Now in its second year, Fashion Revolution Day on April 24 marks the day in 2013 when 1,133 people died and more than 2,500 others were injured, when a building housing several garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh.
The initiative encourages shoppers to post a selfie on social media with their clothing label showing, tag the retailer and ask ‘who made my clothes?’ (including the hashtag #whomademyclothes), and then share their reply.
It’s hoped the campaign will encourage transparency within the fashion industry, but what about brands that are already acting ethically?
In the past, fashion firms operating under the dreaded ‘eco’ banner left a lot to be desired aesthetically, but times have changed.
Behold, half a dozen clothing companies that are as trustworthy as they are on-trend...
As well as selling vintage clothing, London fashion institution Beyond Retro produces a range that takes pre-worn garments and transforms them into like-new one-offs that still retain a retro edge.
Designed in-house in the UK, the Label collection is manufactured by a team of vintage graders, pattern cutters and highly-skilled specialists in Kandla, India.
This season, they’ve honed in on the Seventies trend, resulting in short-shorts, fringed waistcoats and cool striped mini skirts patchworked from contrasting suedes.
It may be a fast fashion retailer, but H&M has one of the most respected sustainability programmes on the high street.
For instance, did you know you can take a bag of your unwanted clothes into H&M and exchange it for a £5 voucher to spend in store? And the brand’s Conscious collection, which uses organic and recycled materials, is a prime example of how style doesn’t have to be sacrificed for substance.
The latest offering, in store on April 16, focuses on spring’s oriental trend, epitomised by the beautiful ivory open-back kimono, and includes sleek separates like a cape-sleeved black tux jacket.
Beautiful Soul is a luxury label with strong sustainability credentials, and a celeb following to boot.
Designed and manufactured in the UK with a zero-waste policy, the label has been worn by green fashion champions like Lily Cole and Livia Firth.
The SS15 collection captures spring’s retro mood, with demure bib-front tea dresses and long-sleeved tunics.
The stylised floral prints nod to the Japonist trend too, while city shorts lend a boyish edge.
One of the UK’s oldest ethical fashion brands, People Tree has been working with Fair Trade producers for more than 20 years, pioneering the ‘slow fashion’ movement by ensuring all garments are made with organic or sustainable materials, and that workers are treated fairly.
Specialising in designs that won’t go out of style, People Tree is the place to pick up basics like Breton tops and cotton tees (there are more than 80 shops across the country).
Right now, they’re right on the money with bold striped pieces that echo the high-end takes on the trend.
American brand WeWood has an ambitious goal: to plant one million trees by 2020.
So far they’ve reached 300,000, one tree for every watch - made from mostly scrap wood - sold, helping to reduce waste and combat climate change.
Now, just in time for summer, WeWood has launched a new range of eco accessories, sunglasses made from natural cotton fibres.
In black or grained wood effect, the shades are classic and understated, and no fossil fuels were used in their production. Plus each purchase helps plant another tree, of course.
Central St Martins alumnus Joanna Cave’s interest in design was piqued as a child, growing up on a Greek island where her family owned a jewellery shop.
After graduating, Cave began experimenting with melting down old jewellery and remodelling it, combining a modern sustainability approach with traditional designs.
Her intricate aesthetic is the perfect match for this season’s nomadic mood, particularly her plated silver pieces, shot through with cotton thread.