Sustainability, sustainable fashion and ethical fashion are words we hear frequently in today’s world. But what does sustainable fashion really mean as there is still no clear definition?
Sustainable fashion is an umbrella term that is used to describe clothing that is produced in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. Sustainable fashion takes into account the entire life cycle of a garment, from the sourcing of raw materials to the disposal of the finished product and also the people who make our products.
At ALEAF, we define sustainable fashion by focusing on three key areas: people, planet & profit.
Ethical fashion brands ensure that all of their makers are compensated fairly, have safe working conditions and are not exploited or abused.
As an ethical brand, ALEAF ensures that all of the materials we use are responsibly sourced and our makers are fairly compensated. We work with small teams and have a close relationship with our makers. This is important so that we can then provide our makers with any assistance they might need and bring them the recognition they deserve for their hard work. We are nothing without our people.
An important question to ask yourself when shopping from a sustainable brand is, “Who made this?”
Every second, clothes and textiles amounting to one garbage truck is dumped in landfills.
Therefore, at ALEAF we promise to reduce waste and protect our planet through slow fashion practices such as making small batches of accessories using environmentally friendly materials that are circular, timeless and durable.
Sustainable fashion brands typically use natural fabrics, such as organic cotton, bamboo, linen and hemp due to the absence of harmful chemicals in their production process and their ability to decompose fast without increasing landfill waste. Brands also use vegan leathers made from natural fibers instead of genuine leather or synthetic leather (PU or PVC) to produce more eco-friendly handbags and accessories.
At ALEAF, we use bio-based leather alternatives such as Piñatex and Desserto to create our handbags & tech accessories. These materials are partially biodegradable, are made using natural fibers and can be recycled at the end of their lifecycle.
When purchasing an item that has been labelled as sustainable it is important to read the labels and look out for internationally recognised sustainable certifications. Most common certifications would include B- Corp Certified, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) , Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Global Recycle Standard (GRS), Oeko Tex & PETA Approved Vegan.
For some sustainable fashion brands, there is an underlying cause that drives their vision. They want to use the force of fashion to make the world a better place.
At ALEAF, our goal is not about making profits for our gain but instead about using our profits to make an impact by enhancing the lives of people and creating circular designs that help us protect our planet. As the income inequality gap widens between urban and rural communities in Sri Lanka, we pledge to donate 30% of our profits annually to the Foundation of Goodness. These funds will be used to provide rural communities across Sri Lanka with access to basic necessities such as clean water, food & shelter as well as education and employment.
As a consumer, you have the chance to make a difference. Make sure to do your homework and read the labels before you shop.
At ALEAF, we aim to make this easy for you by being transparent about our process from our materials, its impact and the people who make your products.