International Organizational Resilience Awards

THE GREEN GUIDE: Takeover by BRETT STANILAND

My interest in sustainability began while I was modelling. It wasn’t an instant epiphany, more a slow-burning awareness of the sheer volume of clothing that is produced. This got me thinking about supply chains, materials and overproduction.

Best brands

Asket is a slow-fashion brand with a good price point and great transparency as a business – some of my most-worn pieces are from there. My favourite designer brand is Lemaire, which shows during Paris Fashion Week and makes beautiful clothing. Its pieces are timeless – all seasons merge, so there are practically no trends. It’s all stunning utilitarian clothing.

Red flags

I avoid any brand with a ‘conscious line’. If you’re not willing to make widespread changes to your business, you’re not serious about sustainability. Adding a line is just really lazy. I avoid polyester and clothing dominated by plastics. We need to move past fashion’s dependency on fossil fuels.

Go-to pieces

There are a few things I cherish in my wardrobe, most of them preloved: an Hermès scarf from the 1960s, an old Valentino coat. There are also some Church’s shoes that have been passed down my family that I still wear. They’re special because they have such a rich story, which I hope to add to before passing on again. 

 

Greenwashing 

£65, frenchconnection.com

What we see

★ On the website there is a ‘sustainable’ icon by the jumper to show it’s from the brand’s Conscious Connection collection.

★ This piece is also part of the recycled knitwear section. 

The reality

★ The jumper is 62 per cent recycled polyester. The rest is nylon and elastic.

★ ‘Recycled polyester’ makes us think it’s made from clothing but it’s often plastic bottles. This sounds good, but to reduce how many plastic bottles are made, they need to be recycled back into bottles, not jumpers.

★ Synthetic knits can’t be recycled. They shed micro-plastics and release chemicals when washed.

★ Polyester isn’t durable and will lose quality after a few washes.

★ French Connection claims transparency on its sustainability page, but gives few details of its supply chains or production.

 

Eco-fabulous

What we see

£35, marksandspencer.com

★ This rollneck jumper is part of the Marks & Spencer mainline collection.

★ It is labelled pure merino wool. 

The reality

★ The garment is made from 100 per cent responsibly sourced merino wool, which is both natural and renewable. Moreover it is a durable fibre that is known for its longevity.

★ Not just biodegradable, due to its 100 per cent natural content, this jumper is easily recyclable, too.

★ Marks & Spencer works hard to be transparent and there is a six-page document available on its website outlining its responsible wool sourcing policy. This document covers everything from animal welfare and land management to its suppliers.

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