Sustainable: Does that make you think of hippies in hemp waistcoats with coconut shell buttons?
Long gone are those days, take a look at British designer Stella McCartney who has been championing faux leather and sustainable material for years.
Now KRAIT have arrived and, me, myself and I are responsible for the impact this fashion brand has on everyone from beginning to end of the supply chain, as well as the environment. This new set of eyes has made me see things in such a different light. Sustainable fashion, use of excess fabrics, cutting down production waste, all this is great but sustainability also means upholding the tradition and authenticity of local craftsmanship and employing skilled artisans to do the job, rather than outsourcing to fossil fuelled factories.
Did you know on average, it takes 2,600 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans. And you can buy these said jeans for as little as £7 in some stores on the UK high street. Isn't that a shocking figure, and we haven't even touched on working conditions, pay, pre and post production waste, pollution. It might be a steal for you, but the price is steep for the environment and the people who suffer in appalling conditions.
I have visited many factories across India, some where I have spoken to employers who work 14 hour days for the pitiful sum of £4.18. Men and children who sit on sewing machines in sweltering conditions, with their basic needs not being covered. All so you can go and pick up your t-shirt for £1.50, that you will wear three, maybe four times and then throw away because it's fallen to pieces. And we wonder why they are not the best quality, because quality equals expense.
Trends, what wonderful things that allow you to invest in the 'it' colour, style, item of every season that is dictated to you. Trends can be fun, but how much of this trend is you liking it, or you being brainwashed to like it? What I think I am getting at, is that trends are not the be all and end all, and if having everything that is 'trendy' makes you fashionable that is just a recipe for mass consumption and mass production, and more often than not its from the fast fashion brands. Being fashionable and on trend is down to you, how you style yourself, how creative you are with your styling, what you are trying to express through clothing and what identity you want to be today when you get dressed.
The ethos behind it is 'Buy Less, Love More' which is from Bethany Rowntree the founder of Studio-B. Invest in quality items that will last and be creative with this. If we are a little bit more aware and educated on the destruction fast fashion causes, maybe we will think twice about buying that 27th pair of jeans that you do not really need.
KRAIT want to show you how investment in the right brands can really make a direct difference to other peoples lives. We are bringing you a truly transparent supply chain and with that a relationship and story behind the clothes you buy from us. Every piece of clothing from our next collection will be trackable back to the wonder woman who made it in rural India. There is a note from the KRAIT Founder with every item you get delivered and this will tell you the name of the women who made your clothing, then you are able to find her picture and story on our website. You can see first hand how your investment in KRAIT and our partner IPHD India has impacted these women's lives.
At KRAIT we do not produce any more fabric, accessories, trims for our collections. We source vintage fabric or we buy surplus fabric destined for land fill if it isn't bought. We limit out production waste to the best of our ability and we invest in the skills training of the women in Bhikamkor, India.
Thankfully, there are eco-friendly initiatives picking up steam but being sustainable and doing what is right does not come at a cheap price. So please think about it next time you are contemplating buying a dress for £5.50- that brand will still be making a profit on each piece of between 300%-500% so how much did that cost them to make? What are the knock on effects of all the people who work on their supply chain?