David Hampton creates products that are made to last; not only because they are timeless but because we are committed to sustainability. We want to help our consumers choose good quality leather goods that are stylish and functional but also help the environment and workers affected. We are dedicated to creating sustainable processes to create our premium qualities - from chrome-free leather to non-toxic chemicals used on our goods - and ensuring the fair and ethical treatment of all our workers. To find out more, check out our journal post.
Sustainable Fashion Isn’t Just a Trend
Your Guide to Making Better Choices in Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable fashion. You’ve probably heard about it. You've seen celebrities like Emma Watson or influencers on Instagram advocating for it. You might even know a few brands that are doing it. But where did it all come about? And what does it mean for you?
There is no denying that sustainable fashion has become increasingly popular over the past decade. With greater awareness of the negative impacts that the culture of fast fashion has created on the environment and labourers, there is a growing global consciousness of the need for change. Along with sweeping changes in all other aspects of our lives - from the popularity of plant-based diets to demanding political action on climate change - it’s hard to escape the compulsion to start acting differently.
But in the same vein, standing up against the great big world and thinking you could fix it with just investing in some hemp-based, sustainable t-shirt can seem both ineffectual and a little intimidating. What can one person, one decision, one t-shirt truly do to help years of corporate manufacturing and centuries of environmental damage?
The truthful answer is not a lot. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. There are small steps every consumer can make to help create a more sustainable world - from getting better educated about the issues and the way our behaviour affects them to learning how to make the conscious decisions better. Together, when more and more consumers make these changes, that’s when real impact is created.
But never fear, we’re here to help you out.
Whether you’re an eco-warrior or just want to help make the world a better place, we’ve got your guide to sustainable fashion right here:
1 What is sustainable fashion?
Put simply - or rather by the good people of Green Strategy:
“More sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects.”
The fact is that the creation, selling and consumption of clothing have been created on many unsustainable processes to meet the growing demands of a capitalist society. From design to the raw material production to transport, storage and final sale to even the reuse, repair and recycling the product and components - these have all had significant impacts on the environment and people involved.
Integrating greater sustainability into the fashion industry is two-pronged: creating environmentally sustainable processes and improving the working conditions that create the clothes.
Environmental sustainability can mean everything from minimising the amount of water and electricity that tends to be used in mass production to choosing more sustainable materials that can be reused and recycled for years to come. For example, our Richmond collection is made from chrome-free leather that is not only premium quality but durable to stand the test of time. It is tanned without the use of heavy metals to reduce the impact on the water that is inevitably used to treat our leathers.
For socio-economic purposes, it is important to support the wellbeing and upholding of the international codes of conduct for all workers. With booming manufacturing industries, this was so often overlooked, often with grave, even fatal, consequences. We’re particularly proud to continue our time-honoured tradition of not only making classic leather goods but maintaining the respect for our craftsman through their fair treatment. Our production processes meet all the standards and codes as needed to maintain our SA 8000 Certification.
2. Why do we need it?
Particularly when it comes to the environment, there is no denying that action needs to be taken soon. Whether that is in our fashion, our gas emissions or our use of plastic, there is a global call to do something before it is too late.
It is particularly important in our clothing choices because the proliferation of online shopping has made it harder and harder to remember that choosing what to buy can and does have an effect on the environment around us. There is a growing disassociation between scrolling through the latest styles or brand Instagrams and the wider footprint these choices actually have.
And while we are quick to think about price, style or brand favourability in our choices, the environment is often last in our list of considerations. It’s important to recognise that even these choices about what we wear can be our way of doing a little something to start helping out the environment.
Moreover, these consumer decisions can start to create greater change in the industry, particularly if we now look at the socio-economic impact. Reducing the demand for fast fashion brands is ultimately a sign that we do not stand for unethical practices and compel brands to change their ways to keep up.
At David Hampton, we want to make that easier for you - make it simpler for you to be able to choose style and functionality as well as . Our leather goods are carefully crafted and made to last so that you just have to think about what collection you’ll be choosing.
3. How do I find the right brands?
It’s great to see more brands taking on the mantle to change these practices around. The responsibility of taking care of the environment shouldn’t just be the consumer and we are proud to do our part to make these decisions easier for our customers who are still looking for the best quality products out there, while still being able to positively impact the environment.
Here, at David Hampton, we do put our money where our mouth is. We believe that sustainability doesn’t have to come at the expense of a little bit of luxury. And so, we are embracing the slow fashion movement with our goods. Investing in good quality craftsmanship means that our products are made to last. And using sustainable chemicals to tan our leather is just one step in integrating more and more sustainable practices into what we do.
Apps like GoodOnYou or resources like Oxfam often collate some of the best brands around that have made strides to ensure the sustainability of their products. You can find out more of them below.
4. What else can I do?
Attending clothing swaps in your local area is a great way of reusing fashion in creative ways while also connecting with a community of similarly conscious individuals. That or donating and buying from secondhand stores can give your wardrobe fresh but ethical update.
Buying local also helps to reduce the heavy impact that the mere transportation of goods has on the environment.
Adopting more minimal practices into our wardrobe and shopping - think Marie Kondo for your clothes - have marked effects for reducing the amount of fast fashion that is globally consumed.
Don’t know which fabric to go for? A good rule of thumb is things that are organic or even vegan. These generally signify the right sort of chemicals used in treatment (like our Richmond collection) or practices that are benefiting the land on which the natural resources grow, rather than hurting them.
And finally, keep learning. Education is an incredibly powerful tool in compelling action for such issues. I mean, if you’ve learned anything from this article or found new ways of thinking about the fashion choices you make, then that’s the process we are looking for. Brands that have nothing to hide and are open and transparent about the practices they use are usually a good one to go by.
And in saying that, if you have any further questions about our commitment to sustainability, don’t be afraid to get in touch to know more.
So share this knowledge (and this article) with your friends and families. And don’t stop learning more about what you can do. Check out these resources for more: