In food, the vocabulary for this has already been developed: the industry talks about ‘farm to table’, sourcing locally and eating in season. Although there has been some movement here in recent years around British cloth, for example, the vocabulary is not as well established with clothing. 

Questions to ask: 

  • Where does your raw material come from? 
  • Where is it processed, cloth produced, and final product made?
  • Where do final products ship from, and returns return to?

Further reading

Agyesh is more the expert here, rather than me. He has learnt a lot through research, testing and experience, but also leans on his contacts and good resources. Below are some he would recommend for reading until our next installment.

There is deliberately a range of views and perspectives - academic, commercial, regulatory and consumer. Some are articles, some podcasts; some are technical discussions around packaging, some consumer education. Hopefully they all have something to offer. 

Introductions:

Patagonia and plastic:

Discussions on Lumi:

Industry initiatives:

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Nick

Wow, this looks like a very big project. Hope it works out! Are you guys doing all the research yourselves or are you going to collaborate with others/ hire staff? Will the focus be on brands covered in PS or will you look at other major producers used more widely outside the ‘PS community’?

Carl

Very good initiative. An area that I think is important is how much clean water is used in the production of cotton. I am not an expert but have been informed that a lot of water is wasted in that area. It would make a huge impact if large suppliers of cotton used water in a responsible way. And that is something that producers of shirts, denim and chinos etc should look into.

Gary

It proves these studies do need to go back through the entire chain; as Patagonia discovered, the easy fix of not using plastic would overall cause a bigger problem than using them. I agree we can and should tighten things up but there is a place in the world for plastic, it is as with all things, a compromise. Good luck with the project, well done.

Robin

A very commendable idea.

I can make clothes ( cheap and expensive) last a long time but the only problem I have is the colour fading .
In the absence of professional dyers what does one do.

Also , it’s not as simple as “buy natural fibres”. Synthetic , despite its environmental impact, probably lasts longer. Rather like nuclear is better then fossil fuels .

And whilst I buy less and better that ethos comes with age and experience
e.g. I don’t need another £30 shirt so I’ll buy a better MTM £150 shirt .
But if we all buy less what hand to revenue (profit, tax). We already live in a world where working from home is ‘costing the economy’.
‘They’ want us to buy more , use more, pollute more. More ! More ! More !

Then one has the aspect of trunk shows by European tailors adding flights , shipping etc to the environmental impact .
Maybe the ‘COVID’ effect will lead to shorter distance supply lines and de-globalisation of the economy to a more attainable, sustainable model.

Having visited developing countries like India we’ve ( the ‘West’) managed to change a country from local tailoring , dying of clothes etc to mass global brands , fashion and all the accompanying waste .

Given the mantra of “maximisation of shareholder wealth” we are up against a wall of “green-washing” by corporates playing both sides.

I ignore social-messaging agendas (green, ‘phobic’, ‘isms’ etc etc ) and live by two mantras
– be kind to others
– Waste not want not

Let’s keep it simple !

P.S. I fully support your initiative and hope to read more . Good luck !

Jeldrik

I would actually add “style continuity”. If the brand creates something completely new every season, as a consumer you also quickly get the feeling that you need something new.

If only the fabrics have changed and the cuts have been adjusted a little, you will be satisfied with your clothes for longer.

I think this also contributes significantly to environmental sustainability.

Jeldrik

Makes sense.

Looking forward to the next steps. Great project! Thank you for this.

Mark

Hi Simon,
this is an interesting piece. There’s clearly a lot of very sensible suggestions here, but can I (perhaps provocatively) ask: why aren’t you including social sustainability in your project?
Thanks,
Mark

Lucas

What about the business model’s impact on sustainability: e.g. MTO vs mass production? Could for example an MTO business with a less sustainable supply chain be overall better than a mass production business with a highly sustainable one?

Lucas

I agree that you need to limit the project to make it manageable, but I also believe that the business model potentially is a great divider in this case (currently my company is designing simulations for sustainable transformation, so I’m well aware of the complexities). Would it be possible to create separate classifications (bespoke, MTO, RTW) for different business models, to which you then apply the variables you’re looking at?

John Edmund

Simon,
Congratulations on tackling what is a very complex subject.
In many ways the focus of PS and the audience it has gathered around it is unlikely to be a major part of the environmental sustainability problem – buying quality and artisan produced products sparingly. Where the clothing industry has to face the sustainability problem it has created is in its focus on driving ‘consumption’. Products produced on the other side of the world (generating air/sea miles of environmental pollution) by companies paying their workers next to nothing (even in terms of the norms in the economy they work in) that are then sold on the High Street for prices that make them instantly disposable, that’s the root of the problem.
Yes, PS readers (and everyone else probably) should be aware of the source of the clothes they buy and the impact on the environment but even if they multiplied their purchasing many times they couldn’t make the impact that charging a proper price (one that’s aware of the impact on the environment of overseas production) on the High Street for basics would make on reducing consumption (and supporting workers in the third world such that they could be more conscious of their impact on sustainability).
When I was involved with the textiles industry in my youth, we grew the raw material locally, spun it in the mill down the road (whose machinery was locally manufactured and the best in the world at the time), had it woven, dyed, finished (some processors by out-workers) and made up within 20 miles of HQ and sold it all over the world as the best that anyone could buy. We’re not going to return to those days in the UK but from a sustainability perspective, maybe we should try?

Willem

A very timely topic which I’m sure a lot of readers are concerned about.
From a consumer’s perspective, as you rightly point out, a lot can be done: buy less but better, care for your clothes, shop locally and refuse excessive packaging. All this is good for your wallet, the environment and the local economy.
However, a consumer has a very limited view of most of the other aspects affecting the sustainability of a product, hence the problem of transparency and trust. One may think there’s never too much transparency, but the “internet cookies consent problem” proves the opposite. Not many people read the privacy terms and conditions and certainly not for every website they visit, particularly not if they are in a hurry to get to the information they need right now. I wonder how many consumers read the sustainability declarations on brand websites before buying a pair of socks online or in the local shop?
I only see some sort of sustainability label that can give some clarity to consumers that is also practical in daily life – probably best in the form of a scale like the energy efficiency labelling for electric appliances. However, this will need to gain the trust of consumers, which will not be easy.

Willem

I wholeheartedly agree consumers should do what they can and many readers of PS will do so and others as well. I’ll read with interest your upcoming articles on all the various aspects of it and will no doubt learn much from them.
It’s probably not how the population at large will take this issue up, but then Rome wasn’t built in a day either.

Robert M

Interesting. Two things:

1) Will you try to quantify anything within this project? E.g. if one particular brand is found to introduce a supposedly beneficial practice into their operations, how much environmental benefit does it actually create? (E.g. as a percentage of their, and their industry’s, overall environmental imprint.)

2) One aspect is clearly missing from this ‘mission statement’ – animal welfare. Don’t you consider it part of environmental sustainability?

Andrew

An excellent project. Best wishes for it. One general comment and one specific one:
(1) Very good idea to keep it tightly focussed. It will be difficult to maintain that but I suspect, as you say, that it would just become an impossibly large and complex project otherwise. And don’t get discouraged if it proves harder than you thought – it will still be a really important contribution even if it doesn’t live up to all your hopes.
(2) Packaging. Shouldn’t the very first question be, how much packaging is there? Reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce comes first. Some brands just send their stuff out in paper tissue in a brown paper envelope. We need to reduce our attachment to packaging, and the extent we are influenced by it, in the same way that we try not to be swayed by a fancy advertising campaign.

Stephen

Hi Simon

Robin makes some excellent points and I fully agree with his simple summary and to go a little further in my parents generation the mantra was ‘make do and mend’. Sustainability was a general way of life although of course it wasn’t known as such.
On the point of focusing on environmental sustainability, it’s is important to recognise that social and economic sustainability are intrinsically linked. A change in one can impact another sometimes negating or worse any improvements. Also we must recognise many people not fortunate to have sufficient funds cost will always be primary factor in their buying choices with sustainability if considered at all would be a ‘nice to have’. Strategic change would look across the piece. That said I fully understand why you have adopted this approach and have to start somewhere. Perhaps through your start and network some companies may be encouraged look at the other areas.
What I would encourage readers to do is to write to larger (but not exclusively) larger brands to pose questions. Ultimately people can vote with their spend and that’s a lever companies understand.
Well done to you for kicking of the work.

Agyesh

You are absolutely right. Couldn’t stress more on the fact that everything is very deeply linked. It was a hard decision for us to just start with one but it felt necessary as it can easily become too overwhelming a challenge to try tackling every point at once.
Hopefully, the conversations stemming from this initiative will help reveal the interconnectedness of it all will reveal itself in a more organic manner.
Looking forward to it.

Stephen

Hi Agyesh,
Yes, right to start with ‘bite sized chunks’ and an eye on the bigger picture.

Kenneth

Good luck

Matt

On the subject of sustainability – I wish that high end menswear companies would stop including ‘free’ cotton tote bags with online orders.
If I’ve purchased something online and had it shipped to my home then clearly I don’t need to put it into another bag and carry it around. It’s just a second and completely useless piece of packaging.
After amassing a cupboard full of these bags, I now make it a point of asking for one not to be included. Surely a simple ‘out out’ (or better yet, an ‘opt in’) option at checkout would fix this problem? Why hasn’t it been done? Does anyone really value an endless sea of cotton totes?

Agyesh

That’s certainly a simple step most brands can take.
This is a tough challenge indeed and I think indicative of the fact that 

  • There is no single magical solution for every context.
  • Excess or extremes of anything will inevitably lead to further problems.
  • The possible solution can only come from working together on a deeper examination of the problem. And then sticking to it.

Hopefully, this is the start of a fruitful conversation among all stakeholders to develop better understanding.

Dr Peter

An excellent venture! The first reference in your list I looked at was the one about the Patagonia Worn Wear project. I have long been a supporter of recycled clothing. I very rarely buy brand new items of clothing. I buy vintage and recycled items quite a bit, and I also recycle my worn clothes on a frequent basis through the usual organizations, like Goodwill in the US. I think getting maximum use out of an article of clothing is not just a responsible way of consumption. It is also an approach that enables me to indulge my taste for vintage items, patina’d goods, and styles that are older and not contemporary. And the cost savings are, of course, substantial.
A second aspect of sustainability is related to recycled clothing, but can also be applied to new items. You mention this, of course: It is the use of some artificial materials (fibres, cloths) in the manufacture of clothing. The proportion of polyester to cotton in shirts is something I now consider more seriously than at an earlier stage, when I only bought 100% cotton or wool clothing. This is still a tough one for me, because the aesthetic and quality preferences for natural materials must be weighed against sustainability in reducing or eliminating such materials. I am comfortable now with a mix of natural and human-made materials in shirts, T shirts and underwear, and I am getting there, slowly, in sportcoats and suits.

substanceoverstyle

Great initiative Simon. Through the years you’ve mentioned your personal interest into subjects related to sustainability, and its commendable that you are now trying to make a professional and useful contribution to this field using PS as as backdrop. I recognize that this is not without risk, and it would be easier to skate along the status quo.
Having said that, I hope you maintain a positive attitude against (I feel) inevitable political backlash. Sustainability and the environment, like many hot topics in today’s world, can be quite polarizing. Sticking to facts over agenda’s will be hard, and I feel cynical remarks and short-sighted critique from both conservative and progressive angles are bound to happen. I don’t expect to agree with everything you will offer on this either by the way, but trying to make a positive impact should always be encouraged and respected!

Peter K

Maybe you mentioned it and I missed it but do you plan to include how brands deal with returned clothing. Do they clean and repackage for sale again, donate it or simply throw it away?

Ian A

So is the answer to rent our clothing rather than buying and possibly sitting unused in our wardrobes!

Lucas

To add to the difficulty of doing the right thing: a Norwegian study showed that renting clothes might actually be more harmful to the climate because of the increased transports involved in that business model. Buying a garment and use it until its end-of-life was the best choice (from a climate perspective that is).

Peter Hall

Simon, under production, could you add how employees are paid- in relation to local economies? Even if a company demonstrate the highest commitment to sustainability, personally I wouldn’t purchase if their employees have poor working conditions.

Martin McGrath

Hi Simon
This is a very worthy exercise, but my question is what do you do with the answers to all the questions you are posing?
You will amass a huge raft of data which will, I am sure, be filtered and sorted, and from this certain themes will emerge.
But then what? Greta? ER? Green Party?
I am honestly not being cynical (see my initial comment), but what happens next?

Martin McGrath

Of course, but if you take the requirements of the Companies Act 2013, what else does this do?

Stephen

I agree Peter. For me I tend to consider this more important than environmental sustainability in the first instance. It’s really hard to look at one area of sustainability on a standalone basis. I mentioned in my comment perhaps someone in Simon’s network could look at the other areas.

Don’t miss forest for the trees

Simon, with all due respect, I feel like the article misses the point that company culture is the most important driver. The checklist type approach is really susceptible to green washing.
Guess the company:
1/ all customer packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2023. Any plastic used will contain over 50% recycled content
2/ resale and recycling offers to be launched by 2023
3/ Member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
4/ Small quantities ordered for each line – only reorder when line sells well.
5/ Pays suppliers well in advance of the normal 30 day payment terms
Answer: Boohoo PLC of sweatshop and fast fashion fame.
IMHO, leave artisans alone, don’t ask them about what % of their facility uses renewable energy, judge them on their overall relationship with their supply chain and community, and help them win back market share from fast fashion – as a consumer this is the biggest impact you can make on the environment.

Agyesh

I would just like to address the point about leaving the artisans alone. I think as artisans and small brands, while not individually, collectively we have a massive voice. If together we start questioning our suppliers – mills, trim makers, finishers, we can make a massive change in the currently closed culture that lacks accountability.

As a maker, one needs to realize that the environmental impact of an actual product cannot just be measured in the resources used while making and selling the product. In fact, most of the environmental impact has already happened in the making of the fabric, finishing and trims. And unless we collectively demand and strive for more transparency and better practices there, we won’t be able to make any significant change.


Agyesh

Austin Pollak

Hi Simon,

Great article and conversation starter. I’m looking forward to reading the future installments.

I thought I could provide some interesting perspective as the owner of a young London-based clothing and accessories lifestyle brand with a strong focus on environmental sustainability.

My background is in bespoke tailoring where this topic is often evangelized, and it became personally very important. When we were first drawing up the business plan, we identified and clearly stated our values. Those values were then carved in stone by being represented in our logo. One of those values is “Planet.” By being front and center in the logo, we are always reminded to make the sustainable and environmentally conscious choice throughout our operations.

That’s what it comes down to, choice. Sustainable options exist throughout the supply chain and compromises don’t have to be made. As you addressed, packaging is one area where we saw an opportunity to put our values into practice. Like other brands, our products are wrapped in tissue paper, shipped in corrugated boxes, and adorned with branded stickers. But we made the choice to go about it as sustainably as possible, and all of the aforementioned is made from recycled material, is recyclable, but most importantly, compostable. No plastic is used in the packaging, and it looks as good as you would get on high street. We even plant more trees than are used to make the corrugated boxes, helping to offset the effects of production.

For the product box, ours is made from 100% wood and is handmade to our specifications. The logic here is that it not only does its job of protecting the product, but it’s exciting to receive, has a long shelf life, and it can even be repurposed.

I believe that sustainability is a journey, but ultimately, as a brand, if you are truly serious about it then you have to choose to put it front and center and at least find and consider sustainable alternatives at every step of your operations.

In the menswear world, quality is mainly associated with the “details” (hand-sewn, hand-padded, more than X hours to make, etc), but do you find that it is also being increasingly associated with values, like sustainability? I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Thanks!

Frank

It is good to hear that younger brands bring a fresh mindset into the game. All the best for your company.
You raised a very interesting point Austin. I think the handmade is sustainable (not necessarily in a ecological way) but as soon as people care more about a product – regardless of why they do that – they want to keep it, fix it when it breaks, store it carefully etc. it also effects the sustainable part also ecologically.

Nick

Hello Simon, a very worthwhile initiative – I look forward to seeing how it plays out.

As has been mentioned in the comments already a couple of times, I hope you can tackle the social sustainability piece (particularly human rights) at some point. The danger is that many brands will improve their environmental credentials only to further exploit cheap labour to preserve the margin lost in spending more to be better environmentally. Environmental issues in the garment industry seem to have overtaken the human cost appearing in column inches over the last few years – and the cynic in me suggests that’s not due to companies cleaning up their act in this area!

RG

An interesting article from today’s Guardian which discuses the complexities inherent in verifying the worlds cotton supply chain.
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/sep/16/food-fraud-counterfeit-cotton-detectives-untangling-global-supply-chain

Stephen

Hi Simon, just an afterthought. It might be useful at some point your covering some of the ‘Re sale’ businesses such as Marrkt (I’ve had very positive experiences with them). Whilst it will inevitably take us into the interconnectivity point such as the carbon footprint, extending the life of the items rather new production does appear positive a positive approach.

peter radford

Dear Simon
I am pleased to see that you are looking at sustainability purely from the aspect of the environment.
Raw materials used by brands in their products have by far the greatest impact on the environment and the planet.
There is no point in talking about the impact on environmental impact unless you know precisely where the raw material comes from.
When you look at natural fibres you need to know where and how they are grown.
Are river systems being drained and aquifers pumped dry to grow the cotton in your T shirt ?
Are grasslands being overgrazed and turned to desert to supply the cashmere in a Parisian/ Italian /British brand sweater.?

Simon this is a good project,

Regards
Peter

Agyesh

You are right there and that’s why the provenance of the raw materials and its processing is something very top of the list we created.

That said, I would love to introduce a little thought experiment here. As a client/consumer, if a maker was to take up that challenge and present you full transparency, 1. how much weight would you give to it when it comes to making a decision of buying from them over someone else and 2. how much more independent research would you do to verify that the information is correct?

Or does work need to be done to raise the basic standard of the playing field by introducing regulations. If you choose to go through this experiment, I implore listening to this podcast in our list of resources – https://www.businessoffashion.com/podcasts/sustainability/in-search-of-transparency-fashions-data-problem


Agyesh

peter radford

Overgrazing is something that is associated with cashmere. It is a well established fact that overgrazing leads to desertification and so adding to climate change.
Millennials are more conscious about the environment / what is sustainable and what is not. So I think it is likely they will chose to buy something that is proven to be sustainable over something that is not.

peter

Sir Cumference

Great initiative!

Peter

Some other questions, mostly from an online consumer who lives in the antipodes.

Delivery is one of the big producers of greenhouse gas:
Should bulk delivery options, although much slower, be considered?
Should the last mile deliveries be limited to one day a week?
Fit and Returns:
Should the retailer take extra care to ensure that the item will fit the consumer? This could take the idea that the consumer must provide the retailer with their body measurements before the sale can take place
Should the retailer alter the clothes to fit before shipment, following on from the above points, this would cut extra transport, waste etc.
If the clothes still do not fit, or are deemed unsuitable due to colour, style etc:
Should they be donated to the local charity, rather than shipping back to the retailer.
If the clothes have been altered pre dispatch, then no return is possible.

These questions are from my experience of relying on online ordering, which with clothing is much more like roulette than anything else.

Leo Skourdoumbis

Hi Simon
Thanks for another interesting article. I feel I’ve learnt so much about clothes from reading your articles, especially when it comes to bespoke and knitwear. I have even made some purchases from the PS Shop, which I’m very happy with.
I am, however, very disappointed with your latest Staffa article about “sustainability”, particularly the disregarding of human and labour rights in the manufacturing and production process. Part of the reason some of us buy, and wear, bespoke or high end clothing, is for the way it makes us feel. Sure, it’s also about the aesthetics but, as I’ve read in previous PS articles, feeling good about what you’re wearing is why many of us invest in clothing. So, I ask you, how can we feel “good” about what we are wearing if the human element in the manufacturing process is completely disregarded? And, if the labour component , vital to any item of quality clothing, does not even rate a mention, how can we truly trust the efficacy of the label on any item coming from such a brand?

Best Regards,
Leo

Rob P

Wonderful piece and I look forward to learning more! Considering the broad scope and multidimensional nature of this topic, are there plans to align or integrate with with other ‘big picture’ principles like the circular economy or the UN’s Sustainable Development goals?

David Flores

Great initiative. I encourage everybody to support and put in practice sustainable behavior as much as you can. Is us, consumers who will make things change not companies, they just encourage consumption, once we start changing they will react to what we want or perish in the process.

emptym

Great stuff. I’d add durability and non-trendiness. To buy less, we need to buy things that will last and not quickly go out of style.
Fast fashion is bad in part because the products are not durable physically and trend-setters, influencers, advertisers, etc. encourage people to quickly move on to something else. Do brands embrace more of a “timeless” design philosophy and encourage their customers to buy rarely?