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The Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013 killed over 1,100 people and led to the indictment of 42 people for murder due to neglect of building and health code regulations. The effects of this disaster is still being felt across the fashion industry, but too few brands have a strong enough stance to only use factories with safe and fair working conditions. Here a few that you can get your fashion fix from and feel pretty damn good about yourself at the same time.
'The Juggernaut' - EVERLANE
Everlane is probably one of the most well-known ethical brands of the moment. Started in 2010 in San Francisco, they sell predominantly online, but their reach is expanding and with that a strong ethical approach to production.
Simple, clean silhouettes, and great basics underpins the brand. These are easy clothes to wear and can be dressed up or down. While the colours are mostly in neutrals, Everlane also inject some brightness with a trend focused palette as well.
Denim is one of the worst polluters in the fashion industry. Everlane uses the cleanest factory in the world for denim, and as a staple for many wardrobes, this is a great thing. This focus on clean fabrics as well as ethical standards of production make this brand one to have bookmarked for all those wardrobe staples whatever the season.
'The Sustainable Warriors' - Armed Angels
Armed Angels was founded in 2007. This brand not only makes lovely clothing but goes over and above to create a transparent production process from fibre to garment. They are accredited by the:
- Fair Wear Foundation: An organisation that works to improve working conditions in the fashion industry.
- PETA: They have vegan-brand accreditation
- GOTS: Global Organic Textile Standard that accredits the used of organic cotton
- Fairtrade: They pay their workers a fair living wage for the work they do
Armed Angels has a complete approach to an ethical and eco-friendly modern brand from their packaging that uses super sustainable grass to their use of materials that are either organic, sustainable or recycled. Armed Angels is the complete brand and they are looking for new and better approaches all the time.
'The Traditionalists' - Jyoti Fair Works
Jyoti Fair Works has a transparent approach, showing exactly from raw material to garment, how everything is made. By establishing new links between growers in India and the factories that make the yarns and garments Jyoti has managed to use GOTS certified cotton for their fabrics. This builds up a fairtrade network for sustainable manufacture in the future.
Since 2016, Jyoti has focused on handwoven fabrics made entirely from 100% organic cotton. They use manufacturers who are trying to make change in their country of origin, India, and who encapsulate Jyoti's brand values of ecological and social sustainability.
'The New Kids on the Block' - Pajotten
Pajotten was founded in 2016 inspired by vintage European workwear. Their aesthetic is original among all the other ethical brands on this list. Pajotten's approach to environmentally friendly practices is also a little different too.
Everything they produce is made-to-order in their studio in Kent, UK. That means there is no waste stock, and no need for lots of workers in a factory with questionable ethical standards. Pajotten sources their fabrics, trims and buttons all from the UK which offsets the fuel costs of importing. They also don't produce seasonally and instead update their website throughout the year, a flexible and more nimble business model leading to less waste.