Disposability is (unfortunately) part and parcel of modern day life, and is having a detrimental affect on the environment - which will in turn affect the world that we live in for future generations. There has to be an effort from society to protect our planet for the long term, this is a blog not a lecture, but I need to build a base on which to write about this serious topic. Recently, I have read features in prolific newspapers, articles that look into sustainability primarily in the fashion industry. At TwentyFour we feel strongly about the effects of fast fashion, the cause, the damage and the solution. As a start up brand, we are only just finding our feet and being an eco friendly brand wasn't something that we initially set out to do, however as we have grown as a brand we have learnt more about this issue and ultimately the outcome if changes are not made. TwentyFour would like to do their part to raise awareness of the damage, especially during the Christmas period when the retail industry sees millions of people passing through its stores to buy, whether it be physically or online, to potentially buy the latest trends. People are looking for clothes that are on trend now, rather than buying them for their longevity. To put it in to perspective, you have to consider fashion as cyclical, let me use an example, flared jeans or the wide leg trousers and how many appearances they have made through the history of fashion.
The global fashion industry consumes a quarter of the world's annual carbon budget, this raises the question 'What can be done to change this?' We live in a world where fast fashion is heavily marketed, adverts for hundreds of clothing styles at unmissable costs are constantly popping up beside our emails or on Facebook adverts. Or bloggers posting images of the two piece they are wearing that could be yours for £20, it is hard to divert away from it. Generally, consumers care less about the carbon footprint and ecological impact, and more about the price tag. As a brand TwentyFour wants to help change this, we believe in longevity and sustainability in fashion. The idea that you may have to spend a little bit more money to get clothes that will be in your wardrobe for years to come. Look after your clothes, take care of them and buy clothes for quality as well as style. Be inventive and reinvent your clothes by styling them in different ways, search Pinterest for inspiration. Long term, this is a sure fire way to save you money that you would have to spend on replacing the cheap poor quality clothes, while you will be doing your part to help reduce greenhouse emissions.
There are also ethical issues that derive from fast fashion- unfortunately there fast fashion has been at the forefront of the sweat shop industry and poorly paid workers. Everyone is guilty of indulging in a cheap deal, an offer that is too good too miss, but there is a reason the prices are so low. The wages that these factories workers are paid on the production line are minimal, clothing companies can afford to have low price points because the cost to make is sometimes £2.50. The thought that the pay that the factory workers receive in these sweatshops is below what you would pay for a sandwich is quite horrific. Weighing up the pros and cons, to us it really is a no brainer.
In the beginning TwentyFour were producing their clothes in Europe; today we do everything in London, we can visit the manufacturer, see the working environment and establish quality control. The majority (not all yet, but we are working on it) of our fabrics are sourced from fabric houses in the United Kingdom. So now to talk about TwentyFour and what efforts we are making to change our carbon footprint. Our designs work as staples in your wardrobe, and (if they are cared for correctly) these designs will remain in your wardrobe year on year. By including timeless colours in our colour pallet, blues, blacks and creams (with a few anomalies thrown in), we have developed a collection that will take you through every season rather than just the coming one. For us, the design process has to be careful, responsible and considered, although we look at trend forecasts, we also try to think beyond the seasons. Not only is slow fashion better for the environment, it is better for women. Millennial women buy in to fast fashion because they think thats what they need to keep them in style...but realistically where is style actually born from. Style is not something that can be bought by keeping up with the ever changing fashions. It is about what you do with the clothes once you are in them. Buy a black skirt and wear it in a hundred different ways, restyle it in a way that makes it look brand new every time. TwentyFour aims to use their designs to drive each woman's individual creativity, whilst doing our part to protect the environment.
Remember this when you are buying gifts for loved ones this Christmas and beyond that on future purchases. Spend a little more money on one good quality present rather than spending the same amount of money on three or four. Being proactive now is fore thought for the future.
TwentyFour Team X