Thursday, 24 March 2011

Eco-Fashion

A recent trip to the Science Museum in London inspired this post. Round about the time my batteries were running low (I was in dire need of some caffeine!), I came across an exhibition about eco fashion, which really got me thinking about what I wear and how it has repercussions on both the environment and the working conditions of those who work within the fashion industry.

This exhibition opened my eyes to alternative materials, colourants and ways of producing clothing that are far more environmentally friendly.


On display:


This dress made from old recycled Metro newspapers.

The skirt layers of this dress are made from ‘bioplastics’ which come from plant sugar(s).

This black dress is composed of nettle fibres (yes, the stinging kind) as they 
are stronger than cotton and apparently just as soft. Nettles grow well in 
the UK (they don’t need much) so they are a good source to use.

This shimmery dress uses a fabric called Morphotex which imitates the
 reflective nature of Morpho butterfly wings. This fabric reflects light and 
creates this  lovely shimmery colour without the need for dyes 
– which is a lot better for the environment.

How eco friendly are you?

Lots of people play their part by recycling, washing their clothes at a lower temperature and so on - but it’s never enough. There is so much more we can do to help. Here are some ideas of what you can do:

  • Don’t bin your clothes if they are still in wearable condition. Hand them down to others so the clothes get as much wear as possible.

  • And for the very same reason, buy second hand / vintage pieces. I love owning something that I know has a bit of history to it.

  • Don’t just throw out your clothes if they are ripped / holey. Transform them into something wearable. Old jeans can be cut into cute little denim shorts and given a new lease of life.

  • Buy ethical or organic clothing where you can (if you can afford to do so). Some of you may know about Free People (Emma Watson has done some modelling for them and they feature on sites such as ASOS.com). They have some lovely eco and vintage pieces that I’d love to own but for me personally, they are completely out of my price range. Ignoring this for just a moment (I can dream!), here are some of my favourite items from Free People:

 Trimmed Edges Eyelet Top - £78.32 


 Lace Cropped Kaftan - £139.51


 Eyelet Scalloped Shorts - £53.85


 New Romantics Cala Luna Tunic - £78.32


 Vintage Victorian Long Sleeve Shrug - £200.70


I love the floaty, relaxed nature of the fabrics. I can visualise wearing these on a hot sticky summer’s day, sitting on a beach somewhere, digging my toes into the sand. Accessorized with sunnies and a huge floppy hat, of course.

However caring for the environment needn’t be so expensive. 
There are cheaper alternatives where eco-fashion is a lot more accessible.

This has been demonstrated perfectly by Natalie Portman recently. 
For a pre-Oscar party she wore this incredible dress:

 Source here

Was this a designer’s dress? No. Believe it or not, this is actually a dress from H&M’s eco-fashion range called the Conscious Collection. Expensive? No. At least I find £29.99 for a dress is nothing compared to the £75+ that you may be expected to pay for an eco-friendly top elsewhere. Check out H&M’s Conscious Collection + price list here.

I love their scallop shorts:
 They are recycled polyester and at £12.99, they are more than affordable.

 Eco-fashion can be costly but we have to bear in mind the following:
  • Eco / organic materials can cost more

  • These materials are meant to be better quality and have a longer life span

  • They are usually not mass-produced like most high street clothing

  • If they are made locally rather than overseas, the production process costs more

I am willing to pay a little bit more for clothing that has come from an environmentally friendly source, where the workers aren’t exploited and work in good conditions. However being a graduate with a student loan to pay off, I do have my limits.

What do you think about eco-fashion? Is it too expensive?

9 comments:

  1. LOVE those shorts. Need to get me a pair of them. I love Free People also. Although I have noticed they do have a mix of prices but I know some of what's on their website is not all buy Free People so I guess it depends on the designer. They also charge $20 to ship to the UK :(

    Love the newspaper dress I made a magazine dress for an art project when I was at school xx

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  2. I think some eco fashion is over priced but H&M prove it doesn't have to be!
    Love that newspaper dress :)

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  3. The Free people stuff is so lovely! I really want those shorts too, might go and hunt them down :D
    xxx

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  4. so inspiring! i love the scaloppoed shorts. yes, eco feashion is def expensive i can't afford it :)


    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

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  5. Is this the same Free People as freepeople.com? I didn't know they did eco-friendly stuff...hmm. I really like the first dresses, I haven't seen them or anything quite like it before. I like the idea of being eco-friendly by wearing thrifted goods...and I can't imagine ever throwing any article of clothing away, no matter how much I hated it! So I guess I'm on the right track!

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  6. Eco friendly clothing isn't always that expensive, I bought some T-shirts last year in H&M's eco range that were the same prices as all their other stuff, which was good. But I know a lot of eco ranges are really pricey. And wow Natalie looks amazing - good on her! P.s I've just posted about my versatile blogger award :) x

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  7. Eco-friendly can be soooo chic!!!! Love the 2nd top!

    xoxo, deike from germany!
    www.tendertofashion.blogspot.com

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  8. Thank you all for your lovely comments :)

    @ Nicole Richie Anonymous: 20 dollars to ship to the UK?? Really? That's a shame. I really love their collection but I can't afford to pay that much on shipping :S

    @ Emma Jade: Thanks for your comment! I never really used to shop in H&M, but it's improved so much in the last few years :)

    @ Ashley: I know what you mean! I'm a serious hoarder when it comes to clothes!

    @ Helen: Thanks for your comment and the mention the other day - it was nice to learn more about you :) It's good to know that there are affordable options out there. H&M is one of my favourite places to shop at the moment!

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