What's New in Sustainable Fashion?

The latest from our House of Colour blogger Fiona Ingham

Let's talk about stats​

Recycled Bags

As a Dedicated Follower, it’s hard to face the depressing statistics surrounding Fashion, so let’s get them out of the way. The clothing industry has a huge carbon footprint, due both to production and transportation. The UN Environmental programme estimated that it causes 10% of global carbon emissions, second only to the oil industry, and more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. It also contributes 20% to global water waste.

Disposal of unwanted clothes and accessories results in 84% going into landfill, taking years to decompose, and releasing chemical waste. Here in the UK, 30% of clothes hang unworn in the wardrobe. Working conditions in the fashion industry can be poor. Production, particularly cotton and even worse some denim, competes for scarce water, while microfibres from synthetics pollute our oceans, ending up in the fish we eat.

Get the facts

As a believer in the huge benefits of our wardrobe not merely to provide ‘warmth and decency’ but to give pleasure and boost confidence, I’m interested in what is being done to mitigate these adverse effects of Fashion.

Transparency around the ethical credentials of brands is increasingly demanded. We can check many on the excellent App Good on You which gives scores, often surprising, on: workers’ conditions, effect on the planet and use of animal products, for 5000 brands. They also give updates such as on new developments in fabrics.

Improve our habits

Buying habits are changing. Many clients, as I do, now enjoy buying from charity/thrift shops and dress agencies. There can be more choice than the current ‘on trend’ offerings and clothes are often conveniently arranged in colour groups.

Some brands take back used clothing and give credit. A growing number of websites offer designer hire, a fantastic way to get that stunning occasion dress you will only wear once. Ebay, Etsy, Vinted, Depop, Vestaire, trade clothes for varied budgets. I meet many women and men who now enjoy ‘make do and mend’- perhaps embellishing that moth-holed cashmere sweater, refashioning a dated dress or reusing a beloved fabric.

And what of accessories? Sustainability and accountability applies here too and whilst it’s almost impossible to have a ‘fully’ invisible carbon footprint, many manufacturers will have a section on their website explaining what steps they are taking towards these goals. Choice of recycled fabrics, sustainable processes and environmentally accountable transportation of goods are all areas which can be checked before buying.

Colour Analysis can also help as it empowers clients to shop effectively. Mistakes are eliminated. All clothes and accessories are used and enjoyed. In the past Colours were often done to ‘dress for success’, look good and increase confidence. Now building a slimmed down, sustainable.

Click here for information on The Healthy Back Bag’s Impact and Sustainability programme 

Fiona Ingham

Fiona Ingham: Consistent holder of the House of Colour Star Consultant award each year since 1991.

Colour Analysis can be a private, Individual session or Duo session where two friends attend together in the Primrose Hill studio.

Personal Style can be an Individual session or a Duo session for two friends in the studio OR an Individual session on Zoom for clients who live further away.

[email protected]
Instagram @houseofcolourfionaingham
07791 507534

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