Sustainable and ethical fashion no longer has to worry about its outdated crunchy granola image; it has new battles to fight instead. From the murky world of greenwashing to the sheer amount of information consumers are expected to wade through to find transparency, it's not about convincing people that green equals good. The challenge now is cutting through the noise.
Shopping ethically can be problematic, too; when prices are higher due to better production and people morally judge you for shopping on the high street, it becomes a class issue. Meanwhile fast fashion's promises of supply chain transparency and one-off sustainable capsule collections don't remedy its burning of waste products or endless supply of garments.
There's a hell of a lot of bad news coming from the fashion industry, particularly during the coronavirus crisis, which is throwing into focus the inequality that permeates our supply chains. But there is hope, thanks in part to change-makers and industry leaders. Take shoe brand Allbirds for example, the first to label the carbon footprint of each pair sold. Or Fashion Revolution, the platform holding brands accountable for their impact on human life and the environment. Then there's the internet, which has widened access to activism and educational resources around our consumer habits.
While fast fashion brands have a long way to go to overhaul their damaging and dangerous practices, a growing number of labels big and small are creating clothes you’ll want to wear while implementing fairness every step of the way. From feminist and Photoshop-free platforms to brands working with global artisans to keep traditional craft alive, here’s our roundup of where to go to make your wardrobe more conscious in 2021.