As consumers we’re becoming more aware of the ethical concerns in the fashion industry. As questions surrounding sustainability, eco-friendly resources and cruelty-free materials begin to rise, more information about brands and their environmental and social responsibilities are becoming available. Today I’m taking a deeper look into the world of ethical clothing and talking about four things you didn’t know about cruelty-free fashion.
Some Of The Biggest High-Street Stores Are Doing Their Bit…
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that some big retailers, such as Debenhams, are leading the way when it comes to ethical choices in fashion. Debenhams doesn’t support animal testing and offers a range of cruelty-free clothing within its stores and online. In fact, the brand even have a no-fur policy, including feathers, and do great work in other areas of ethical fashion too. In 2018, 97% of the waste produced by Debenhams was diverted away from landfill, and they have a £1 million annual fundraising target. One element of their commitment to ethical fashion that is particularly notable is their use of a diverse range of models, including rehabilitated troops from Help for Heroes.
There Is More To Cruelty-Free Than Just Fur
When it comes to cruelty-free fashion a lot of people instantly think fur, however, there are so many other materials you may have never considered. As mentioned above, feathers are something that most people don’t even think about when it comes to cruelty-free fashion. Another material that’s still heavily used in fashion is angora, which is wool made from rabbits. Even after the huge public attention through the mainstream media in 2013, which saw many high-street stores, including Topshop, H&M, Next and Primark, pledge to stop selling such items, there are still many that continue to. This means that consumers are purchasing items of clothing made from these materials totally unaware of the cruelty behind the production process.
You’ve Got To Read Between The Lines
When it comes to discovering which brands are cruelty free it can be rather confusing, as some brand statements can leave you with more questions than answers. Rather than conducting a simple answer to using, or not using animal products, or testing some brands have a sneaky way of trying to get around the statement. Basically if a brand doesn’t state they are cruelty free, or use vegan materials, then they are more then likely not a cruelty free brand. Some brands, however, use animal products/materials in their clothing but have educated their customers informing them that the materials are farmed responsibility, or in a sustainable manner and how this effects the production process.
There Are So Many Alternatives!
Leather made from mushrooms, or how about coconut! They can even make leather from coffee now. It is estimated that by 2025, the faux-leather industry will be worth £58 billion. With more and more manufacturers getting in on the action, we have more cruelty-free alternatives available to us than ever before. I’ve got a number of vegan boots and faux-leather jackets, and in all honestly the quality is just as, if not, better.
Sarah Jayne x