More creativity less consumption

Warm tone capsule wardrobes

These days we are constantly being reminded to think about our consumption. One of the best ways to develop more creativity and less consumption is to shop your own wardrobe.

However, we do need to replenish and update our wardrobes from time to time. In my opinion, if we shop with awareness and buy good quality classics we should be able to keep them for many years. We also need to take good care of our clothes so that they will stand the test of time.

If we choose carefully we can support our retail sector which is beginning to struggle. If we choose those brands that are making an effort to move to sustainability, maybe we can find a reasonable balance.

Details of above: Wool/cotton longline cardigan The White Company | Cream cashmere sweater MarksandSpencer | Cafe au lait knitted jumper made from 100% organic fairtrade cotton by People Tree | tassel scarf ShopatChicatanyage | Earth Green turtle shopper by People Tree | Khaki jeans organic cotton JohnLewis&Partdners |Vintage style vegan brown bag Matt & Nat at JohnLewis&Partners | Tan sneakers FitFlop.

For this post I have spent a considerable amount of time researching the brands that I use most often and checking their sustainability credentials.

cool tone capsule wardrobe

Details of above: Wool/cotton textured coatigan The White company |Blue cotton tee made from sustainably sourced material &OtherStories | Cotton V neck jumper The White Company | Blue bag Matt & Nat at JohnLewis&Partners | Blue jeans People Tree |Earth shark shopper People Tree |Silver leather sneakers Fitflop.

How much water do you use?

Last weekend I took my two grandsons, aged 9 and 6 to the London Wetlands Centre We are lucky that this fantastic natural space is only a short bus ride away from where we live. You can read about their conservation work here. As it was pouring with rain we attended a lecture about how much water we use on a daily basis.

It was a real eye-opener. The presenter used the weight of his lovely grey cat (who apparently weighed 5 kg) to illustrate how much water we use on a daily basis. Flushing the loo is equivalent to 6 cats, a bath is 27 cats and shockingly a cotton tee shirt uses 1,300 cats of water but even worse were jeans that use 1,800 cats worth of water.

Now, this is not designed to make you feel guilty, just more aware. If you buy well and buy once this is the best that we can do. For example I have a pair of NYDJ jeans that I bought about ten years ago and still wear. You have often seen my fifteen years old Max Mara coat on this blog and my leather jacket is about five years old.

More creativity less consumption

I shall be doing more research into sustainable brands going forward. In the meantime below is a list of the brands I have used above and you can check their credentials.

People Tree: I can highly recommend People Tree. I bought some trousers from them a few years ago and still love them. You can see them here in 2017. I have my eye on a pair of their cotton trousers for this summer.

FitFlop I find their shoes extremely comfortable and they support my feet. You can read their Company policy and Anti-Slavery Management document.

The White Company Founded by Chrissie Rucker over 25 years ago. The white Company specialises in timeless classic styles using high-quality fabrics. Wardrobe staples that you can wear for years.

& Other Stories The blue tee-shirt below is from &Other Stories and is made with sustainably sourced material. Check out their full range of styles made from sustainably sourced material here.

Eileen Fisher Well known for their sustainable credentials. I just wish that they were not so expensive here in the UK.

Matt & Nat Makers of vegan bags and shoes. They continue to explore new innovative ways to remain sustainable and eco-friendly. 

Arket I like their simplistic designs and they offer a recycling process.

MarksandSpencer Rated good by “Good on You” A site where you can check the sustainability of Brands. You can download their App here.

This list is getting quite long. Do let me know if you have any favourite brands with good sustainable credentials.

18 Comments

  1. Kathryn
    26th February 2020 / 15:37

    Enjoyed the clothing and accessories combination – style is more environmentally friendly than fashion. Using a cat to explain water consumption was clever. Great post – thank you.

  2. Sharon
    26th February 2020 / 15:45

    Using a cat to explain water consumption makes for a very visual learning experience. I have several Mat & Nat purses and am always eager to learn of new companies making clothing. I will check out the companies you have listed. I live in Canada and hope if I see something I love they will ship here.

    • Heather Moses
      26th February 2020 / 17:48

      Reply to Sharon. I live in Canada as well. Matt and Nat is a Canadian based company so they do deliver here. I’ve bought a few items from them. Always good.

    • 26th February 2020 / 19:17

      Hello Sharon
      Matt and Nat are a Canadian company however they do have a UK warehouse and from my experience the ship fairly quickly

    • Luanne
      26th February 2020 / 23:31

      Sharon, I live in Canada too. I have bought from People Tree so I know they ship here. I have been pleased with their goods and their service.

  3. 26th February 2020 / 17:02

    I love the idea of using cats to measure consumption, it makes for an interesting visual. One of the things that irks me about so many that preach about being green is that they consume so much stuff, and by that I mean fashion bloggers that purchase copious amount of throwaway clothes from Amazon, or cheap furniture because they don’t like “brown furniture” as they say. I think if people saw the cold hard facts of just how much water and energy go into producing this stuff and then what happens when it ends up in a landfill they would be shocked.

    • 26th February 2020 / 19:15

      Hello

      I have never bought clothes from Amazon as for “brown furniture” the trick is if you don’t like it is to sand it down and repaint. I furnished our apartment in France with furniture bought mostly from the local Brocante and painted it the colour I wanted.

  4. Christine Trory
    26th February 2020 / 17:44

    This is a great post and water consumption is definitely something we all need to be aware of. Thank you for bringing the cat explanation to my attention. Will be interested in reading more about sustainable style.

  5. 26th February 2020 / 19:21

    Thank you for all your comments. I will continue on this track.
    Off to have a quick shower. If I only take about 3 mins it should be about 18 cats a bath is 27!

  6. Angela in NZ
    26th February 2020 / 20:02

    Hmm, timely. We are on tank water and a drought has recently been declared so with our water supply dropping by the day, and with many in our valley having completely run out with a 2 month wait for tankers, we are in the midst of a very restrictive regime. I also think we have become over obsessive about the frequency of washing our clothes given we have the same obsession about cleansing our bodies. For most one short shower a day is ample. Sustainable clothing that does not leach microplastics from washing into the waterways is now my top priority.

    • 27th February 2020 / 11:31

      Hi Angela
      I agree about not washing our clothes so often. I wash my sweaters very infrequently as I normally wear a tee shirt or thermal vest underneath.

  7. Eileen
    27th February 2020 / 05:44

    Interesting that jeans and tees are such water wasters, and so popular, as cotton clothes are breathable. And I wonder how does plastic/ polyester clothes compare, air pollution/ water pollution wise? I would rather have a leather pair of shoes I could re sole, and polish, than a plastic pair, and I realize I will probably pay more, but I’m ok with that.

    • 27th February 2020 / 11:33

      Hello Eileen
      Polyester and plastics are very bad. I avoid polyester anyway as I don’t like the feel of it. Having said that some brands are beginning to use recycled polyester for example Arket so that might be worth watching in the future.

  8. 27th February 2020 / 07:49

    Great post. I took the decision new year 2019 to stop buying new leather. I’ve been vegetarian most of my life and I wanted to put right a glaring anomaly. I haven’t stopped wearing the leather I own and I have bought the occasional second hand item. I no longer want to financially support the leather industry, I used to think it was simply a by product of meat production, actually it isn’t many animals are reared solely to become handbags.
    So started the challenge of finding non leather sustainability produced shoes that don’t look like you’ve just got back from Glastonbury!
    Noah an Italian company meet the criteria and have brought Italian style to the party and there are numerous companies producing trainers. However and this it my big gripe they are nearly all mail order so you can end up having to send shoes back and forth until you get the right size and with many companies you pay the shipping and return costs.
    Still feels like the right decision though.

  9. 27th February 2020 / 11:35

    Hi Marueen C
    M&S are now producing vegan trainers I saw them in the store the other day. Will check out Noah.

  10. Vanessa
    28th February 2020 / 07:58

    Enjoyed this post makes you think. Yes m and s do a number of vegan shoes and boots I have a pair of ankle boots I have worn this winter and have had comments on the colour ( maroon ) .Vanessa
    Just a thought how does shipping effect the environment ?

    • 28th February 2020 / 08:24

      Hello Vanessa
      A good question. Yes, shipping will definitely have an effect. I am not an expert on the subject and it is very difficult to track as I understand it a brand only need to put the last place the garment was finished in as “made in” so it may have travelled to many countries before that. I try to work with brands where I know where the goods have been manufactured such as in the UK and Europe. I know that Hopefashionuk and Winser London minimise their air miles.

  11. 9th March 2020 / 08:51

    I agree with your point of view. Off lately, I have also started moving towards creating a more sustainable wardrobe. Having a limited wardrobe with classic pieces also saves you the trouble of deciding what to wear every day. Life becomes much more simple.

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