It’s a new season – time to update your wardrobe, but this year let your heart choose sustainable fabrics and earth-kind clothing.
Green and gorgeous
A new season is a perfect time to start positive, new habits, change your routine and shake up your life! Spring is the optimistic season, revealing new buds and shoots in nature – and when you can shed your heavy winter layers and peer in your wardrobe for lighter fabrics and brighter colours.
If you identify items there that you’ll no longer wear, ensure someone you love receives them, who would appreciate them, or donate to a second-hand or charity shop. Before you race to the shops or start surfing online to purchase the latest looks of the new fashion season, give some thought for Mother Nature with your choices, using our guidelines.
Before reaching to try on that love-at-first-sight dress, ask a few questions:
- What is it made of?
- How was it produced?
- How durable is the quality?
- How classic is the style?
Synthetic textiles, like polyester and nylon, derive from the plastic family of materials, which are detrimental to the environment in their production – and when laundered, release their residues into waterways. Not only that, these fabrics aren’t breathable so can make us perspire excessively while wearing them. However, there are more ethical brands that manufacture clothes from recycled textiles – or even recycle discarded plastic bottles to make fleeces and jackets, such as Patagonia.
Some materials are both skin-friendly and kind to the planet – just like products by N.A.E.!
Organic cotton – cotton has been around since 6,000 BC and was introduced to Europe around the 1st Century. Picking the organic variety significantly reduces our carbon footprint – its uses are exactly the same as non-organic cotton, but its production is more ethical. Chemical pesticides are shunned in favour of natural pest prevention methods and it is harvested through balanced farming for a sustainable ecosystem. When drawn to a soft tee shirt, first check the label that it’s made with organic cotton!
Linen – perfect for the summer to keep you cool and for winter to retain warmth, linen is thermodynamic yet lets skin breathe. This is a tough fabric which lasts for decades if you buy classic items like flowing summer trousers, a shift dress or staple items like vests as underlayers.
Hemp – also thermodynamic, hemp is structurally a cross between cotton and linen. It’s UV-resistant, so perfect for summer, and is an ideal choice for cool-looking casual wear, such as hoodies and denim-style jackets.
The leather look
Cork – gaining in popularity, cork is waterproof, and super-versatile – it can be cut or processed for diverse pieces of attire, similar to leather, for including beautiful bags and jewellery. So, think again if you think cork is only suitable for coasters and flooring!
Pineapple leather – Piñatex® is a dream fabric for vegans who love wearing leather but want to wear an animal-free version. Made with funky pineapple leaves, this cellulose material can be made into glamorous dresses, skirts, jackets, even in silver or gold – which make gorgeous statement pieces for your wardrobe.
Look out for emerging alternatives as well, such as leather made from cactus leaves or hardy fabrics made from mushrooms!
Besides investing in classic styles and durable textiles and making sure your purchases are sustainable, vegan and organic, don’t forget, not everything has to be brand new! Check out vintage, second-hand and charity stores – go with a couple of friends and rummage through to discover gems for your clothing collection.
Going for vintage doesn’t mean you have to strut around boldly in top-to-toe bright 60s dresses or 70s flares! Find an item you love, that either fits you well or that can be tailored to your shape, and pair it with contrasting items. For instance, a blazer with sparkly trimming or a blouse with a dazzling pattern, can look stunning with unassuming dark jeans and subtle jewellery for balance.