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ethical fashion

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Sustainable fashion is on the rise, and with it comes the excitement of buying pre-loved vintage items and designer goods for a fraction of their original price. 

If you're like us, and are gagging to update your wardrobe with high-quality, classic designer pieces for good value for money, we have the exact store for you.

With the fashion industry being the world’s second-largest polluter, just after oil, our shopping habits desperately need to change. Fashion has impact, that's for sure. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@sustainablefashiondublin) on

The Wardrobe Kilkenny is a designer consignment store which stocks everything from designer bags and accessories to complete outfits from high-end labels for an affordable price.

Their business has been promoting sustainable fashion for over 20 years, and they're diligent when it comes to environmental impact. Getting dressed every morning has direct results.

Shockingly, more than 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced worldwide each year. Of these pieces, 75 percent will end up in landfills. The average T-shirt uses 1500 to 2000 litres of water to make.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@sustainablefashiondublin) on

The fashion industry uses 1600 chemicals in their dyeing processes, and only one per cent of these have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Scary stats, right?

Shopping pre-loved needs to be a life choice, not just a trend. Buying clothes doesn't have to mean compromising on fashion, style or quality, according to Yvonne Fitzgerald.

Yvonne acts as the proprietor of The Wardrobe Kilkenny, and believes that shopping consignment has numerous incredible benefits. For one, it's eco-friendly. You're keeping garments out of landfill.

Image: The Wardrobe Kilkenny

Another perk is that you can find unique items with a treasure hunt-type shopping experience. The thrill of the hunt is undeniable.

The same brands come at a lower price, it's like a permanent sale.

The Wardrobe Kilkenny stock pre-loved labels such as Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Brunello Cuccinelli, Bulgari, Dolce and Gabbana, Pucci, Alexander McQueen, Diane Von Furstenberg, Louis Vuitton and many more.  

Image: The Wardrobe Kilkenny

Even if you don't head down to buy something, you can sell your own designer goods for a pretty penny.

Companies like Depop are essentially doing the same thing, whereby you can run your own online shop and buy and sell items over the brilliant app.

When you have gently-used, unique or highly-coveted items that you don't use, why not sell them? Give someone else the chance to love your belongings.

Image: The Wardrobe Kilkenny

The Wardrobe Kilkenny believe in the lifecycle of luxury goods and are always looking for designer items to sell on your behalf.

To get in touch call 056 771 5542 or visit the store at 29 Patrick Street.

Between now and August 31, if you mention SHEmazing when you consign your piece you can receive 15 percent off your first purchase. The bargains simply go on and on. Enjoy the couture, ladies.

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The world of fashion is changing. With the textiles industry named as the second-largest polluter of water (only behind the oil industry), times are progressing when it comes to ethical, eco-friendly clothing.

The new ASOS 'Responsible Edit' function aims to offer a simplistic way to find the most sustainable clothing options on the retailer's website.

From outfits made out of recycled materials and sustainable separates to ethical skincare and cosmetic products; the 'Responsible Edit' is the place to be.

1. Weekday wide leg smock jumpsuit in graphic print at ASOS

Weekday at ASOS
Price: €49.77

2. ASOS DESIGN sweetheart neck tiered midi dress in polka dot

ASOS Design
Price: €52.54

3. Monki v-neck midi dress with button details and polka dot print at ASOS

Monki at ASOS
Price: €55.30

4. Anaya With Love tulle ruffle shoulder bardot maxi dress with satin trim in soft pink at ASOS

Anaya With Love at ASOS
Price: €103.69

5. ASOS DESIGN square neck linen midi sundress with wooden buckle & contrast stitch in squiggle print

ASOS Design
Price: €38.71

6. ASOS DESIGN boiler playsuit with neon stitching

ASOS Design
Price: €62.21

7. Weekday fruit print mid cami dress with front slit in navy at ASOS

Weekday at ASOS
Price: €55.30

8. ASOS DESIGN denim sleeveless fitted mini stretch shirt dress

ASOS Design
Price: €41.48

9. ASOS DESIGN recycled V neck strappy plunge swimsuit in washed paisley print

ASOS Design
Price: €28.34

10. ASOS DESIGN bandeau button front jumpsuit with pockets in tropical print

ASOS Design
Price: €41.48

11. ASOS DESIGN tea jumpsuit with puff sleeve and tie detail

ASOS Design
Price: €38.71

12. ASOS DESIGN cami jumpsuit with gathered bodice detail in polka dot print

ASOS Design
Price: €41.48

13. ASOS DESIGN halter neck button through mini sundress in ditsy floral print

ASOS Design
Price: €34.56

14. Monki floral print wide leg dungarees in black

Monki at ASOS
Price: €48.39

Happy (ethical, sustainable) shopping, ladies.

top gear hamster GIF

Feature image: ASOS

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With all the conversations regarding the decrepit state of our planet, it's no surprise that the terms 'ethical fashion' and 'sustainable clothing' are coming up again and again.

Whether it's the depressing lack of labour rights which garment workers possess, or the untold amount of damage a simple white t-shirt can do to the earth; it's time to get serious about the disastrous environmental impact of fashion.

Fact Attack

1. The truth of the matter is: the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry.

Unfortunately, developing countries are constantly the ones to suffer from developed nations and their materialistic consumerist culture. While high street shops have lower pricing, it's important to ask ourselves why this is so.

Normally, it's because the cost of production is incredibly cheap, and the workers aren't being paid in equity.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Patagonia Dublin (@patagoniadublin) on

For example, according to Stephen Leahy of The Guardian, 100 million people in India don't have access to drinking water. However, 85 percent of the daily needs of the entire population of India would be provided by the water used to grow the country's cotton.

The same cotton that goes into making our clothes, the clothes of people who have always had access to daily needs like drinking water. So the question is, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Fast fashion is a hugely feminist issue seeing as women in these underdeveloped countries are paid less than men for working in these garment factories.

The number of workplace injuries and deaths in factories in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Cambodia are still shockingly high.

Now, this article isn't intended to guilt or shame anyone. It's just a wake-up call, and knowing the facts of this vital topic can lead to change. Change can lead to less harm on the planet, and isn't that always a good thing?

2. First of all, it's important to know that the untreated toxic waste-waters from textile factories are often dumped directly into the rivers of countries where clothes are made.

These waste-waters contain toxic substances like arsenic, mercury and lead, which kill the aquatic life and health of millions living by that same river. Contamination reaches the sea and spreads globally.

The use of fertilizers for cotton production heavily pollute waters, another danger of creating just a single item of clothing for brands we all know and buy from. 

Image: Catch News

3. Clothing in our culture has become disposable, and more and more textile waste is accumulating as a result. According to Elizabeth Cline of The Atlantic, a family in the 'western world' throws away an average of 30kg of clothing every year.

4. Only 15 percent of this is recycled or donated, and what happens to the rest? Landfill or incineration.

What's worse, synthetic fibres like polyester are plastic fibres, and can take up to 200 years to decompose.

Global textiles production emits 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases every single year. That's more than international flights and maritime shipping put together, according to Fashion Revolution.

5. These biodegradable synthetic fibres are used in a shocking 72 percent of our clothing. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fashion Revolution Ireland (@fashrevireland) on

6. The UK population has £10.5 billion worth of unworn clothes in their closet, according to recent research. It's massively valuable to donate your unworn clothes rather than throw them away. Every item of apparel has a history, and can tell a story.

Fast fashion is having an unparalleled influence on the planet, with more and more clothes being incinerated into the air every year.

Workers are suffering in poverty to make our clothes, and we have no idea who they even are. We have a responsibility to bring ethics into what we wear and how we style ourselves.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ethical & Sustainable Fashion (@thekindguide) on

The issue may seem far away, but we can't ignore the problem any longer.

Clothing is a basic human need, give someone else the chance to wear the clothes you don't want anymore.

6. The apparel industry accounts for 10 percent of global carbon emissions, because our clothes are made in countries which power their factories with coal.

This means our synthetic fibres are basically made from fossil fuel, hence why it's so important to buy clothes with natural fibres.

Image: Remake

Here's our survival guide for ethical shopping and sustainable fashion, but remember: Nobody's perfect.

Even if you reduce your buying habits a tiny bit, or change one of your high street shops to an ethical brand, that's great. Just do your best; if everyone did a little, it would mean a lot.

Swap Shops

The Nu. Wardrobe is an Irish female-led startup company focusing on dramatically reducing fashion waste by encouraging the swapping or renting of clothes. Their tag-line is 'Look Good. Save Money. Reduce Waste.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@thenuwardrobe) on

Right on, gals. Extending the life cycle of clothes is hugely important in the fight against fast fashion.

Why not borrow an outfit from a friend or sibling instead of buying something entirely new when you probably don't need to?

Of course, it's important to treat yourself every now and again, and we all need new threads every once and a while when our body sizes change etc, but just remember to ask yourself every time: Do I really need this?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fashion Revolution Ireland (@fashrevireland) on

Charity shopping/Vintage outlets

Dun Laoghaire's main street contains some great charity shops like Bernardos, Oxfam, Age Action, Goodwill and more.

George's Street in the city centre also have a great selection of charity shops with the proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul, Oxfam and Enable Ireland.

The array of vintage shops in Dublin is not to be understated. Head to Dublin Vintage Factory (there are two shops) in Temple Bar for the cheapest but best selection of vintage clothing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dublin Vintage Factory (@dublinvintagefactory) on

Vintage has emerged onto the scene even more in recent years, and has undoubtedly become one of the biggest trends in Dublin fashion.

Why not buy something no one else could possibly have? Pre-owned and pre-loved.

Other options include; Tola Vintage, Nine Crows, Lucy's Lounge, Monto, The Harlequin, Folkster, Tahiti Vintage, Om Diva, The Cat's Meow, Siopaella and Retro in George's Street Arcade and Temple Bar.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tola Vintage Reworked (@tolavintagereworked) on

Apps: Depop/Good On You

Depop has become our addiction in recent months. The app is a clothes-selling platform, basically a digital swap shop, and the range of fashion styles involved is incredible.

Shipping from all over the world, the items are totally unique. You'll see some amazing style trends as well, and the app allows you to refine your searches for uber specific items and brands.

From vintage sportswear brands to quirky 1990s-era fashion pieces, don't miss out.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Depop (@depop) on

It's a great feeling knowing that you aren't buying brand new clothes all the time, and the app allows you to make some $ cash dollah $ by selling all of the clothes you haven't worn since your teenage disco days.

We first heard about Good On You from none other than Emma Watson. If she models and endorses them, they have to be sheer excellence.

The app allows you to inform yourself all about the workers rights and sustainability of your favourite brands.

They offer great suggestions for ethical and sustainable brands too, and it's practical and easy to use.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Emma Watson (@emmawatson) on

Our favourite ethical/sustainable brands

Finding sustainable clothing for an affordable price can be challenging in Ireland, mainly because of shipping charges.

It's a huge comfort to know that you're paying for clothing made by people who have workers rights, and that they are high-quality. Here are some of our all-time fave brands:

Reformation

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Reformation (@reformation) on

Weekday

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@weekdayofficial) on

People Tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@peopletreeuk) on

Oxfam

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Oxfam Ireland (@oxfamireland) on

Thought

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Thought (@thoughtclothing) on

Fame and Partners

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fame and Partners (@fameandpartners) on

Ilk + Ernie

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@ilkandernie) on

Ninety Percent

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ninety Percent (@ninety_percent) on

Other gorgeous favourites include: Base Range, Etica, Everlane, Uniqlo, Exhibit, Komodo, Patagonia, Athleta, Petra Von Kant, Lara Intimates, Mayamiko, Thoreau, Boyish and ASOS Made in Kenya

Last but not least, we recommend watching The True Cost on Netflix, it pulls back the curtain on fast fashion and the developing world. It's time to wear your values.

Feature image:  Instagram/@cheriebirkner/@sustainablefashionmatterz

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The first ever law on ending violence and harassment in the working world at the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva is being negotiated by governments, trade unions and employers.

ActionAid is addressing the issue, demanding that all parties agree to a strong, binding treaty which protects women and marginalised workers.

The organisation has now released the findings of a survey in order to gain awareness about the ILC conference and the extreme importance of laws to protect women.

Just 37 percent of Irish people who participated knew that there is zero laws a an international level to eliminate workplace gender-based violence and harassment

82 percent of those surveyed said that they care about the conditions in the factories where their clothes are made, but 65 percent claimed it's hard to know which brands are ethical.

82 percent of consumers in Ireland stated that if a clothing brand was exposed to in the media because its clothes are made in factories where women experience sexual violence and harassment, they would refuse to shop there.

28 per cent of Irish people believe that governments are responsible for making sure that clothes are produced in an ethical way. This would mean that, in factories, workers are paid a living wage, work in safe conditions and are free from sexual violence or harassment. 

38 percent however claimed it's the employer's responsibility. The global  justice organisation also gathered data from 200 garment factory workers, including 181 women, in the capital city of Bangladesh.

80 percent of the workers claimed they were subjected to sexual harassment and/or abuse at work.

ActionAid have heard shocking stories of colleagues sexually assaulted on the factory floor, women abused for not meeting targets and losing their job for being pregnant. 

72 percent of garment worker respondents said they had been subjected to extreme verbal abuse at work.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Refgee (@refgeeshop) on

73 per cent of Irish consumers wouldn’t work in a place where workers face gender-based violence, according to ActionAid, and 80 per cent would say no to working in unsafe buildings. Yet garment workers in Bangladesh face these dangerous conditions on a daily basis, and it's not headline news.

The Rana Plaza tragedy killed over 1,100 people just six years ago, but all garment workers surveyed still reported some level of concern over safety in the workplace.

90 percent stated that their jobs were impacting their own health, such as eyesight, injured hands and feet, exhaustion, depression and severe back pain.

CEO of ActionAid Ireland, Siobhan McGee, said;

“The #MeToo movement has brought the issue of sexual violence and harassment at work to the fore. But, the most vulnerable, marginalised and underpaid workers cannot be left out.

"Governments and employers now have the opportunity to act by voting in favour of the first international law to tackle gender-based violence in the world of work."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by tiiwa (@tiiwaafrica) on

“Right now, 59 countries still have no national laws against violence and harassment at work, and so a progressive, binding, global treaty is the only way to protect women and other marginalised workers," McGee continued.

“Our research shows that the majority of Irish consumers believe it is the responsibility of governments and brands to protect workers in global supply chains, such as the garment industry.

“Consumers, hit by austerity measures and rising global inequality, face tough choices when the only clothes they can afford are cheap, fast fashion that puts garment workers at risk of abuse. It’s up to brands and governments to ensure that the decision to buy ethical clothing is not only a choice the rich can make.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nicolas Velter (@nicolasvelter) on

One woman, Shopna, has been a garment worker for 16 years and now operates a sewing machine. She has experienced many unwanted sexual advances over the years, and witnessed incidents of assault on other women by powerful men.

Shopna unfortunately faced harassment from an inappropriate factory manager, who repeatedly asked her to stay back after work, but she said no. He violently attacked her after she came into work earlier than other workers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Natasha Krelle

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