Is fast fashion going out of fashion?

Is fast fashion going out of fashion?

High street fashion has reached a fork in the road. The downward spiral for high-street retailers has led to a number of once-dominant companies falling into liquidation, and consumers are happy to resort to online shopping to fulfil their wardrobe demands, particularly following the struggles of lockdown in March 2020. 

With the continued rise in internet shopping, it’s clear that fast fashion brands like Missguided, PrettyLittleThing and ASOS are still seeing stock flying off their “shelves”. In 2020, Channel 4 gave us an insight into the inner workings of fast-fashion with the documentary; Inside Missguided: Made in Manchester. They boast about being ‘rapid fashion’, as opposed to ‘fast fashion’ and can sometimes be seen to produce up to 1000 new products each week. 

What is fast fashion? 

Years ago, fashion trends were a lot simpler. Manifesting themselves as four trends per year, based on the seasons. In the late 1990s and 2000s, low-cost fashion reached its peak; nowadays, trends are almost as throwaway as the items of clothing that encompass them, introducing sometimes more than two or three in a single month. 

Fast fashion is the concept of following trends that are often created based on the fashion choices of celebrities, Instagram influencers, and the like. Typical fast fashion brands work to beat their competitors to re-brand, and redesign these styles - creating something affordable for the clothing market. In our fast-paced and throwaway society, fast fashion has an enormous negative environmental footprint.  Fast fashion also has severe negative social impacts on the garment workers who make these clothes. In recent years, both individuals and companies have started looking to create better and more sustainable and ethical alternatives to fast fashion.

Fast fashion vs ethical fashion

Clothing manufacturing can consume a lot of energy and resources, and it often relies on harmful fabric dyes and other chemicals that, when untreated, can pollute fresh water. Now, imagine this in a fast, and large-scale production. 

Unfortunately, many of the negative consequences of the fast fashion industry are not directly felt in the Western world and by consumers who buy these clothes.  But if we examine the chain of this industry a little more closely, the real damage soon becomes evident. Often, hardly worn and unwanted clothing ends up in third world countries; the Kantamanto market in Ghana is a prime example of this type of importing from the UK. The market is a second-hand hub for disused clothing and western cast-offs. Whilst you could argue that this has the positive impact of creating thousands of jobs, there is no guarantee of a profit and many of the workers suffer permanent injury from this laborious and often dangerous work. 

Another downside is that a large majority of the clothing imported is unwearable, and ends up in landfill, strewn across beaches and nestled within slums - polluting the oceans and being burnt, releasing toxins into the atmosphere. Accra, in Ghana reports 160 tonnes of waste fabric being disposed of every single day, on top of this, synthetic textiles can take hundreds of years to decompose. 

The responsibility lies not only within the fashion brands (which typically overproduce by 40%) but also with us as responsible and caring individuals. It helps to not only be more conscientious when choosing the clothes that we are buying, but also, the quality of the items we are donating.

With this in mind, in July 2021, Primark reported that Q3 sales were up 207% year-on-year. Which begs the question whether the majority of society would even consider dropping fast fashion? It’s affordable, convenient and, with the right market research, on-trend. Like most crises’, we are depending on a wholesale system change, and not solely on individual change. 

What’s the future looking like for fast fashion?

As awareness builds around the toxicity of the fast fashion industry, there are a number of brands promoting sustainable resources and more ethical means of production. Online selling sites such as Depop and Vinted have become all the rage in recent years, seeing people opt for secondhand clothing from individual sellers, as an alternative to buying new garments from larger fashion brands. 

Although it is impossible to predict how fast fashion will evolve in the future, sales in high street stores have surged since their reopening. 

Surprisingly, online shopping can often be more sustainable than getting your garments in bricks and mortar stores, and brands like THE-CØDED are promoting an online ethical fashion platform, allowing buyers to see exactly, how and where their clothes are made, and by whom. We work closely with factories, to promote sustainability, transparency and ethical production and consumption.

Supporting factories with THE-CØDED

At THE-CØDED, we only work with quality manufacturers who have ethical practices at the heart of their business. This means that when customers shop at, they can be confident that the clothing they are buying is made to last for years to come. Where possible, we encourage our partners to use natural materials in the clothing they produce - such as wool, cotton and leather. 

We have worked with and created partnerships with skilled manufacturers all around the world over the years, many of whom produce garments and accessories for international brands and retailers. Our vision ensures that manufacturers receive a fair share of the profits, whilst promoting livable working conditions, fair wages and tackling the current stigma surrounding the fast fashion industry. You can find out more about our partners here

Work with us and join the ethical fashion revolution. Contact us through our online form for any other queries.

We invite you to read our story and learn what we want to do, and why we want to do it. We hope you’ll be joining us on our journey.

April 28, 2022
What is a living wage?

What is a living wage?

Here at THE-CØDED, we only work with factories across the globe that offer their hard working garment producers a real living wage. The definition of a real living wage in the UK is ‘a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.’ This could mean having enough money to do a full weekly shop, or having enough money left over after living expenses for an emergency trip to the dentist. 

A living wage is different from the National Minimum Wage, which is the hourly wage that employees in the UK are entitled to. However, it’s important to note that a real living wage differs between countries due to varying standards of living, so many of our manufacturing partners adopt their own national living wage requirements. This means their employees are paid a fair wage that allows them to live comfortably.

What are the real costs of living?

The amount of income you need each month to be able to say you're living comfortably varies depending on where you live. In more costly places, such as London, a higher income is required to live comfortably. Keep in mind, however, that this quantity is entirely dependent on your personal expectations. Everyone is different, and therefore defining what it means to live a comfortable life can be challenging. However, we’re trying to bridge that gap by defining a real living wage with each of our partners.

What does a living wage mean to THE-CØDED?

We believe that everyone who works in the garment industry should be paid a real living wage. If enough businesses do this, governments worldwide will begin to understand that raising the minimum wage to a living wage level would not result in a loss of business, as employee turnover would improve dramatically.

For example, we work with a factory in India defined by cøde 018. We chose to work with this manufacturer because they pay a living wage to their workforce. In 2018, the living wage in India increased to 10300 INR (Indian rupee), from 10100 INR the previous year. The cost of living in India is significantly lower than that of the UK, but rest assured, the salaries paid by our factories allow their workers to live comfortably and care for their families.

All of our manufacturing partners receive a fair, living wage

We will only ever work with factories who pay their workers a living wage, which is what they deserve for producing high-quality and ethical clothing. We believe an ethical fashion movement starts with the workers - without them, THE-CØDED’s mission would not be possible. 

To find out more about our innovative ethical fashion shopping platform, you can read about our story and how it works. We define our clothes using a single code, meaning you can find out exactly where your clothes are made and by whom. Shop our ethically made womenswear and menswear collections to learn more about each partner and the story behind their cøde.

Working with us

Are you a living wage employer in the fashion and textiles manufacturing industry? We’d love to hear from you! We’re constantly looking for new partners to work with that align with our values. Get in touch!

April 11, 2022
Tags: living wage
Where are your clothes made?

Where are your clothes made?

The modern consumer is becoming increasingly aware of where their fashion is coming from and the effects this may have on local communities, families and the environment. Manufacturing fashion garments in certain parts of the world is often more affordable, but with this comes poorer working conditions for many workers, which also has an effect on their local community.

Why overseas?

The process of garment manufacturing differs from country to country. When it comes to preserving human rights, some countries are not as good as others. Indonesia, for example, has a number of distinct advantages over other garment-producing countries. Their working conditions are better than most, their hours are appropriate, and they have the opportunity to spend time with their families at night. 

Sometimes, producing garments locally just isn’t an option. It could be that resources are unavailable in your home country, perhaps due to the high expense of labour or the increasing cost of importing raw materials. In certain circumstances, it may be more environmentally friendly to manufacture items offshore. The cost of labour in Europe and other developed continents is generally too expensive for most fashion brands to make profit, which is why overseas production is usually the only option. However, it is possible to work with overseas manufacturers and pay them a fair wage.

The ethics of overseas garment manufacturing is complicated, as many consumers have a misconception that all manufacturers are operating ‘sweatshop’ conditions. While it’s important to be educated about where your clothes are made, we at THE-CØDED know first hand that many overseas manufacturers offer only the highest-quality working conditions for their employees. Choosing the right manufacturer is key.


Many factory workers will all come from the same communities and villages. Garment work is predominantly done by women who travel to and from work together, they usually work between 8-12 hour shifts and use their wages to purchase food for evening meals on their way home. Many follow a strict religious routine and will go to a place of worship before and after work, making their days extremely long. Workers use their water breaks and lunch breaks to catch up with friends and family and have a well earned rest, but this isn’t always the case in every factory.

What THE-CØDED will do for factories

At THE-CØDED, we put our factories first, and our people at the forefront of our mission. We value our garment manufacturer partners above anything else, and our ethical fashion movement strives to bring their carefully crafted goods straight to the consumer. Factory workers get a fair price for their garments, and can be proud of the unique pieces of clothing they are producing. Factories won’t be working for us, they’ll be working with us.

If you’re passionate about our cause, you can read more about how our factories work and the story behind where THE-CØDED began. You can also sign up to our newsletter for exclusive product drops, news and more.
March 14, 2022
How fashion industry practices affect factories

How fashion industry practices affect factories

Consumers are becoming more aware of where their fashion comes from and the conditions that the goods they buy are manufactured under. We are striving for a more positive future in the fashion industry and to leave the past behind us. We believe it’s time for this to change, and time to support our factories and the people who work there.

How working conditions in the fashion industry affect factory workers

Factory workers’ rights are often extremely limited or even non-existent, which can be deemed acceptable by some fashion company leaders. We want change. We want transparency. We commit to supporting these factories, but we need customers to push for change too.

Factories often don’t receive their fair share of the profits made from the sale of the garments they produce, which impacts overall working conditions. Without their fair share of the profits, factories and the communities they are part of find it difficult to improve their living standards and working conditions.

Health and safety conditions

In textile production sites, some employees are subjected to dangerous working conditions that can have a serious impact on their health. Employees often work in dangerous structures with little ventilation, breathing in harmful compounds and inhaling fibre dust or blasting sand. 

Working hours

Garment workers are frequently required to work long hours to satisfy deadlines required by fashion brand's. Their basic pay is often so low that they are unable to refuse overtime, which isn't always guaranteed. With more time spent at work, these people have less time with their families, and these communities as a whole are in need of support.

Child labour

Child labour is particularly frequent in the fashion industry. In India, for example, 250,000 young girls are employed under the Sumangali scheme, which sends young girls from low-income families to work in a textile factory for three or five years in exchange for a minimal wage and an allowance. This has been frequently broadcast in the media, but the trend only seems to grow year on year, which is why THE CØDED is joining the ethical fashion movement to contribute to improving these important issues.

Low wages in the fashion industry

Many brands do not pay enough to factories to cover the minimum legal wage for their workers. The minimum pay in most manufacturing countries (China, Bangladesh, India, etc.) is half to a fifth of the living wage. A liveable wage is the bare minimum required by a family to meet its fundamental necessities (food, rent, healthcare, education.) It is part of our mission to ensure that factories receive an equitable share of the profits made from their clothing collections and pave the way towards a more ethical and transparent future.

THE-CØDED is acting now

We invite you, the modern consumer, to join us on our journey of ethical fashion revolution. Where possible, our collections will be organic, recyclable and made from stock materials. Unique pieces deserve to be celebrated, and we therefore celebrate the designers and factory workers by paying them a fair wage. Our fashion is not throwaway, and it should be worn for decades to come. Ethical fashion doesn’t have to be a chore. Small and simple changes can help to change the industry standards.

If you can’t see yourself wearing an item of clothing more than 30 times, don’t buy it.

Investigate the brands you usually buy from, and consider if they are being transparent. Contact them and let them know what you expect as a conscious consumer. Invest in trans-seasonal clothing, and wear your items all year round. A changed mindset is a changed fashion industry.

Ready to join the revolution? Read our story and find out what we’re doing to support our factories. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter for regular updates and exclusive offers. 

January 17, 2022
Autumn/winter 2021 trends we can't get enough of

Autumn/winter 2021 trends we can't get enough of

Although our mission is to produce ethical fashion garments that can be worn all year round, there are some statement wardrobe staples that are best worn in the colder seasons, and we have all the newest autumn/winter trends of 2021 right here.

Top trends for autumn and winter 2021/22


For decades, this effortlessly sleek style essential has been used to enhance an entire outfit. Layering has been used for years by men and women with a wide range of style preferences included. Although it's a tried-and-tested solution to wardrobe dilemmas, there are some things to bear in mind when it comes to layering. 

Avoid too many layers - while it may feel cold outside, you’re likely to experience huge changes in temperature when moving from the outdoors in, so bear this in mind when selecting your layering choices. 

The beautiful thing about layering is that it allows you to play around with colours a lot. We’d recommend sticking to neutral or block colours for this trend, as they’re a lot easier on the eye and won’t clash. Our 006 collection has the trendiest of garments to experiment and have fun with layering, from knitted vests to camis that are set to be the ultimate go-to autumn outfit of 2021.


Shackets and overshirts

This season, it's time to welcome the shacket into your wardrobe. A shacket (or overshirt), for those unfamiliar with the name, is a slightly oversized shirt-jacket combination that's now trending all over the fashion scene. Our distinctive wool blend and leather shackets are thicker than a regular shirt but lighter than a heavy winter coat, allowing you to wear them over a turtleneck in autumn, and beneath a coat in the colder winter months. When spring approaches, you can easily slip it on top of an oversized tee. It’s versatile and trendy. 

We'd recommend our 009 unisex overshirt, available in stone or rust, and our women's suede overshirt in sand or baby pink, manufactured by 018


Leather jackets

That’s right, leather jackets are here to stay! A leather jacket is a true wardrobe staple. It adds the perfect finishing touch to any look. They’re easily adaptable and appropriate for every season, whether it is a bomber jacket or a blazer. In the winter, layer a leather jacket over a sweatshirt for a cosier outfit choice. 

If you’re opting for a brown leather jacket, we recommend you pair it with contrasting colours like blues, greens, and greys. A monochrome and streamlined outfit is made by mixing camel and neutral tones with a brown leather jacket, great for the workplace or an evening out on the town.

For a little inspiration, browse our brand new collection of ethical leather jackets to complete your autumn/winter wardrobe. With sustainability at the forefront, our factory partner 018 is striving to produce as little waste product as possible. As much waste material as possible from making this range of leather jackets is being reused to make leather wallets and card holders - and we’re really proud of that.



Oversized tees and shirts

You really can’t go wrong with an oversized tee or shirt, whatever the season. The clothes that you can pull on at the drop of a hat are always the ones that earn their place in your wardrobe, and an oversized shirt is no exception. 

Choose a large tee in a neutral, go-with-everything colour like white or pale blue to maximise your cost-per-wear, like our women’s kimono tee by 020. These neutral tones can then be simply interchangeable in your wardrobe, tucked into your favourite jeans and layered openly over your favourite dresses.

Our ethical shirts and oversized tees are sure to give you style inspiration and effortless autumn fashion ideas, as well as long-term wear.

Ethically made fashion that lasts a lifetime

We’re here for you this season with our autumn/winter clothing cøllections. All of the products on our website are ethically made and designer-quality. We also work closely with our manufacturing partners to ensure they are using sustainable materials where possible. 

What do we mean by ethically made?

We only work with manufacturers who have ethical practices at the forefront of their business. We’re also keeping it transparent about who made your clothes. The factories we work with are defined by a simple cøde. From this cøde, you can discover where in the world your clothes are made - and by whom. It really is that simple. Find out more about our story and how it works behind the scenes.

October 20, 2021
Meet the makers: Factory 018

Meet the makers: Factory 018

At THE-CODED, we work with factories across the globe that have their workers at the forefront of their operations. These factories aim to change the face of the fashion industry by paying a fair living wage, looking after their employees, and providing high-quality conditions for workers. 

Situated in Chennai in the South of India, this piece follows the workers in factory 018. Chennai is the largest hub of the country’s leather industry and has a historical tradition of leather manufacturing. So let’s dive into life at factory 018 in our first ever 'meet the makers' post.

Getting to know 018

Firstly, how long have you been producing fashion garments?

We are a third-generation leather manufacturer - over a period of time we have added leather goods manufacturing to our portfolio.  

How do you ensure the safest working conditions for your employees?

We are a gold-rated LWG audited tannery that adheres to all social audits and we ensure the highest standards of safety across all of our facilities. We are currently working on our SEDEX and SA8000 accreditations and plan to undertake these audits too in the near future.

Do you have any internal training programs, practices or charity drives that you would like to tell us about?

We conduct frequent safety training and workshops for all of our employees. Our management is involved in educating 600 children in a nearby village at a school called Gateway Public School. One of our senior directors' parents grew up in the village where the school is located, therefore he is passionate about the initiative.

What has your experience of working with THE-CØDED been like so far?

We enjoy working with THE-CØDED team - so far, the experience has been excellent and straightforward. We support what THE-CØDED is trying to achieve and we are proud to be one of the first factories to come on board. It is clear from the way that THE-CØDED team operates, that they truly believe in putting factories first.

How do you think the fashion industry could develop to better benefit manufacturers like you?

One of the most challenging issues facing most factories manufacturing for the fashion industry today is cash flow. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly common in the industry for factories to be offered very long payment terms by brands and retailers for the goods that they produce for them. 

There are of course exceptions to this and of course some factories deal more fairly with the factories who manufacture for them.

This makes it very difficult for factories who need to pay their workers, and also pay upfront for raw materials. We hope that this might change in the future and that brands and retailers will consider offering their factory partners more favourable payment terms. 

Is there anything else you would like to tell us and your potential customers?

018 is a great place to work and we are fortunate to have great people who love what they do. We hope that you will enjoy the quality, hand-made garments that we have produced for you with love.

Meet the employees at 018

We also spoke with Lalan who has worked in the fashion manufacturing industry for 10 years:

"My name is Lalan. I have worked in this industry for 10 years. I am handicapped since childhood; I am very satisfied working in this factory and I love my job."

Meet the makers volume 1

At THE-CØDED, we only work with quality manufacturers who place ethical practices at the forefront of their operations. This means that when customers shop at, they can be confident that the clothing they purchase is ethically made and will last for many years. We encourage our partners to use natural materials in their clothing production whenever possible, such as wool, cotton, and leather.

If you’re interested in becoming a partner, please get in touch.

Stay tuned for more ‘meet the makers’ features coming soon.

October 15, 2021