Eco Fashion: what is really costs the environment
We now realise that we need to consider the environmental impact of buying cheap - particularly when everything has a hidden cost and if nature’s paying the ultimate price - is it really worth it? Ask the founders of Smalls
Synthetic fabrics made from recycled plastic seemed like a good ecological option at the outset, but we're now hearing about plastic microfibres being washed into the oceans which sea life are ingesting and these synthetic fibres are finding their way into the food chain.
And, this isn’t the only shock story we’ve been hearing; toxic dyes, formaldehyde to prevent creases and mildew, horrific pollution and that’s not including the human cost of child labour, appalling working conditions, the list goes on. Many people simply don't know what's the best option for themselves and their families any more.
This is where Smalls steps in...
Natural and sustainable, Merino wool is an amazingly technical, renewable and 100% biodegradable fibre. Having been worn for centuries by men, women and children - everywhere from cold climates to the extreme heats of the Sinai Desert - each year a Merino sheep grows a new fleece, making it a completely renewable fibre source.
Given all this uncertainty surrounding synthetic fabrics, why have so many people forgotten about wool? The shocking reality is that wool currently accounts for less than 1.5% of global fibre consumption.*
Since its launch, Smalls has been faithful to its mission to create a collection of Merino next-to-skin layers for children, designed with thought and conscience. With "slow fashion" at its heart the mantra of - buying less and choosing well.
Smalls has created gender-neutral merino layers that have genuine longevity and traceable provenance. Co-Founder, Emma-Jane Adam, explains:
“All this fast fashion and cheap, throwaway products are a false economy. Smalls garments are made to last, to be passed down to siblings, so you buy one or two and that’s it! There simply isn’t any need for piles and piles cheaply produced vests, pyjamas and other basics. Like any worthy wardrobe staple, Smalls go with everything, which proves that it is possible to love fashion and live life sustainably. And you can reduce your contribution to that ever-growing mountain of unwanted clothing that’s growing somewhere on our planet!”
Smalls, only use 100% superfine Merino sourced from “Happy Sheep” in New Zealand and Australia. There are lots of different types and qualities of Merino wool, but we only use the very best, fully traceable: ZQ Merino.
ZQ is an ethical Merino wool programme, which ensures THE FIVE FREEDOMS for sheep are upheld to ensure they are always very “happy sheep”. By choosing ZQ Merino products, consumers can be confident that the sheep producing the wool are well treated, well-fed, live natural and healthy lives.
This, in turn, means they are also buying Merino fibre of the very highest quality and performance. By using ZQ wool, it means that our pieces are totally traceable right back to the flock, so they can identify the locality of sheep they have to thank for the wool keeping little ones snug.
The Five Freedoms of Sheep are:
- Good lifestyle – free range, able to roam in open pastures and with the company of fellow sheep
- Good nutrition
- Good Environment – provision of shelter, shade and a comfortable environment at all times
- Good handling – good care and handling
- Good health – freedom from pain, injury and disease
And, the sustainability doesn’t end there, if after years of use, clients do end up retiring their wears all the items are fully biodegradable within a few weeks.
Sustainably & Ethically Produced
While consumers are becoming increasingly aware and have started asking questions about clothes’ provenance Smalls has, since its inception actively supported smaller communities and countries where they can produce high quality garments with excellent working conditions. Made both in Europe and in Fiji, our Merino garments are fully traceable right from farm to shop floor fashion.
In recent years, Smalls’ passion for wool, its sustainable benefits and the growing brand have been increasingly lauded, with the brand winning a number of Eco awards.
To shop the new Spring Summer collection go HERE>>
* (Source: AWI Market Intelligence Report, February 2017)