Tag

men’s clothing

Fashion, Life & Style, Special Occasions

Ethical Gift Ideas for Men With Brothers We Stand

brothers we stand shop

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I know I have already shared some ethical gift ideas on the blog this month, but what if you are still struggling for ideas for your significant other/dad/brother/best friend?  I know I certainly find men in particular difficult to shop for.

Thankfully ethical menswear retailer Brothers We Stand (who excitingly have just opened up their first physical store in Bristol’s Wapping Wharf after years of trading solely online) have handily put together an ethical gift guide for men.

If you have never heard of Brothers We Stand, they are a clothing retailer exclusively selling ethically produced menswear from a tightly curated collection of independent ethical brands and designers.

Every item they sell has undergone rigorous research by the Brothers We Stand team to ensure each product offered meets the highest design and ethical standards.  From what the clothes are made from; to how the clothes are made and by whom; and to how durable the clothes are, these are all key considerations made before any new product is stocked by Brothers We Stand.

All of this information is shared to shoppers through a unique tag telling the story of each item.  When you are browsing a particular item simply click on the ‘footprint’ section for a detailed rundown on what makes the item ethical and sustainable, and in some cases, where the item could be improved in the future.  Sometimes ethical shopping is all about compromise, and I really respect the fact that Brothers We Stand haven’t shied away from this fact.

Here are some of their top picks for ethical and sustainable gents this Christmas!

Recycled Card Holder

elvis kresse card holder

 

This beautiful double cardholder (£31) from Elvis & Kresse, is made from decommissioned British fire hoses and is lined with reclaimed parachute silk from the British military.  There’s a whole lot of recycling in there, and the finished piece is a thing of beauty.  And it’s even Oyster card friendly if your gent is London based.

Organic Jumper

ethical gift ideas for men

This GOTS certified organic cotton jumper (£87) is from Danish ethical brand DCA is ethical, sustainable and built to last.  It’s stylish and cosy and beats a novelty Christmas jumper hands down any day!

Organic Polo Shirt

KNOWLEDGE COTTON APPAREL ORGANIC PIQUE POLO

This 100% organic cotton polo-shirt (£50) is again from DCA, and is perfect for dapper gents interested in sustainable style.  Even the dye used is non-harmful, and they are dyed in modern dye houses focused on minimising water usage and responsible waste water treatment.  Two thumbs up!

Organic Socks

jollie socks

If you are looking for something less spendy then you can rarely go wrong with socks.  Especially with these organic cotton Jollie Socks (£14), which are made in the UK, and for every pair sold a pair is donated to a local homeless centre.

Organic Cotton Hoodie

silverstick hoodie

Finally, this lovely GOTS certified organic cotton hoodie (£59) is a midweight hoodie ethically made in Portugal by ethical manufacturers Silverstick.  With  doubleweight hood and reinforced pockets this hoodie will be sure to be a favourite for many many years to come.

Be sure to catch the full gift guide over at Bothers We Stand!

Fashion, Life & Style

Transparency: is it the new innovation in fashion?

transparency ethical fashion

transparency ethical fashion

Fast fashion dominates in our culture and, in order to keep up with the latest trend, we are provided with a constant stream of the latest ‘must-have’ pieces.

But do we know enough about the journey of our clothes?  Many fashion brands are still concealing unsafe and unfair working conditions, with a lack of transparency in supply chains.

Georgina Rawes from Ethical Consumer discusses the supply chains of some of the most popular high-street retailers and shines the light on some alternative brands who’ve built transparency into the heart of their business.

Who pays the price for cheap, fast fashion?

It’s been four years since the tragedy that unfolded at Rana Plaza, the Bangladeshi clothing factory that collapsed in 2013 killing 1,135 workers and injuring 2,500 more.  This awful incident opened the world’s eyes to the dire conditions that many workers endure in order to fulfil the fashion demands of the west.

Huge consumer pressure and campaigning followed this event, pushing most high-street brands to investigate their supply chains.  Many have taken action to clean up their act when it comes to understanding their supply chains, acknowledging the issues and starting to make positive changes.

In fact, our latest report into high-street retailers shows that 70% of high street retailers now receive our ‘best’ rating for supply chain management, but there is still a way to go.  The very fact that fast fashion needs to be produced cheaply drives a spiral of decreasing wages and tight timescales, which results in longer working hours and cost-cutting, sometimes at the expense of safety:

Clothes Shop Scorecard

Bad working conditions are still being reported today and most of the high-street retailers were marked down in our report for the worker’s rights category.  Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) reported in 2016 that factories producing clothes for GAP, H&M and Inditex (Zara) regularly forced workers to work excessively long overtime to meet disproportionally tight delivery times.  Workers were exposed to toxic chemicals, cotton dust and hazardous dust without protective gear, they received poor representation and did not receive a living wage.

It’s clear that more still needs to be done.

Brands built on ethical foundations

Rather than backtracking through a broken business model, trying to fix supply chain issues, there is a new breed of alternative retailers who are building their businesses from an ethical core.

In our alternative clothing report we reviewed a dynamic and eclectic group of ethical clothing stores.  Many of whom are going beyond the organic and Fair Trade labels, providing complete transparency in their supply chain, and celebrating a culture that puts workers’ rights first.  These companies are the pioneers and innovators of the slow fashion movement.

Meet our three best-of-the-best, when it comes to transparency, to see how they’re changing the face of fashion, with slow, lovingly-crafted pieces built on a fair foundation.

Know The Origin

Know the Origin ethical clothing

Know The Origin received 17 out of 20 on our ethical report, showing a commitment across the board to ethical and sustainable behaviours.  Their ‘seed to garmentweb page takes consumers through the six stages of their manufacturing process showing full transparency for each supplier.  They work with certified organic and Fair-Trade farmer-run cooperatives and all workers across the supply chain are guaranteed a fair living wage.  Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified dyes, which are 100% azo-free, ensure worker safety in their factories and they take transparency to a whole new level by encouraging factory visits.

Rapanui

Rapanui clothing

Rapanui puts transparency in the hands of the consumer through their innovative system.  Customers scan the QR code on the garment’s label to reveal a traceability map showing the journey from seed to product.

Rapanui pay workers 20-80% more than the minimum wage in each geographical area and carefully audit their suppliers to ensure that this policy is adhered to: ‘workers in our overseas supply chain have enough for their house, weekly shop and to send their kids to school looking smart – plus a little left over at the end’.

They have even opened this model up to other companies.  Their sister brand, Teemill provides other retailers and artists with the platform to design and print their own sustainable products, sourced from Rapanui’s robust supply chain.

Brothers We Stand

brothers we stand

Menswear online retailer, Brothers We Stand, requires all suppliers to provide a full breakdown of their supply chain.  But more than that, they must demonstrate a positive social or environmental impact before they will be considered.  The result is a fully vetted and transparent chain with accountability built in.

Their footprint tabs show ethical information for all items at point of sale, providing customers with all of the information they need to make an educated ethical purchase.

When brands are ready to open the doors and proudly display their supply chain, we’ll know that slow fashion is starting to take hold and that fast fashion may have run its course.  But in the meantime, you can support the companies who are doing it right now.

Check out our alternative clothing report for more information on these and a whole range of other brands.

 

Top image used courtesy of Know The Origin.