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ethical clothing

Fashion, Life & Style

ad | Renting Your Clothes Could Be the Future of Ethical Fashion

renting clothing for the environment
renting clothing future of ethical fashion
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Fast fashion is getting faster, and its impact on the planet is rising. According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – the UK government’s waste advisory body – clothing has the 4th largest environmental impact after housing, transport, and food.

When you look at any statistics around clothes shopping and clothes disposal it is enough to make your head spin:

  • In the UK we buy 1.13 million tonnes of new clothing per year.
  • This causes 26 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from production to disposal.
  • 300,000 tonnes of clothing head straight to landfill every year in the UK.
  • We wear our clothes 36% less than we did 15 years ago.
  • 70% of all clothing donated to charity shops in Europe ends up in Africa, where it negatively impacts on local makers and sellers of clothing. This piece of modern colonialism disguised as donation makes for a good read.

What’s the Answer?

I firmly believe that the answer lies mainly in stricter regulation on fast fashion producers. However, in 2019, the UK government rejected a report calling for fast fashion retailers to address their impact on the environment and working conditions.

This means at the moment until we see change at the governmental level, the responsibility is shouldered by the consumer (i.e. us), and in adopting more sustainable shopping practices where we can.

However, whilst interest in sustainable fashion is rising, there are barriers to dressing more sustainably. Sustainable clothing brands aren’t always the most size-inclusive. Sustainable clothing is also often considered as too expensive, although I would urge you to give this piece on is ethical fashion expensive a read.

So What Can We Do?

One way that we can green our wardrobes is to cut back on clothes shopping and swap clothes with friends of a similar size, or rent clothing instead.

One such clothing rental service in the UK is The Devout – a British born rental fashion company making its mark on the fashion industry that currently caters to women from size 4 to size 18, and men from size XS to XXL – with plans to cater to larger sizes.

It’s incredibly straightforward. The Devout delivers 5 items of premium brand clothing of your choice to your door. You can browse by size, and by brand and occasion – e.g. summer, wedding, workwear – from The Devout’s huge selection, to pick out exactly what you need for the upcoming month. Your items are then delivered to you, and you get to keep the items for one month, before returning and receiving your next 5 items.

ethical clothing rental for women
Some of The Devout’s current rental pieces, including pieces from People Tree, Ganni, and Reformation.

It’s convenient – I would say more convenient than shopping multiple retailers for clothing – and an altogether planet-friendlier way of greening your wardrobe. Gone are the days of wearing an item once for a night out and relegating it to the back of your wardrobe.

The Devout is especially great if designer labels are your thing, but you don’t have a designer label budget. With beautiful pieces from designer brands such as Ganni and Reformation, that retail for £200 each, the good news is the monthly fee is fixed regardless of the value of your items that you have chosen.

ethical clothing rental for men
Some of The Devout’s ethical rental options for men

It costs £79 a month to join, so if you are spending near or above this amount a month on clothing, then it’s a great option to try and see if it works for you.

When you join The Devout and pick out your first five pieces you can even get £25 off your first box when you join by using the code DEVOUT25 at the checkout.

Hate washing and ironing? Don’t worry, there’s no need to wash, dry, and iron your clothes before sending them back to The Devout, as they handle the laundry and ironing process on return to ensure quality control for all outgoing rentals.

What if Something Breaks or Tears?

As someone who is more than a little accident-prone, my first worry about renting clothes is damaging them. But if you are anything like me, then don’t worry, The Devout offers complimentary insurance as part of your monthly subscription to cover you for minor damages to your clothes.  Minor damages that they cover for include:

  • Broken zips
  • Light fading
  • Tears on the seam line
  • Loosening of seams
  • Lost buttons 
  • Stains which can be removed during their professional cleaning service

Would you try renting clothes? Have you rented clothing? Let me know – I’d love to hear your experience.

Fashion, Life & Style

Ethical Socks and Tights Guide

ethical socks tights uk

On the lookout for ethical socks and ethical tights?  Good news: I’ve got you covered with this handy guide.

Socks and tights are as much of an autumn and winter staple as cups of tea, blankets, and nice woolly jumpers.  I’m never without a pair of socks.  So, as a wardrobe essential, I’ve hunted down ethical socks for men and women to feature here.  I’ve also thrown in ethical tights for good measure too.

Listed below are a few of my favourite brands in 2021. And I’m always on the lookout for more to feature here:

ethical socks uk
Ethical socks from Thought

Guide to Ethical Socks & Tights

To help support the running costs of the blog any links marked with a * after them are affiliate links. This means I may get a very tiny percentage of the sale price if you buy anything using the links below.  This doesn’t affect the price you pay for items or your consumer rights, such as your right to return items.

Ethical Socks Guide

Bam: Bamboo

Bam: Bamboo* sells soft socks from sustainably sourced bamboo.  Packs of four cost around £18. What’s more, if you buy any 3 selected mix and match garments from Bam Bamboo – these don’t have to be socks – you will receive 20% off.

Heist

Heist*, who has a strong commitment to sustainability, sells lightweight pop socks that despite their thinness, are designed to last. Think reinforced toes and heels.  Their stay-up ankle band also means no digging or your socks rolling down, which is great because this is always a problem with this type of sock.  Each pair is £7.

Jollies

Jollies sell colourful organic cotton socks that are made in England.  What’s more, for every pair sold, one pair of Jollies socks is donated to local homeless shelters.  So far thousands of pairs of socks have been donated to over 50 shelters nation-wide.  Prices start from £9.

Leiho

Leiho’s* sustainably sourced & vegan-friendly bamboo socks are not only fun but charitable too.  For every pair of socks sold, a pair is donated to homeless shelters.  Prices are around £12 per pair.

Organic Basics

Organic Basics* sell soft and durable socks ethically and sustainably made in Turkey and Portugal from organic cotton. Prices start at £12 for a pack of two. What’s more, take 10% off your order with discount code WENDYOBC at the checkout.

People Tree

Ethical stalwarts People Tree* sell super soft organic cotton socks in a wide range of colours, prints, and designs.  Their ethical socks start from £7 per pair.

Ethical Tights Guide

ethical socks and tights uk
Ethical Tights from Heist

The market for ethical tights is small, but I have found some gems for you:

Heist

Heist’s* specialty is their Italian made tights.  I love a lot of things about Heist. Where to start?! From their range of nude tights in seven representative shades. To their thicker 80 denier tights. To fishnets made from sustainable pre-consumer recycled waste. What’s more, all of their tights come in more inclusive sizes, catering for a UK size 4 up to a UK size 22.   

Swedish Stockings

Swedish Stockings* sustainable hosiery range is made from pre- and post-consumer nylon waste that is non-biodegradable. They recycle this waste nylon to create their range of tights, socks, and leggings. All of this reduces water consumption and energy., making them a great sustainable choice. They also run a great tights recycling scheme, where you can recycle your old tights.

Another option in autumn and winter, if you’re wearing boots, is to wear leggings with socks.  Ok, it’s not so attractive when you take off your boots, but I like wearing leggings as they are nice and cosy and don’t snag or run like tights do, making them much more durable.  I don’t mind spending a bit more on something that I know is going to last and are as versatile as leggings.  If you’re after leggings too then my favourite ethical leggings come from People Tree* and Organic Basics*.

PS: while you are here, you might also find this post on ethical underwear useful too!