If you follow Bag Affair since a while or if you look for articles in our blog from the past you will see that the Fashion Revolution is one of our core concerns. What happened the 24th of April 2013, the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, killed over 1000 and left many more injured. But this is only one example of what goes wrong in the fashion industry. So many more died since, so many wars still need to be fought, so many are working under horrible conditions – the Fashion Revolution Week is made to remember and to alert. To ask “Who made my clothes” is important and we encourage everyone to do so.
But it is also important to show some encouraging examples. Companies who give hope towards a better way of doing. Towards a better way of producing fashion, to be fair, be transparent and though stay stylish. The Fashion Revolution is a bottom up movement to put pressure for transparency – and it’s working !
Fashion Revolution 2020 : We want to share the hope
Worldwide there are young brands doing more than just following the fast fashion trend, brands which want to do things different and question themselves and labels which help consumers to trust again into fashion.
We want to show you examples, not to neglect what happened and what is still going wrong, but to show you as well that there is confidence for something better. That the Fashion Revolution did bring positive results.
Young labels doing good from the start
New upraising brands are out there, founded with a vision. A vision to do things differently, to make better fashion, to act sustainable and to take this into consideration in every action. Some of them decide to produce as locally as possible, some focus on materials and others on human rights. However some of them focus on all these aspects and these are the ones we want to present to you.
“If you can change your slip, you can change the world” – with this slogan and other similar ones, Guillaume Gibault founded 2011 Le Slip Francais. A company making underwear and moreover bottoms for men, made in France. Sourced with local partners, best materials and made under fair working conditions. The goal is to change the way of consumption, to have a positive impact on the environment and the society.
2020, nine years after company creation they went further: you can find underwear for women and men, pyjamas, socks and in cooperation with other brands clothes and accessories. In their own office and stores they created over 115 employments and via their partners in over 29 workshops they employ 220 further. We are looking forward to see what comes next and if you want to change to world, now you know where to start
N’go offers ethical sneakers with the strong voluntary of empowerment. Ronan and Kévin did know each other from school and when in 2016 Ronan finished his two year contract in Vietnam their story of a business together started. The mix of creating a brand with a sense and the possibility to work with local minorities motivated both to create the ethical sneakers. The shoes made from minorities in Vietnam, giving them the possibility to have work and use their skills.
N’go shows the face of all their partners as well as their work conditions and they go further by using natural and locally sourced materials as well as only vegetable tanned leather for example. Further with the project #ngoforeducation they donate parts of every sale to help building school in Vietnam to assure a better future for the next generations. We say: If you look for a new show here you “N’go” !
Please note that not all models are vegan- some made with vegetable tanned leather.
Both brands presented before show incredible examples of how to do better and different, but we want to present a third possible way: use the unused to make something new. Ecclo works that way. In 2017 Rémy the founder of Ecclo has the idea to create clothes with zero-impact. And the only way doing so is to find raw materials which already exist and which are not made for the textile industry.
He discovers that many brands produce more than they use. Many rolls of textile and tissues are sleeping in stocks as the production of an article is finished but some meters of tissue are left overs. These textiles are not used but as they are new there is no interest throwing them away. Rémy has the vision to use exactly these. And this is how Ecclo is born.
This means to add value to unused but already produced materials, taking the challenge limiting in raw materials and to adapt the pieces to produce according to the materials. He only uses materials which are in France. And the manufacturing is done in France as well, close to the stocks for lowest impact possible. Following the tissues are chosen and the design of the clothes follow. An inversed system allowing to use the materials the best possible.
The collections are done for men and women always made in France with the lowest environmental impact possible. Ecclo shows full transparency on prices and how they work. Even though manufacturing with limited raw materials is more difficult for the brand, this concept is very interesting for consumers as all collections are limited in pieces. Above all with Ecclo you can be sure to have something unique and fully ethical!
Labels driven by the Fashion Revolution to guide you from greenwashing
To search in depth about every brand before buying can take time and you might still not be sure if their information is true or if they are doing great in greenwashing. This is where labels help you to select and to assure. The problem now is that most labels are working on a paid basis. And for the current moment we can only present you one label which fully assures to be transparent and true – SloWeAre.
As alternative we would though like to present you good on you an application and platform rating brands on their ethical approach.
SloWeAre – THE label for ethical fashion
Bag Affair is SloWeAre approved as this is a label we truly believe in. Founded 2017 by Eloïse Moigno and Thomas Ebélé, this is a label of confidence and more than just a sticker to add on your homepage. SloWeAre works on a yearly audit base for which they take time and dig deep. Every brand which wants to be approved needs to supply full information about sourcing, production, materials, work conditions, etc. The audit covers the field of materials being sustainable as well as work conditions being ethical. Only brands which pass this audit and which show the true motivation to do their very best to improve steadily can get the label from SloWeAre.
Important as well to focus on the limitation of a yearly label as this means yearly audits as well as regular updates in case of new product developments.
In short check out the SloWeAre homepage you can find fashion labels, shoe brands and accessories, as well as a guide how to choose materials or read labels of clothes. You can buy sustainable and ethical from brands that have this label and are listed.
Good on you is a platform on which fashion brands are listed and rated based on their ethical approach. The results are easy to read with a system of a happy or unhappy smiley face. Furthermore the rating done via the approach towards humans, planet, animals and transparency on information.
And moreover what is a critical point is that here is no deep audit per brand – it is an important first step for you knowing more about the brands, but not yet enough to fully judge. Check out their brand directory to see your favourite brands. And to find there and check the ratings in detail to learn more about them.
We hope that you got some ideas, discovered new products, might buy something from one of these brands or be able to inform yourself easier. As a result we still encourage you to share your question of #whomademyclothes on social media.
The first steps are done, but each and every one of us needs to participate to reach the goal together: Make the fashion industry again what it was before – an industry of designers, of inspiration and know-how!