Sustainable Fashion is (Now) Popular

Sustainable Fashio

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We all wear clothes, naturally. The problem is that these clothes aren’t always natural. We look at some companies – Me to We and Invisible Children – that are both producing environmentally-friendly threads that look as good as they are for the Earth.

by Nils Blondon

Bamboo shirts, hemp pants, towels fashioned of organic cottons and philanthropy. Sounds like lunacy, doesn’t? The workings of a vegan fashion designer fused with environmentalist. Well, this is partially true. Take one part aesthetic genius, an equal measure of goodwill, and combine a dash of amnesty and save-the-planet furor and you have sustainable clothing. A collection of all things eco-friendly and charitable.            

And it’s becoming a big movement.

Toronto hosts a sizeable lot of sustainable purveyors. Befitting for a city with the catchphrase, “Toronto the Good”. There are the small community shops such as Grassroots on Bloor West and Toronto Hemp Company on Queen Street speckling the city. But then take companies such as Me to We.

A grassroots champion of humanitarianism nestled in the espresso-stained sidewalks of Cabbagetown, this social enterprise has redefined style. Now, I’ve always tried to be friendly to the planet and her progeny. I’m mindful of the recycling bin and trashcan. But I’m no avatar of eco-activism. And when juxtaposed beside a giant like Me to We, I look like a seal-clubbing demon that exudes carbon when I breathe.  

Me to We’s founders – brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger – were swamped with requests for products that fit societal standards of the developing communities they worked in. The demand spawned the Me to We: Responsible Style clothing line. The fashion line offers a substantial array of organic garb to socially-conscious consumers. T-shirts, tank tops, v-necks, hoodies, hats, scarves, dresses, pants, even polo’s. All offered in a hip, sleek designs. From modest pastel yellows, greens and ranging coloured shirts sporting pronounced credos. Messages such as “Together we Can,”  “Be the Change” and “Break the Silence” emblazoned on the shirts. You can be politically aware while giving back to the world that nurtures you.

Me to We is the antithesis of Nike. They condemn the use of sweatshops and streamline 50 per cent of profits to Free The Children, the international charity battling child labour. Coupled with the fact that they only use certified organic cotton and bamboo and that all the clothing is made in Canada, Me to We is making headway in an otherwise apathetic ethos.

Invisible Children, rather, started as a documentary film. A brainchild of three young Californians on a quest to detail the barbarisms of the Ugandan conflict, a movement was born. The significant issue was child soldiers. This tryst with the realties of injustice has since morphed into a behemoth activist group with global-backing. Invisible Children initiates a surplus of programs to bolster third-world sympathies and raise funds for the children being robbed of their childhood.

Boasting an impressive online store, Invisible Children offers socially-conscious clothes that are both modern and appeasing to the eyes. Its Tri program offers the browser the chance to make recurring donations in an attempt to bring child soldiers home. By signing up, you become eligible for complimentary clothes and a chance to make a profound imprint on the life of a child forced into war.

And this isn’t it. There are thousands of such groups all working steadfastly at healing our scarred planet whilst making you look good. Something we can all take notes about. Really, it comes down to a choice. Join a philosophy not all about yourself. Let the fashion speak for itself, which for sustainable fashion will speak volumes more than the high-flung fashionistas tripping down the runway.

It’s that simple, let’s start.

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