Fashion Revolution Week
In this special week for sustainable fashion, I thought it timely to write an update on all the things we’re working on to protect planet earth and the people who make our clothes.
Lowie was one of the first sustainable fashion brands and we have always had a sustainable angle to everything that we do. Close relationships with our manufacturers as well as fair pay and conditions for their workers has always been a priority for us. Thankfully, things are changing and there are more eco-fabric options out there from which to choose. Manufacturers (rightly so) are driven by profits and this can make it difficult for small brands to meet the large minimum orders but we’re getting there. For many years we’ve focused on using quality natural fibres, minimising our use of packaging and offering ‘free repairs for life’, all of these aspects reduce the clothing’s impact on landfill. We’ve finally implemented organic cottons in our fashion prints, like our super flattering relaxed-fit camping print jumpsuit seen here. Lowie’s focus over the next year or so is to increase our use of upcycled and recycled fabrics and support the circular economy.
We’re still working on greening the entire collection but we pledge this to you: By 2020, 50% of the collection will be either organic, recycled or upcycled.
At Lowie, try to be as transparent as possible so if you have any questions about our fabrics, manufacturing or operational processes, please do let us know. If it wasn’t for you, our customers, we wouldn’t have a business so do let us know what you’re passionate about.
Over the weekend I spent quite a lot of time in Central London supporting Extinction Rebellion and learning more about how our planet is facing an existential crisis for every living being. Preceding a delightfully warm Easter Break, the hottest on record in the UK (thanks to global warming we can only assume), David Attenborough’s Poignant BBC documentary on Thursday night highlighted the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. Conversations with friends of varying political (including green) persuasion reveal that there is still some stigma attached to the new-age hippie look of the protesters. Do not be fooled: this is an issue facing all of us regardless of our political leanings. Despite resistance from a lot of corporates, even Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned banks they cannot ignore the climate crisis for their own fiscal security if not for the planet.
As we sit on the precipice of an environmental disaster, governments need to refocus and set themselves to task on legislating to reduce carbon emissions…. quickly. Brilliant scientists have been telling us for decades of the effects of global warming and it’s now time to really act on the science rather than giving credence to the economic output of businesses (and consumers) who are slow at innovating. From a business perspective it is possible to achieve the 3 p’s – people, plant and profit – as many innovative businesses have already shown. Legislation, for businesses and consumers is the only way to ensure that the uneducated and the change resistant contribute to the greater good. Tasking supermarkets with reducing packaging and other steps such as banning single use plastic cups and plates (France), banning plastic bags completely (India and Kenya) and banning single use plastic water bottles (San Francisco and Cinque Terre) could be implemented quickly and with minimal business impact.
As the 4th largest ‘economy’ in the world, the clothing industry has some wonderful opportunities to really make a dent in reducing our carbon output. Using natural and plant-based fibres like cotton, linen and wool rather than oil-based fabrics such as polyester and nylon reduces emissions and is far easier to break down at its end of life. As a follower of Lowie I’m almost certain I’m preaching to the converted, but now is the time to step up and be educational leaders in our work places and social circles to protect the planet.