08 BEST SUSTAINABLE UK ONLINE SHOPPING STORES

08 BEST SUSTAINABLE UK ONLINE SHOPPING STORES

The sustainable or eco-friendly shopping is becoming the main preference of today’s consumer. Thanks to the environment-friendly people who enforce us to think a-bit about the nature during our day to day shopping.  And this thing also enforced the brands to strictly follow the standards which are in favor of our planet and people. As we already highlighted the sustainability efforts of few denim and other fashion brands  in our previous articles. But here we want to disclose some best UK based online shopping stores and their positive efforts towards sustainability. So the sustainable shopping desire also became much easier and approachable because of its globally presence and serviceability.

Sustainable Online Shopping Stores:

Here we have explored UK based best eco-friendly online shopping stores which are offering both apparel and personal grooming items. And the interesting thing which I want to share with you that most of the below stores are owned by female. The way they manage both business and environment activities is much appreciable and a benchmark for the followers.

1. Gather and See

Founded by Alicia Taylor and Stephanie Hogg, the most stylish and ethical online shopping platform which really care about fashion, style along with people and planet. Their eco-friendly brands have proper monitoring while in production. As they really care about the water and electricity consumption during product development process. And currently its eco-friendly products are using bio gradable packaging due to zero waste policy. The company emphasize on worker’s equality and transparency in each and every step of material sourcing.

2. Reve en Vert

The Rêve En Vert online shopping portal was founded in year 2013, It has established itself as the premier online retailer of sustainable luxury. As the usage of organic and natural materials is essential of all its products. And their sourcing and designing team is continuously striving for best ethical materials for their products which have minimal effect on environment. In the REV studio, even a little thing matter. That’s why company’s small but continues efforts towards waste control are marvelous. The company’s partnership with “Trees for Future”  is also a great step towards green and healthy living.

3. ASOS Green Room

With a believe that there should be no barrier for getting a new outfit. This online shopping site is selling 3, 00,000 dresses in a week. As per them, they are not just selling or making profit but they are living in the heart of their customers. As per the company’s commitment to ensure the fashion with integrity. And for this, they are really caring about the transparency and progress of their supplying partners. Their website and published periodic reports update their consumer about their team’s contribution towards planet and people.

4. Bamford

Since 2006, Bamford is offering clothing, body and skin care products to its clientele via online. This online shopping company is offering remarkable clothing from the fine natural fibers. And their finest body care products from organic and botanical ingredients proved the company’s strict policy towards environment and people.  You can find multiple ethical products which they procured different countries like Scotland, Italy, Nepal and India.

5. People Tree

A 25 years old online shopping platform which gives surety to its clients that whatever you buy from here will be strictly ethical and sustainable. They claim to stand against fast fashion which gives society pollution, child labor, inequality and destruction of natural environment. So, they portrayed themselves as slow fashion followers which are really taking care of ethics, nature and planet people. People Tree developed the first integrated supply chain for organic cotton (from farm to final product). And they are the one those who got GOTS certification on their entire supply chain. They prefer hand weaved fabrics, by-sea shipments instead of by-air and choose recycled products instead of synthetic/non-biogradable materials.

6. TIFF

Tiff (an online shopping portal) was conceived by an 18 years old girl named Tiffany Roberts. As per the company, their ethical fashion and stylish products are only for those who have really concern about environment. They are offering different sustainable products to its clientele with different categories like “recycled & upcycled”, “ethical” and “eco-friendly products”. Their sustainable product range includes: accessories, dresses, trousers, jewelry, bags, shorts and skirts, lingerie etc. And currently this online shopping mall is offering more than 50 brands to its target segment (Men, Women & Kids).

7. Fashion Compassion

A UK based online shopping store offering variety of sustainable items to its clientele. It is owned by a young girl, Ayesha Mustafa, who named her sustainable products with its characteristics. They are offering 06 sustainable stamped products which guide their consumer about the sustainable credentiality of their purchase. Their sustainability stamps include: “Eco-Friendly”,” Locally Produced”, “Artisanal Reviving Craft”, “Fairl Traded”, “Upcylced Material” and “Vegan”.

8. AIRR Boutique

AIRR is continuously support brands who are ethics and sustainability conscious. It only prefers those brands whose products are made by FairTrade artisans and with organic material. As per the company’s management policy “Buying exclusively fair trade clothing or exclusively organic clothing should be something that is just normal. Not posh, not hippy, not middle class, not special, but just normal”. The company doesn’t encourage fast fashion products which are made from pesticides, toxic chemicals and used tons of water in processing and manufacturing. They don’t even encourage cheap items which ultimately made by enforced or child labor.

How Ethical Consumer Favors Environmental Sustainability

How Ethical Consumer Favors Environmental Sustainability

The history of textile sustainable/ethical products has started in early 1990’s. It was the time when manufacturing entities and ordinary consumers started taking interest in eco-friendly products and environmental sustainability issues. And this was the phase when green movement goals have started under discussion on a mass level.  The key manufacturer commenced producing eco-friendly products like organic cotton, bio-gradable papers and detergents, bamboo fibers, sustainable chemicals and pesticides etc.

Similarly, by the end of every day, the ethical spending trend is also increasing in all over the world. As consumers are more insist on eco-friendly products rather than conventional. As per research study findings by Grand View Research, the global eco fiber market will expected to reach US$ 93.27 till year 2025. And the growth rate would be anticipated around 12% pa.  As per some other research findings, the global eco-fiber demand has already increased from 9570 kilo tones. And it is expected to increase up to 7.25% till current year to year 2025.

Ethical Consumer and Environmental Sustainability Approach in UK:

The trend of buying less but buying better is more dominant in UK market. As per the new ethical consumer markets research study findings 2015, the value of ethical product’s sales increased by 8%. It was the time when inflation scarcely rose 0.5%. As per the other research study by Mintel, the 69% women of segment 25-44 aged group said that they prefer quality over quantity. Not only this, the new study report on millennials says that 70% from the target respondents loves to spend on eco-friendly products.

The UK ethical market spending wroth was £54 billion in year 2016. And it represents the 7% of the total UK conventional product’s sale. Based on the consumer buying behavior and trends, most of the national and international brands started aggressively sourcing eco-friendly products. Despite of increasing trends and demand of sustainable clothing in all over the world. The eco system is not as controlled as it should be and still there is need to do a lot towards sustainable development agenda of 2030.

Although the denim and clothing companies’ efforts towards sustainability are remarkable yet we still need to improve the overlooking areas. Being a consumer, we have the power to drag or change industry giant’s approach towards sustainability. If we well educate ourselves from the supply chain system of the brands which we often use. And our brand loyalty is totally depending upon the brand’s strict policy towards environmental sustainability. Then we can say that we are wise and ethical consumer as well as responsible resident of this beautiful globe.

Ethical Consumer:

As we discussed above, being a consumer, our buying behavior and trend has significant effect on our society. As we already discussed in our other article that how excessive cloth buying created waste clothes and polluted our environment. Similarly, if we buy less but buy conventional clothing (unethical) even then our environment will pay the cost of it. So, the approach regarding buy less but buy better will work here.  And we can say that while buying anything, we need to follow an ethical approach. Being an ethical consumer, we should be really careful about our buying that it doesn’t harm our environmental sustainability, society and other creatures (animals etc.).  So, we can say, we need to do a little research before buying any item so that we could contribute positively for the betterment of our globe.

Being an ethical consumer, we need to spend a little time and research about the origins from where our clothes other daily utensils come from. Although the research work and information digging is getting smooth and easy day by day. Because, most of the companies are already showing its material suppliers published to their sites. Moreover, you can also get a lot of information about company’s approach and its journey towards sustainability in daily journals and news updates. By putting a little effort, we can pay our contribution in our natural environmental sustainability.

How Clothes Can Protect You from Ultraviolet Radiation

How Clothes Can Protect You from Ultraviolet Radiation

The cases of skin cancer are increasing in all over the world. Especially in UK, the figure of new patients is increasing significantly in every coming year. Over 80% of all types of skin cancer are caused by over exposure to UVR (Ultraviolet Radiation) of Sun. So, the experts are already trying to find the best solution or prevention to get out from this situation. And as of now, they found that clothes are the best and easy way to prevent ultraviolet radiation affect to human body.  This is why the customer’s demand toward UV protecting clothes has significantly increased.

The textile experts are doing a lot towards the functionality and over all look of the UV protecting clothes. Initially, the cloth’s appearance (darker) and especially the comfort level was not as good as it should be. But with the passage of time, the look and comfort level has significantly improved. The clothes which are UV protecting are normally called UPF labeled clothing. And now you can find a variety of garments in casual, athletic and sportswear category in the market. Due to increasing customer’s awareness, the demand and variety/functions (a part from UVF) of such clothes is significantly increasing.

Ultraviolet Radiation Protection:

In 1996, Australia has highlighted and standardized the concept of UPF (ultra-protection factor). It means how UPF based clothes can give a shield against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The ultraviolet radiation protection level varies in different fabrics. It’s level normally based on fabric construction, weight and color. For example, if a top labeled with UPF of 50, it means it allows only 1/50th of the Sun’s UV rays to your body. So, we can say it’s giving excellent protection from Sun’s UV rays. On the other hand, a white thin top allows 1/5th of the Sun’s UV rays to the body. Which means your body is badly effecting by the Sun’s UV radiations. Moreover, if the same white top is wet due to sweating then it will absorb even more UV radiation.

It’s really difficult to assess UVF protection through hand feel or naked eye that how much a cloth can protect you from UV radiations. Although you can see that how much light is passing through the cloth yet you can’t judge the UV radiation passing quantity. So for this, UPF system was introduce which determine the criteria of assessment. And the same system is working all over the world including the US (The ASTM International). The UV labeled clothing means that fabric has been tested in a standardized laboratory. And consumer can gain the narrated benefits of UV protection.

Ultraviolet Radiation Protection Cheap Alternatives:

Since the skin cancer patient’s numbers are increasing significantly so everyone should wear UPF labeled clothing. As these clothes are a bit expensive than daily routine wearing and not available on every store. So, is it necessary to get the same in any case? The answer is “NO”. As per studies in Australia, the clothes which are composite with Lycra/Elastane have more than UPFs of 50. The denim and corduroy clothing are one of those clothes which have higher protection from ultraviolet radiation. Moreover, the fabrics which are more dense in making (tight weave or knit), can protect you better from UV radiations. But it’s not necessary that every dense fabric can give you better protection. As composition of the fabric is also matter a lot.

Normally, the clothes are made in different fibers like cotton, polyester, wool and nylon etc. Some fibers have more ability to stop/reduce the ultraviolet radiation. For example, the fibers like Lycra, Polyester, Nylon and Acrylic are more protective towards UV protection. So, the clothes which have said fibers can protect you better from rays. On the other hand, a dense cotton cloth normally absorbs much UV radiation. Whereas, the shiny thin rayon fabrics normally reflects more UV and absorb less.  So, you have a range of options and characteristics of the fabric’s fibers. Now you have the choice here to select any option protect yourself from unseen rays.

Why UK Plus Size Clothing Market is Growing

Since the inception of fashion world, the needs and trend of a market is changing with the passage of time. Sometime, it drastically changes the whole wearing pattern of people and sometime it adds/subtracts few changes in current trend. Almost every week you would have some new studies or data analysis from the research people. And this research work helps the trend setters to move their direction accordingly. Despite of growing health awareness, the obesity level in both genders is increasing sharply. As per the UK Health survey research data, the obesity level in young female generation (16-24age) has increased upto 3% (12.9% to 15.9%) within one year 2014-15. As per NHS Health Survey UK, the 26.8% women are encountering the obesity problem.  The male percentage is also not far and as per the experts the plus size men’s fashion garments UK market will grow upto 22% till year 2022

Plus Size Clothing Market Growth:

Due to sharply increase in obesity percentage in young population, the industry’s fashion’s icons pay special attention to this segment. The River Island, Marks & Spencer, New Look and Quiz made necessary investments in plus size clothing product line which is sharply growing and still under served. The efforts are not stop up to this level only. Since plus size clothing segment has now good market share and still on growing phase so you can also observe its presence in fashion shows (like plus size fashion models) and social media activities.

Why UK Plus Size Clothing Market is Growing

There are number of fashion retailers which realized this increasing obesity trend and already well prepared for it. Now the UK fashion market is offering a handsome range for plus size clothing market segment. Due to different body types in same size, the fit is most important thing after the price factor. According to research and consulting firm GlobalData, this segment is usually prefer to shop online. As the research study proved this thing that 45% of female shopper and 36% men’s shopper normally buy online. Moreover, the retailers are also quite happy to sell this product via online. Because, in the recent past the sale of plus size clothing wasn’t justifying it’s in-store space.

Fashion retailer’s Focus:

In past decade, the fashion retailers were only focusing and offering plus size clothing range to women. Whereas, the men’s plus size clothing market was not focused and undeserved during that period. As per the fashion analysts, the plus size UK men’s garments market has a great potential and it would be the strongest performer driver in next five years. So, the retailers are now paying adequately attention in both gender’s product line with improved availability and multiple choices in plus size clothing range and now the shoppers can be catered better than ever before.

Photos: River Island Men’s Big & Tall, Evans Ladies Plus Size Clothing

Apparel Industry Analysis: Expectations vs Reality

Apparel Industry Analysis

The World’s global economy has been moving at a slow pace and its reflection clearly observes on the world garment market. This slow pace is not only affecting the import/export oriented groups but you can also experience it in your traditional local markets. In actual, the overall apparel industry is dangling on various factors. Sometime, it’s pace disturbed by the country’s economic growth which directly hurt the purchase power of the end users. And sometime it hurt from the internal situations or policies of the manufacturing country’s Government.

Apparel Industry Analysis:

If we analyze on the current apparel industry (manufacturing countries) situation then we can say that only the few countries from the Asian apparel countries (like Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam) remain satisfactory for last two years. But the overall growth of the clothing manufacturing concern has been relatively weaker about 08% to 10% during year 2016-17. In reverse, the revenues of clothing exporters and the local market focused players grew about CAGR of 13%-14% during 2011-15.

UK Apparel Industry Analysis:

Let’s have a look on apparel business situation of year 2016 in UK which was consider as heaviest year of decline. But despite of heavy decline, the new opening percentage was also encouraging in the said year. Across 2,700 UK locations there were 45,986 new beginnings and 47,636 endings. There are certain factors which directly affect the British high street business. It include online shopping trend increasing, increase in minimum wage rate, slump after Brexit, the store closures numbers increased are the main factors which force the retailers to close their businesses. And some big groups like BHS and Jaeger have also found themselves in administration.

US Apparel Industry Analysis:

Same is the case of US apparel market, the US imports from all sources was down around 13.6% month on month in February to 2.09bn (SME). Since China is the biggest suppling country of US, its export also fell down around 16.8% year on year to 785m (SME). Whereas the second big supplying country named Vietnam faced a decline of 8.9%. And the same declining phase Bangladesh and Cambodian market faced during the said period.

The total US apparel imports of February/17 was 14% down which is approximately -0.77bn down from previous month. As per the recent figures of about March, it also proved another tough month for the US apparel retailers. As they were still reporting the lower foot traffic (despite of Easter).

In The Nutshell:

Based on current global situation, there must be a healthy collaboration of apparel selected groups (from all over the world). These groups/clusters should organize discussion events frequently along with that create platforms for sharing ideas and policies with each other. As these brainstorming activities will definitely be make the industry’s standards more favorable, productive and result oriented. These representatives should also have close collaboration with their government policy makers. So that the new or current Govt.’s policies could effectively support the industry’s business. And last but most important thing is that every member should convince his/her own country’s officials to implement the real practice of compliance practices BCI, ZDHC, BSR and other supporting social and environmental practices. So that the transparency of each and every manufacturing activity is really necessary to save our environment.