When Meghan Markle addressed the crowds at last year’s British Fashion Awards, 2019 is the year where “it’s cool to be kind”. Kind to the planet and also kind to the people and animals involved in the complicated supply chains that bring clothes to your closet.
From luxury brands to the high street, brands are working hard to minimising impact on the environment as the cost of fashion to the planet is becoming more and more apparent. The consensus at the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Davos was that unless global warming is held to 1.5°C, there will likely be a major climate crisis by 2040.
But with consumer awareness about how are clothes are really being made on the rise, it’s an exciting time for sustainable fashion.
Companies like Kering, which owns brands including Gucci and Bottega Veneta, are making strides towards sustainability and transparency through stringent corporate policies but the fashion industry remains the second greatest polluter on the planet, responsible for producing greenhouse gas emissions of 1.2 billion tonnes a year (more than international flights and maritime shipping combined), and 73 per cent of the 53 million tonnes of fibres used for clothes and textiles each year are burnt or sent to landfill.
Ethics and sustainability in relation to fashion is a scale, with three different categories in the production of ethical fashion, according to the Ethical Fashion Forum: social, environmental and commercial. For our edit of the most ethical and sustainable buys on Sloane Street, chosen for their credentials or because of the steps the brand is making in being kinder to the planet and its people.