Written By Katie Carr of TOMMY & LOTTIE and Jo Salter of WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Edited with permission by Susan Daker of BAMBINISTA
The ethical market in the UK is growing rapidly each year. According to Ethical Consumer Magazine the ethical market in the UK grew by 3.2% in 2017 – pretty amazing when you consider that the rate of inflation was 0.64%. More and more of us are choosing to shop our values – whether it be Fairtrade, organic, local or vegan. There are now a huge number of ethical brands now available to choose from too, so it is becoming increasingly easy to shop with peace of mind. These businesses are not created purely to make money but have ethics in their DNA.
Ethical Brands are not new – some such as Peopletree, The Body Shop, TOMS and Lush have been around for a while, grown and prospered, and are now household names. However, as a backlash against mass consumerism and fast fashion we are now seeing a huge increase in these kinds of brands – where ethics is in their DNA and is as important as the end product itself. These brands have been created from the start with the vision and passion to make a difference. They haven’t just jumped on the ‘eco-friendly’ bandwagon when they see it starting to get coverage globally and that consumer behaviour starting to change. Ethics and sustainability are as important as the end product or service.
Celebrities are looking to Ethical fashion brands to make a statement.
A January article in the Daily Mail featured our Princess-to-be Meghan Markle and focused on her ethical clothing choices. Meghan’s conscious shopping choices included jeans from the Welsh ethical brand Huit Denim for jeans (very appropriate as she was visiting Wales!), Stella McCartney for her coat and she accessorised with earrings and bag all from ethical and socially conscious brands.
Not only is it fabulous that Ms. Markle is such a role model for shopping according to her personal values, but it is really heartening that such coverage is appearing in the Daily Mail. The Mail, which is not generally noted for its liberal stance, has focused on the different elements of the outfit, with the headline ‘Never has one outfit been designed to send so many messages!’. Certainly, by choosing to showcase ethical brands and designers there is a clear message of authenticity and choosing to live her personal values.
Meghan Markle on a recent official trip to Wales
Celebrities and Ethical Fashion
Meghan Markle is not the first celebrity to embrace ethical fashion, Joanna Lumley showcased a Where Does It Come From? elephant print scarf in her travel documentary in India last year. In 2016, film star Emma Watson wore a Calvin Klein dress created from recycled bottles to the fashion event of the year, the Met Gala, and again to a press tour for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in 2017. For those of us involved in ethical fashion such a role model will provide a massive boost and will help move conscious shopping more into the mainstream.
The gorgeous Emma Watson wearing a Calvin Klein gown made of recycled plastic bottles to the 2016 Met Gala.
Are You Ready to Shop Your Values?
Seeing authentic role models in the media really helps move ethical shopping into the mainstream. It is becoming easier and easier to shop ethically, with new brands emerging and more shops, both online and physical, stocking more Fairtrade and sustainable products. Shopping your values makes a real difference – not only enabling you to express your authenticity and support the causes that you care about, but also in enabling brands that support your values to thrive and grow. Ultimately shopping your values can help save the world and who doesn’t want to be a part of that?
Tommy and Lottie – Sustainable Kids Clothes Brand that Teach Children to Love the Environment
Tommy & Lottie is a unisex, ethical and sustainable baby clothing brand based in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Its founder, Katie Carr, grew up in rural Sussex loving nature and the environment and created her brand to pass on that passion. Woodland animal designs capture how important it is to inspire our children about wildlife and their environment. The baby clothes range is unisex and capsule so items can be passed along to another baby, boy or girl, producing less textile waste. Tommy and Lottie only use Oeko tex certified cotton where no harmful dyes or chemicals are used so is safe for babies and young children. The clothing is produced with a low carbon footprint and according to fair trade standards. You can find out more about the brand on their website Tommy and Lottie and in these animations which were created by local students: Tommy and Lottie Sustainability Animation.
What makes them such a sustainable brand? Owner Katie Carr explains:
- Our clothing is vertically produced this means that the cotton crop is grown near to the factory where the spinning, knitting, dye, cut and sew are all done in one factory making the carbon footprint far lower than most. Quite often the carbon footprint of the garment is far higher as the cotton/fabric/garment has traveled to more than one country before it ends up as a piece of clothing.
- All of the wastewater that is used to produce the cotton goes through an Effluent Treatment Plant making sure that the water put back into the environment is safe.
- Our range is excellent quality so is built to last. It is not disposable, cheap or throwaway.
- We offer a ‘capsule’, non seasonal clothing range that can be worn all year round.
- The designs are unisex so can be worn by a girl or boy. Once outgrown, they can be handed down to another sibling or passed on to a friend whatever the gender or given to charity.
- Our British made harem baby leggings have been designed to fit over cloth, reusable nappies.
BAMBINISTA is proud to be a stockist of Tommy and Lottie. A brand that truly embodies the ethical and sustainable concepts that mean so much to us.
‘Buy less, choose well, make it last’ – Vivienne Westwood