What does 'sustainable' clothing mean?
Sustainable clothing is about reducing the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry.
It involves more environmentally-friendly practices - from the design table - to the farmer’s field - to the factory floor.
It protects the environment and workers by prohibiting the use of harmful pesticides, hazardous chemical dyes, toxic heavy metals and aromatic solvents.
It promotes other cleaner processes and the reduction of water usage - especially in areas where water can be scarce.
Alongside environmental aims, ethical fashion brands also seek better conditions for garment workers - including health and safety requirements, a requisite minimum age, and a fair wage.
Sustainable fashion is partly about producing clothes, shoes and accessories in an environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manner, but it is also about establishing more sustainable patterns of consumption and use.
We want to encourage customers to think carefully before they purchase any new clothes and to extend the lifespan of them by caring for them properly.
What is GOTS-certified cotton?
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world's leading processing standard for fabrics made from organic fibres, eg. cotton or wool. It sets high-level environmental criteria along the entire supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.
A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres, whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’ must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibres.
Most of the clothes sold by My Little Green Wardrobe comply with the higher ‘organic’ label grade.
Clothes made using GOTS certified material are kind to the planet, animals and people that produced them.
What is OCS cotton?
OCS stands for Organic Content Standard, which is a certification that verifies the presence and amount of organic material in fabrics. The OCS certificate only applies to fabrics that contain a minimum of 95% organic cotton fibres.
Unlike GOTS, the OCS certificate has no social criteria.
Is there more than one way to be sustainable, I'm confused... ?
There is not one single way to be sustainable. Sustainability isn’t an end destination, rather it’s a journey that we’re all on. Both consumers and brands are all on different paths of their journey.
At My Little Green Wardrobe we are looking for progression not perfection.
Buying organic cotton is preferable to buying conventional cotton, but buying recycled cotton would be even better.
Options like organic linen and hemp, which use far less water than the notoriously thirsty cotton plant, are likely to be even more sustainable.
Outerwear made from recycled ocean plastic supports marine conservation, which is great news, but recycled polyester is sometimes mixed with other materials making it difficult to recycle again in the future.
There are both positives and negatives with many ‘sustainable’ fabrics - they each leave their own footprint - but going down a more sustainable route will help reduce the overall impact fashion is having on the environment.