Elle UK publishes sustainability-focused September issue

Elle UK's September issue

Elle UK’s September issue

Elle UK has dedicated its entire September issue to sustainability, hoping to encourage the fashion industry to follow suit by teaming up with several important voices in the field.

It is also proposing its own manifesto to encourage meaningful change internally.

The issue, which is printed on 100% recycled paper, features conversations with important designers, authors and experts within the sustainability field, such as designer Stella McCartney, actress and activist Pamela Anderson, and author and climate change advocate Naomi Klein.

“The fashion industry has been using the same 10 materials for the past 200 to 300 years — come on guys: the food industry is changing, the fashion industry is doing the same old stuff, and getting away with it,” says McCartney.

Another contributor is Livia Firth, founder and creative director of Eco Age and executive producer of The True Cost, a documentary exploring the impact of fashion in its supply chain.

“When you look at the #MeToo campaign and the concept of feminism, you think, ‘How can we just be feminists in our little world?’ When you are a feminist, you have to consider women everywhere,” says Firth. “When you get dressed, you are wearing the story of another woman who is getting exploited. If you are a true feminist, #MeToo also has to apply to them. You have to make the connection and remember those stories.”

In this issue, the publication is also proposing a series of changes in order to be more ethical. This includes working with suppliers to improve its practices; using its multi-media platform to raise awareness to climate issues; highlighting campaigners and designers who are worth paying attention to or shopping from; and from a day-to-day perspective, using recycled set props as much as possible and eliminating single use plastics both on photo shoots and at the office.

For this initiative, Elle UK conducted research to better understand attitudes and awareness of sustainability in fashion among young women in the country. It uncovered findings such as that 90% of women want to know more about sustainability in the industry, while 51% want to know what they can do to become more sustainable.

The education piece is also key, as 62% of those surveyed were unaware that the fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters. Additionally, 55% found it important or very important to know where the clothes they buy come from and whether they are ethically made.

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