How sustainable is your wardrobe? Introducing a new column by Jessica Carroll that challenges fashion’s eco credentials. This week, she asks the question: how sustainable is Aspiga?
The good news is that the floral design is digitally printed in small runs to avoid wasteful overproduction and the dress is 96 per cent cotton, which biodegrades. Unfortunately, it’s also made of four per cent elastane, which isn’t natural and, gulp, makes the cotton very difficult to recycle.
Another big whoop from us as not only does Aspiga conduct internal audits with its factories at least once a year to ensure its suppliers are following the brand’s code of conduct, but failure to comply means adios, the company will stop working with them.
We’re talking completely plastic free: this dress will be sent out to customers in a 100 per cent compostable corn-starch garment bag, popped into a recyclable paper mailing bag. What’s not to love?
The extra mile
During the pandemic, with clothing demand down, many brands cancelled orders (including completed ones). This meant factories had to close and jobs were lost, plunging already vulnerable communities into poverty. Aspiga, however, ensured all its orders were fulfilled and, to help suppliers, paid them to make face masks.
On the one hand, Aspiga doesn’t offer any way to measure this, on the other, for £2 you can help offset this dress’s carbon footprint by adding carbon credits to your basket at checkout. These credits support verified schemes such as renewable energy projects and forest restoration. While it’s a good idea, it only really works if the customer is willing to pick up the extra cost.
Beautiful and well made, this dress will last season after season. However, due to its elastane, recycling is tricky. This is something Aspiga really needs to look at as, to its credit, it would be hard to find another brand as dedicated to improving the lives of its workers and its calls for a more sustainable fashion industry are clearly not just lip service.
Our rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. A strong commitment to sustainability.
Fashion director: Shelly Vella