What does “sustainable fashion” mean?

Welcome back and EEEK how exciting our second instalment of MMP 🎉


With the ongoing increase in consumer’s interest in sustainable fashion, it's amazing to hear that 60% of millennials want to start buying clothing more sustainably!! We love to hear this at Ilk + Ernie 💜  But what does the term “sustainable fashion” actually mean? What counts as sustainable fashion? And finally, how can each of us adopt a more sustainable wardrobe.


What is sustainable fashion?

Although there are many different ways to explain what sustainable fashion is, essentially, sustainable fashion means that the clothing is produced or acquired in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible way!

(Acquired in this context could be in the form of buying pre-loved items from swap pages/Depop/Vinted/Ebay, handed-down items from friends and family, ect.)


What does “sustainable fashion” include?

“Sustainable fashion” is an umbrella term which includes so many different types of approaches to sustainably producing/acquiring clothing. At Ilk+Ernie, we use Surplus fabric which is fabric that has been discarded by other brands- this perfectly intact fabric would have gone to waste in landfill if we hadn’t gotten our hands on it, saved it, and made it into our beaut Sorbet Collection 🍧 

Other main ways brands can be sustainable is through their fabric choices (hemp, Tencel and bamboo are textiles which have no detriment to the environment), made to order and upcycling/reworking existing pieces into new garments.

Brands such as Organic Basics choose to use sustainable materials to make their garments. Made to Order means they create the item in your measurements which helps cut down on fabric waste when in production and these brands are usually small teams which we love to hear and support! Finally, upcycling and reworking items is a way for a brand to use the textiles that already exist on the planet instead of making any new clothes from scratch 🧵

How can I adopt a sustainable wardrobe?

It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey to a more sustainable wardrobe- it’s never too late to start! To not overwhelm you, we’ve broken down how to achieve a more conscious and sustainable wardrobe into 3 easy points:

Use what you have: Did you know that only 20% of clothes in the average person’s closet are worn regularly!? That’s crazy! So, since we are starting to be sustainable wardrobe gals, start digging to the back of your wardrobe and give some love to the items you forgot about!
Shop Pre-loved: Pre-loved clothing is another great way of adopting a more sustainable wardrobe. Not only will you be excited to show off your latest find and have any excuse to say “it’s from a charity shop”, but you will be saving a piece of clothing from going to landfill. Another exciting fact for you- in 2020, as many pre-loved items as there are people in the UK (66 million), went to a new home and extended their lifecycle. We love to hear that more and more individuals are shopping pre-loved clothing 💜  Shopping pre-loved can be online on platforms such as depop/vinted/ebay/swap pages or in physical stores- we all love a good charity shop 😍
Sustainable brands: When buying from sustainable brands you already know that the items you are buying are sustainable! When buying from sustainable brands (like Ilk + Ernie) you are supporting a business which has made a conscious effort to make sure their impact on the planet is minimal and the people who work within the supply chain are treated and paid fairly 👊
Now you have a clearer idea of what sustainable fashion actually means and how you can implement sustainable items into your wardrobe!
It’s not just about the items you buy but also how you look after them to ensure they last as long as possible! Spot washing is a great way to not waste water washing an entire item when there's only a small amount of dirt on it. Washing clothes at 30/40 degrees is also a great way of conserving water 💧 

Target time! 

This month's target is to download the Good On You app- quick and easy! 

Good On You is an app/website where you can type in any brand on their database and find out their rating based on People, Planet and Animals. They also have an online form where you can request a brand to be rated if it’s not already on their system! Have a little nosey of brands you’ve bought from before, brands you want to try out and see how they rate! This platform also suggests similar brands to the one you are looking at but with higher sustainability ratings- how helpful! This is a great app to help you shop a more sustainable wardrobe as you can skip past all the greenwashing and get straight to the facts from a trusted source!


Let us know what you think of the app! Are there any brands that shocked you?!