When we see the label "sustainable," our ears perk up with excitement. We love hearing about it. But what does it really mean to be a sustainable brand? You might assume it's all about selling organic cotton/linen dresses or something of the sort, but it's not that simple.

Promoting Sustainability:
There are numerous ways in which brands can adopt a more sustainable approach to reduce their carbon footprint and overall impact on our planet. The good news is, you can dress fashionably without adhering to the boho style (not that there's anything wrong with that style of course) and still support environmentally conscious brands. Can I get a resounding "hell yeah"?

Navigating Fashion's Challenges:
We understand the challenges posed by fast fashion brands flooding the market with low-quality products but also, low-priced clothing. Furthermore, some brands engage in greenwashing, which aims to confuse and manipulate consumers (for an in-depth discussion on Greenwashing, check out our blog: Slow vs Fast Fashion). In this bewildering landscape, it's understandable that you might struggle to find sustainable options for your wardrobe.

Fear not, dear Leppards! We are here to lend a helping hand. We have gathered a few essential points to consider when seeking out sustainable outfit options:

1. Design Intention: Opt for designs that boast high quality, versatility, and timelessness. Such pieces are more likely to stay in your wardrobe for the long haul. They can be cherished by future generations, or you might even decide to sell them at a pre-loved market. Brands that prioritise durable designs contribute less to landfill waste, and that's something truly admirable.

2. Production Runs: Let's join together in declaring, "Farewell, Fast Fashion!" Brands that align their production with genuine demand and produce lower quantities increase the likelihood of selling their stock without resorting to deep discounts or contributing to landfill waste. While a sale price may entice customers, it's important to consider that when something is obtained at a bargain, it's easier to discard it later if it doesn't fit, falls apart, or simply loses its appeal.

3. Manufacturing Ethics: Brands should forge partnerships with manufacturing factories worldwide that prioritise social compliance and minimise their environmental impact. Compliance should encompass training workers in environmental protection, adopting plastic-free alternatives for packaging and trims, managing wastewater and air emissions responsibly, establishing ecological waste management systems, implementing environment protection policies, and submitting regular water consumption reports to local environmental departments. Brands should also collaborate with fabric mills and suppliers that possess certifications such as GOTS, Lenzing, and recycled materials, and make use of eco-friendly dyes.

4. Giving Back: Support brands that give back to your community! While cherishing our environment is crucial, it is equally important to support and uplift the individuals who call it home. Brands that prioritise community support wield a powerful tool for positive change.

5. Fabrications and Trims: This point underscores the significance of those organic linen/cotton dresses we mentioned earlier. Sustainable brands should embrace organic fabrics, utilise minimal dyeing processes, exhibit excellent durability and wearability, and possess a long lifespan. Additionally, they should opt for metal trims instead of plastic and employ packaging made from paper, recyclable materials, or reusable alternatives to minimise our overall reliance on plastic. Given that we've learned to cope with soggy straws in our iced lattes, embracing plastic-free fashion should be a breeze.

6. Culture: Are you supporting brands that genuinely integrate sustainability into their core values? Trust us, you'll know when a brand wholeheartedly embraces sustainability; they wear it proudly. Businesses that prioritise sustainability as part of their culture hire individuals who continuously explore new ways to make the brand more sustainable. These individuals personally promote an eco-friendly lifestyle, both in their choices and in the garments they wear.

In essence, remember to look beyond mere fabric composition and consider:

How was the dress made?
How many dresses were made?
Who made the dress?
What purpose does it serve?

Take the time to conduct thorough research and prioritise quality over quantity. Discover brands (and trust us, there are plenty of slow fashion brands out there) that are transparent about their fashion brand management and its impact on our planet.

SL x