Welcome back to Sustainable Sundays with Oramai! We're passionate about creating a more sustainable world and sharing that passion is at the heart of our company mission. Our weekly newsletters round up our favourite sustainable news, our handy guides, and, of course, our love for all things linen.
AN ORAMAI GUIDE TO...
KNOWING IF A BRAND IS REALLY SUSTAINABLE:
Navigating the world of sustainable fashion isn’t as easy as it may seem, with a number of brands introducing their “conscious” or “recycled” collections without explaining that this “eco” range is actually only made with 10% recycled materials and has been flown halfway across the world just to reach you. So, we’ve come up with a quick five-point guide to help guide you through the maze of “sustainable” fashion.
1. FIRSTLY, WHO IS MAKING THE CLOTHES?
Garment workers are all too often victims of exploitation and forced labour, so if a brand provides no information on who made their clothes, this is a major red flag. Many brands thrive due to the slave-like working conditions of their employees in developing Asian countries. No company that doesn’t protect its workers can claim to be sustainable.
2. ORGANIC OVER NATURAL
Natural materials like viscose, rayon and bamboo are often marketed as eco-friendly, but it depends on how they’re sourced. For example, unless it comes from a certified organic source, viscose is responsible for a vast amount of deforestation. Similarly, bamboo is incredibly polluting unless it’s 100% organic. Don’t be duped by the “natural” buzzword!
3. FIND THE PROOF
Check for industry-standard certifications that verify a brand's environmental claims. Look out for Bluesign, Cradle to Cradle Certified, Fair Trade, and GOTS certifications. The proof is often in the numbers, not the words, so take a second to see if their figures match their marketing - what percentage of their products are made with organic or recycled materials?
4. HOW MUCH ARE THEY PRODUCING?
Fast fashion brands often have thousands of products added to their sites daily, a practice that cannot be sustainable. What happens to waste items that are never bought? Every step in a supply chain should be environmentally-ethical, and quickly producing a huge quantity of clothes to keep up to date with the latest fashion trends, encouraging disposability, is a clear signal of unsustainable practices.
5. WHAT MATERIALS ARE THEY USING?
The textiles used by sustainable clothing brands should be made from recyclable, renewable materials like linen or hemp. Upcycled or secondhand clothes are great, but ultimately end up as waste. Organic cotton does biodegrade, but it also requires a lot of water to produce. Key fabrics to avoid are polyester, nylon, and leather. Natural dyes are also a huge bonus!
5 SUSTAINABLE NEWS WE LOVED THIS WEEK
01/ HAUTE COUTURE: THE EPITOME OF SLOW FASHION?
Couture pieces are designed to remain in a woman’s wardrobe until it’s time to be passed onto the next generation. Timelessness is their priority, not the latest fashion trends, so that they remain eternally elegant - a quality essential to the industry of sustainable fashion. With the use of eco-friendly materials becoming more popular within Couture fashion, it’s quickly becoming an exemplar for slow fashion.
02/ TO REGULATE OR NOT TO REGULATE? THE ROLE OF NGOS IN FASHION
If we want widespread change in the fashion industry, regulation is a necessity. However, many governmental organisations don’t want to impose formal regulations, so it’s up to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as the UN, the G7 Fashion Pact, and Greenpeace, to provide regulatory initiatives for the fashion industry that promote sustainability on a global scale - but how do they enforce them?
03/ A SUSTAINABLE SUPERYACHT
Sailing your own superyacht is one of the most carbon-intensive activities on the planet, relying heavily on fossil fuels. But, there’s a glimmer of hope for luxury-travel lovers: using hydrogen as a fuel source for yachts, in place of diesel, could be the sustainable solution. Sinot, Hynova, and Toyota are all companies racing to create the yacht of the future - so watch this space.
04/ SUSTAINABILITY NEVER TASTED SO GOOD
Michelin-star chef Sat Bains knows how to make eco-friendly food taste amazing, and his Nottingham-based restaurant is the proof, with a tasting menu that uses seasonal produce from their urban garden and greenhouse, as well as honey from their own beehives to create creative, modern, and refined dishes. All food waste becomes fertiliser and solar panels provide their power, so that you can enjoy their food knowing that each bite contributes to a more sustainable future.
05/ W'AIR: SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING CARE MADE SIMPLE
The first sustainable laundry device is ready to hit the market, and we’re here for it. The W’air is a three-in-one device that removes stains, dirt, and odours, but uses up to 99% less water than conventional laundry. Globally, the way we wash and dry our clothes and the regularity at which we do so is thought to account for an enormous 120 million tonnes of CO2 - we’ve got a great guide to washing smarter, but if you want a shortcut, this is your answer.
REASONS TO LOVE LINEN
THE LANGUAGE OF LINEN:
Linen was so ingrained into the culture and everyday life of Medieval Europe, that, just looking at the English language itself, we can see how many words have stemmed from the Latin name for flax, “linum”: lining, lingerie, linseed, linoleum are all examples. Just one fabric crops up everywhere in language - we may be biased, but we think it’s because it’s the best fabric there is.