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  • Genevieve Oldham

WAWWA: Organic, Ethically Made and Climate Neutral Apparel

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

A sustainable clothing brand making organic, fairtrade, vegan, planet friendly clothing with a positive social impact.

In the wake of coronavirus, research shows that ethical and sustainable fashion has been on the rise. We have learnt to value our environment as nature itself has proven to be a sanctuary, an escape from the unprecedented stressors brought on by the past year’s events.

As a result, sustainability has become a more essential component in the fashion world, with more and more companies making an effort to reduce their environmental impact.

But brands like WAWWA clothing, sustainability has been a priority since they began. The company work to protect the planet, while also providing robust and durable clothes that enable people to reconnect with nature.

WAWWA is a Manchester-based apparel brand that was founded in 2016 and they set out to create well-designed garments that have a minimal impact on the planet and a positive impact on its inhabitants.

They began making face masks back in March 2020, to reduce the demand for PPE and allow the short supply to be redirected to the NHS and its key workers. Their overwhelming demand saw them quickly expand, and they now sell a range of products including outerwear, sweats, t-shirts, and accessories – of which hats and tees are their bestsellers.

Their slogan ‘people and the planet before profits’ speaks for itself; sustainability is at the heart of everything that WAWWA does. Their products are all certified vegan, organic and fair-trade.

WAWWA have carefully considered their impact on the earth, right down to the smallest details. For example, using water-based inks to avoid harmful chemicals being released into water, or even the clothing size labels being made from recycled materials.

WAWWA also gives back to society. For every item bought from their 1+1 collection, another item is donated to a rough sleeper.

Their pieces are effortlessly chic and do not sacrifice style for sustainability or sustainability for style. Each product includes an individual production location, material, and sustainable certification, ensuring customers can see for themselves the ethics behind what they are buying.

Their Spring ’21 ‘Growing Amok Collection’ embodies the brand’s connection with the earth, drawing upon natural examples in its rich colour palette and driven by ecology.

Part of the collection includes the Pollard Jacket, made from medium-weight waxed organic cotton which ensures robust and durable wear. It can also be folded up and combining these key features into one product ensures practicality and prevents consumers overspending.

It is still rare for fashion brands to be open and transparent about their supply chains. In an age of greenwashing, companies can commend themselves for including a small proportion of recycled materials in their garments – yet still fail to pay their employees fairly or provide a safe working environment.

It is vital for companies to focus not just on sustainable fashion, but ethical fashion. WAWWA’s website clearly lays out evidence of their positive practices. Where possible, WAWWA produce their products in-house - in their Manchester and Bolton based factories - ensuring complete control over production standards and ethics.

The company were also selective in their choice of international factories, choosing a factory in Portugal who pay all their staff a living wage, run mostly by solar-power, and specialise in Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton.

They also chose a fair-trade factory in India that is solar powered and GOTS certified. This supplier goes above and beyond to ensure workers’ rights, provide support for differently-abled children, train and employ rural women in India and provide credit cards to female workers to protect their earnings from potential familial abuse.

Collections can also be split by location in which it was made, showing each garment can be fully and ethically traced back to its origins. Broadcasting their production methods shows that all ethical issues have been considered – and resolved.

WAWWA’s success proves that not only does every sustainability issue have a solution, but that these solutions actually work. It is possible to sell sustainable, ethical and fashionable clothes.

It will come as no surprise that WAWWA currently rates as ‘good’ – 4 out of 5 - on good on you, a sustainability indicator that rates brands on factors such as rights of workers, the planet and animal welfare policies.

Though the fashion industry remains one of the main culprits behind climate destruction, WAWWA is proving that fashion can actually be a vehicle for positive environmental change. Clothing can be designed with style and longevity in mind. Fashion can be functional, and functionality can be fashionable.

By Genevieve Oldham ©

Head to the WAWWA website to shop for clothes that are organic, fairtrade, vegan, planet friendly.

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