Meet the Brand Making Fast Fashion Ethical
The collapse of Rana Plaza on the 24th of April, 2013 and the subsequent 1,134 deaths and over 2,500 injuries of its employees was a wake-up call to customers of fast fashion giants of Primark, Mango, Monsoon and more. The tragedy marked a turning point for the fashion industry, as the public turned on their favourite brands demanding change for outsourced workers trapped in substandard workplace environments. Soon enough, an accord was passed, major brands took the first steps towards making fast fashion ethical by improving working conditions for their manufacturing workforce. Some brands have adopted public-facing sustainability policies since the tragedy of 2013, but realistically speaking, the uptake in corporate social responsibility by the big brands is less than inspiring. Despite the advancements being made by the fashion industry, it is still all too painfully obvious a gap in the market exists for an ethical fast-fashion retailer.
Enter Nobody's Child, a British based retailer, pitched as the UK's very first completely ethical fast fashion label. Launched just under six months ago, the brand has seen significant online success with cruelty-free bloggers and fans grouping in the masses to support guilt-free shopping, without compromising on the quality. Nobody's Child Head of Digital, Justine Goldstraw said,
"We have one very simple belief: that fast fashion doesn’t have to be synonymous with low quality or questionable manufacturing practices. Fast fashion is all about capturing the latest trends and making them immediately and affordably available. And the truth is, most of us want to be able to look good, to wear new things, and to pay as little as possible for the privilege. But we’re pretty sure that we’d all feel a lot more comfortable knowing that what was making our clothing affordable was intelligently applied principles rather than unprincipled practices."
With rising costs associated with production within the fashion industry, it's no surprise bigger brands turn to overseas cheap labour to keep profit margins wide. So, how does Nobody's Child keep things affordable but ethical?
It's simple: a decade of strategic planning, and keeping the manufacturing process at home.
The brand is the serendipitous lovechild of two businesses - one specialising in textiles, the other in manufacture. Crafted over a decade, the two companies grew their capabilities, with the end goal firmly in sight - the creation of a guilt-free commercial label. Over the years, the necessary but by no means cheap assets were acquired to make the vision become a reality – a knitting plant, a dye house, a print facility, as well as company-owned factories across Europe and Asia.
Coupled with a UK based distribution facility, atelier and even an in-house photographic studio, the middleman is effectively cut out and the recipe for ethical fast fashion is baked to perfection.
Making Fast Fashion Ethical - From All Angles
Of course, the fashion industry, as well loved by the millions as it is, is plagued with endless issues from impossible entry routes to the job market for graduates to promoting unrealistic body ideals through choice of underweight models; Nobody’s Child seeks to address this:
"‘Fast fashion with a conscience’ is our tagline, and we like to think that this extends to all parts of the business. We only use healthy looking models, and state their clothing size alongside all product descriptions. In addition to this, we only ever use very light make up in order to endorse a fair representation of beauty."
Furthermore, Nobody's Child aims to equip aspiring fashion professionals with the necessary hands-on experience, without having to take on unpaid internships by working in collaboration with the London College of Fashion.
Over the course of the year, 2nd year students will embark upon a full analysis of the brand, using it as a live case study, building a long-term strategy based on insights gleaned from marketing, branding, digital visual merchandising, buying, product development and more. Due to the early stage the start-up is in, this is likely to have a significant impact on the brand moving forward, and exposes students to experiences far beyond the confines of making everybody a cup of tea.
Nobody's Child - Spring Broke
Looking to SS16, Nobody's Child is set to make an impact with bloggers and social influencers. The SS16 collection stays true to it's fashion foundations - high quality wardrobe staples complimented by trend-driven pieces such as bomber jackets and cropped, high-waisted culottes. Sports luxe features heavily within the collection, as well as the essential spring pastels. Catering to the mass market, there's something for every 21st century girl - from silhouette hugging bodysuits, to oversized, drapey tee dresses.
Making fast fashion ethical and affordable? Nobody's Child is a brand we can most definitely get on board with.
What are your thoughts on brands making fast fashion ethical? Do you think big brands are doing enough? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!