Sustainable Fashion. Slow style. Conscious consumerism. Greenwashing. Circularity. Recycled. Innovation.
With so many buzzwords flying about, it’s easy to feel a little confused or overwhelmed by it all. Locating authenticity, and credibility in the world of fashion sustainability is challenging.
At TALA, being in the fashion industry we recognise that we are part of the problem. We are not perfect. But we have an opportunity to be part of the solution. We believe we have a role and responsibility to be transparent about our sustainability journey, challenges and perspectives, to help our consumers make informed purchasing choices.
If we can get one person to consider their purchases, whether you choose to buy from TALA or not, we will have taken a step in the right direction.
Our linear landscape: calls for circular.
Our current economic system is called the ‘linear’ system, one where products are made using often non-renewable resources, designed to serve a purpose, with little to no consideration about what happens at the end of life of the product - hence we see more piles in landfill in addition to approximately 3 million tonnes of primary microplastics annually. With single-use plastic found at the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (an actual island of rubbish between California and Hawaii…), there is absolutely no denying that this is a problem.
As consumers gain increased awareness, ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) and EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) are ways in which the business world has responded to the need for change. Although a complete rethink of the economic system won’t happen overnight, and requires governmental change, all hope is not lost, as consumers you have a HUGE amount of power to decide - how often you buy, who you buy from and to demand products that are designed to reduce, or even give-back to the planet.
Recycling vs. Circularity - what’s the difference?
The circular economy is a type of economic system that not just extends the life cycle of a product or item, but breaks this down into a new product completely. For example, if you were to buy an item of clothing, made from naturally grown fibres (such as our 365 collection, made from Tencel Modal fabric aka wood pulp), these items are made with durability in mind to withstand the impact of washing over time. Not to mention, up to 60% less carbon footprint than conventional fibres.
At the end of the life, you may decide to: send to a textile recycling centre, offer to a charity shop or even get creative through re-styling or repairing your item!
The linear system has fostered a mindset that ‘waste’ has no real value. At TALA, waste is not wasted.
While recycling is undoubtedly a necessary component, we are proud to use pre-consumer (aka fabric factory offcuts in Skinluxe and Dayflex) and post-consumer ‘waste’ (aka plastic bottles in Sculpt): these items have supported the idea of ‘rethinking waste’ as a resource, and dramatically reduced the impact on the planet than if we were to use virgin (non recycled) fibres. A fully circular approach would be the opportunity to take-back your old items, to help them find a new life (as clothing or otherwise!). We are working on it and will have more to share with you on this soon.
We, the fashion industry as a collective, need to ensure that products and materials are designed, from the outset, to be reused, repaired, and remanufactured. It’s the consequences of decisions made at the design stage that determine around 80% of environmental impacts.
We continually strive for progress, and to be honest about our journey.
Above all, we never compromise our core sustainability values, in sale periods or any other time: we make all of our products using responsible materials; we only work with ethical, accredited factories; we champion quality and durability in our products so you can wear them over and over; we never make products specifically for sale; we never send stock to landfill or destruction.
Want to know more? Check out TALAs top-resources for circularity.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation @ellenmacarthurfoundation
Top tips to prolong the life of your items: Love your clothes campaign @loveyourclothes_uk