Showing posts with label fast fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fast fashion. Show all posts

Friday, 21 February 2020

Sustainability books to read

With sustainability at the core of what we create, thought we'd provide you with the tools to become a change maker.
 So, If you want to go change the world or simply learn a bit more about your environmental footprint and the changes you can make, here are a few good reads to get into

Wear no evil - How to change the world with your wardrobe - Greta Egan 

The  Human Age - The world shaped by us - Design for Asun Dan Le (Braungart)

Over dressed - The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion - Elizabeth L. Cline

Organic Cotton Dress

Fashionopolis - The price of fast fashion and the future of clothes - Duna Thomas

Live Green - 52 Steps for a more sustainable life - Jen Chillingsworth

Or, if you are looking for fiction we found these books to enjoy!

The Testaments Margret Atwood

City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert

Cross fire - Noughts and Crosses, Malorie Blackman

Sincerely Madia & Matilda 

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Is Fashion Week Ever Sustainable?

Fashion week - Why Madia & Matilda is against fast fashion

What is slow fashion?

In recent years we have seen a wave of change wash over the fashion industry. Consumers and companies alike have become more aware of the effects of fast fashion on workers and our environment.

Slow fashion is how we approach and raise awareness to the way fashion is produced – taking the time to consider the processes and resources. The term Slow Fashion came about quite organically. It was coined by Kate Fletcher of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. Slow fashion is necessary to save our environment as well as workforce welfare. In 2018, brands such as H&M reportedly burnt 12 tonnes of unsold garments despite launching their Garment Collecting programme – a global initiative to prevent customers’ unwanted items from going to landfill.

The slow fashion movement has been increasing exponentially in recent years as consumers demand higher sustainability and ethical standards.

Why we only design collections every 2 seasons

Here at Madia & Matilda, we pride ourselves on our sustainability and ethical ethos towards fashion. We only use fabrics that are end of roll, end of line or recycled from previous garments. Our items are designed and produced in house without the need for a factory or cheap labour. In order to keep our sustainable promise we only produce collections twice a year for spring/summer and autumn/winter. By producing biannually we are able to invest more time and money into our designs and quality, thus creating items that are ethically sound and adhere to our high standards.

Why we don’t participate in fashion week

Madia & Matilda consciously chooses not to participate in fashion week so as not to support the fast fashion trend. Many fashion weeks and catwalks feature garments that are produced quickly and cheaply to capture the most recent fashion trends. Not only does fashion week inspire fast fashion production but it also encourages consumers to buy into trend fads that only last a few months.

Charity fashion shows

Instead, at Madia & Matilda we dedicate our time and energy to producing eco-friendly garments that can form the basis of any wardrobe. Rather than partaking in mainstream fashion week catwalks, we only feature ourselves in charity catwalks. This year see our brand join the Durham University Charity Fashion Show - The UK’s largest student fundraiser and the biggest event in Durham’s social calendar. This year the fashion event is supporting the Environmental Justice Foundation, a charity who works at the forefront of global environmental politics to secure the rights of climate refugees and the future of our planet. If you want to attend the event you can find more information about the event here.

Madia & Matilda have also featured in many other charity fashion events including St Martins in the fields, Empire Casino London and Brighton Fashion Week.

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Thursday, 11 October 2018

How to: Care for me. Wear Me. Love me. Mend Me.

Caring for your clothes

Inspired by the Cheltenham Literature Festival, we've picked out five of our favourite fashion care and sustainability books for you.

Wardrobe Wisdom, by Alicia Healey
Trained at Buckingham Palace, Alicia Healey has worked as a lady's maid and high-profile wardrobe consultant across the globe. In this book, she shares her top tips for decluttering your closet and looking after investment items so they'll last you a life time.
Buy the book here.

Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens
Laundering queen Cheryl Mendelson shares her love of housekeeping. With extensive knowledge of how to care for almost every fabric, from hand washing and removing stains to storing fabrics and garments, Mendelson shares the indispensable guide to caring for clothes at home.
Buy the book here.

Clothing Care Basics: Tips for Fabric Care, Clothing Storage, and Saving Money by Keeping Your Favorite Clothes Looking Good Longer
Explaining some of the basic terms used in clothes laundering, Julie Gallagher teaches you the basics so you'll never turn another white shirt pink or shrink your favourite jumper.
Buy the book here.
Clothing Cultures - Certified made in the UK
Madia & Matilda is now published in Clothing Cultures. This journal explores the issues in the production and consumption of clothes within the fashion industry.
Buy the journal here.

The Sustainable Fashion Handbook
An in-depth and comprehensive guide to sustainable fashion, from the impact fast fashion is having on our environment to eco-fashion and sustainable designers, this book will change your outlook on the fashion industry.
Buy the book here.

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Effects of Fast Fashion - Culture

As fashion week is in full swing we thought we would take a look at the processes behind Fashion Trends & consumers desires for new convenient collections. 

What is Fast Fashion?
It’s astonishing how quickly ‘fast fashion’— a low-cost, speedy way of shifting massive amounts of clothing from
stores world-wide— has taken over the globe. First conceived in the ‘80s, the concept has gripped the planet in a
way which has caused us to lose sight of how precious our natural resources are. Fast fashion runs on two basic
principles: low cost of production and at the time of selling, and speed of manufacture. The last is important as it
enables retailers to jump on the bandwagon and produce clothing in time for each new celeb/catwalk trend, as it
happens. Along the way, textile production has been outsourced to developing countries (the poorer the better).
All too often we know nothing about who makes our clothes, and we rarely hear about the impact this industry has
on workers and the environment. Is it really out of sight, out of mind? Not quite. Many organisations such as
Love Your Clothes and Remake work tirelessly to shed light on the effect our insatiable desire for fast fashion has
on both people and planet.

So what’s really so bad about Fast Fashion? Let’s take a look, from the production of weavable fibres to the factory
workers who stitch them together.

Fabric Production and Treatment
Fibre production and fabric manufacturing, regardless of whether it’s natural (plant/animal based), man-made
or synthetic, uses a vast and colourful array of insecticides, petroleum derivatives and processing chemicals,
at almost every step of sourcing and production. It uses a lot of energy and natural resources including water,
chemicals and oils. Cotton farmining particular utilises an enormous amount of fertiliser chemicals, along with
a staggering 25% of insecticides used worldwide.
It’s also estimated that genetically modified cotton occupied 43% of cotton-growing areas across the planet, as
of 2007. This figure has undoubtedly risen since. The fast fashion trend puts an enormous amount of pressure
on this process, increasing the number of chemicals used and resulting in some manufacturers cutting corners
on the safety of their workers.

Most people aren’t aware of the number of potentially hazardous chemicals used to make their clothes. These
chemicals put the manufacturers of textiles at risk of many serious health problems, such as cancer, infertility,
allergies and diabetes. For more information on the ways textile manufacturing harms people and communities,
check out fast fashion documentary The True Cost on Netflix, directed by Andrew Morgan.

An Environmental Disaster
“Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture”, according to
Patsy Perry, writing for The Independent.
For those in developing countries, who sometimes have difficulty in securing clean drinking water, this
is a dire issue. Poisonous cleaning and processing chemicals are released into the water and often leach
into rivers traditionally used as a source of drinking water.

The True Cost cites the leather industry as one of the worst contributors to this. Kanpur, India, supports
the production of cheap leather. The chemicals used to tan, treat and colour these products are often toxic
and can easily run into water used in agriculture, or even drinking water. The biggest culprit here is chromium-6,
a toxic chemical and confirmed carcinogen, and many of the people who live in close proximity to sites of leather
processing suffer from a number of issues caused by its contamination of groundwater and soil.

On another note, the fashion industry’s CO2 emissions are predicted to increase by 60% by the year 2030,
to a rate of nearly 2.8 billion tons per year.

The Human Angle
The fast fashion industry is extremely problematic and riddled with complex environmental and humanitarian issues at every turn.
Ayesha Barenblat, founder of Remake, (mentioned above), reveals that 80% of clothing worldwide is made in developing countries by
women between the ages of 18 and 24 years of age, and that “the biggest corners fast fashion cuts are human”. Many people heading
up big corporations argue that the practices they display and their attitude to human labour in factories is beneficial to communities.
They justify their actions using excuses like, “A job is a job, regardless of working conditions or relative pay. We are fighting unemployment
in underprivileged communities”. When governments attempt to pass bills which will outline a specific code of conduct, calling for a set living
wage to be paid to all garment workers, for example, the companies who rely on the cheap labour of the workers will nearly always oppose it. John Hilary was until recently the executive director of War On Want, which describes itself as being “against the root causes of global poverty, inequality and injustice”. Hilary comments during The True Cost that, “when everything is concentrated into making profits for the big corporations, what you see is that human rights, the environment [and] workers’ rights get lost altogether. You see that workers are increasingly exploited because [labour costs] are pushed down and down and down, just to satisfy this impulse to accumulate capital”.

Pic from Madia & Matilda - photography Kathy Anne Lim

What Can I Do?
Head over to Love Your Clothes for loads of amazing tips on how to recycle, reuse, alter or mend your clothes!
An estimated three quarters of people in the UK throw away old clothes rather than recycle or donate,
so it’s important that you avoid putting clothes into landfill as much as possible. Ways of avoiding this may include:
  • Buy clothing made from pre-used garments or textiles
  • Mend old clothes
  • Buy second-hand or vintage
  • Avoid buying polyester or similar, where possible. Polyester is a synthetic fibre which, when washed, sheds
microparticles which don’t biodegrade and cause widespread oceanic pollution. Plankton ingest these fibres and
pass them up the food chain, where many of them eventually end up in us after we eat fish or shellfish
  • Shop at Madia & Matilda! We use end-of-line or second-hand fabrics where possible, helping to reduce the
volume of textiles which go into landfill. All our original garments are made by our little team in the Cotswolds, so we
know exactly who makes each garment. Traceability and ethics are paramount to our business model!

If you have any comments, insights or ideas on the subject of fast fashion, please get in contact!


Infographics from Remake website

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Thoughts on value

Have you ever wondered why there is often such a big price difference between your average high street garment and a seemingly similar product from a sustainable brand?

People often say sustainable/eco fashion is too expensive, but is it? Or is fast fashion the costly one?

It depends how you measure it. Yes you can purchase a top for £15- £20 from a big high street brand, wear it a couple of times, throw it away, and as a consumer it hasn’t cost you much. However, it’s easy to forget that garment was made by a human being and the amount of labour and energy that goes into it staggering. For example, to turn a piece of cotton into a garment, first it must be planted, harvested, taken to a factory to be processed and spun into yarn. Then it’s taken to another factory, woven into cloth, sent to a dye mill, dyed and finished. Then it is sold to a manufacturer who must create an original design and pattern, test for fit and performance, cut and make the garment, ship and then market it, all before reaching the customer. People are involved for its whole journey, people who deserve a fair price for their labour. But unfortunately, to produce a garment with all of those processes involved and still sell it for a price we are willing to pay; someone along the line is missing out. 

The sad truth is what we class, as a reasonable, average price, is in fact, artificially low. These cheap prices shouldn’t be the norm; they are wrong, not the more ‘expensive’ eco brands. They are the ones causing costly damage to the earth and to the workers. For fashion to be sustainable it’s not meant to be fast, throw away and cheap. We’ve been trained to buy quantity over quality. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost sight of what is best for us and the environment.
This is where sustainable fashion comes in, as it tries to change perceptions of what is expensive and go back to valuing the right things. 

Sustainable fashion tends to be more expensive due to a number of factors:

Time – As a small brand it takes time to create new and original designs from scratch, develop a pattern and manufacture in a smaller environment.

Fair trade- It is cheaper to employ people abroad to make clothes, where minimum wages are a lot less than here in the UK. For example, an employer in China only has to pay their garment worker 60p an hour, whereas in the UK the minimum wage is £6.70. When buying from a sustainable clothing company that manufactures their clothes in the UK, you know the workers have been paid a fair wage for their labour.

Economies of sale- It’s cheaper to produce mass quantities of clothing if you are a large company. Small scale companies have to pay more to produce smaller quantities.

Quality – Finally, when buying from a sustainable brand, the garments have longer life spans and are well made.

To find out more about our thoughts on value, check out our youtube 

Sincerely Madia & Matilda

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