Many people are aware of the unethical working conditions of employees who manufacture so called 'fast' fashion. Everyone is guilty of turning a blind eye to this, cheap clothes will always appeal to your average consumer.
Besides the human rights issues associated with cheap clothing, people are starting to realize the huge environmental impact of this industry.
Recurrent issues such as water pollution, use of microfibres which result in microplastics in our oceans and transport of materials and products to and from cheap labour countries are detrimental to the health of the environment.
However, there are several businesses who have recognized this problem and have decided to sell products with less of a environmental impact. These businesses feature products produced and printed in Ireland, creating Irish jobs while also cutting down on emissions.
An obvious sacrifice to this is usually cost, as these products are often more expensive than their cheaply produced counterparts. This isn't always the case however and it should not deter people from browsing the featured sites below. Purchasing just one or two items instead of cheap 'fast' fashion is a step in the right direction.
If possible make changes to your shopping habits to reduce the impact that the clothing industry has on our planet. Please have a look at the sites below.
Featuring Men's and Women's clothing as well as shoes and accessories, fresh cuts clothing is the largest sustainably sourced clothes store, featuring a variety of products at reasonable prices.
GROWN is the only clothing brand in Ireland that is a member of the 1% for the planet initative. They actively invest in environmental organisations while undertaking various projects themselves such as native Irish tree-planting. They provide mens and womens t-shirts and jumpers.
Jump the Hedges is a bag making company based in Northern Ireland which creates products sourced from reclaimed materials.
Due South features a range of male and female clothing, with all items sourced from eco-friendly materials.
The jewellery industry is a commonly overlooked industry which is greatly damaging the environment. The mining for precious metals destroys natural habitats and disrupts ecosystems. The mining itself is often not heavily regulated and therefore prone to pollution of the neighbouring environment with mining waste.
CO2 emissions throughout the entire process are very high, with gold production one of the highest emitters amongst mined metals. The easy solution to this is to use recycled or second-hand jewellery, a solution which businesses are starting to employ.
Etsy is an online marketplace featuring a variety of Irish made, eco-friendly jewellery. Some pages to look at are
Golden Forest Boutique: Website and ETSY store,
Chupi is an Irish-owned, successful jewellery brand specializing in luxury items made from sustainably sourced, recycled materials. Chupi uses recycled gold and other metals in the making of their jewellery pieces.
Lost Forest produces unique jewellery pieces containing plants and animals found in Ireland encased within an eco-friendly pine resin. Their handmade pieces offer a fantastic alternative to traditional jewellery products.
There are several Irish websites selling a range of eco-friendly products, including items for your home and bathroom, alongside a variety of everyday items.
We've included a few of these sites below. Click on the site logo to be taken to their respective home-pages.