Friday, 29 June 2018

ArmedAngels - Sustainable High Street Fashion

Did you know the fast-fashion industry is second to oil in having the worst ecological impact?

Fashion sustainability is something that is always in the back of our minds when buying clothes but unfortunately, the back of our minds is where it tends to stay. For those of you who don't know, sustainable fashion involves being environmentally sustainable as well as sourcing the fashion in an ethical way. This includes producing minimal wastage, using sustainable fibres like cotton that has been organically grown or even wood (don't believe me? see pic below), using non-toxic chemicals in the dying process, be fairtrade classified and use recyclable materials. These are only a few of the choices that fashion brands can make to be more sustainable.

These trousers from Armedangels are made from wood... WOOD!?

We aren’t going to pretend to be something that we are not because let’s be honest, all three of us love to follow a trend now and again. If it’s Lyndsey’s love for checked blazers, Zoë’s obsession with khaki green or even my impulsive decision to buy a barbie X Missguided top (don’t judge plz) but wore it once and realised it was a bad/regrettable purchase decision. But my point is, we couldn’t possibly claim that we are sustainable because it can't happen overnight and is a huge commitment.  However, what we can say is that we all try our best to reduce our impact as much as possible when it comes to fashion. None of us use a tumble dryer, we wash on low heats, we recycle our clothes (be it to charities, our friends or putting it in the right bin at the end of its life), we try our best to buy clothes that we know we will get lots of use out of, we all prefer to spend a little extra on a quality product that we know will last and we all try our best to keep up with sustainable movements.

For me, it takes a lot to make a new purchase. I will spend a long time deciding if I’m going to get use out of a product and, to be honest making myself wait pays off because more often than not, a week later I’m thankful I didn't act on impulse (other than the Barbie top...that was a full regret). These little changes and decisions are so easy to make. I think for so many people, the reason they don't make these simple changes is because they don’t know the extent of the damage or don’t know about the damage at all! 

After doing a research project on fashion sustainability while I was at university, what I learned made me sick. I know we hear stories about ‘poor working conditions' and 'sweatshops’ but that is the bare minimum of it. That’s nothing. The social injustice and environmental damage being caused by the fashion industry, more so fast fashion, is monumental. It’s heart-breaking. But I am not an expert on this subject so if you are interested in finding out more then here are some amazing ladies who really know their stuff:
Ruth at Urbanity Blog
Jennifer at The Sustainable Edit

This is why we need to support sustainable fashion brands like Armedangels and applaud retail giant John Lewis for acknowledging the problem and promoting a brand with great objectives. Although this is a small step and I know they could be doing more, it’s a start. 10 years ago when Armedangels was first established, fast fashion wasn’t even a term, it was just fashion. Sustainability certainly was nowhere near the mainstream and went unrecognised. So who knows, in another 10 years this could be the norm.

So, a little bit about the brand: Armedangels is 10 years old and was founded by one student who had two interns and that was it. They brought the brand to what it is today and continue to work tirelessly to bring fashion sustainability into mainstream fashion. The price point of the clothing is slightly more than most high-street retailers but you need to remember the investment in being sustainable unfortunately comes at a higher cost. The clothes you are buying are a real life-long investment so really it's a small price to pay. I would say that there isn't really a specific age that these clothes are targeted towards because they really are versatile and could cater to most people. They've got simple T-Shirts, culottes, jeans of all styles and shift dresses for example. I feel like it is also important to mention that not only do Armedangels ensure that their clothing is sustainable, but they are also actively working to reduce any future impact that the fashion industry may have. Just one example of this is that they are helping farmers to develop their cotton farms into organic/sustainable/fair-trade cotton farms. This is a difficult process which can take up to 3 years and often means that farmers cannot generate a regular income during this time. As you can imagine, this is not a transition that farmers are able to achieve on their own which is where companies like Armedangels come in. Work like this is helping to change the fashion industry in the best way.

So, obviously Zoë and I wanted to try on the entire range and we took some pictures of our favourite pieces, click on the links below to shop. 

 Khaki Trousers

 White T-shirt
Khaki Culottes

Toni x


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