Madewell: sustainable fashion

Katy Prophet is here to help us save our planet from the pollution created by poor fashion...

Katy Prophet
11th March 2019

Being sustainable seems more important than ever, and it has never seemed so important to cut back on things we love in order to improve the state of our planet. This seems even harder when fashion is so easily accessible, online or down the road, and with fast fashion making the newest trends so affordable. Sustainable fashion simply means that clothing/ accessories are produced whilst considering the environment. The clothing is produced without harming the environment, with the aim that the environment will be upheld or maintained for a much longer period of time.

The company Madewell have recently launched a sustainable swimwear range, called ‘second wave’. Each swimsuit is made from recycled plastic bottles. The collection features 32 pieces and there are numerous different styles, including high waist bikinis, swimsuits, block colours and bold patterns. Eight plastic bottles are used to make a one- piece swimsuit, and four are used to make a bikini. Humans produce almost 20,000 bottles per second and whilst bottles are recyclable, the issue arises with how many we consume and how hard it is to recycle the increasing number effectively. Madewell used almost 51,000 bottles to create its collection, and since the issue of plastic bottles is rising dramatically, and has even been termed a crisis (polluting beaches at a drastic rate) there doesn’t seem a better way to create a swimwear collection than by taking some of this pollution out and giving something back.

This swimwear range is not Madewell’s first eco- friendly collection. They started with a puffer jacket range, also being made from recycled plastic and about 6 plastic bottles in each. All the pieces from this swimwear collection are extremely classic looking, and will make a staple swim piece in any wardrobe, they definitely will not be going out of style. The prices range from £14.44 for the simple ‘J. Crew’ strappy bikini bottom to the more luxury, high end price of £276 for the ‘Mara Hoffman’ one piece swimsuit– so there is something for everyone in this collection.

Other brands are also sourcing their materials sustainably, with Stella McCartney being named the first, in 2001, to demonstrate the possibility of fashion being sustainable– allowing for other brands to follow. Each year H&M launch their ‘concious exclusive collection’ which strives to create high end, but sustainable pieces, in the aim for fashion to be more sustainable in the future.

Sustainable fashion also doesn’t have to be too hard to find, with more and more people creating new ethical clothing ranges. Newcastle is the birthplace of ‘Uncaptive’, an ethical clothing company which states it recognises the huge impact of fast fashion on the planet. They use organic cotton to make clothing pieces and tote bags, whilst also using bamboo to make homeware items such as toothbrushes (usually made of plastic). Uncaptive can be found in Stack, in the centre of Newcastle. EcoWolfe is another sustainable brand from Newcastle, which uses organic or recycled materials in all of its products, whilst also donating a lot of its profits to charity.

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