Tackling Ultra-Fast Fashion in a Pandemic – Bamboo Dressing Gowns Versus £7.00 Loungewear…

Fast fashion is getting faster, and the UK is the epicentre of textile consumption in Europe; we buy an estimated 26.7kg of clothing per capita every year. Synthetic fibres in clothing that have been produced from oil have doubled since 2000. If consumption continues at the current rate, the total carbon footprint of clothing by 2050 would be equal to nearly double the carbon emissions of India in 2018. Fast fashion brands frequently add thousands of new pieces weekly, whilst in the UK, we are each throwing away 3.1kg of textiles every year – over half of which ends up in landfill sites. Lockdown has seen UK online sales increase by more than a third in 2020. Even with the losses the economy has faced, demand for cheap clothing has persisted; consumers do not stop shopping, they simply focus on lower prices. This has helped to galvanise the ultra-fast fashion cohort of the retail sector. How on earth do we begin to tackle this?

As lockdown restrictions begin to lift, many people’s minds have turned to ways of making life more sustainable, including rethinking strategies about shopping. So, what are your options then? Apart from only buying from second-hand shops, how can you invest in environmentally friendly brands? There has been much research and media attention regarding the huge impact that fast fashion has on both the environment and the people who make the garments, often working in dire conditions for very little pay. However, turning to slow fashion can be a minefield  – the term ‘sustainable fashion’ is sometimes used very loosely. How accurate is ‘sustainable’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘recycled’? Or how much is greenwashing jargon to lure people with a conscience in?

Our ethos at Conscious Apparel is all about slow fashion. In line with this, we have worked with Nila Rubia (an ethical brand that supports cottage industries in India) to produce bamboo silk dressing gowns as an alternative to fast fashion loungewear. Bamboo silk is a vegan friendly silk; the fabric used is from offcuts to minimise waste, dyed with azo-free dyes, and hand blocked by artisans using traditional techniques. Our bamboo dressing gowns are designed to be durable, generous in cut, with pockets, and a decent sleeve length that can be folded up. This is a versatile piece, equally suited to both a Zoom meeting and as a summer coat for grocery shopping. Bamboo silk dressing gowns are comfortable, gorgeous, tactile, functional, and above all sustainable, environmentally conscious fashion pieces – this is not a product that has been designed to be discarded but to be cherished. As a consumer, investing in such a product is about focusing on the longevity and versatility of the item, whilst negating the embedded environmental cost of fast fashion items that soon make their way to the bin.

Don’t just take our word for it – have a browse of our stunning bamboo dressing gown collection and see for yourself! Treat yourself to a versatile, comfortable yet stylish, ethically sound outfit that doesn’t cost the earth.

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