Nowadays, we hear a lot about sustainable fashion brands. But what does it really mean? Great question.
In short, sustainable brands are the ones who are ethically and environmentally friendly: creating clothing that reduces the impact on the environment, and cares about their employees well-being and working conditions.
But it’s getting harder and harder to find brands which are actually sustainable, because a lot of them just pretend to be ones, greenwashing their customers’ minds, just because it’s popular to be sustainable. So how to find brands which are actually sustainable and authentic?
8 ways to recognise authentic sustainable brand
Although it might seem difficult at first to understand which brands are sustainable and authentic and which ones are just pretending that they are, there are some easy ways to check it out. You can find all needed information on their online shop homepage, read customers reviews to see the whole view. Here are 8 simple tips which would help to recognise truly authentic brands.
Authentic brands care a lot about their vision and mission, their promises to customers. Although some things might change, they will always stick to their true values. It’s important for authentic brands that their customers would believe in their product, the way they do. Authentic brands don’t run after fashion trends, they create timeless pieces which will last forever. They care about quality over quantity.
Always check what materials are clothes made of. If it’s not vintage, made from wasted fabrics or recycled, it should be made of natural materials. Sustainable brands use only natural materials, like linen, organic cotton, or wool. If something feels unclear, you can ask brands where they are getting fabrics from, how are they made, etc. Just so you are completely sure that materials are made in the right way.
- Working conditions
Working conditions are one of the most important things. Hearing so many stories about sweatshops where they have such poor, even illegal working conditions, sustainable and authentic brands trying to give the best working conditions to their employees. It’s important that employees would be paid fairly, feel safe at work, won’t have to work overtime, and would have a normal life work balance. These are the basics of good working conditions. But the most important thing is that employees would feel treated right and feel comfortable in the company.
Your order came in 3 different fully plastic bags? That is a big NO definitely. Brands that care about the environment use eco-friendly alternatives. Look for brands that use recycled or biodegradable packages that include small amounts or no plastic at all.
Clear product labeling is very important for sustainable brands. Product information about materials should be very specific, no unclear and unnecessary information.
Authentic and sustainable fashion brands usually sell their clothing at higher prices. Why? There are a lot of reasons for it. Natural materials usually cost more than synthetic materials. Sustainable brands also pay more for their workers. Using packaging and labeling which is organic or recycled is more expensive than to use a simple plastic bag. When you put all these things together – you understand better why it’s more expensive.
Truly sustainable and authentic brands are very transparent about their work. You can find a lot of information about them on their websites and social media. Why? Just because they don’t have anything to hide. They talk openly about where they get their materials and packaging from, what their clothing is made of. They are not afraid to share information about the working conditions in the company. Sometimes it might mean admitting imperfection. There are a lot of brands which have to improve, but that’s the beauty of being transparent and being honest – it gives brand trust from the customers.
- Fair trade
Fair trade brands make their apparel based on ethical trade standards which means they promote safe working conditions, sustainable ways to make clothing, protect the environment and have transparent supply chains. In short, the goal of fair trade businesses is to make sure that everyone gets a fair deal – employees, customers, the environment, etc.
Sustainable brand example
One good example is LeMuse – a clothing brand based in Lithuania. Since the beginning they care about the environment, their employees, fair trade and of course, customers. They make clothes from natural materials, such as linen, wool and cotton. The Clothing making process helps them not to waste materials, as clothes are made only after receiving orders. LeMuse is working with local tailors, who are experts in this field. This brand does not run after trends, they create long lasting pieces which you will wear forever. Don’t hesitate to ask them some questions about their road towards being more sustainable!
Authenticity comes from transparency. If you feel unsure about something, always ask questions. It’s super easy to contact brands directly these days, through their social media or online stores.
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