Fashion is an extraordinary medium for self-expression. Too often we forget that what we wear can transcend identity and bear a greater and longer-lasting impression on our environment.

In the age of ‘fast fashion’ and accessibility it’s easy to forget the true cost of what we purchase: hazardous effluent running into waterways, and atrocious ethical abuses, all diluted by elaborate supply chains and masked under the guise of well-established branding.

Environmental protection is everyone’s responsibility. More designers and labels are being held accountable for what they produce and how they produce it. Brands are being challenged to go green in an effort to re-establish the fashion industry and set better precedents. Initiatives like The Green Carpet Challenge prompts designers to create through more conscious means.

In the last decade stores have emerged with codes of conduct that ensure respectful and safe environments for their workers, and retains knowledge of how their garments are made. Transparency is critical for such stores. The catalyst to their success is sustainable and ethical production. This is where many larger labels fall short. If brands build regular, reliable and direct connections with their suppliers and manufacturers they can guarantee ethical and sustainable garments.

Many online stores are garlanded in certificates from organisations like The World Fair Trade Organisations and EcoLabel. This is how consumers can know they’re buying ethically. Businesses too are beginning to rely on online retailing as a platform to maintain affordability whilst innovating their production lines in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint. They manufacture in-house, hand weave their productions, and courier by sea.

The utilisation of post consumer waste is becoming an innovative means of garment production. By turning waste into useable materials brands are able to reduce the consumptive aspects of textile development and find new ways of using fabrics. Then there’s the added benefit of standing out in a saturated market. With further development in textile reconstruction we may be at the cusp of some extraordinary means of taking what once was and reassembling it into viable, everyday materials and constructs.

Retaining some degree of cynicism when purchasing eco-friendly goods however, is crucial. Ideally, when brands promote eco-friendly wear we would be receiving just that, but realistically clever marketing can mask the truth. It is essential regular research, promotion and support of genuinely sustainable and ethical business models continues to happen. It is through this that we will see a greater broadening of the sustainability market, a boost in affordability, and a clean conscience when you go shopping.

Thanks to the action of over half a million designers, bloggers, fashion fans and activists twenty global fashion leaders, from adidas to Zara, have made a commitment to Detox their clothes. Many of these brands are now taking action - taking steps to create toxic-free fashion on behalf of their customers, the local communities and future generations.

Click here for more information about our Detox campaign.