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What is circular fashion?

The aim at Stiall is as always to de-mystify sustainability in fashion. So, here’s what you need to know about circular fashion.

In short, a circular fashion economy reduces waste and restores resources. 

To begin with, a circular fashion economy means that a product is created in a lean and efficient process, while also having these components as described by Green Strategy:

 

  1. Designed so that its sub-components can be disassembled or separated to facilitate repair, remake, reuse and eventually material recycling at its end of use;

  2. Designed with high quality materials and in timeless style to maximize its durability, longevity and attractiveness to many users (if passed on to new users);

  3. Designed on demand (custom-made) in order to be more optimally designed for its specific user in terms of fabric/material, style and fit, thus increasing its perceived value and likely lifespan;

  4. Produced with non-toxic, high quality and preferably biodegradable materials, so that its material(s) may be safely biodegraded and composted at the end of use; or produced with non-toxic synthetic materials that may be effectively recycled (such as recyclable polyester);

  5. Produced in such a way that all waste generation is minimized during production, and all potential spill material and rest products can be reclaimed and reused as raw material for other processes, thus minimizing the extraction of new virgin material;

  6. Producedtransported and marketed using renewable energy, such as wind or solar power, wherever possible, and using water and other raw materials effectively and safely throughout production and distribution;

  7. Can be used by multiple users throughout its life time through swapping, borrowing, rental, redesign, or second hand services, thus extending its user life; and

  8. Can be safely and effectively reclaimed and recycled, whereby its components are utilized as raw material for manufacturing of new products, or are biodegraded and turned into biological nutrients for microorganisms in the soil “

How can we adapt to this model

It goes back to the Stiall ethos: Use what you have and when you need something, buy better so you are buying less.

 

 

The current fashion model looks like this

 

If we adapt a circular model, here’s what it will look like..

So, do you think we could reach a circular fashion economy?

The Edit – Jo Linehan

Being a sustainable consumer is no easy task. So we’ve enlisted the help of some of the Fashion Industry’s most respected Editors and stylists to tell us about their most coveted items and why they’re standing the test of time in their wardrobes.

This week, the very talented Jo Linehan gave Stiall the pleasure of asking her about what is most coveted in her wardrobe. Jo’s work can be seen in IMAGE Magazine, U Magazine and  The Independent to name a few. She’s also the co-founder of GAFF interiors, for all the home inspo you’ll ever needs. She has collaborated with the likes of Barneys New York  Umit Kutlok, Dublin Fringe Festival,  Universal and RTE. Today, Jo gives us the scoop on her style. As a pretty ruthless wardrobe declutterer, Jo says that she tries “to take stock each month of what I have and get rid of pieces I’m not enjoying or wearing (season-depending, of course). I try to be mindful when I buy pieces – do I really need it, is it going to serve me on are than one occasion – so the clothes that I do have are dear to me.” So what are the pieces that have stood the test of time.

A slip dress

Top of my beloved list is my hot-pink Topshop slip dress. I’m a 90s kid at heart, so anything that
speaks to my inner Clueless and Grunge girl tendencies i(depending on the day) is a goer in my
books. This silk piece was a steal. I spotted it in the Toyshop sale rack in Blanchardstown about six years ago for €20. I wear it every summer and it’s so versatile – throw it on over a bikini on the
each, under a leather jacket in he evenings, it’s perfect with sneakers or sandals, It’s a dream item that never fails to make me feel good, and I’ve already thought about having a replica made when it starts to disintegrate!

Slip dress, €120, Siizu

A Kenzo sweatshirt

I’m a total fashion nerd, which is why my Kenzo sweatshirt means so much to me. It was my first
big purchase as a magazine editor. I had had my eye on their statement sweatshirts for a while,
and when I was sent to London for a work assignment, I took a convenient detour to their store at
31 Bruton Street, to try one on. It’s from that collection a few years ago with those eye motifs. I’ll
never forget leaving the store with that plush KENZO carrier bag slung over my shoulder, the
jumper folded neatly inside, under layers of white tissue paper. I got on the plane back to Dublin
that evening and I felt like I had made it. Never mind it cost me my month’s rent. It’s one of those
iconic pieces that captures a moment in fashion history, and it aways makes me smile.

Sweatshirt, €235, Kenzo

A Maine University sweater 

I love my sister more than anything. I am so proud of her and everything she’s done. When she
won a scholarship to study in Maine University two years ago I thought I’d burst with excitement.
She returned after her academic stint armed with matching Maine sweatshirts for us both. It’s XXL and the cosiest thing I own. When I wear it I feel connected to her, no matter where we are.

Some special jewellery 

I’m a major clutz, so I’ve never invested in jewellery. I’ll either break it or lose it. However, I was
gifted two pieces from MoMuse this summer and I adore them. They’re precious to me. One is a
simple star, gifted to me by Mags who owns MoMuse, and one is a large black circular setting that my business partner Caroline gave me. I also just got a J necklace from Loulerie that I adore.

Necklace, €150, MoMuse

Ask these 5 questions to find out if a brand is ethical

Looking for the guide to buying ethical? Here’s what to ask brands about.

Certifications

Check out our post on what labels mean what when it comes to ethical fashion HERE . It’s no easy task to gain such accreditations, so brands will plug these achievements on their platforms. So, if you have to look really hard, chances are they don’t have them.

What kind of materials they use

Does the company responsibly source it’s cotton, does it use recycled materials and is it supporting companies who are paving the way for eco friendly textiles? If they are, they’re not going to hide that information. Except to see fabric composition on each items tag or in the description online. Vague and uninformative? Uh-oh, it’s a no.

Are they actually transparent 

We’ve read a tonne of brand mission statements about how they carry out regular factory checks, they recycle fabric, audited regularly etc. The thing is, unless they can provide cold hard facts and figures proving diligence and improvement, well it’s anyones guess what moves they’re actually making.

Look through the fancy wording

So you’re checking out a brand and so far, you’re convinced. Let’s break this down even further. You’re looking a a swish sustainability plan, facts and figures provided. Let us play devil’s advocate. Sieve through the nitty gritty and fancy terminology and look to physical proof of progress. If they’re flogging new wares every few days, well that isn’t very sustainable now is it? You’re looking for plain and simple language.

Do they get back to your questions

If you’re unconvinced by a brand, ask some questions. Can they reply without a tinge of worry or without copying and pasting parts of a mission statement? It’s a simple way of weeding out the pack. Time is a ticking for a informative reply!

Sweater weather – Layering luxe

Temperatures are dropping but the style stakes don’t have to. These sweaters are organic, ethical and awesome.

 

Get your stripe on

Organic cotton, boxy and beautiful for €51, Here

 

Grey day

Light enough to layer, toasty enough to keep out the chill, €72, Here

 

Totally toasty

Well, this is like wearing a duvet, bliss. €68.50, Here.

Do the dot

Ethical, organic and gorgeous. €150, Here.

Keep it simple

Available in navy and green, totally ethical and organic. €65, Here.

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

6 ethical fashion myths busted

It’s time sustainable and ethical fashion was demystified. The aim of Stiall is bring sustainability and ethical fashion to the forefront of fashion discussions, so it’s time we got some things clear.

Ethical fashion is all hemp trousers and linen smocks

That’s an initial reaction for those unfamiliar with the slow fashion movement. There are tonnes of brands to choose from that don’t compromise on aesthetics for ethics. Aside from some of favourites that we’ve written about here, The Chalk Board Magazine have compiled a great list including Brands like Reformation, Zady, People Tree, Everlane, Patagonia, GAIA for women, Krochet Kids, Fair Trade Winds, Mata Traders, MadeFAIR, PACT Apparel, Nisolo, Shift To Nature, milo+nicki, Mayamiko, Alternative Apparel, Apolis, Vetta Capsule, Naja, Industry of All Nations, Slumlove Sweater Company, Elegantees, Noctu, Symbology, Brain Tree Clothing, Fibre Athletics, My Sister, Sseko Designs, Sotela, prAna, Wallis Evera, Purple Impression, The Root Collective, Thread Harvest, Raven + Lily, Eileen Fisher, Gather & See, Oliberete, Good Cloth. See, lot’s of great options!

 

You can’t afford to be a sustainable fashion consumer

Sustainability is all about buying less and buying better. Think cost per wear, think product quality and think about it’s longevity. Soon, you’ll see it’s a lot easier than it seems.

If you become a sustainable fashion consumer, you can’t enjoy fashion in the same way

 

Yes, you can! Even more so in my experience. Becoming more sustainable in your fashion choices gives you a certain confidence in your style. Quality trumps quantity and your look becomes more personal, allowing you to experiment with mixing and matching more! It’s also allowed me to discover brands that I may have never come across before.

 

I do my bit, I give all my fast fashion to charity shops. 

 

This is sticky one. Many items going to charity shops are very poor quality and end up never being recycled or reused, just dumped. My motto is if it’s not in good enough nick for someone else, why dump it in a charity shop where they are inundated? Take care and be cautious of what will actually makes it’s way to a second home. Charity shops are in place to help others, don’t make their job even more difficult.

 

If we buy everything locally, we can change the fashion industry

Remember time honoured crafts and people of expertise in certain parts of the world. Making everything domestic won’t necessarily mean better quality, it just means garment factories can be monitored closely. Furthermore the garment industry is the the biggest employer in many regions. It’s not about taking away their jobs to fix the problems, it’s about asking for better conditions for garment workers everywhere. 

 

You can change the fashion industry all by yourself

Sadly, no you can’t. Not alone and not just with your purchases. Yes, on a small level by buying less and buying better, it’s one less consumer making a change. But the fashion industry is gigantic and if we want to see real change it comes down to Governments and the policies they have for garment workers and the environment. Nag your local politician today! 

 

 

What other myths do you find with ethical and sustainable fashion? 

 

 

How to take care of your clothes

In light of the #stiallchallenge, the point has been raised that if we take better care of our clothes, they last longer.

Maybe your method of clothes care is separating our whites and colours into two machine washes, a reasonably low heat and the hope they don’t shrink. Maybe you’re meticulous in your care. Whatever your care method, we thought it was worth finding a simple way of getting back to basics. Thanks to the wonders of Pinterest and after much trawling the of the internet we found a simple how to guide. 

 

Aside from the general care instructions, there are other ways you can make your clothing last for longer too and this is largely down to storage.

  • Store clothing in a cool and dry place. Excessive moisture or heat will lead to a nasty smell and even mould growing.
  • Don;t overpack clothing, both hanging and folded. It will cause them to lose shape and of course ironing can be a chore, so minimise your work load!
  • Invest in better hangers. There’s no point in investing in a beautiful coat, hang it up for the summer months and find the shoulders to be completely out of shape come next year. It’s the easiest way to keep your clothes in shape, 
  • Be careful of zips and sequins around woollens and delicate fabrics. One little snag can cause an item to be ruined. Turn zipped items inside out if there is a possibility of them getting in contact with delicate fabrics. Keep embellished and sequinned items to one side a cover with light breathable apparel paper. 
  • Save hanger space and fold clothing, especially woollens. They will loose their shape if hung on rail. 

What’s your top tip for clothing care? 

Reformation – Occasionwear that cares

Even in all our efforts to be sustainable, sometimes we need something new for that special occasion. Enter Reformation.

The brand has been on the eco fashion radar since 2009 and the majority of it’s products are designed and manufactured in LA. Reformation are dedicated to always using the most sustainable and ethical practice for production, but never compromise on style. Check it out…

 

Amalfi dress, €186

 

The brand pride themselves on using the most eco friendly practices in production while always striving to minimize their water, waste and energy footprints. They’ve even developed a method calculating the exact environmental impact named RefScale.

RefScale looks at the water, carbon dioxide and waste of each individual item – sharing the comparison of industry standards and the savings made with an item from Reformation. This tool allows the customer to make a more informed decision, knowing the exact impact of their purchase while being safe in the knowledge that it is made as ethically as possible. See the finer details on this here

 

Thistle dress, €331

 

While Reformation provide healthcare and benefits for all employees they don’t shy away from admitting they are on a journey to making the workplace better, step by step  – “Most of our hourly workers are paid more than minimum wage, and over half are paid above the LA living wage threshold. We are working towards 100% living wages across the board.”

 

Rambla dress, €237

 

The company is B Corp certified, which you may have seen from our previous post means that the company are committed to making some great changes both socially and environmentally.

 

Positano dress, €212

 

So, we’re in love. A company that doesn’t claim to have it all figured out, are constantly aiming to improve and are providing some slick occasion wear along the way.

Check out their full collection here

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!

5 Eco-Friendly fabrics you need to know about

 

It takes 2700 litres of water to produce the cotton needed to make just ONE cotton t-shirt.

 

If you’re on the hunt for a new item and want to make a better fabric choice, we’ve got 5 for you to choose from.

 

TencelBecoming more common due to it’s likeness with cotton, Tencel uses less water and land than cotton production (5 times less land), It also focuses on minimum waste and low emissions in production. The fabric is made from eucalyptus tress and doesn’t require pesticides or irrigation. It’s celebrated for being breathable and less prone to wrinkling, compared to cotton.


Organic cotton: Is proven to conserve biodiversity improving the quality of land while preventing water contamination. Organic cotton doesn’t use chemical fertilisers, pesticides or insecticides. Unfortunately, Only 1% of the world’s cotton is organic.

 

Eco-fi: Produced in the Untied States, Eco-Fi is made form 100% post consumer recycled plastic bottles. It has an ability to blend with other fabrics, and is versatile enough to be used in any textile production. Eco-fi is praised for it’s capability of keeping 3 billion plastic PET bottles out of landfill every year. 12 bottles equates to one pound of fibre. Although it comes with it’s own set of problems, Eco-fi ensures a certain amount of plastic is responsibly reused after it’s original purpose.

 

IngeoA fabric discovered by Cargill DowIngeo, made by extracting the starch sugars from corn. Once processed it makes it possible to be spun into a yarn and then woven into fabric. This synthetic is made from renewable raw materials in it’s entirety, and does not require the usage of oil. The fibre is praised for being low maintenance and moisture wicking.

 

S.Café: In Taiwan, a company named Singtex have developed a patented process where they recycle coffee grounds into yarn. The fabrics made are praised for being sustainable, durable and even resistant to odours and UV rays. The process removes the phenols, esters and oils and leaves the fabric having no odour. It’s been particularly successful in sportswear as it has deodorising properties.

 

What are your favourite fabrics that are more environmentally conscious?