It’s Fashion Revolution Week, so let’s talk about clothes.
We all wear them, and we all buy them, but where do they come from and who makes them?
Fashion Revolution Week calls for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. It is no coincidence that it falls on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh which killed 1138 people and injured even more. The fashion industry is renowned for the mistreatment, exploitation and denial of rights to workers and to those in the supply chain we don’t see when we’re buying clothing online or in store.
This week, brands and producers are being encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to transparency in the supply chain by telling their customers who made their clothes. YouK makes this easy for you. YouK contains extensive information on UK brands and products, including detailed information about where clothes are designed, made and where input materials are sourced from.
Here are 10 brands on YouK that we love because they make it their business to let you know who makes your clothes, as well as where and how they are made.
GLOW is pioneering a new, conscious type of athleisure. GLOW is a Social Enterprise integrating high-vis accessories into everyday wardrobes. Their knitwear is handcrafted in London by skilled women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each accessory empowers women and changes lives. So, buy a piece, spread the word, tell a friend, start the change.
Trakke specialises in waxed canvas backpacks, messenger bags and accessories for travel and adventure. They are inspired by the verdant landscape, the history, the culture and the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands and all of their bags are designed and manufactured in-house in Glasgow. Each bag is handmade by their team of artisans and is built to last a lifetime.
Carrier Company is a British workwear and outdoor clothing label, designed and made in Norfolk. The inspiration for the brand was to recreate traditional products inspired by the hardworking outdoor clothing and accoutrements that Carrier Company’s founder grew up with.
Inspired by tradition, the environment and the requirements of those who live and work there, Tina, Carrier Company’s founder, leads the design and curating process as well as sourcing materials. Patterns are cut here in the shed at Church Farmhouse, and all the products are made by hand in other home enterprises found within ten miles of Carrier Company’s home in Wighton. Sandy, Malkit, Jenny, Katie, Doreen and Naomi do the sewing; Barbar packs and dispatches and when she isn’t pattern-cutting, Mel is coordinating all activity from design through to quality control, picking, packing, dispatch and of course customer service.
Stidston is a swim and bodywear brand, handmade in England. Each style is available in recycled lycra and can be worn as swimwear or outerwear.
In an era when people are looking for handmade and sustainable products, quality over quantity, bespoke over mass production, Stidston aims to stand at the front with other fashion brands leading a fashion revolution.
Corrymoor Mohair Socks
Corrymoor Mohair Socks are made from the Corrymoor flock of organic angora goats and merino sheep in East Devon. Manufactured and knitted in the UK, the socks come in adult and children’s sizes and are comfortable and durable.
Hiut Denim Co.
Hiut design and make jeans from their factory in Cardigan, Wales. They focus on producing the best jeans they can, not the most jeans they can. Their jeans are made with high attention to detail from organic and selvedge denim
Cardigan was a manufacturing hub for jeans for 30 years, making 35,000 pairs a week and employing 400 people. Its closure had a huge impact on the local economy and Hiut was established to bring manufacturing back to the town and to use the skills and knowledge that remained.
E&W Couture is made for the free-spirited looking to rock something a little alternative on their big day. Their bridal and bridesmaid dresses are unusual, figure flattering and above all comfortable. They are made to stand out and are all designed and made in Cardiff, Wales.
Alison Moore’s approach to jewellery design is organic and refreshingly non-conformist. All of the gemstones used in the designs are ethically sourced and the jewellery is handmade at Alison Moore’s studio on the beautiful Scottish island of Orkney. Her distinctive collections draw inspiration from many sources; childhood memories, walks on the beach, moods, emotions and the textures, forms and colours of nature.
The focus at Pajotten is on creating quiet, contemporary clothing, simple garments in natural fibres. Detailing is considered and kept to a utilitarian minimum. Importantly the garments are a reflection of what we enjoy wearing and feel confident in. All of their pieces are made to order individually in their Kent studio and their fabrics, trimmings and buttons are either sourced from UK mills and companies or bought as ‘deadbolt’ from designer level studios.
Manufacturers hold the responsibility to manufacture their goods ethically and sustainably. However, as consumers, we must also take the time to educate ourselves about what we are buying. If we demand to know how and where our clothes are made, manufacturers will respond, just as these 10 brands have, bringing about increased transparency in fashion’s supply chain.
To find out more about where your clothes are made, search for your favourite brands on YouK!