Fast fashion has ushered throwaway culture into the clothing business, with items so cheap they have become single-use purchases. But in the age of paper straws, take-back clothes services in major high street stores and the sudden moral panic to help save the planet, sustainable and ethical fashion is all the trend.
Zara-Mia Ava, the founder of Zaramia Ava, shared her thoughts on the issue: “Fast fashion companies selling garments cheaply isn’t ethical, as workers won’t get fair pay. People then don’t value their clothing and believe it is disposable.”
“With fast fashion churning out 52 trends a year, something needs to be done. Consumers should change their shopping habits, and in turn this will lead to a less throw away culture, slow fashion is the way forward for saving the planet,” Ava continues.
Zaramia Ava is a ethical fashion brand based in Leeds, UK. It was founded by Ava, a Leeds College of Art graduate, who herself was born in Leeds. She graduated with a BA (Hons) Fashion Degree with First Class Honors.
She runs her brand using ‘zero waste, versatility and sustainable fabrics’ as the foundations to design upon, alongside travel and culture. With the ethos being ‘sustainable luxury, produced with zero waste. Made for the ‘fashion conscious with a conscience’.
“We decided to set up the brand as we wanted to offer clothing not available in the marketplace. After watching The True Cost fashion documentary we didn’t want to contribute to the damage of the fashion industry. As designers we can make a difference,” Ava explains.
Zaramia Ava, named after the founder herself, has a distinctive approach to fashion, which is shown throughout its collections. Functional and versatile fundamentals are imbedded in the design. A key element is that the majority of the garments are multipurpose; one garment can be worn in various ways giving options to the wearer. The garments also have practical aspects using enhanced fabrics.
As a way to grab consumers attention, Ava gave us some quick and simple changes we can all easily make to be conscious consumers;
- Invest in durable multipurpose garments
- Shop vintage or second hand
- Buy clothing with natural fibres such as bamboo, hemp and organic cotton
- wash clothing less to prevent micro fibres going into the ocean
- Air dry to use less energy
- Mend garments instead of discarding
Veganism is another main influence to Ava: “Being Vegan also helped as we questioned everything from fabrics to printing and all the branding, we research everything in the sourcing process. We didn’t want clothing that would harm animals as we are vegan and cruelty free.”
A 2016 McKinsey report revealed that three-fifths of all clothing items will end up in an incinerator or landfill within a year of being produced. It is due to issues such as this that people like Ava promote slow fashion and create zero waste by establishing boundaries on how to create ethical, organic clothing that has multiple ways of wear and is genderless.
The designer voiced her opinions on the change that is needed within the fashion industry and how it may be possible: “There are many changes that need to be made to make the fashion industry more environmentally friendly, such as closing the loop on mass production and throw away fashion by creating recycling for unwanted clothing and fabrics, using more natural fabrics and reducing the use of plastic fabrics.”
“Companies need to adapt the way they work and look at the damage they are doing, to rework their business. Change is necessary for us to go forward,” Ava continues.