During December 2014, Asos.com received 98 million visits in one month. With visits set to increase for this December, it is safe to say Asos.com is a global go-to desitination for online shoppers.
Asos houses a vast selection of established and emerging fashion, footwear, accessories and beauty brands, as well as their own clothing and accessories lines. The buying and design teams at Asos tend to pick up on emerging trends before they appear on the high street. This equates to a well-curated, yet diverse first pick of fashionable pieces, all in one place and delivered to the door – a winning formula.
However Asos is not all trend-led fast fashion. Did you know that Asos also partners with ethical brands? Not only in its ‘Marketplace’ where many smaller emerging boutiques use this hosted platform to sell vintage, secondhand and handmade items to a wide audience – but in a ‘green room’ edit on the main website.
Simply go to the top left and hover over the ‘Women’ section, and just underneath ‘A to Z of Brands’ you will find ‘eco brands’. Click. Now browse the green room edit. Not only do conscious fashion accessories and garments live here, but beauty products too. It’s one of the most convenient ways to be introduced to new ethical brands, and a great place to start buying more ethical garments and accessories.
At the moment the green room is women only, however there are a handful of eco brands for the conscious gentleman at Asos. Fjallraven, Patagonia, and of course Asos’s own ‘Reclaimed Vintage’ line are the stand outs, and this gives us the opportunity to produce an edit of Asos eco for gentlemen in the future.
Above is a snapshot of some of our favourite ethical accessories in the green room, and below some information about the brand they are from, and what makes them so good. We’ve also included handy links to sneak you in the green room. You’re welcome in advance.
Each and every item from Hiptipico is ethically made, 100% authentic and designed by the artisans who hand craft the items in Guatemala. Hiptipico opens up a global market for local artisans to sell their goods and receive a regular fair wage for the beautiful work. This preserves the traditional Mayan craftsmanship, whilst creating job security for the artisans who would otherwise have to sell their handmade items to tourists, which as a market is volatile, because tourism in Guatemala is irregular.
Hiptipico is based in Guatemala, so ordering directly from their website would be very expensive due to shipping costs. Asos have made this achievable, by being a channel to buy through. Buying from Asos means there are no massive shipping charges added to your purchase when buying from the UK. The Hiptipico website is amazing and has great information about the company’s values and breathtaking images of the artisans at work too.
Reclaimed vintage by Asos contains limited edition items made from vintage fabrics and up-cycled original vintage pieces. The team go treasure hunting in warehouses and markets for one-off pieces, which are then up-cycled in factories in East London. These sunglasses are most likely a former deadstock item which means at some point in decades past, they were unsold and then put into storage to wait for their in-vogue moment. These sunnies are really smart and will likely be snapped up soon.
Asos Africa is a collaboration with SOKO Kenya, a clothing manufacturing unit in the middle of a wildlife reserve! The building of SOKO Kenya has been especially designed to minimise environmental impact, and the organisation creates training and employment opportunities so that women can take control of their lives with a fair wage. This allows them to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Michelle Obama has worn clothing made by SOKO Kenya, and if that is not the seal of approval of the good being done, and the beautiful garments being made, I don’t know what is.
With collaborations including Louis Vuitton and Topshop, the designs by Made are bang on trend and many of the pieces add a high fashion edge to an outfit. Made is also based in Kenya and provides a safe working environment, long-term job security and training to the artisans who craft their jewellery and bags.
The majority of jewellery pieces are made from locally sourced reclaimed brass bought for a fair price. This supports the local economy, uses recycled materials keeps the carbon footprint nice and small as well as creating a signature look for the brand. To take care of these brass pieces, you can clean them with water and lemon juice, how good for the world!
Vegan friendly, recycling their waste and creating recyclable shoes, Melissa have collaborated with the fashion icon Vivienne Westwood to create a line of bold, beautiful and ethical footwear. With tongue in cheek designs and its signature use of jelly plastic, these shoes do not go unnoticed. Melissa also do their utmost for the welfare of their factory workers in Brazil. They provide full medical and dental coverage for their workers, and their families and run talks on health and well-being. These shoes are guaranteed to raise a smile, and knowing that the people who made them are well taken care of makes it all the more sweet.
Speaking of sweet, did we mention all Melissa shoes have a light scent of vanilla to them? They really do!
All Natural and made in England, Cowshed take skincare seriously – apart from when they name their products. Cowshed avoid the use of preservatives and synthetics with all products being plant-based from naturally derived sources. Cowshed do not test on animals (including cows), and are free from animal ingredients and nasties like Parabens, Petrochemicals, Sulphaptes, PEGs, artificial colours or fragrances, Phthalates, Triclosan, and GMOs. So you can go off to sleep safe in the knowledge you have basically put all the goodness of the natural world on your skin before bed with this one.
Designed and handmade in the UK, Black and Brown are accessories specialists. The leather used in many of their items is responsibly sourced from Spain and Italy. The range of belts on asos has something for everyone and the square chain belt would look fab woven between the belt loops of any denim that needs dressing up for a more formal event.
8. Grafea – Mini backpack
Hand-crafted in England and designed to look better with wear, Grafea uses full-grain leather and vintage inspired designs to ensure your bag stands the test of time.
So there we have it, it’s easy to shop ethical and fashionable once you know where to go, happy shopping!