27 Aug 2017

"you know clambakes, trips to the cape!" YES I AM IN A LAKE!!!! 10 points to Gryffindor if you guessed that quote without googling it.  One of my favourite things about blogging is when I put on an outfit and go out with my camera to shoot, I always feel so creative in the process of putting together a fashion post and it definitely has stirred my interests into fashion. I stay up to date with trends and what's going on in the industry, whether that's through the internet, bloggers, magazines, etc but it's fallen into my normality of what I do for blogging. When I worked for a fashion retailer a big thing we worked on and spoke about often was the sustainability of clothing, something I've heard often in the fashion industry because I think we've come to an era where we're trying to do more for our world. We want the environment to last, we go to retailers who now create clothing from recycled clothes and support brands like Lush who do so much to change things up and promote better living.

Sustainable fashion is something that high street stores are doing, whether you're aware or not is something I think we need to improve on. Today's post is going to be something completely different to my usual outfit of the day, I've been given the opportunity to ask one of the UK's leading manufactures Hawthorn questions on the importance of sustainable clothing and their impact onto the fashion industry. I jumped at the chance to put together a list of questions because I think it's a subject rarely spoken about unless you have your toes dipped into the industry, so here's a little Q&A of what I think you need to know about how Hawthorn contributes to sustainable fashion.

Do you consider the environmental effects of the colours and prints you use for your customers?

There are a vast selection of eco friendly fabric dyes which have been developed in recent years to help sustainability within the industry. Although printing has a way to go before being full sustainable, the two most popular methods currently are water based and plastisol based. There are trade offs between the two, with water based requiring more energy to set, but plastisol being more harmful to the environment. The vast majority of prints we use are 100% Phthalate free, something which we do as a matter of course to ensure all printed items are as sustainable as possible.

When selecting fabrics for your customers, do you consider the end of life stage such as the implications of disposal?

Because our customers are individual and may or may not have a strong opinion on sustainability, it is hard to comment on the end of life stage of a garment, however by ensuring that we promote natural fabrics to our clients; something we already do, we will be helping to ensure that their retail customers have the option to recycle them in the future.

Can clothing you produce have a second life?

Absolutely, we actively promote sustainability with all of our customers and ensure that we not only do that, but get as much information as possible on to the internet and in to the general population. This helps build awareness among the consumer that clothing does not have to go to landfill once it is finished with. It can be recycled at any of the many recycling centres across the country. Not only that, there are services where people will actually come and collect recyclable clothing to put it to use in a second life.

What makes the clothing you manufacture ethical?

We have invested heavily in to becoming a manufacturer who offers ethical and sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, bamboo viscose and hemp for use by our customers. This is something that we have done following a trend over the past couple of years for eco friendly clothing, and the increased awareness of it via bloggers like yourself. The demand is definitely on the increase, seeing our customer base go from being 5% ethical a couple of years ago, to now having 15% fuly ethical brands and a further 10% using ethical fabrics in their ranges. We aim to increase this figure exponentially by offering more clients the option of sustainable fabrics at a reasonable price, taking away from the “fast fashion” image which the industry currently has.

What would be your number 1 tip on how to support/promote sustainable fashion?

Because we have put so much in to being able to offer sustainable fabrics to our clients, we are already seeing more and more brands appearing on the market which use these who otherwise would not have. Our number 1 tip to promote sustainable fashion is via social media, however. We actively promote sustainability via our blogs, and have recently written an article on the subject which can be found
here. By working with bloggers like yourselves we believe that collaboratively we can raise awareness of the challenges currently faced by the industry.

How can you as a manufacturer discourage disposal of the clothing you produce?
We are working very hard on the awareness of sustainable fashion at the moment, and a part of that will naturally include the disposal stage of clothing. One of the great things about sustainable clothing is that because it uses no harmful chemicals to produce, it is a higher quality fabric and lasts longer, so effectively you wouldn't have to worry about disposal for a longer period of time. With that being said however, the disposal of the clothing once it's come to the end of its life is down to the end user. As a manufacturer we have little sway over the actions of the end user, however by promoting sustainability as best as we can, we will help to bring about the general public to thinking more about how the clothing they wear can have an effect on the environment and therefore, think twice about recycling rather than disposing of.

I absolutely loved being able to ask Hawthorn questions about sustainable clothing, it's a subject I've been curious about and I loved the answers they provided! Thankyou so much Hawthorn, I'll definitely be putting more thought into my clothing their life cycle!

What do you think of sustainable clothing? Can we as a consumer make a difference?

Until next time guys,

keep updated with my social medias to see what I'm also up to:

I've just launched my own independent business so here is my shop too : Witchcrafts

(This post is in collaboration with Hawthorn)