Posts

Say it like it is – Slogan tops Stiall is loving

They’re all under €50, made from organic cotton and ethically sourced.

We’ve got four slogan tops we think you’re going to love just as much as us.

 



It’s alllll good, Bien Top, €45, Click Here to Purchase

 

Take a stand, Sister. Click here to purchase

 

 

 

 

 

Cease that day with some attitude, Click here to purchase

 

The perfect attire for a Monday, Click here to purchase

How to know if you’re buying from an ethical brand

It’s no easy task. Being ethical in what you buy and sustainable in what you have, so here’s the 411 on what cuts the mustard for an ethical brand.

 

We wanted to create a simple guide for the main labels, an easy way to know what symbol means what. On research we stumbled upon this fantastic chart by the talented folk over at Moral Fibres. It’s comprehensive, informative and makes shopping ethically a bunch easier.

These organisations and quality controllers mean you can have confidence in what you buy. They ensure standards are met, regulations are covered and no corners are cut. Although it’s not very likely to find a brand that has each one these, there may be some crossover. There’s also more where these came from, but these labels are the main deciding factors for the team at Stiall when making a purchase.

Go forth and shop with the knowledge of labels!

Does 88% of our clothing come from Haiti?

The speed at which fashion is produced sped up significantly in the industrial revolution, seeing a fall in the price of clothing and a rise in the rate of manufacturing. The 1900’s to the 1950’s led to a great increase in the number of the garment factories which itself came with it’s own challenges and tragedies. In 1911 the infamous Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of New York occurred, killing 146 workers many of whom were immigrants.

 

Following the boom of the fashion industry in the 1960’s, textile mills began opening across the developing world to accommodate the demands of fast fashion chains and keep their costs low with outsourced cheaper labor Nowadays, more than 60% of the world’s clothing is made in developing countries.

“Asia is the major clothing exporter today, producing more than 32 percent of the world’s supply. China is the leading world producer and supplier of clothing, providing nearly 13 percent of the world’s exports.” (EcoWatch, 2016).

However, as labor costs increase in China and workers persist for higher wages, companies look to other areas for production.

“Companies have responded by moving production into places where wages are even lower, like Bangladesh” (Zarroli, 2013). Other countries including India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Turkey are now amongst the most popular locations for fast fashion clothing and accessories brands.

A study carried out by the International Labor Organization uncovered that the majority of the exports detailed below were directly for or linked to the garment industry:

Country %
Haiti 88
Bangladesh 79
Lesotho 58
Cambodia 52
Sri Lanka 43
Honduras 38
El Salvador 36
Maurirtius 31
Madagascar 20
Tunisia 18
Pakistan 17
Morocco 15
Jordan 13
Vietnam 12
Turkey 10

In 2015, the International Labor Office published research in regard to the working conditions of garment workers across India. The document highlighted the working conditions, employment status and perceptions. Areas they honed in on identify some of the challenges these workers face 

– One in 5 work 7 days a week

– Over a quarter work more than 8 hours on a regular basis

– Overtime is regular and often involuntary

– Two-thirds of the workers said they cannot afford to refuse the extra work, yet sometimes it was unpaid.

Penalties for not doing overtime or meeting production targets were a regular occurrence.

Verbal abuse and threats were more prevalent than physical beatings and abuse, but also present.

– Most say they were not entitled to annual leave, and fear if they did take it that they would lose their jobs.

Sexual violence and harassment is reported by one in 10, in which one in 5 are women.

It was also founded that India accounts for 3.7% of the global market share for apparels. Holding the 6th position worldwide in 2013 and generating $40 Billion (2013/2014) in their value of garment and textile exports. In 2014, Asia accounted for 59.5% ($601.1 Billion) of the global markets exports of garments, textiles and footwear . The textile and clothing industries account for portions of the countries exports were:

Bangladesh, 85.9%

India, 11%

Pakistan, 9%

Vietnam, 15%

Cambodia, 80%

War on Want (an organization working in partnership with progressive movements and organizations for global justice) found that from 1990 to present, thousands of workers have been injured and wounded in 50 major factory fires across Bangladesh, with 400 workers having lost their lives. The collapse of the Rana Plaza made international news and so, consumers became more aware of where they fast fashion was originating from. 

So, what can we do?

It’s time to ask our favourite brands some questions. There’s a person behind each and every item we buy and they have Human Rights – Rights that according to these reports are often not met.

Join the movement of Who Made My Clothes. This movement encourages consumers to ask brands who made their clothing. The campaign encourages transparency and insists fashion shouldn’t come at the cost of people or the planet. Check out Fashion Revolution to see how you can get involved. 

If you like Zara, you’ll love Everlane

If you’ve been known to pop into Zara for the basics, we’ve found the best alternatives. 

Everlane, a San Francisco based brand offers an edited version of sartorial basics that won’t cost you your rent. 

The products are created in factories used by luxury designers, but at a fraction of the price. So how do they do it? They cut out the middle man, sell online and are fair in their mark-ups. 

The brand have a hands on approach to finding the best factories and believe in absolute transparency while aiming to encourage people to buy less because of the high quality product.

Here’s STIALL’s favourite five available on Everlane now.

Cotton long sleeve crew, €22

Cotton box cut t-shirt, €14

Long slip dress, €77

Soft cotton square crew, €77

Cotton cross back dress, €86

City anorak, €77

 

Moral fibres – does fabric matter?

The make-up of a fabric was once completely unimportant to me. I would prioritise style and price above all else.I began to realise fabrics are a major contender in the environmental impact fashion has.

With more research, we have become more aware of how fabrics are made, how they last, and how they impact the environment in their life cycle. There have also been developments into more friendly fabrics that benefit workers, wearers and the worlds resources. So here’s what we’ve found so far, a rough guide to help us re-evaluate the items we choose to buy.

 

What’s the difference between natural and synthetic fabrics?

Natural fabrics: Made from materials found directly in nature. That’s animal coats, plants and leaves. Examples include wool, cotton, silk, hemp, flax (linen) and leather.

Synthetic fabrics: Synthetic materials are a man-made product created through a chemical or manufacturing process. Put simply, think of these fabrics being “twice removed” – from their natural source material (a natural fabric). Examples include Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic and Spandex.

When cotton ain’t cool

While being a strong, breathable and versatile fabric – cotton comes with it’s own problems. According to the Pesticide Action Network, it is the most pesticide intensive crop in the world, injuring and even killing many people every year. Herbicide, a chemical defoliant is commonly used in aiding the mechanical harvest of cotton. These chemicals take a toll on the environment but also stay in the clothing after production. These chemicals are released through the life cycle of the item. So, when we throw that cotton t-shirt in the washing machine, those chemicals are being released into our domestic water systems. Yikes. On top of that, pure cotton takes between 1-5 months to break down.

Worried about your woolies?

Excluding the nature in which wool is obtained, it is the processes in which it is created that is the most harmful to humans and the environment. In 2013 scientists supported by the Pesticides Action Network, found that Organophosphates used in the making of wool were linked to; “excessive tiredness, headaches, limb pains, disturbed sleep, poor concentration, mood changes, and suicidal thoughts”.

Is it a no for Nylon and Polyester too?

These synthetics are made from pesto-chemicals and are non-biodegradable. One of the worst features of nylon is it’s greenhouse gas emissions, 310 times more than carbon dioxide. Lubricants for the cooling of polyester along with the requirement of vast amounts of water make it another energy hungry, non-biodegradable fabric.

Then there’s Rayon (Viscose)

An artificial fibre often disguised as being Eco-friendly as it comes from wood pulp. The eucalyptus tree is often used which needs a substantial amount of water. To make the fabric sulfuric acid and caustic soda are used which are extremely hazardous.

So what does this mean for us when choosing fabrics for clothing? Fear not, fashion loving folk. Over the coming months we will explore more sustainable fabrics and ways of shopping. We’ll also be doing more in depth research of certain fabrics. We need clothes, we love clothes! We also understand that no matter what fabric we choose, it will take a certain toll on the environment. Here at STIALL our commitment is to only buy organic cotton from now on. The more we learn, the more changes we will make.

Thoughts or suggestions? Get in touch, we love to hear from you!

How did fast fashion become normal?

I was thinking about how my Nanny had a very considered and purposeful wardrobe. There was no item unnecessary. Growing up I thought that meant you weren’t as interested in fashion and style, now I think the opposite.

I spent the best part of 10 years in a shopping frenzy, I wanted in on all the trends. I studied fashion and I wanted new clothing faster, quicker and cheaper. At the time, I had a disposable attitude to fashion. That’s what has led me to launch STIALL. My relationship with clothing has changed.

My Nanny, she dressed impeccably and took great care of each clothing item. Quality outweighed quantity. It’s made me wonder, when did our relationship with clothing change so drastically?

Let’s bring it right back..

Clothing was once considered for it’s durability and function, we’re talking social and thermal purpose. Before the 1800’s people relied on their sheep to get their yarn and spin their weave to get their cloth. Localized dressmaking businesses were employed for the middle class while lower class families made their own clothing.

The fabric restrictions of the 20th century due to the war meant more standardized production and factories became more common. Times changed drastically with the arrival of the 60’s. Cheaply made clothes were readily embraced and the demand for new clothes often, reached dizzying heights.

What did this mean?

Local mills and producers couldn’t keep up with the demand and soon labor was outsourced to the developing world. Factories and workers across Europe and America charged a substantial amount more for labor, and so cheaper clothes were imported.

Some perspective..

In the 1900’s, spending 15% of the households income on clothing was standard. Nowadays, it’s only 2.8%, but we have far more clothing.

It has been reported that in 1997 the average woman bought 19 pieces of clothing and in 2007 that rose to 34 pieces a year.

Kantar World Panel discovered that each individual bought an average of 60 items of clothing in 2015, that’s roughly 28kg.

So how did fast fashion come about?

 

In the mid 20th century small versions of Zara, H&M and Topshop began to develop around Europe and America. Through the years they saw rapid and advanced growth.

Mass production and disposable fashion became relevant. Fashion had become easily accessible, low cost, disposable and was available to the mass market. Furthermore, you could buy the same product in stores across the world.

According to research by Lucy Siegle, Between the years of 2001 and 2005, the amount of womenswear fashion purchased rose by 21%, while the cost required to accumulate these items fell by 14%.

Annual production rates have doubled since 2000 and even exceeded 100 billion in 2014, the first time in history.

What does this mean?

 

Well, we’re consuming at an all time high – more clothing that’s a hella lot cheaper than in times past.

More stuff for less money, what’s the problem?

It’s causing a whole lot of social and environmental problems. The rate at which we consume puts pressure on many people through the supply chain and is causing irreparable damage to the environment.

 

Here at STIALL we want to explore what these problems are, stay tuned for some more facts and figures and insights into why our shopping habits are exhausting the environment and causing social chaos.

 

Welcome to STIALL

Hello, and thank you for dropping by!

I’m Linda, and this is STIALL. A website I’ve been wanting create for a long time.  STIALL is an Irish word – meaning to strip, remove all coverings. That’s what I hope this website will do. Unearth some truths about sustainability and make things more transparent.

Being an conscious consumer doesn’t come easy, especially when you can buy an outfit for the same price as your lunch. I’ve been trying for two years and I’m always learning and failing. Thinking I made made the best choice, then figuring there was a better one.

It’s difficult to gain honest information about the social, environmental and sustainability policies from brands. Early on, I’ll admit that reverting back to my old ways seemed easier, but I couldn’t. I’d poked a bear. My shopping habits were changing for good.

STIALL does not claim to know everything or have all the answers. We’re here to talk about issues, raise awareness and look at some slick brands along the way. To be clear, we’re not saying boycott brands, we’re talking about questioning brands and reassessing our habits.

Let’s chat about Ethical fashion, sustainability, slow fashion, fast fashion, transparency, social and environmental impacts and how we could make better decisions.

So that’s us, that’s STIALL. We hope you like it.

Linda x