Every once in a while, I find it beneficial to pause my eco mission and join the wider fashion crowd to see what's happening. An interesting and informative place to go is PURE London, arguably one of the UK's largest trade events for designers and fashion buyers.
While no stranger to these occasions, the brimming halls of Olympia London with their maze like layouts and colossal banks of clothing always manage to confuse and exhaust me - much like the antiquated system they sustain.
However, amidst the chaos, some sprinklings of hope for a more responsible future emerged and one speaker in particular caught my interest.
Jonathan Mitchell, Founder of menswear e-commerce shop Brothers We Stand, succeeded not only in highlighting, in the simplest terms, the issues that have long plagued the concept of Sustainable Fashion, but provided constant proof of their inaccuracy.
The below image is a recreation from the presentation delivered by Mitchell at PURE London, illustrating the concept of a consumer's Basic and Higher Needs:
Function: a product that fulfils a need
Style: with the ability to meet the demands of a modern customer
Price: at an affordable cost
Story: products that have been created for a reason, other than to simply be bought
Provenance: they are honest and authentic too
The reason for the slow uptake of a more Sustainable Fashion industry is due to concerns that it doesn't (as indeed, it once didn't) fulfil customers' Basic Needs of function, style and price.
However, as Mitchell's store demonstrates, a legion of brands don't just meet these Basic Needs, they go much further. By producing authentic products with original stories, they provide a level of luxury that is unreachable by Fast Fashion.
So who are the brands operating at the tip of this triangle, tantalisingly close to the ideal? Here are a couple of study 34 favourites, offering for the minimalists among us affordable and authentic knock out style:
Best Bit: Their enduring commitment towards preserving communities and the environment
Style, Function and Affordability at
Best bit: Their 'building blocks' - clothing designed to be versatile and easy to wear
Best bit: Their game changing approach to the traditional fashion retail system
Nobody is perfect but these brands show that a more conscientious and rational approach to fashion can benefit our environment, our wallets and our style.
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