Eva Pascoe | Digital Retailer

Fashion and lifestyle brands have been working hard over the last few years to improve retail sustainability.  Earth Day is a good opportunity to check progress, pin down what needs fixing and celebrate a few of the achievements.

One of the ways to help the planet turns out to be to drink more local beer – something we are always keen to practice. While Belgium “blonde” and Polish “Zywiec “are always close to our hearts, the best way to party in eco-style is to visit your nearest local brewery.  Beer kegs are heavy and transporting it long distance was only eco-friendly when barrels travelled on carts pulled by traditional Shire draught horses. Alas, that is not the case anymore, with Shires on ‘at risk’ breeds list and kegs flying to UK on airplanes. We enjoy a pint from our local brewery like Reading’s Double Barrelled with knowledge that we are optimising our carbon emissions as well as supporting innovative local brewers.

If wine is your poison of choice, look no further than The Grange sparkling wine, otherwise known as “Hampshire Brut”, from the banks of river Itchen. Available from UrbanBar.com, this lightly sparkling English wine is not only eco-friendly, does not need to travel far to reach you in UK, but it can also give Champagne masters a run for their money. Urban Bar has championed English wines for a long time, and it is with great satisfaction that thanks to changes to our temperature and climate, they can now celebrate local wines winning top awards in US and Europe.

If picnic is more your thing than pubs, you can do well setting a gorgeous table outside in the garden. Beautiful linen tablecloths are our favourites, but excess water needed for production has always been a challenge for linen production. However, new technologies of water re-use are now affordable for smaller mills, and linen has re-entered eco-friendly textile list.

Traditionally high-water consuming materials like linens are now processed in innovative water saving ways. An example can be found on luxury linen tablecloths brand SummerhillandBishop.com. Its linens are created in a new production framework where water is treated in fully house and 50% of it is re-used, following Oeko-Tex standards.

For those who want to wear something special for our Planet Party, you could pick new top or t-shirt from one of the brands that works with eco-friendly TeeMill.com.

Thanks to their new tech, avoiding overproduction is now possible, with a full range of just-in-time options for influencer-led smaller fashion brands. Here the production can be tuned to ordering system in small batches to avoid excess stock. TeeMill.com manufacturing to order is easy to integrate, connecting your brand to their print-on-demand fulfilment via custom API. Used by loved by brands like Lush and charities like Help For Heroes, TeeMill product is designed to be worn and come back to be remade when it reaches end of life.

If you want to wear something sensual under your eco-friendly t-shirt, or something to sport while plunging into the pool on a hot day, look up Bluebella.com.  Not only sensual and sexy, but the brand is also sourcing textiles from recycled mesh and contributing to repairs of our woodlands working via Ecologi – swimwear perfect for our party for the planet.

There is power in numbers as increasing number of fashion and lifestyle brands joins the ranks of B-Corporations. It involves going through a thorough process of improving sustainability at every level of your business process. But for eco-product and eco-process suppliers it creates an increasing market that awards their innovation efforts. We will only win better outcomes for greener planet when brands and suppliers join forces.

If you are ready to start the eco journey, follow inspiration from the list of the brands from BCorp – those are pioneers who have walked the walk and obtained BCorp certification. For now, join our party for the planet on the next Eco Fashion Initiative roundtable in June 2024.

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