Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Dorothy Perkins doing their bit

Dorothy Perkins may not be number one or even 100 on anyone's list of ethical fashion brands, but they are beginning to produce more ethical items. In 2006 they introduced their O Line consisting of a small range of organic vests and tees. This year Dorothy Perkins signed a deal with the Woodland Trust to launch a collection of organic wellies, cotton T-shirts, vests, bags (and more recently flip flops!), with £5 from the sale of every T-shirt, vest and pair of wellies and £1.50 from each bag sold, going to the Woodland Trust. The overall aim of the collaboration is to plant 40,000 trees in the UK next year.

More recently Dorothy Perkins has introduced a range of recycled bags made from rubbish by a collective of over 200 Filipino women, who grouped together to tidy up the neighbourhood, collecting 50,000 packs a day. After collection the packs are sorted, clean, sanitized and woven together into rather interesting and fetching bags. Profits from this venture are divided between the co-operative.

Dorothy Perkin's endeavours are still a drop in the ocean and as part of the powerful Arcadia Group, they could do a hell of a lot better. Labour Behind the Label, No Sweat and Tear Fund have plenty to say about Arcadia's use of cheap labour and Lite Green who rank major brands based on their ethical endeavours and policies have not furnished Dorothy Perkins with a Lite Green rating (which indicates good ethical practices.) However, in optimism (which is quite unusual for me!) I am hoping that this situation will improve as consumers begin to demand more ethical fashion. Going organic is not enough, we need to push for more fairly traded items and hopefully big guns like Arcadia will respond with a more environmentally friendly and compassionate approach.

Below are three great ethical goodies from Dorothy Perkins. If you are going to shop on the high street, register your vote for organic and earth conscious fashion by making ethical purchases.

1) Green Woodland Trust Cami, 100% organic cotton - £12.
2) Woodland Trust Chocolate Flip Flop - £8.
3) Multiweave Tote Bag, 100% plastic - £15.

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