Over the last year, the sustainability movement within the fashion industry has become much more mainstream, with many customers committing to buying products made with more sustainable practices. While often sustainability is thought as primarily being associated with environmental issues, there are actually three pillars to sustainability; environment, economic and social.
Ethical practices within the fashion industry have been highlighted through numerous events recently in the press, sparking a global conversation about the conditions of manufacturing factories and garment workers. Consumers subsequently began asking questions regarding the ethical practices of brands and companies, prompting the hashtag #whomademyclothes to trend on Twitter.
Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go when it comes to slave labour, child labour and unethical practices, but there are some brands who are striving to do better and pave a more sustainable path within the fashion industry.
Swimwear, in particular, has seen a sudden surge in brands who are using more environmentally friendly fabrics, ethical practices and some even supporting ‘giving back’ programs where they support charities via their profits. With this being said it can be daunting as a consumer to know what to look for when making a purchase. To simplify the process we have compiled 3 main points to look out for before your next swimwear haul!
Look on the brands website and see if they have any information on their manufacturing process. Who makes their clothing? Are they working in safe conditions and being paid fair wages? If this information is not readily available, then send an email and see how transparent their response is - a truly ethical brand should be able to answer these simple questions in an open and honest manner.
Opt For Local -
Choose brands that source and make their products in one central location. This emphasis on local production often means that you are supporting a small region or community that work collectively to produce garments.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to purchase items from your home town, but finding out if a brand is able to source materials and produce clothing in one region. These brands will often know the ins & outs of their supply chain and can be one way to purchase more ethical and eco-friendly products.
Environmental Impact -
Opt to shop with brands who are aiming to improve their impact on the environment. Unfortunately, no fashion brand is able to have a perfect record or zero impact, but it is important to strive for a more sustainable future. Look for brands who are choosing to use more sustainable fabrications, recycled, up-cycled & biodegradable are all keywords to look out for and often means you are buying an item that has is more eco-friendly.
Look for a brands policy on single use plastics. Single use plastics, with a bit of extra cost, can be completely (if not partially) reduce from the supply chain in 2020 and is a great way for a fashion brand to reduce their impact on the environment.
Ethical & Eco Brands We Love
Luxury sustainable swimwear brand Guava Babe is born in Bondi, Australia and hand made with love in Brazil. They create gorgeous swim styles that are playful and fun, with bold colours and exclusive print designs.
The 80s inspired swimwear styles that are truly flattering on the body, in luxury fabrics. The perfect combination! Guava Babe produce all their styles ethically in Brazil, fabrics are sourced from local suppliers and they even use a groundbreaking environmentally friendly textile to produce a large proportion of their styles.
Made for the sun, the salt & the sea. Zulu and Zephyr is an Australian lifestyle brand who design gorgeous, elegant and cool pieces. Their collections are timeless and effortlessly chic.
Zulu and Zephyr are committed to responsible sourcing and manufacturing, ethical practice and even 'giving back' by supporting a number of charities close to their heart.