In society, we have labels for everything, we are conditioned to label a person or a thing even if we do not mean to. Fashion can be a significant factor in many ways.
We are privileged to live in a world where we can choose our fashion style and express ourselves through what we wear. Many of us take this for granted and do not understand the impact of our choices on the planet. But we need to learn to look beyond the label if we are going to make our choices count.
In social terms, labels represent a way of differentiating and classifying people. Similarly, for clothes, we identify brands and key information. Both come with small print. Simply put, the important stuff (the ‘stuff’ that makes a difference) represents the decisions we make as individuals.
Sustainability is another label, and one that also requires looking deeper. ‘Greenwashing’ is a common term used about brands that jump on the sustainability bandwagon but fail to live up to the term. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim that a company’s products are more environmentally friendly than in fact they are.
Many fashion businesses are working hard to ensure that the clothes we buy are manufactured ethically and sustainably. Pressure from the media, NGOs, consumers, and governments has forced brands to become more transparent, and to do more than pay lip service to sustainability goals. But not all sustainability labels are created equal. Just as brands must back up the claims they make, as consumers we must learn not to take everything at face value.
At TRS, we are a maker of labels but we also look beyond them, as should our customers. When choosing sustainable wood-derived labels, for example, always check for FSC accreditation. An FSC label provides proof of responsible sourcing and binds companies to live up to their sustainability promises.
The entire fashion industry needs to move towards a circular economy, and labelling and packaging products that are both recycled and recyclable must be a part of this to keep post-consumer plastic in the supply chain and out of landfill. Sustainable labelling materials in the TRS range include, for example, recycled polyester, satin ribbon, craft board, and plastic bottles repurposed into new products.
By carrying out our own research and development we can ensure that our decisions count towards a green recovery. At TRS, to ensure we put our claims to the test, we set regular goals and work with credible organisations, such as Oblong Trees, to reduce our carbon footprint. We are now in the second year of a 10-year scheme with Oblong Trees, where we sponsor the planting of 3,000 trees around the world.
The UK produces around 422 million tonnes of CO2 each year, and we need between 1.5 and three billion more trees to become carbon neutral. There are 35 million people employed within the UK. If each business planted 120 trees per employee then we would have planted over three billion more trees. Find out more about Oblong Trees.