2019 has been the year of awakening in the fashion industry. Finally consumers are questioning the fashion status quo by seeking out eco-friendly, ethical alternatives to fast-fashion. Instead of adding to the ever-increasing 300,000 tonnes of clothes which are sent to British landfills per year, as a conscious generation, we want our purchases to make a positive environmental impact. But we cannot rely entirely on consumers to foster change – brands play an important part in making fashion truly circular. 

On that note, we are delighted to announce that Browns Fashion have launched their first Conscious Edit: a category featuring designers that endeavour to integrate the circular economy into their business and work with sustainable materials. The Conscious Edit is an ever-growing offering of brands and products that have been created with the future of the planet in mind – championing designers that are forward-thinking and investing in brands that fit with Browns Fashion's conscious values and encouraging others to do the same.

Launching as part of Conscious is Dutch designer Duran Lantink’s collection. In collaboration with Browns’ buying team, Duran has curated a selection of past season pieces that he has reworked into a completely new collection. The bespoke pieces breathe a second life into previously unused items and in doing so he has reinvented his garments while supporting the circular economy.

Excited to learn more about Browns Fashion's new sustainability initiative, we spoke to Buying Director, Ida Petersson

This year has brought a shift in perspective towards ethical fashion, so the Conscious Edit appears to have launched at the ideal time. But the exploration of how the company could better itself began two years ago. "As we started to experiment with initiatives, a tremendous shift in attitude happened in the fashion world, with the larger percentage of the newer generation of designers and graduates now considering sustainability as a core value in their designs," Ida explains. "This combined with existing brands changing their production cycle or working towards a carbon neutral operation meant that we finally felt that we were in a position where we confidently could give our customers the choice to be conscious in their fashion choices."

There are specific credentials for the brands in the edit. So to help with the vetting process, Browns Fashion has partnered with Good On You who review businesses’ stances and practices under three pillars: environmental, social and animal welfare consciousness. With the guidance of the Farfetch inhouse sustainability team, Browns Fashion is taking tangible steps to offer brands guidance so they too can become more conscious in their approach to fashion. "One of the big eye-openers in the process has been how many brands are doing great work in the sustainability sector but are missing some of the transparency and therefore wouldn't rank high enough to be considered despite their best efforts,"  Ida elaborates. "Good On You helped with the conversation and in most cases were able to work with the brands to get their ranking up”.

We have a sixth sense that great things are going to come from this Conscious initiative. Browns Fashion has established a five year plan, during which time they will be introducing minimum requirements – unless brands demonstrate an agreed level of commitment to change, they will be phased out. As well as expanding on existing relationships, Browns Fashion will continue to work with its own dead-stock and explore new innovations in the realm of design, production and materials. Ida thinks “it’s an exciting time as so many of the old ways are being reinterpreted and we want to be there when it happens. We will of course also continue to work internally on our own procedures to ensure we are always striving for better”.

During this pivotal time, positive strides must be taken to transform the fashion industry into an ethical, sustainable industry. It's encouraging to see Browns taking this movement so seriously, and as an industry leader, we hope more and more retailers will follow suit.

Tuck into the Browns Fashion Conscious Edit, here:

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