Recently, news headlines have been plastered with the harmful impacts the fashion industry is having on the environment. It’s come to light over the years how damaging the process of fast fashion can be. Now, brands are trying to reverse the damage, with the resurgence of the sustainability movement.
The Grandad Company is a London-based streetwear brand whose mission is to ‘breathe life into reclaimed vintage menswear for a new unisex generation’ and introduce the concept of sustainability to a generation of socially and environmentally conscious youths.
Jess Grech, the founder, began her journey with sustainability aged 12 when she enrolled onto an internship scheme with Traid, a charity which upcycles and sells clothing that would otherwise go to landfill. They also fund international development projects to help improve conditions and practices for workers within the textile industry, overall educating people on the practices of sustainability.
This harrowing experience resonated with Grech throughout her education and being exposed to these conditions at such a young age allowed her to further educate herself on the issues of worker exploitation and the environmental impacts upon both humans and animals.
Grech says: “Seeing the unethical processes that dominate the fashion industry enabled me to create a fully sustainable brand of my own, which I can guarantee is both transparent and fully-circular.
“I believe that if everyone educated themselves on the issues of fast fashion and the increasingly negative effects on our planet, then they would also be as passionate about the topic as myself.”
Ever since she was little, Grech has been obsessed with her Grandad, a respected carpenter, and his immense care for clothing and textiles. Always careful and considerate of the craftsmanship put into his clothing, Grech was only allowed to borrow something if she cared for the garment as strongly as he did.
Grech explains how this appreciation of the time and effort gone into crafting clothing built her mantra that clothing is something to be appreciative of and treasured: “My Grandad has always been the centre of everything I do and create and is everything I want to be, both as a person and an artist. His quality of work has always inspired me to produce products that are made, reinforced and finished to the highest standard that will ensure longevity in a products life span.
“When I ask myself who I am and what The Grandad Company stands for, I try my upmost to base my clothing brand on being a reflection of my biggest inspiration, my Grandad.”
The Grandad Company prides itself in being a closed-loop brand, meaning it leaves no residual waste behind to pollute the planet. Anything left over from the manufacturing process is utilised in creating new products or labels or is recycled and converted into energy. The Repair and Reuse Programme promotes the recycling of clothing to its customers by providing them with the option to donate unwanted clothing or reinvent their garments with custom orders.
Being the sole owner allows Grech to continuously practice ethical methods within her company. “I can whole-heartedly say that my practices are circular as any prints are produced exclusively with environmentally friendly dyes, purchased fabrics are cellulosic, deadstock or vintage and that the company is plastic-free,” adds Grech.
Both Cohorted and the Grandad Company want to encourage our audiences to take part in the sustainability movement by reducing, reusing, recycling, and upcycling clothing.
As any little change that you can make to your wardrobe or how you shop is a step in the direction of a better future for everyone.