Five questions with Charlie McEvoy of Plant Faced Clothing
Back in 2015, having recently turned vegan, Charlie McEvoy was tired of not being able to find any cool, streetwear-inspired, vegan and ethical clothing. So they decided to create their own, and the Plant Movement was born!
Plant Faced Clothing‘s cool designs are a culmination of “fashion, design, art, music, skate, surf, street, tattoo culture and a plant-based, cruelty-free lifestyle”. They are independently run and UK based.
ethical to people, plants and the planet too
But plant-based and cruelty-free doesn’t stop at being vegan and cruelty free to animals. Ethical means being kind to all living beings including humans and plants too. Their “sick streetwear” comes with ethical certifications such as Fair Wear and WRAP to ensure that it is made with no child labour, fair and safe working conditions and a living wage for workers. And their whole range is screen-printed close to home in London, where the workers are paid a London Living Wage.
The interest in vegan, and particularly, sustainable / ethical practices in fashion is growing exponentially over the years
They are environmentally sustainable too: about 90% of their range is made from organic cotton or recycled polyester (we featured them in our article about organic cotton t-shirts) and is made to be truly sustainable, i.e. to last!
What else makes them sustainable?
The list is impressive…
Plant-based even down to the dyes
Most modern fabric dyes are synthetic, but some colours are still cheaper and easier to create using animals (they use insects to create some red dyes — gross!)
Vegan clothing features no animal products but would you even think about what they are dyed with? Even less how the dyeing screens are cleaned of their ink? Crushed insects and animal by-products? No thanks. All of Plant Faced Clothing’s styles are printed using eco friendly, water based and vegan fabric dyes and no animals go into the products, ink, cleaning materials or within a sniff of their products.
Their products are GOTS certifed too. We love GOTS certified fabrics! It means the whole supply chain is monitored for fair labour and no nasty toxins. See What does GOTS certified mean for more info.
While transparency itself doesn’t necessarily mean sustainable, it usually implies it. Just look at the Fashion Transparency Index. Fashion Revolution point out that the more transparent a fashion brand is about their social and environmental efforts, the more likely we are to see systematic change in the fashion industry. Murky unethical practices lie in untransparent supply chains.
made in small batches
The fashion industry is rife with overproduction causing a massive clothing waste crisis. Plant Faced Clothing create their products in small batches to stop this excessive, irresponsible waste. It might cost more, we all know that bigger batches bring your costs down, but that is the cost of being kind to our planet!
For every product you buy, no matter what, they plant a tree. Simple as that! Read more about what Charlie has to say about it below.
even their packaging
Is made from 100% recycled paper and vegan water-based inks. They are changing their woven labels to be recycled too and try to use plastic-free packaging.
proudly queer (non binary) owned
Plant Faced are an equal opportunities employer. They support people from all walks of life and diverse opinions and cultures are respected. And you know this is not just a brand talking the talk, they are walking the walk!
They are using their platform to talk about movements and causes close to their heart. These obviously include animal rights charities but Black Lives Matter and the Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation too.
Repeatedly featured in the press!
Plant Faced Clothing are so cool, so we obviously wanted to find out more. What’s more, their movement is gaining huge traction globally. In our recent article 101 ethical & sustainable fashion statistics and trends 2022, we reported that not only is there a 258% surge in vegan fashion stock in the UK and US but that the value of the market is to triple!
It’s about time too, people are sick of animal cruelty in the fashion industry and are voting with their feet, for vegan fashion, for kinder fashion to all beings.
As we reported in our article on vegan fashion, the number of people who identify as vegan has doubled in the last 5 years. You have a big community, are you seeing the interest in vegan fashion rise as per the interest in the vegan diet?
Definitely! The interest in vegan, and particularly, sustainable/ethical practices in fashion is growing exponentially over the years; this is something which has been very apparent as well in running the business as we have more and more people wanting to know more and demanding more from brands about their products and practices. This is such a great change to see as it allows us to keep on growing this movement and this brand.
You’ve obviously done a lot of work tracing the supply chain of your products so that you can make sure that they are produced ethically and using environmentally friendly materials. Can you tell us a bit about the challenges this entails as I think most of us don’t realise what a difficult yet hugely important task this is?
Most definitely — there is a lot of trial and error involved and a lot less to choose from in terms of styles and range, but we’ve seen this changing a lot over the years.
Most of us don’t think about the dyes that are used in our clothes but you have recognised how important it is at Plant Faced Clothing, not only from an environmental but from an animal viewpoint. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
We work only with suppliers who are PETA-certified vegan. This means that none of them conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products and pledge never to do so. On top of this, all our apparel is made from 100% vegan materials, so you can be confident that no harm came to anyone during its creation, including the dyes.
Most modern fabric dyes are synthetic, but some colours are still cheaper and easier to create using animals (they use insects to create some red dyes — gross!). The source of dyes are not usually specified on labels, so if you want to be sure then you’ll need to establish that a garment is vegan, or buy from a brand that you know exclude animal-derived dyes.
plans for the future:
Are there any more sustainability/ethical initiatives that you’d like to take up in the future?
We would love to keep expanding our range of materials with more exciting technology as it involves, and to make an even larger majority of our options to be made as sustainably as possible.
learnings for fast fashion:
From your experience showing that ethical and sustainable fashion can be successful, do you think there is one thing that fast fashion brands could easily do to reduce their impact on people, planet and animals?
Plant trees for every item sold! We currently do this under our Buy 1 Plant 1 initiative, and it is really not that hard or costly to set up a program like this, but the pay-offs for the people, planet and animals could be huge.
We love this idea and hope that fast fashion brands are taking note!
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