Friday, 27 July 2007

An ethical outfit

outfit3.jpgToday I have put together an ethical outfit for you that is a combination of organic high street and ethical brand items. It’s great to see the high street producing more ethical collections, in line with consumer demand. However, we have to be aware that they don’t always practice the ethics they preach. Many high street retailers are making efforts at improving their ethical policies but there is still a long way to go.

The high street brands I have sourced products from for the outfit below are Laura Ashley and Monsoon. Laura Ashley is a relative latecomer to the ethical fashion market, but they do have quite a few pieces, including the Archive Collection of vintage, organic retro, seventies garments. The organic cotton used in Laura Ashley’s small organic range is sourced from cotton farmers in Turkey who receive 1/3 more for their crop, plus their mills are organically certified. Laura Ashley could also do with paying a living wage.

Monsoon traditionally focused on clothes of ethnic origin and in 1994 established the Monsoon Trust, which aims to improve the lives of children, young people and women in South Asia, via projects that concentrate on education, health and activities to foster more income. Monsoon is also a founder member of The Ethical Trading Initiative (
ETI), an alliance of companies non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and trade union organisations, established to improve corporate codes of practice covering supply chain working conditions.

Monsoon could do better by increasing their organic and Fairtrade products and making more solid environmental commitments, but they do have higher standards than many other retailers. In reality all high street retailers need to be making more concerted efforts to improve their track record for producer working conditions and increasing their organic and fairly traded ranges.

The other items below are from Fifi Bijoux who produce jewellery using ethically mind gold, Novacas (sold at Moo Shoes) who produce vegan, cruelty-free footwear and Bourgeois Boheme who sell vegan, cruelty-free bags and footwear.

1) Fifi Bijoux, Starfish Pendant, made from ethically mined gold, £130 –
2) Novacas, Angel Beige Shoe, $95 –
3) Valencia Small Beige Tote Bag, £19 –
4) Jersey Grandad Top, made from 100% organic cotton, £7 –
5) Abigail Organic Regular Length Jeans, made from an organic cotton mix, £45 –

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