Your checklist to buying ethical, sustainable fashion

 

 

 

Majority of you have started recycling your plastic bottles, you may even have a compost, if so go you! But did you know how you buy fashion makes a huge difference to the world. If you haven’t thought about how your clothing is produced before well there is no time like the present.

 

We are noticing more and more consumers are starting to ask some hard questions about how their clothing is made. They want to better understand the (lack of) transparency, sustainability, and ethics of the global fashion industry and how it impacts the environment and people around the world. But most consumers simply didn’t know where to start, and may feel overwhelmed by the opaqueness and complexity of global supply chains.

 

It’s important to learn about the differences between ethical or sustainable fashion and fast or mainstream fashion. Similar to the slow food versus fast food movement, There are many overlapping terms to describe ethical fashion: sustainable, organic, fair trade, etc.

 

Sustainable =  the designer has thought about where the the garment is manufactured, what it takes to be manufactured eg how the production affects the environment, including transportation and packaging. They are also thinking how long a garment will last and where needed using blended fabrics that improve the life of the garment.

Organic = This means no chemical dies or sprays were used in the production of the fabric. For instance when using natural fibers such as cotton, a huge amount of harmful pesticides are usually used to grow the cotton.

Fairtrade and ethically produced = there is still a huge amount of manufacturing that is happening around the world that is classed as slave labour, with an ever-increasing competitive environment such as fashion the focus on the consumer is to get the best deal. We need to be aware of what that $30 t-shirt costs to another human being. Fairtrade means it is proven to follow the global standards of Fairtrade Practices Act and being ethically produced means the business has looked into how their choices affect others, they are owning their responsibility as a business owner.

Fast fashion/ Slow fashion = Fast fashion is the fades the chain store production of things that are in this season. Slow fashion means the designer has thought about whether the garment will be worn for many seasons. This makes a huge difference to the sustainability of a garment.

 

Your 3 step guide:

  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

 

Knowledge is queen, so start understanding your favourite designers, spend some time researching your options here are some questions to think about:

  • Who are your favourite brands? What does it say on their websites about where and how their garments are produced?
  • What do they do with their excess garments or fabrics, do they give them to charities or local schools?
  • Do they give back to their community?
  • Is the fabric they are choosing sustainable and hard-wearing?
  • What brands in NZ yell from the rooftops that they care?

 

  1. BUY SMARTER

 

Once you’ve researched your favorite fashion brands, you have an opportunity to use your voice to make a change. We are buying more than our closets can fit and our wallets can support. This is where buying less and buying smarter come in. The only way to make a dent in our over-consumption of fashion and its subsequent consequences is to not only buy less, but also buy smarter. Sometimes this may mean paying more upfront for a higher quality garment, yet the cost-per-wear typically is lower in the long-run for those much-loved pieces that don’t unravel after a few washes.

 

Conscious consuming checklist:

  • Check in with your emotions, are you going shopping for the right reasons?
  • Go shopping for a purpose, too many 3 for the price of 2 deals are being purchased because we are being influenced, you don’t need 3.
  • Check your wardrobe, what is it lacking? What can you team differently for new looks?
  • Is the item comfortable, does this item fit well? If it doesn’t you won’t wear it as much and it will sit in your wardrobe.
  • Check the quality of a garment does it look like it will pill or go out of shape after a few washes?
  • Choose fashion designs that you can layer up trans-seasonally or that are timeless to keep bringing out for a few years.

    1. WHAT TO DO WITH UNWANTED CLOTHES.

     

    One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. You may find people in need that would love something that you don’t care much for. Think of what it takes to produce all those cleaning cloths that you use.

    Ideas:

    • Sell clothes online
    • Swap clothes with friends, maybe host a tea/wine and swap party.
    • Donate to charity shops
    • Get creative with clothes by wearing things differently or transforming items eg. making dresses into skirts or pants into shorts.  
    • Old t-shirts make great cleaning cloths, give old shirts to creative kids groups for painting.

    Be sure to share the love by recommending designers and manufacturers that produce garments that actually care about the planet and her inhabitants. Make a stand on those that don’t by talking to them. The more awareness created, the more likelihood of change.

    Read “Your checklist to buying ethical, sustainable fashion”

    Proud of our responsibility

     

     

    It’s a fact…

     

    We now need to look at where we buy our fashion from.

     

    We encourage people to look consciously when buying garments.They may cost a little more due to their production but by shopping smarter and purchasing great timeless designs that increase the time spent on the body and not in landfill, we can make a huge difference to the world. Less of buying that $20 cotton t-shirt and $80 pair of jeans and more well thought-out decisions with sustainable designer garments. We are proud to know our responsibility and that is to create change in our industry.

     

    Facts about global fashion manufacturing:

     

    • It takes an average of 7,000 litres of water to produce one pair of jeans. That's about the amount of water you drink over the course of 5-6 years.
    • 2 billion pairs of jeans are produced each year.
    • 20% of industrial water pollution comes from the treating and dyeing textiles.
    • By extending the life of a garment by a further 9months would reduce carbon, waste and water footprints by around 20-30% each.
    • In USA, 10.5 Million tons of clothing is sent to landfill every year, that’s as heavy as the Empire State Building
    • There are tens of millions of people in slavery today of which nearly 1 in 3 is a child. Researchers estimate 40 million are enslaved. 50% of slavery victims are in labour slavery, like manufacturing

     

     

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    Being stylish versus being in fashion

    The terms fashion and style are commonly thrown around these days, however many people find it difficult to distinguish between the two. According to Oscar de la Renta, “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”

    Being in-fashion or on-trend can mean that just like the trend you can go out of fashion maybe as quick as the next season and no one wants that. The cost on the environment regarding production and wastage, on the consumer’s pocket and the energy it takes up having to be on-trend is exhausting. Nowadays there are so many unique styles out there that being well dressed is more of an artform of personal expression. Go into any city and it is full of culture, people wearing things their own way expressing their own individuality, the “trend follower days” are over with more intelligent women making conscious choices for themselves.  

    We all know someone or maybe it is you? That woman that just looks great in everything because she is dressing for herself, what she wears suits her personality and is a great fit for her figure, the style is timeless because it is an extension of herself.

    Although Leanne keeps a keen eye on the global fashion houses, for her it is about creating sustainable quality pieces that you can wear your way for many years to come. The emphasis is on the pattern design and the designers details that make the garments unique and look great on all figures.

     READ MORE ON OUR FOCUS ON ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY HERE

    Leanne’s top 5 versatile and timeless pieces from Fusion winter 18

    1- Merger shirt

    2- Combination top

    3- Fusion knit

    4- Potpouri sweat

    5- Conspiracy shirt 

    SHOP NOW 

    Read “Being stylish versus being in fashion”

    Caring about environmental and social impacts of fashion

     

    We all know from history that fashion is a reflection of what's going on in the world at that time, well at the moment as the world's beat starts to quicken so does the fashion, but at what cost?

    This brings to light, the need for new ideas about the rhythm of the global fashion system, which couldn’t be more competitive than it is right now; as we see closure of many great brands.

     

    “If something’s in fashion then it follows, that someday it will be out of fashion”.

     

    The Liann Bellis brand customers are intelligent New Zealand women who are confident in who they are and have very strong, unique and direct views. With a pioneering spirit then; it only follows that a sustainable fashion brand is fashion that focuses on improving its environmental impacts and ethical social aspects, with the overall goal to sustain possibilities for future generations.

    Being that the paradigms have shifted for the industry, in terms of the way people consume and engage, we have started back to zero with our ethics and have been building our brand’s focus, being ever more concerned with quality textiles, sometimes natural and sometimes blended compositions to achieve durability. These well considered products are unique in their quality and design and will still be stylishly wearable years from now. This is changing the handwriting of fashion today. This "slow fashion", as it is termed, is worn longer and retains its value over time, as it is well made.

    The Liann Bellis brand recognises that the average size of the NZ woman has altered greatly. Thus, they are after comfort, serviceability and durability in their garments.

    So how to address ethically sustainable, slow fashion? This has been an all- encompassing commitment within the Liann Bellis brand.

    Whilst these goals are paramount we recognise that they may not all be realised immediately. These challenges only make for exiting times in the industry and we promise to deliver quality garments that will last more than one season. 

     

    x Leanne Greaves

     

    SHOP NOW 

    This was also published in NZ Apparel Magazine HERE

     

     

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    Great reviews for our knitwear

    We are pleased that fashion editors are raving about our new season knitwear, being featured in editorials across NZ and Australia.

    These beautiful soft, quality knitwear pieces are stylishly unique with added style extras such as: drop shoulders seams, wide comfortable flattering silhouettes, irregular hem shapes and your choice of v and round necklines. Our knitwear is constructed with well-wearing Cashmere and wool mixes and quality merinos. They look great layered, but there is nothing quite like soft wool against your bare skin to keep you warm this winter now is there. 

    We've just made winter fashion more affordable too with our online 6-weeks lay-by shop knits from as little as $32.50 deposit.

    Be quick before they are all gone. 

    Regards Leanne

    UNION KNIT

    UNION KNIT IS A CROPPED WOOL CASHMERE KNIT. IT HAS A RIB ROUND NECKBAND AND CUFF, LONG SLEEVES AND A DROP SHOULDER AND WIDE HEM.

    SEQUENCE TOP

    SEQUENCE TOP IS A LONGER LENGTH MERINO TOP WITH LONG SLEEVE WITH A TIE AT FOREARM. IT HAS A V - NECK AND SIDE SPLITS.

     

    FUSION KNIT

    FUSION KNIT IS A WOOL/CASHMERE KNIT IN A LONGER LENGTH. IT HAS A V-NECK AND A CURVED HEM.  

    CONNECTION TOP

    CONNECTION TOP IS A WOOL, CASHMERE KNIT WITH A RAGLAN SLEEVE. IT HAS A LONGER LENGTH WITH A CURVED DRAWSTRING HEMLINE. THE NECK IS ROUND WITH A RIBBED BAND

     

     

     

    Read “Great reviews for our knitwear”

    Must have winter fashion staple

    You'll never wear leggings out again after trying our comfortable winter staple Alliance pants. These drop-crotch full length 88% Cotton 12% Polyester pants come in four fashionable easily matched winter colours. They team perfectly with our other Fusion collection items for a smart casual weekend or weekday look. 


    Here’s how we styled our Alliance pants...

     

     

    The Potpouri sweatshirt is another favourite of ours, it is made for these drop-crotch pants and is short enough to layer over basics.

     

     

    Our Combination sheer chiffon looks great to dress up the look, this top has a tie at the neckline to adjust, so you can have as much modesty as you wish. It is great for layering and looks great on all sizes.

     

     

    The Sequence v-neck merino is long for a relaxed casual look. The gathering detail on the arm makes it more stylish than your basic merino.

     

     

    Our Merger shirt looks great with the charcoal Alliance pant, wear it open with a tee or cami and to show off the zip pockets of these cool pants. Merger shirt also looks great in cream with all the Alliance pant colours available.

     

     

    SHOP HERE NOW

    OR VIEW OUR CATALOGUE HERE NOW  

     

     

     

     

    Read “Must have winter fashion staple”

    Take a look into Leanne Greaves home

    At My House...

     

    This week Stuff had a look inside Leanne and her husband Dale's Richmond Hills, Nelson home. Where they live with two British cats, Bella and Basil and a red-setter dog called Baxter.

    This handsome stately home of stone is very British and full of elegant chandeliers, vintage collectables and a well-stocked wine cellar. 

    Have a look at more pictures and plenty of answered questions - view the STUFF article  HERE

     

     Photos by Martin de Ruyter - Fairfax Media

    Read “Take a look into Leanne Greaves home”

    Molten Dress in Dom Post

    As seen in The Dominion Post Life on the 5th August 2015, thanks Katie Newton!!
    Botanical Print - 95% Polyester 5% Spandex 
    Below knee length dress with an elastic waist and a draw cord neck that ties at the back neck.
    A very adaptable fit.
    Also seen recently in the 'The Waikato Times Tempo' and 'The Press Zest'.
    check it out here

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Read “Molten Dress in Dom Post”