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Top Tips of How to Shop Sustainably for this Festive Season


Looking to shop more responsibly this Christmas? We offer 3 sustainable fabric tips on what to look for when buying fashion and accessories this festive season…

With ‘climate change’ high on the global agenda the fashion industry has, and not before time, come under intense scrutiny with the latest research revealing that it is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry. Big business has been built on the back of complex supply chains that include excessive uses of water, chemicals and transport notching up 10% of global carbon emissions.

However, sustainable brands and practices are on the increase, consumers are waking up to the environmental costs of producing and transporting fashion and as a result internet searches for the term “sustainable fashion” tripled between 2016 and 2019. In response High Street chains are gradually introducing sustainable items to their mainline collections. British fashion and accessories brand Monsoon recently announced that they are ‘making significant sustainability improvements’ on all of their SS20 collections with the aim to become the figurehead for sustainability within the UK high street by 2023.

For consumers, the High Street can be a confusing place for those wanting to spend responsibly. Not all of us have the time to do the necessary research and cut through all the confusing language and terminology. However the good news is that shopping for sustainable fashion and accessories is possible and the choices are growing annually.

Read on for our top tips on what to look out for when shopping responsibly this festive season. You can find out a lot from a garment care label, in particular what the product is made up of.

Fabrics to look for when shopping responsibly include:

1 – Botanic origin: Made from the sustainably sourced natural raw material – wood, and manufactured in a resource-considerate, TENCEL™ branded lyocell and modal fibers are produced by environmentally responsible processes. These fibers exhibit gentleness on skin, enhanced breathability, moisture management and long-lasting softness.

TENCEL™ branded fibers are found in the collections of many leading designers and renowned retailers including Levi’s, Guess, Ted Baker London, ASOS.com and many more, click here to view brands that include TENCEL™ branded fibers in their products.

TENCEL™ fibers image courtesy of Lenzing Group

2 – Recycled fabrics:  It is estimated £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill in the UK each year (warp.org.uk). With this excessive amount of textiles already in circulation it makes logical sense to reuse and reincorporate these existing fabrics as much as possible.

REFIBRA™ technology is a revolutionary textile solution made from recycling cotton waste fabrics, where the material is then transformed to produce new virgin TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers. It combines the best of two worlds to create one of the most ecological wood-based fabrics on the planet. Furthermore, comfort and accelerated performance are also carried through in these fabrics, in additional to the sustainability message they carry.

3 – Clean viscose: Generic viscose, while derived from wood pulp, yet its production process uses hazardous chemicals that potentially pollutes water and air.

When choosing products containing viscose, look out for options of clean viscose, such as LENZING™ ECOVERO™’s branded viscose fibers, which generates up to 50% lower emissions and water impact compared to generic Viscose. LENZING™ ECOVERO™ is certified with the internationally recognized EU Ecolabel. This label of environmental excellence is only awarded to products and services, which have a significantly lower environmental impact throughout their lifecycle: from raw material extraction to production, distribution and disposal. 

Here’s a selection of products using sustainable fibers that are available to buy in store or online. Pick the perfect gift for showing love to the environment while bringing best wishes to families and friends:

TENCEL™ fibers image courtesy of Lenzing Group

1 People Tree BBC Earth Cheetah Print dress 100% TENCEL™ branded Lyocell, £139-

2 Monsoon Leone Print Patch Top, (pictured below) made with LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded fiber, £49-

3 LEVI’S® Made & Crafted Rodeo Hoodie, 93% TENCEL™ branded Lyocell, 7% Elastane, £150-

4 OrganicBasics TENCEL™ Starter Pack Lite Bralette and Briefs, £71-

As it stands, consumers still need to do their homework when making ethical fashion shopping choices, regularly checking the care label and understanding which fabrics to opt for. However, the future looks bright with more designers and brands factoring sustainability into their collections and new fabric developments that incorporate an eco-friendly approach across the entire textile production process.

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