It’s true that you don’t need to be a genius to know that consumerism has become an integral part of our daily lives. We, as in the human race, exhaust more products than is actually necessary and yet we still long for the créme de la créme, no other way will do. However, this tendency is actually having a detrimental impact on both the environment and also less stable economies around the globe. Where do we begin to draw the line?
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however, and we do appear to slowly be taking steps in the right direction and now we see more ethical and ecological alternatives to traditionally produced clothing and it looks like we may be discovering clothing materials which can be here to stay.
It’s important to understand the sheer necessity of responsible investment when it comes to sourcing your garments. That is why I’m happy to introduce clothing brands which are environmentally and eco-friendly and that’s why I want to talk a bit about Continental Clothing, a company which support the right to a living wage in less economically developed countries and prioritise environmentally friendly and sustainably sourced clothing.
PINATEX: PINEAPPLE-BASED LEATHER?
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, there’s no such thing as pineapple-based leather. Well, let me take you to the Philippines. There you will find the head of Pinatex, Dr Carmen Hijosa who discovered that pineapple leaves, which were being discarded in huge quantities around the Philippines. These leaves can actually be used as an eco-friendly clothing source which is better than our traditional idea of leather. Dr Hijosa then took the idea to the Royal College of Art in London and developed the material into a patented product and is now running a startup, with a range of products all made out of the unique pineapple-based leather.
It’s undeniable that this is truly a breakthrough as we move towards more vegan-friendly clothing and an eco-friendly world and it also serves as a brilliant and functioning alternative to “traditional” leather. What’s more, this new leather is also 100% animal free. However, Pinatex doesn’t quite cease to amaze us just there, as this product also represents a new source of economical support. Pineapple-based products provide additional income for farmers while involving them in a vibrant new industry, acting as additional support to struggling farmers across the whole as the Philippines. Piñatex fibres are also the by-product of the pineapple harvest and therefore, no extra land, water, fertilisers or pesticides are required to produce them, which really goes the extra mile towards promoting eco-friendly and vegan clothing, which we think is brilliant. Who knows, maybe the future of leather rests not with cows or petroleum, but instead it lies in fruit!
MATT & NAT: VEGAN AND RECYCLED CLOTHING:
It is our responsibility to recognise the damage our consumerist ideology is having upon the world. Furthermore, we should begin to recognise how investing in eco-friendly printed clothing can help implement a change that the world increasingly needs. Through innovation and by moving away from traditional forms of mass production, much like Dr Hijosa, this is looking more and more like a reality every day. A further example of a company who is setting a huge standard in this sector is MATT & NAT, a Canadian company who pride themselves on their clothing and products being both vegan and eco-friendly.
Each year, MATT & NAT explore new and innovative ways to remain sustainable and eco-friendly. They have experimented with a variety of recycled materials such as nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork and they have consistently using linings which are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles since back in 2007. They have over 20-years worth of experience and they have also built up longstanding relationships with their factories who create their clothing, and as such consider them to be part of the MATT & NAT family. This has led to them revolutionising the industry and also changing the way that we currently think about leather that is animal-free. Alternatively to pineapple-based leather, MATT & NAT utilise mainly PU (polyurethane) as it’s manufacturing process is more eco-friendly and it doesn’t require animal products to be created.
CONTINENTAL CLOTHING’S FAIR SHARE RANGE:
I believe in promoting a positive attitude towards eco-friendly printed clothing and vegan printed clothing and vegan printed clothing, that is why I would like to introduce the Continental Clothing range. I believe that any custom clothing from Continental Clothing would make the perfect addition when clients are considering purchasing printed promotional products.
Within the global textile industry, cotton is still considered the world’s oldest and most important fibre crop, however, it has been long known that many cotton-farmers across Africa and Asia do not get their fair share of payment. This is due to the high levels of illiteracy and limited land holdings; these farmers are dependent on middlemen who often buy their cotton at prices below the cost of production. The result is that many farmers still live in poverty, and this is what the Continental Clothing Fair Share range is trying to improve.
The aim of the Fair Share range is to pay all workers a living wage, and for just an extra 10p per T-Shirt and 54p per hoodie, you can make it possible to increase wages by 50% for the poorest workers in factories across India, changing not only their lives but those of their families as well. In addition to the economic support that this clothing range would provide, it is also PETA approved, as this range is made out of 100% organic cotton. This would mean that any custom T-Shirts or printed hoodies purchased through this project would be an investment in eco-friendly and custom vegan clothing.
Sustainability and equality are the future and they are fundamental qualities which should be built into the internal structure of each and every company. The use of eco-friendly promotional products is something that within many companies is yet to be maximised, and now more than ever we find that consumers are asking for more ethically produced products that benefit both the environment and those who produce them. So, don’t delay and become part of a progressive movement within the textile industry!