Matt & Nat is a vegan brand based in Montreal, Canada, who avoid harming animals in the making of their designs. They produce a range of stylish, minimal bags, purses and shoes from sustainable materials, including recycled plastic bottles, rubber and cork. Their slogan, ‘live beautifully’, represents the brand well; the products reflect a considered and thoughtful approach to both people and the planet.
Within the modern fashion industry, cotton is one of the most widely used fibres. There has been a rapid increase in the growth of cotton: in 1960, ten million tonnes of cotton was grown globally, this has increased to almost twenty-five million tonnes in 2010 (1), fueled by the demand for fast fashion and higher consumption levels. With this increase in demand, farmers are pressured to ensure high crop yields throughout the year, turning to the use of pesticides, fertilisers and genetically modified cotton plants in order to achieve this.
VEJA, a Parisian trainer brand, are an example of a company who are leading the way with radical supply chain transparency. Along with a selection of well designed, stylish trainers, their website provides information about their material usage, sourcing and production, so the consumer can be informed about the origin of the product they’re buying.
After becoming more aware of the reality behind clothing production within the fashion industry, I have realised the current way people consume is unsustainable. People unknowingly support unethical practices by shopping with companies who do not have enough policies in place to ensure their social and environmental impact is sustainable and fair. It’s something, as consumers, we usually do not think about. When was the last time you asked what conditions your clothes were made under, or what the environmental impact of making your clothing was? Clothing is so accessible and affordable within western society that there is no need for shoppers to think about these issues, but I’m here to explain why we should.