Written By Maria Giglio
I remember the last time I walked around Regent’s Street area in London. It was last winter on a Saturday. Ok, it may not have been the last time, but surely it was the most memorable. I passed by a fur shop. A bunch of protesters stood in front of the building yelling at anyone getting out of the fancy door. Several bystanders just didn’t take them seriously or worse, they held their children tight, covering their eyes and ears, as if they were assisting to a terrorist attack. It was a moment of dramedy.
Ok, we get it. In the era of veganism, environmentalism, climate change strikes, grumpy looks from Greta Thunberg to Donald Trump, not everyone is ready to give up their comfort food just yet, and for what? The promise of a better future? Ain’t no hero, ain’t no saint, right? Wrong! Maybe this is an era in desperate need of a Marvel character, only this time the whole world is at stake. And by world, I mean trees, animals, insects, fish, your delicious bonsai, your Golden Retriever, but also you and I, our children and their children. Only problem is… The environmental alarm is set to 2030. In a world without fictional saviours, only humanity can save itself from self-destruction. Good news: we are still in time to make this happen. How? By compromising on our old habits: energy and food waste, water efficiency, responsible consumption. In a nutshell, sustainability. And compared to the payoff, this is really a small effort. The growing concern about sustainability issues has finally led many industries to look at it as a crucial bullet point in their performance checklist. Sustainable goals are increasingly becoming a key determinant of bottom line performances.
A relatively young capitalist economic superpower and a fast-forward technological hub, China is a fertile environment to grow sustainable businesses. As an important branch of mass consumption, fashion is one of the most prosperous industries affected by sustainability goals. A workforce of young, western-educated home-comers are prepared to redress their homeland reputation with sustainable initiatives.
What is sustainable fashion?
The very first important question to ask is: what do we mean by sustainable fashion? The answer is, one that is environmental-friendly, but also people-friendly. Why would (and should) we support it, then?
It’s good for the planet
Sustainability intuitively relates to environmental issues. In what ways fashion can be sustainable under this aspect? First of all, generally ethical brands offer handmade products, usually unique pieces. Taking mass-production off the table implies to avoid frenetic production which exhausts resources rapidly, but also to avoid industrial processing which implies high level of energy emission, chemical material usage, water consumption, toxic waste.
Moreover, sustainable clothing is made of natural, organic and recycled materials. This contributes to reduce the ecological footprint not only because “what comes from nature returns to nature” but also because it reduces waste production. In fact, organic fabric generally ensures a better quality of clothing, which usually lasts longer than synthetic fibres. This discourages you from disposing of a shirt right after few months of usage.
It’s good for yourself
I’ve just pointed out that a very important feature of sustainable fashion is that is made of organic fabric. This is also good for your health. As a customer, you don’t want to risk to wake up covered in rash because of the wrong pajama. Organic fabrics usually have a very low level, if not free, of toxicity and carcinogens.
Moreover, let’s not forget that handmade production grants you top quality and awesome unique pieces, at a fairly reasonable prices. Don’t you want to feel special and unique too?
It’s good for other people
Environment and health are the most obvious reasons for going sustainable. But beyond those, we should think of sustainability more as a holistic concept, that refers to all the dimensions of our living together. It’s a call to share the global limited space and resources equally, responsibly and kindly, paying the same consideration for the well-being of others as the consideration we expect them to pay for us. The official plan for sustainability set up by the UN, the Sustainable Development Goals (in short 2030 SDGs), amounts to 17 global goals in total including social goals in the global political agenda.
To mention some, gender equality, education, peace, justice, decent work, innovation. So, beyond the eco-friendly purpose, sustainable fashion also aims at achieving social equality. How? By taking care of the well-being of women and men behind each product. For example, the use of organic materials reduces the risk of exposure to and inhalation of toxic substances, thus safeguarding the worker’s health. Moreover, sustainable brands endorse a policy of fairness. Retailers in this slice of market are usually committed to promote the ethnic products of the most marginalised communities in the world to support their independent development. How? By granting fair pay and treating them as equal partners and avoiding engaging in abusive practices. Last but not least, by promoting their cultural heritage, often at risk of disappearance due to the mass-globalisation.
Ultimately, it’s good for your soul
Yes, it is. Don’t you feel already empowered by knowing that so much good can come from one simple gesture? You are one bag away from changing a life, for real.
Chinese Brands Committed to Ethical Fashion
And if you’re curious to know who is striving for social change in the Chinese fashion district, here are some examples:
Nuomi – A high-end fashion line, Nuomi empowers women with its handmade line, all using natural fibres such as bamboo, cotton, silk, and an admirable working ethics, creating employment opportunities in disadvantaged contexts.
Fake Natoo – is a true blessing for the environment, using exclusively recycled and donated materials. The fashion brand is also committed to create working opportunities for migrant female creatives by giving 10% of its annual revenue to their cooperatives.
NEEMIC – this high end fashion brand uses 100% organic materials, from fabric to cleansing products such as biodegradable soaps to avoid chemical waste.
Interact China: Do good, look good, feel good!
If you are looking for something that ticks all the boxes but is also culturally tripping, look no more! Interact China is devoted to promoting the delicate creations of Chinese and Southeast Asian ethnic communities.
Our mission is to improve the livelihood of these communities by providing them with the opportunity to sell their products in the global market.
Each item is a little treasure telling the story of its people’s long journey. Do you want to hear it? The way we see it: do good, look good, feel good! You are just a click away from making it happen… Visit us on www.InteractChina.com !
About Interact China
“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”
Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.
So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.
P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you!