You don’t need to be a genius to be able to acknowledge the consumerism has become an integral part of everyday life. We, as in the human race, exhaust more products than is actually necessary and yet we still hold a burning desire for the créme de la créme and nothing else will do. However, this tendency can have a detrimental impact on both the environment as well as less stable economies around the globe. So, where do we draw the line? However, there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel and we appear to be moving towards the right direction. Ethical and ecological alternatives to traditionally produced clothing are being sourced and it looks like we may just be on to something here.
We are growing increasingly aware of the necessity of making responsible investments when it comes to sourcing garments. That is why I would like to introduce Continental Clothing, a brand which actively supports and encourages the living wage in countries that are less economically developed and they also prioritise environmentally-friendly and sustainably sourced and produced clothing.
PINATEX: PINEAPPLE-BASED LEATHER:
I know exactly what you’re thinking here; pineapple-based leather? There’s no such thing! Well, that’s where you’re wrong and you have to travel to the Philippines to discover its origins. Head of Pinatex, Dr Carmen Hijosa has discovered that leaves from the pineapples, which were previously being discarded in huge quantities all around the Philipinnes, could in fact be used as an eco-friendly alternative to tradition leather. Dr Hijosa then took her idea to the Royal College of Art in London, developing the material into a patented product and is now running a startup company, with a range of products which are all made out of the unique pineapple leather.
No one can argue that this is truly a breakthrough towards more vegan-friendly and eco-friendly clothing which benefits the world. It also serves as a fantastic functional alternative to traditional leather. The process of producing pineapple leather is also 100% animal friendly and animal free. However, Pinatex doesn’t stop amazing us there, as this product also represents a new source of economical support. Pineapple-based products provide additional income for farmers while involving them in a vibrant new industry, acting as additional support to struggling farmers across the Philipinnes. Pinatex fibres are also the by-product of the pineapple harvest. Therefore, no extra land, water, fertilisers or pesticides are required to produce them which really goes the extra mile towards making the clothing truly eco-friendly and vegan, which I personally think is brilliant. And who knows, maybe the future of leather rests not with cows and petroleum but instead it lies in fruit!
MATT & NAT: VEGAN AND RECYCLED CLOTHING:
It is our responsibility to recognise the damage our consumerist ideology is having upon the world. Furthermore, we should now start to realise just how much investing in eco-friendly printed clothing can actually implement a change which the world needs. Through innovation and by moving away from traditional forms of mass production, much like Dr Hijosa, this is looking more and more like a reality everyday. A further example of a company who is setting a huge standard in this sector is Matt & NAT, a Canadian company who pride themselves on their clothing and products being both vegan and eco-friendly.
Each season MATT & NAT explore new innovative ways to remain sustainable and eco-friendly. They have experimented with a variety of recycled materials such as nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork and then have consistently used linings which are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles since back in 2007. They have over 20 years of experience and they have longstanding relationships with the factories who are creating their clothing, and as such they consider them to be integral parts of the MATT & NAT family, they are revolutionising the industry and also changing the way that we see animal-free leather. MATT & NAT use mainly PU (Polyurethane) as the manufacturing process of this material is more eco-friendly and it also doesn’t require animal products to be created.
FAIRTRADE CONTINENTAL CLOTHING FAIR SHARE RANGE:
Over at Garment Printing, we also believe in promoting a positive attitude towards eco-friendly printed clothing and vegan printed clothing, that is why we offer printed T-Shirts from Continental Clothing as part of their range of customisable clothing. They believe that any custom clothing from Continental would be the perfect addition when clients are considering purchasing printed products.
Within the global textile industry, cotton is the world’s oldest and most important fibre crop, however, it has been long known that many cotton-farmers across Africa and Asia do not get their fair share of payment. This is due to the high-levels of illiteracy and limited land holdings; these farmers are reliant on middle-men who often buy their cotton at a price which is below the cost of production. The result is that many of the farmers live in poverty and that is what the Fairtrade Continental Clothing Fair Share range is trying to improve.
The aim of the Fair Share project is to ensure that all of their workers are paid a living wage. By spending an additional 10p on a T-Shirt and 54p per hoodie, it makes it possible for a pay increase of 50% for the poorest workers in factories across India and this changes not only their lives but also the lives of their families. In addition to the economic support that this clothing range would provide, it is also PETA approved, as this range is made out of 100% organic cotton. This means that any custom T-Shirt or printed hoodie from the Continental range would go towards investing in eco-friendly and custom vegan clothing.
Sustainability and equality are the way forward and are fundamental qualities that should be built into the internal structure of each and every company. Garment Printing is continually committed to delivering environmentally friendly products to their clients and improving their own CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). The use of eco-friendly and environmentally-friendly products is something that many companies should be looking to maximise, and now more than ever, consumers are asking for more ethically produced products which benefit both the environment and those who produce them.