When Fashion and Eco-Consciousness Meetby Ariane Boisvert
published April 16, 2013
What our favourite labels are doing
As is now tradition, Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22. We took this opportunity to learn about the environmental policies of a few big names in fashion. You know, the labels we turn to when we have an irresistible urge to shop? Let’s see how they’re doing their part.
Aldo: Take the box, not the bag!
Loyal shoppers likely noticed a while ago that Aldo changed its shoeboxes in a very innovative way. Plastic bags are out; now, a little strap is added to the box and off you go with your latest purchase! What’s more, the boxes are now created with recycled and eco-friendly materials. And the cherry on top? Aldo encourages customers to reuse them for storage. The plain look of Aldo boxes allows customers to let their creativity go wild.
We suggest: holding a contest for a DIY shoebox makeover… because we need ideas on what to do with ours!
Aldo MOFFA Shoes, $70 in store and online.
Simons: Decidedly green
This Quebec company’s history of environmentalism began in 1990 when it adopted a beluga whale named Twik—after one of its core clothing labels—to support the St. Lawrence National Institute of Ecotoxicology in their work to preserve our marine species. Since then, Simons’ efforts for a healthier environment have only intensified. Using recycled material for bags and boxes, recovering all paper, and seeking business partners who respect environmental standards are all concrete actions this company takes.
We suggest: Simons’ line of clothing made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. We’d love to see them all grouped in one section of the store to make it easier for fashion lovers with a green ethos.
Zara: Eco-efficient shopping
The Spanish fashion giant recently faced criticism regarding its manufacturing practices. Without excusing these accusations, Zara did take a commendable eco-friendly turn a few years ago. Zara now recycles and uses environmentally-friendly materials like organic cotton; they have also banned PVC in the manufacture of their shoes and incorporated biofuel to transport their clothing in certain cases, which cuts down on carbon dioxide emissions.
We suggest: they open a few eco-friendly concept stores in Canada, which they’ve already done in Europe and New York City. It’s our turn!
Ankle-Strap Heels, $59.90 at Zara stores and online.
H&M: Don’t let fashion go to waste
If divine.ca gave out an award for most environmentally-friendly fashion company (there’s an idea!), H&M would be the winner, hands down. As well as its numerous sustainability efforts, H&M is an undisputed leader when it comes to social responsibility. We aren’t saying everything is rosy—or green, perhaps—but they continue taking steps to improve, and this company should be an example to others in the industry.
What do we love? The entire Conscious collection which, apart from being adorable, is made from organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel (a viscose-like material made from eucalyptus pulp). On top of that, H&M has a Don’t let fashion go to waste program to counter today’s prevalent overconsumption. To find out more about their environmental and social responsibility policies, check out about.hm.com.
Sandal Heels (made from recycled polyester), $59.95 at H&M.