How Sustainable is MEW Clothing?
My goal is to be as transparent and honest as possible about how sustainable our clothing is. Most of my shortcomings relate to affordability. By admitting my limitations I hope you can trust I am trying my best and committed to continually improving my impact.
How Sustainable are the Sleeping Bag Jackets?
- + The base of the jacket is fully upcycled from sleeping bags and doonas.
- + They are also made to be high quality to delay needing to be discarded.
- The insulation inside the doona jackets are also usually sourced second hand but every now and then this will be bought new because they are hard to find.
- + Our designs are ‘timeless’ and often made using vintage materials - they do not follow trends and will not go out of fashion.
- - The zips are brand new and therefore not sustainable. It is important the zips are high quality and in working order. In the past I have used second hand zips and they broke, causing the jacket to be damaged and ultimately, discarded.
- - The fleece used on the sleeves is usually bought brand new and is not sustainable. It is very hard to find fleece second hand in lengths large enough to use, and it is almost impossible to buy sustainable fleece. As I grow I will be able to afford to buy sustainable fleece in bulk.
How Sustainable are the Tracksuits?
- + The tracksuits come in very limited quantities and so are 'slow fashion'.
- + They are very high quality and therefore built to last.
- + They are not designed based on trends - the designs aim to be timeless so they do not go out of fashion.
- - The material of my first collection was polyester. Polyester is one of the worst fabrics as it is made using petroleum and has difficulty breaking down. The limitation here is money. As a small business, I just could not afford better fabric. In my next collection I attempted to step this up - the Respect Your Youth jumpers were made using cotton, which is not made using petroleum and is easier to break down. However cotton is still not the best fabric (unless it is organic cotton) as it consumes lots of water. For a description of which materials are most sustainable, please see this page here.
My next goal is to move away from tracksuits until I can afford to create them more sustainably. I will move to t-shirts which are more affordable and for which eco-friendly options are more available. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me on Instagram @mewclothing_