The Sustainable Fashion Challenge

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This article was published in The Beam #7 — Subscribe now for more on the topic.

Here’s an assignment for you. Open your wardrobe and take a moment to look at each piece of clothing you own. Who made your favorite shirt? What about the working conditions of the person who assembled that pair of jeans? Where do all the fabrics come from? Now, check the labels. Is it still your favorite shirt? We all know the ‘Fast Fashion’ industry is a disaster for the planet and for workers, who are often women in the developing world earning less than three dollars a day in unsafe conditions.

It’s not as difficult or as expensive as you might think to shift to ecological and fair-trade clothing. ‘Slow Fashion’ is becoming a global movement that needs more people to create momentum. To help you make more conscious choices, here are some of our favorite sustainable brands. We have the power to change things; when we buy better we send market signals to change the system for good. #byebyefastfashion


Photo: Jan ‘N June

“A bottle of wine, Hamburg, summer 2013. That‘s when we first had the idea to come up with an eco fashion label. It was a personal need,” explain Jula and Anna, the two women behind the sustainable brand.

Jan ‘N June only uses sustainable materials such as organic or recycled cotton, recycled polyester and polyamide, organic linen, and Tencel, a botanic fiber made by the company Lenzing which is obtained from wood.

All Jan ‘N June garments are produced in a family-owned factory in Wroclaw, Poland. The two women behind the sustainable brand have built a long-lasting partnership with their manufacturer, the Ciborski family, to keep things simple, transparent, and ensure every piece of garment is produced ethically.

Check out the Jan ‘N June collections:


Photo: ArmedAngels

“It takes a lot of sweat and time to produce clothes, as many people are involved in this long process. It is our responsibility to make sure that every single one of them works under fair conditions. No matter if they are a cotton farmer in India, a sewer in Turkey or a designer in Germany.”

Founded in 2007, the German sustainable fashion label is trying to change the perception of eco-friendly clothing being ‘hippy like’ and not fashionable to it being perceived as “hip,” “chic” streetwear. By working exclusively with socially responsible companies that are certified as being fair trade, ArmedAngels makes a social statement about fashion while raising awareness about the fashion industry and the injustices that arise as a result.

Check out the ArmedAngels collections:

By The Beam Editor-in-Chief Anne-Sophie Garrigou.

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The Beam Magazine is an independent climate solutions and climate action magazine. It tells about the most exciting solutions, makes a concrete contribution to eliminating climate injustices and preserving this planet for all of us in its diversity and beauty. Our cross-country team of editors works with a network of 150 local journalists in 50 countries talking to change makers and communities. THE BEAM is published in Berlin and distributed in nearly 1,000 publicly accessible locations, to companies, organizations and individuals in 40 countries across the world powered by FairPlanet.

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