A movement towards sustainability

In today's fast-paced world, where convenience and instant gratification often reign supreme, it's easy to overlook the importance of sustainable practices. However, the fashion industry is a major contributor to global environmental pollution accounting for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing processes.  It's time we take a stand for a more responsible approach to clothing production and consumption. 



 With the current fashion market, which is completely saturated with fast fashion brands and fewer brands that practice sustainable manufacturing, it is easy to overlook the benefits of sustainable clothing.  Sustainable shopping and slow fashion is just one of the steps we as a society can take to alleviate some of the harmful impacts of increased demand. A slower approach will always be beneficial because, one, it reduces resources, and two, it gives us more time to do research that might make way for new low waste technologies.  When you choose to shop sustainably, you're not just buying clothes, you're making a statement about the kind of future you want to see. You're supporting a brand that is committed to sustainability, ethical practices, and creating a more responsible fashion industry.

 Supporting sustainably is more than just positively impacting the environment. It is about making a choice to support the people behind the clothes, to choose quality over quantity, to choose longevity over trends. Society has become obsessed with consumption and the constant need for more, and in turn this just ultimately leads to more waste. Rather than supporting this fast fashion movement and the pressure to keep up with the never ending and ever changing trends, choose to slow down and change these habits.

 Here are just a few examples of how you will make a difference by supporting a sustainable clothing brand:

  • By choosing sustainable clothing, you can significantly reduce your environmental footprint, conserving water, energy, and reducing textile waste.
  • Your purchasing decisions can have a direct impact on the lives of garment workers around the world.By choosing to shop sustainably, you are supporting a brand that prioritises fair labour practices.
  • Sustainably made garments are made to last, focusing on quality rather than quantity, reducing your need for frequent replacements and minimising textile waste.

 More recently sustainability has become a big topic with the world leaders and major corporations, studies and research are being compiled to gain a better understanding of how we can improve our industries to guarantee a better and healthier future for ourselves and generations to follow.


Putting it all into perspective

To put manufacturing emissions into perspective let’s look at jeans, afterall, everyone owns a pair of jeans.

Research has shown that emissions produced by manufacturing and producing unsustainably made jeans owned by adults in the U.K. is equivalent to and can be compared to flying a plane around the world over 2000 times, or a petrol car travelling more than 20 billion miles (Oxfam, 2022).

 Energy consumption for producing jeans can be broken down into; cotton farming, fabric production, cutting/sewing, and finishing. Sustainable production methods can reduce energy consumption for each of the latter stages. For example, cotton farming methods which can reduce the amount of water and pesticide usage, and this in turn reduces the energy required for irrigation and pest control. In addition to this, using water efficient machines and renewable energy sources can further reduce overall energy consumption. Some specific examples of sustainable production methods include using recycled cotton, using laser technology for cutting/sewing, using water-based dyes, and finally using renewable energy sources for power.




Recycled vs raw material extraction impact on earth and CO2 footprint

When recycled materials are used to make new products and garments it lowers our demand for raw materials. Continuing to recycle instead of reuse ultimately shrinks our carbon footprints. Using raw materials such as cotton, polyester and wool in vast quantities is detrimental to the environment, especially the extraction and production of these materials. Instead, focusing on recycled materials to make a variety of clothing can help reduce the environmental impacts of the fashion industry.


Unfair vs fair labour practices

Unfair labour practices can include a variety of factors such as discrimination of employees, threatening and intimidation of employees, unfair representation by unions, excessive overtime, below minimum wages, unsafe working conditions, physical and verbal abuse at work, and of course child labour which is still a huge issue in many developing countries. 

In the 1980’s China’s manufacturing started to take off, by 2010 China had become the number one industrial powerhouse in the world, and ever since, China has been leading the way in their manufacturing capabilities and innovations.  Due to high manufacturing demand, China has been known to break every rule in the book when it comes to unfair labour practices and there is a certain stigma about manufacturers from China.  To tackle this stigma in 2008 China’s government made amendments to their Labour Law 1995 and revised it with a new version of Labour Contract Law 2008.  Since the revised law implementation, the fair labour practices across China have greatly improved keeping China at the forefront of the manufacturing.      

Fair labour practices are the standards that employers must adhere to in order to ensure all employees are treated fairly, and these practices are based on principles of human rights and international labour standards.  Fair labour practices include reasonable working hours, payment of the living wage or above, safe and healthy working conditions, no forced or child labour, no discrimination in the workplace, paid time off and of course respectful treatment in the workplace.


The sustainable fashion industry today

In today’s fashion industry sustainability is becoming the “in thing” with many clothing brands focusing on sustainable fashion and pioneering the industry in their own ways.  To name a few:

The company ‘Patagonia’ is a great real-world example of a fair labour practice. It has continuously shown its commitment to fair labour and the well-being of its employees. The company has done this by implementing several measures.  

  • Fair trade certified by Fair trade USA
  • The company pays all employees a living wage
  • Patagonia has a completely transparent supply chain for all stakeholders.

The Body Shop is well known for its commitment to not testing on animals and being fully against it. Furthermore, the company also partners with developing countries to provide fair wages and supports training for the local producers.

These above examples show how companies can implement fair labour practices that not only benefit their employees, but also their communities and overall brand reputation. Making ethical practices and employee wellbeing priorities, companies can create a more positive impact and contribute to a more sustainable world and future.

When it comes to sustainable colouring techniques – Stella McCartney a luxury designer is one that has embraced naturally dyed fabrics, in effort to be more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, the brand has never used any leather, fur or skins in manufacturing and production, setting the standard for the use of alternative cruelty free materials. In 2008 the designer first started using organic cotton, in 2011 it launched ‘eco eyewear collection’ using plant-based resins and plastics.

Here at Loose n’ Lazy, we are a sustainable fashion brand that is redefining the way we think about style and comfort, with a focus on quality, ethical practices, and environmental sustainability.  We concentrate our efforts on sustainably made garments by using materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester.  Our materials are usually stronger and far more resilient compared to synthetic fabrics which are used in the unsustainable fast fashion industry. In addition to the more resilient type of materials used we always prioritise quality construction and production techniques, allowing consumers to purchase more quality products less frequently, due to lasting longer.  It is the numerous little things that when combined, amount to quality, and therefore we pay particular attention to durable stitching, buttonhole design, zippers and closures to name a few.



Greenwashing or sustainability?

Don’t be fooled by fast fashion brands who are ‘greenwashing’ and claiming to be sustainable.  In recent years there has been a shift in mindset where fast fashion giants are promoting sustainability by introducing a recyclable packaging bag or releasing a garment range that can be washed at 20 degrees.  Understandably, there is nothing wrong with trying, at the end of the day every little contribution to sustainability helps. However, the overall impact of this is not scalable, due to damage being done by unsustainable manufacturing processes. As consumers we are falling for this in a bid to get that latest look for pennies instead of pounds. At the end of the day, it is almost impossible to manufacture and produce large quantities of cheap clothing in a ‘sustainable’ way.


The future of sustainable fashion

We hope that the future of sustainable fashion continues to become more talked about and well known among consumers, with more individuals making better decisions for the long term. Loose n’ Lazy will continue to innovate and invest in new ideas and manufacturing methods which fall in line with our ethos. The company will remain committed to sustainable practices throughout its supply chain. This will include dedication to reducing our environmental footprint, wherever possible, and continuing to promote ethical and sustainable standards in the fashion industry, in hope others will follow suit. Due to our sustainable commitments, we will continue to only focus on specific styles and pieces, driven by consumer demand. Longevity, comfort, versatility and sustainability will always be at the forefront of every production and manufacturing decision.

Choose consciously, make sustainable shopping decisions and let’s continue to promote sustainable fashion, moving away from the fast-fashion industry. The more clothing brands who get on board with sustainable fashion concept and implement certain changes, the greener and brighter the future.