After a couple of posts where I was quite critical of fast fashion and the impact this has on the quality of our clothes and the environment, I thought I should restore some balance and write something positive!
These are 3 brands that are classed as “fast fashion” but I feel I can support, so I thought this would be a useful post if you’re looking for more affordable clothing that is still of very good quality and why these are good brands to try.
Mango is a brand I loved for many years – the styles are usually feminine and elegant, which is very much what I like wearing. I’ve always found the quality of their clothes to be above many other fast fashion brands, and I’ve had a pair of trousers from Mango that are now about 4 years old and still look great – cost per wear has been amazing!
Besides being of good quality, they have recently started taking big steps towards reducing the negative impacts fashion has on the environment. Since around 2017, Mango has been producing a collection of clothing that is made using sustainably sourced materials.
This is known as the “Committed” Collection and it can be found on their website very easily under Collections. They consist of some really beautiful, classic items that can easily be paired with almost anything else in your wardrobe so you are sure to get a lot of wear out of them.
This is a really great option if you are making steps to not support fashion that damages the environment, but you are not wanting to spend £££ on more expensive brands. As I said, the quality of Mango’s clothing is really great, and between that and their steps towards using sustainable materials, it’s a brand that can offer really good items with no ethical hang-ups for very affordable prices.
I really love some of the items this brand makes. They’ve got a really gorgeous, Parisian vibe to their clothing and some of their dresses are dreamy. Although there isn’t a lot of information on their website about the sustainability of their materials, they are part of the H&M Groups so they are taking big steps towards reducing their environmental impact (more on this below).
What I like about &Other Stories, is that they do in-store recycling. You simply take a bag of clothing or any other fabrics into their store and they give you a voucher for 10% off which is available for 3 months. They accept items in any condition from any brands, and the items get recycled, upcycled or turned into other items such as insulation or cleaning cloths. This also applies to their beauty products packaging!
They are also currently running a pre-loved store in partnership with Sellpy, which is currently only available in Sweden but it’s essentially a place to buy or sell their used items that are still in good condition – I would absolutely love it if they brought this into the UK because it’s a brilliant initiative for so many reasons!
This section refers to H&M and all of it’s other brands really, known as H&M Groups. I have loved H&M clothing for literally decades, and most of my work wardrobe is from H&M – they do some really stylish items that are great for professional outfits, and as quality is something that’s absolutely essential for me, most of the items I own from H&M have lasted a long time and worn really well.
As with Mango, the cost per wear is amazing and it feels like the items are well made. I’ve had a few exceptions to this, but not in the last couple of years so I think the quality of their clothing has actually improved in recent times.
H&M also offer in-store recycling – you take in a bag of any clothing from any brands, and you get a £5 voucher (I much prefer this to the 10% off you get at Other Stories). They re-use the items in many ways but they say 0% goes to landfill, which is the important part.
They are also taking huge steps towards improving the impact they have on the environment and this applies to all brands that are part of the H&M group. Some of the ways they do this:
- They offer really good, 1:1 advice on caring for your clothing in order to help consumers look after the items better and therefore reduce the amount that goes to landfill because they are damaged
- They currently source 57% of their materials sustainably
- 95% of the cotton they use is recycled or sourced in other sustainable ways
- They have reduced their CO2 emissions by 11% in the year 2018 and are aiming to be a climate positive value chain by 2040
H&M Groups have won multiple awards and recognitions for the work they’re doing to move towards being more eco-friendly and sustainable. It makes me really happy that there are finally a few brands available that actively listen to consumers and the concerns we have for the way clothes are made, and I’m happy to support these brands for recognising the issues and doing something about them.
Not all of us can afford to dress in all designer items, and even if we can, you can’t always find what you’re looking for so highstreet stores are still where most people shop. Personally, I feel I have a responsibility to raise awareness of the issues that come with the way these brands make their items, and I feel I have to lead by example and not support stores I don’t feel I agree with morally.
However, I think it’s also important to recognise the work that some are doing to move towards being more responsible for the environment and especially if their clothes are of great quality, I want to share that. Although most brands will show some consideration for these issues, many still have a long way to go until they really make any changes to their practices so I chose to include ones that I feel have taken the biggest steps and the ones that make it really clear that they offer recycling services so consumers can be aware and make use of it. I found similar services offered by other brands too, but finding the information was so difficult as it was really hidden, that I didn’t think anyone would really notice it (e.g. I had to follow links to 3 different websites before finding the information).
The brands I mention in this post are clearly showing an awareness of the issues, and taking steps to work on this. I also genuinely love the style of clothing they produce and I think they are of very good quality. I’m sure with more people talking about it, more and more brands will start working on this which will make it easier to support these brands. What are your thoughts on these issues, and what brands do you think are taking positive steps?
Until next time xo