How To Shop - Without It Costing The Earth OR Your Health!
We all wear clothes, we all have wardrobes and drawers full of the things… but how many of us know where they’re from? What materials were used? How they were grown? Who made them? Were the workers treated fairly? How did the garments get to me?
Let us take a moment to connect with the love and labour that goes into each piece of clothing, from the making of the materials, to the distribution and life cycle of each garment.
Be bold. Be true. Be brave. Come out of of the closet, and emerge as…. A FASHION REVOLUTIONARY.
Here at House of Leyla, we think it’s time to take a breath and support change.
The modern fashion industry is one of the most exploitative and wasteful industries in the world of both people and planet. It is structured by a linear, out-dated system which has been designed to create wealth for a select few, while many others pay the price.
With new garments being released every week instead of every season, pressures are mounting and it’s become more important than ever to shop more consciously/mindfully.
Rebuilding our mental wardrobe towards this can be a daunting feat, we can be faced with all sorts of clutter and get our knickers in a right twist, but the first step is always education and we are here to break this topic down so you can be empowered to start making more sustainable and eco-friendly fashion choices that promote equality, transparency and ultimately make you feel good knowing you’re doing good.
‘Lets build a fashion industry where everyone benefits and thrives’
This post will cover; thinking about clothing beyond just the purchase, the sacred art of adornment, the benefits of dressing ourselves in organic and natural materials, certifications to look out for and eco-conscious alternatives available to us in the fashion world/ to kick-start our journey
Thinking About Clothing Beyond Just The Purchase
Where was the cotton grown?
Is this piece bio degradable or will it end up adding to the landfill crisis?
Were the garment workers treated fairly?
Do you know the impact of your fashion choices socially and environmentally?
Does your wardrobe inspire you?
Do you know if your clothes are negatively affecting your health?
One of the biggest modern tragedies is the complete disconnection many of us have with our clothing and the complex journey each piece goes on; from the materials used, to the people sewing and creating, to the water usage, distribution, then it’s life once it’s been ‘thrown out’.
For many, buying clothing is looked at as a mere transaction, or financial exchange, when in reality it’s so much more than that.
Whomademyclothes? is a campaign, amongst many others, being run by Fashion Revolution - a global movement who demand radical, revolutionary change - to get consumers thinking about this very important question & use their power to ask major retailers to be transparent and pave the way for a better future.
Find out more about Fashion Revolution and how you can get involved and create lasting change here:
Statement by Fashion Revolution
“ We hope that by 2020 the public starts getting some real answers to the question “Who Made My Clothes?” We hope to see thousands of brands and retailers willing and able to tell the public about the people who make their products. We hope to see makers, producers and workers become visible; we hope to see thousands of their stories told. We hope to start to see more consumer demand for fashion made in a sustainable, ethical way. We hope that we start to see real transformative positive change begin to take root.”
Think of clothing as a vehicle of transformation
The Sacred Art of Adornment
Your wardrobe is part of your well - being and self-care. Much can shift when you take the perspective that styling is more than just looking ‘good’ for a night out, it is a soul imprint that we can create this deeper meaning with. It’s a profound way to express ourselves and speak the message of sustainability wherever we walk. Personal Soul stylist, Kerry Wilde encourages her clients to think of their closet as a library of pieces, with every single one coming into their collection as an art piece. She recommends avoiding ‘impulse buys’ by creating a separate mood board on platforms such as pinterest/ instagram and adding a picture of the new garment that is calling you, then checking back in a week or so to see if it still aligns. Kerry is also a big advocate for moving into creativity through working with tailors and mending. Buy less, choose well, make it last.
More from Kerry and the art of intentional dressing here:
To learn more about redefining clothing habits/ practices through mending visit
Choosing Natural & Organic
Excessive use of chemicals in conventional cotton production has led to a great deal of environmental pollution and severe health implications for the farmers that grow it.
Organic cotton is about growing cotton crops without using fertilizers, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals, therefore helping to improve the quality of the land, prevent water contamination, and conserve biodiversity, as well as protecting the farmer and consumer from negative physical and mental affects.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and one of it’s main functions is transdermal absorption which means the quality of clothes we wear is very important. Switching to natural & organic materials will have a big impact on your wellbeing.
Enjoy shopping with a clear conscience
Whilst awareness of the issues surrounding the industry has certainly grown over the last few years, many are still in the dark and unaware that their clothes may be contributing to the climate crisis and human exploitation. Here is a list of 5 eco-conscious brands that promote responsible production & consumption/ uphold a more conscious pace & process / have sustainability & fairness at their core:
Lower Beast Side
And of course the HOUSE OF LEYLA - Clothing range
Shopping from ethical brands, including those named above means you as a customer, are partners in changing the fashion industry and encouraging the shift to a new fashion eco system - one where those historically sidelined or exploited by the traditional fashion industry are recognised and centred as leaders and creators, and manufacturers participate in zero-waste and equal rights, keeping the welfare of our planet and it’s people at it’s forefront.
‘Be the change.’
Want to know more the fashion industry and get serious about your part in this very important movement check out the following documentary.
Documentary: The True Cost
Aside from choosing more ethical and eco places to buy your clothes one of the most impactful changes is to buy second hand. I have purchases come great pieces including brands like Lululemon on Depop.
Here are some more online second hand clothes retailers to check out:
Poshmark, Ebay, Vinted, Etsy
FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK IS HAPPENING
19-25TH APRIL, 2021
Fashion Revolution Week is the time when we come together as a global community to create a better fashion industry. It centres around the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more on 24 April 2013. This year, as we mark 8 years since the tragedy, Fashion Revolution Week will focus on the interconnectedness of human rights and the rights of nature. Our campaign will amplify unheard voices across the fashion supply chain and harness the creativity of our community to explore innovative and interconnected solutions.
To finish I would like to leave you with some certifications to look out for...
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)
To be part of GOTS, the use of chemicals is significantly limited, suppliers have a functional waste water treatment plant and comply with a set of social criteria that guarantee the worker’s rights.
BCI (Better Cotton Initiative)
Being certified by BCI means that suppliers have covered a set of criteria including crop and water protection, biodiversity and land responsibility, quality of the crop, and working conditions.
GRS (Global Recycle Standard)
GRS verifies the origins of the recycled materials as well as the responsible social, environmental and chemical practice of the production.
The Blue Way by Bluesign
Powered by a holistic approach, BLUESIGN traces each textile’s path along the manufacturing process, making improvements at every stage from factory floor to finished product. BLUESIGN encourages the industry to increase their efforts in sustainable processes step by step.
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
The FSC system allows businesses and consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources
STeP (Sustainable Textile and Leather Production)
STeP is a modular certification system for production facilities in the textile and leather industry. The goal of STeP is to implement environmentally friendly production processes in the long term, to improve health and safety and to promote socially responsible working conditions at production sites.
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.