5 Brands That Guarantee A Safe Working Environment
With a safe working environment at the core, we hope that 2020 will be the year where we finally see fashion trends that put people over profit. As we enter the new decade, we also cross the threshold of reversing climate change, and action is pressing.
Below we have highlighted 5 conscious brands that are doing their part to revolutionise the way we do fashion. They are at the forefront of creating sustainable products in a safe working environment with fair wages.
1. Blonde Gone Rogue
The conscious sister duo Gergana and Denitsa are behind the edgy colour pop brand Blonde Gone Rogue. The BGR universe is colourful, sassy and sharp. Neon hems and zippers adorn classic suits. Colour blocks spice up simple jackets. Pink collars and slips bring dresses to the spotlight.
Blonde Gone Rogue is several collections deep in its pursuit to drive real change. For this purpose, each collection elevates a key topic in climate change such as the impact of transportation, the use of water in textiles, and the ethical question of animal testing. They focus not only our clothes but also the people who make them.
Denitsa spends almost every day on the factory floor in Bulgaria where she oversees the production of every collection. That way, BGR ensures design and working environment meet the high standards. All workers are paid above a living wage and their individual stories are available on the brand’s website.
Denitsa also dedicates large parts of her busy schedule hunting down end-of-roll materials and sourcing recycled textiles to utilise fabrics that use fewer resources than conventional fashion.
How A Safe Working Environment is guaranteed
As the play on words suggests, The Blonde Chain is a blockchain equivalent offering full insight into the brand’s value and supply chain.
The lack of transparency is currently a major obstacle in the fashion industry’s quest to become more sustainable. For this reason, Blonde Gone Rogue continuously fights to remove the mystery usually surrounding the garment journey.
So far, Gergana and Denitsa have stuck to the pop-up concept. But as 2020 takes off, the sister duo plans to dive into the brick and mortar venture to create a store that revolutionises not only sustainable fashion but also the entire shopping experience.
2. Untold Treasures
Untold Treasures is the beautiful result of globetrotting gone right. In 2016, founder, Emily Senn, traveled to Peru, Colombia and Bolivia where she discovered the stunning artisan accessories. Mesmerised by what she saw, she felt a strong desire to share the unique handicrafts with the world.
Tied into the beautiful designs is a long history of craftsmanship, heritage, and cultural tradition. Each of the charming backpacks, handbags, purses, jewelry, shoes, etc are uniquely handmade.
Beautiful colours are weaved together in magnificent patterns that despite their diversity create a red thread through the entire collection.
Because Emily buys directly from the women and families who craft the products, all items are responsibly sourced. The workers are also paid a fair price for their products.
For the same reasons, the buyer has full transparency on the supply chain. This is a rarity in today’s fashion industry that often prioritises quantity, speed, and profit over people. Although Emily does not directly employ the artisans, the fair prices ensure they can afford a safe working environment.
Looking to the future, Untold Treasures envisions an ethical business model where the brand gives back to the communities through the support of local foundations and projects to improve living standards and education.
3. Saya Designs
Saya Designs emanated from the founder, Victoria’s growing awareness of environmental issues and storytelling to bring the issue forward.
Victoria embarked on a journey that took her from the UK to the capital of summer, Bali. Here, she engaged in multiple forestry projects, sustainability conferences, and local artisans to investigate the topic of deforestation which in tandem cemented the idea and concept of Saya Designs.
Indonesia is home to 10% of known plant species, 12% of mammal species and 17% of all known bird species. The country also has one of the world’s highest deforestation rates. This is an alarming development which Victoria was determined to take a stand against.
Victoria went beyond sustainable design and immersed herself in learning about circular economy and how her business could become a means to change the current industrial model.
To do this, Victoria takes waste and transforms it into stunning hairpins. Each is a small art piece in its own right.
Roots salvaged from old plantations are used to create the handcrafted hair stick, hair slides and hair forks. As a result, all are unique in their colour, design, and shape.
Victoria has taken a holistic approach to her ethical mission by employing local artisans and supporting NGOs. Through a fair price system, Victoria ensures that the local artisans enjoy a safe working environment.
For each item we purchase, Saya Designs will plant up to 10 endangered trees.
4. ToBeFrank (about what you wear)
ToBeFrank started with a mission to redefine what sustainability means. Often misappropriated for greenwashing, the brand takes the concept beyond recycled fabrics. Because without fair wages and zero chemical use, the word is meaningless.
ToBeFrank creates urban designs that join the dots between innovation, responsibility, and transparency. Colourful and straight to the point, collections include statements tees, leather jackets, jeans and the occasional pair of socks.
To increase each item’s lifetime, the brand offers detailed instructions for aftercare. ToBeFrank also advises on how to give your garments the second life they so desperately need. Fortunately, the brand has a recycling scheme in the pipe so we can return our items.
To BeFrank makes its products using recycled fibre, vegetable dyed cotton, vegetable leather, zero water technology washing and compressed apple juice waste.
The brand pays living wages and implements important training for personal and professional development. Ongoing projects including women’s empowerment in the workplace and gender equality initiatives further underpin the ethical mission. This also means that all workers enjoy a safe working environment. To increase supply chain transparency, all suppliers sign a code of conduct available on the brand’s website.
5. Fabric For Freedom
Founded by Esther Knight, Fabric For Freedom is built on a triangular foundation of truth, transparency, and justice.
The brand pledges to waste nothing. When garments are designed, manufactured and sold, FFF uses organic and recycled materials (including ends of rolls). Fabric For Freedom guarantees fair wages and a safe working environment with all production taking place ethically in the UK.
Fabric For Freedom focuses on the issue of exploitation in the fashion industry with modern slavery at the centre. The brand partners with various charities that work to improve quality of living, eradicate poverty and fight human trafficking.
Highly political, Fabric For Freedom hosts numerous panel discussions, pop-ups, workshops, and events. This is a brand dedicated to make real change in the world more generally and the fashion industry specifically.
Accounting for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, the drive for change in the fashion industry has never been more urgent. Fortunately, we have witnessed an impressive spike in conscious fashion brands with founders determined to overrule outdated and unsustainable ways of doing things.
The above are all brands that care deeply for those who make our clothes. They effectuate structures, processes, and standards that build safe working environments, foster social cohesion and fight modern slavery.
Sustainability and a safe working environment are inextricably linked and we must understand that we cannot have one without the other.