The Rise of Sustainable Streetwear in the UK

  • by Dean Jones
Dean Jones founder of Societal, started his ethical fashion journey several years ago. Like many things, it started in the most unexciting way: through a Google search. Dean browsed through websites of ethical streetwear brands. But even though he fell in love with many brands’ stories and their commitment to ethical labour and sustainability, there was one common denominator. Most ethical streetwear brands were way 'too expensive'.

Meet Societal, the UK’s Newest ‘Social Enterprise’

Societal is a progressive clothing label with the respect and promotion of human rights at its core that partners with artists and designers across the world.  Jones attended Central St Martins College, a prominent public tertiary art school in London England from 1996-2001 and said, “I started Societal with the simple hope of connecting people through wearable art that tells a story, inspires us, and reminds us that we are all human.  We are a team of ordinary people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights that believe our designs can be a driving force of change, not just a reflection of it.”

Ethical Fashion Doesn't Have To Be Exclusive

Since the 1980’s the cost of housing, rent, food, fuel and other consumables has risen dramatically. However, since the 1980s, instead of rising in price in line with inflation, clothes prices have fallen and fallen and fallen.

Jones said, “I would argue that the rise of fast fashion retailers has caused us to lose our sense of perspective, and our benchmarks and baselines on what is truly expensive. And I get it⁠—for a lot of people, one look at the price tag on an item of ethical clothing is sometimes enough to turn you off for good, but I’m here to tell you that it shouldn’t and that we all have to work on regaining our sense of perspective when it comes to the cost of clothes. I agree that once upon a time most ethical clothing brands were very expensive, however, things have changed and there are now a good amount of affordable clothing brands like Societal.”

Ethical Fashion Brands You'll Love To Wear

Ethical Fashion is an umbrella term to describe ethical fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing. It covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare.

Dean said, “I don’t believe there is a set definition, but we at Societal define ethical fashion as beneficial – with minimum harm - to the planet. Societal is clearly at the start of its ethical journey. 

Style & Sustainability Can Coexist

Societal is leading the way for conscious-minded shoppers, offering a plethora of classic, timeless pieces made ethically - there is literally something for everyone. 

Dean said, “There was a time when the words ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical clothing’ brought visuals of oatmeal-coloured clothing and canvas bags to the forefront of the mind. Thankfully, times have changed and while 2020 has been quite the ride, there’s been a shift in attitudes towards our lifestyle habits. Oh, and in case you didn’t get the memo, our planet is breaking, so eco-couscous clothing is actually a really important answer to a very real problem.” 

The good news? There is an ever-increasing number of designers working with Societal looking to change the status quo.

Don't worry if you're not a UK resident; Societal ships worldwide!

Ethics | print on demand, fair wages, gives back, eco-friendly packaging
Product Range | Adult apparel, accessories 
Price Range | $$-$$$ 

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