By Daniel P Dykes
When I penned our piece on the curated wardrobe I stressed the need for each fashioniser to become their own curator, their own arbiter of taste. Style is a personal thing and while some opt to buy it by way of a stylist, the end result isn't quite the same; that individual looks stylish but doesn't necessarily have style. Because both style and a self-curat ed collection of clothes and accessories are such personal things, the responses to my piece have been varied with most everyone bringing their own interpretation to this new form of luxury. Of them, one angle certainly stood apart: the curated wardrobe as sustainable and ethical fashion. That is, the curated wardrobe as a means of buying fewer pieces, all at a higher quality, and therefore limiting any negative impact the purchase may have upon society or the environment.

I've had many a discussion about sustainable and ethical fashion and I always finish those conversations with a sense that, like style and fashion, there are many ways that people choose to approach it. Some believe it means investing in only vintage pieces, others look at the social impact of a purchase and thus choose to buy pieces that didn't employ underpaid labour, others still see it as the need for us to truly understand the origins of the fashion we buy and the impact on the world (both socially and environmentally) around us.

For those latter people, there is the obvious need to be educated about each piece of fashion that catches their eye before they can make a purchase. The onus of that education doesn't lie with them, however, but with the store. Should the store wish to attract a customer with such interests, and it's a growing market worth pursuing, then they not only need to make sustainability a part of their customer service and marketing, but also as a part of their brand communication. Those who aren't need to take a leaf out of the book of Freemans Sporting Club.

With marketing messages such as 'Made Local, Buy Local' and 'All products made within 10 miles of our New York shops' some might think that Freemans Sporting Club have done enough to drive home the message. But as if determined to show how much a part of their ethos sustainable and ethical fashion is, the retailer has taken the concept a step further by labelling some of their goods with a notice about how far from their store it was crafted. For instance, a current season parka was made 3 miles away as was the Irish linen blazer. While it'd be easy to critique a simple label of 'Made Local, Buy Local' as being tokenistic, by educating their potential and existing customers as to some of the origins of their pieces Freemans Sporting Club are making the wide social and environmental impact of their goods self evident. More so, they're creating a point of education that markets itself.

Other producers of sustainable and ethical fashion, take note.

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