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AD| It’s hard to get your hands on genuine sustainable clothing. Oftentimes, you fall victim to greenwashing. However, if you are lucky, you come across a truly authentic “green” brand.
For this post I’ll focus on WAWWA Clothing and the lovely sustainable garments they sent my way.
What I look for in sustainable clothing
The obvious boxes to check are the ones in the production phase. Have the garments been fashioned keeping in mind the best practices in sustainability? Do the workers get paid their worth and are the working conditions humane? Did animals suffer in any way in the making of the garment?
Also, it is important that the piece of clothing looks good on you. Style matters. As does substance. Clothes with a bad fit, low-quality fabric and no functionality make little sense, even if it does everything else right.
Thankfully, the clothes you see below passed most of my criteria.
It served me through different seasons – and served very well. The picture below in the article was taken recently right after a downpour. The weather was weird. It was cold enough that it warranted me wearing something warm. At the same time, it was humid enough that something warmer was not advisable.
Anyhow, I bit the bullet and went with the hoodie. I am happy with the decision. The hoodie blocked the cold and, at the same time, there was no hint of stuffiness when I walked around in it. The fabric is top class, it’s comfortable and I am happy with how it looked on me. I love oversized hoodies.
I’ve walked wearing this piece of garment through a thick canopy following a cloud burst and never once felt sweaty or uncomfortable.
The green t-shirt was the other piece that WAWWA sent me. I put this one through the wringer, even more so than the hoodie. It held up brilliantly. Like the hoodie, the t-shirt is comfortable and can be worn in both dry and humid weather. Best of all, the garment is extremely durable.
What makes this T-shirt even better for a green-living soul like me? It is made in a factory powered by renewable energy.
Take a look at this from the WAWWA website:
“Our aim is to make garments representing function and durability. We utilize durable design, renewable energy alongside recycled and organic materials to create products that have a positive effect for us and our planets future. We wanted to create a long lasting, well designed option that felt and looked impressive. We aim to make a sustainable product that lasts longer. Prolonging its use so you don’t have to replace it a much. Minimizing your effect on the planet, because we’ve only got one.”WAWWA
Who is WAWWA?
WAWWA is a Manchester-based clothing brand that was founded in 2016. They specialize in casual and functional clothing. The organization is dedicated to creating sustainable, planet-friendly garments that have a positive effect on the environment. In 2017, WAWWA began to make completely vegan products and a year later started using recycled materials for their garments.
What makes WAWWA so good?
As already mentioned, the majority of WAWWA’s t-shirts are made in factories that are powered by renewable energy.
Also, the factories are run by Fair Trade practices. WAWWA visits them every year to ensure that they are keeping up with the organization’s strict ethical and environmental standards. Furthermore, workers ply their trade in good conditions and are paid fairly.
Garments are crafted from recycled material. Some of the tees are made from 40% recycled polyester which comes from recycled plastic. The zips are made from recycled plastic.
Water-based ink is used for printing, which benefits the planet greatly. Traditionally, plastic-based ink is used which involves chemicals. The water-based ink is more durable and offers greater quality.
Finally, all the labels are made from 100% recycled polyester.
Though my overall experience was positive, I have one grievance – the clothes came in a plastic package. I hope and I’m sure the company will do something about this in the future.
Why is sustainable clothing important?
The fashion industry is the biggest, most profitable, as well as arguably the most dangerous to the planet.
One thing that makes it particularly hazardous is its effect on water resources.
Take, for instance, the amount of water it takes to make a cotton shirt. While it’s hard to pin down the exact number, it comes to around 2700 liters! Multiply that by three and you get the amount required to make one pair of jeans.
It’s not just about the water wastage. Conventionally, making clothes requires chemicals that inevitably find their way to water bodies. Consequently, marine life suffers.
Any sustainable clothing company worth their salt makes a conscious effort to reduce the usage of water in the production phase. Better still, they use organic materials (case in point, WAWWA) that require relatively less water to produce.
A humane environment for workers
Sustainability is not just about clothes. It also takes into account workers that craft them. True sustainable companies ensure that workers are paid fair wages. They are given working conditions that do not compromise their health but allow them to express their creative skills to the maximum.
The positive effect on animal life
One of the main elements of sustainable clothing is that it limits its garments to organic and plant-based ‘clothing’ material. This means that animals are not killed to make fashion items. Animals are an important part of the planet’s ecosystem and have a great role to play in its survival. That they are bred – often in horrible conditions – to eventually be slaughtered just to make us look good should not sit well with anyone.
Sustainable clothing from good companies typically last a long time. So, there’s no danger of them making a trip to the landfill after a few months, which brings with it a different set of problems.
Do you have a favorite sustainable clothing brand? What makes it different from the rest? Let us know in the comments.