Chances are you’ve spied that House Of Sunny cardigan on Instagram and now you’re utterly obsessed with the brand’s designs – but how sustainable is it and does it use ethical practises?
The East London label has grown hugely since its launch in 2011, perhaps thanks to celebrity fans Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, or to the talented founder Sunny Williams’ unique vision and unstoppable drive.
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Whatever the reason, the brand was always destined for success. Williams’ highly Instagrammable 70s luxe designs are oh so retro, but distinctly modern too in a way that fast fashion brands just cannot replicate – but of course, they’ve tried.
So what about their ethics and sustainability? Here, we take a closer look.
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Is House Of Sunny Ethical?
House Of Sunny pride themselves on being ethical, but let’s look a little closer.
According to their website, HoS ‘ensure there’s no unfair or unsafe labour’ involved in the manufacturing of their clothes.
They screen all of their suppliers, ensuring each meets the set standards required for social responsibility, safe working environment, better materials and manufacturing methods.
HoS aim to ‘seek partners and suppliers who share a common vision of sustainability, accountability and transparency.’
Read about HoS’ ethical practises here.
Is House Of Sunny sustainable?
Unlike fast-fashion brands such as Primark and H&M, HoS produce two seasonal collections every year for spring summer and autumn winter.
Their design team thus work at a much slower pace, focusing on sustainable fabrics and manufacturing methods.
HoS claim they are on a ‘journey towards sustainability’ and are conscious of the impact it has on the environment.
From VOL.15, HoS’ SS20 collection, all of their bags are 100% biodegradable. Their beautiful bags are plastic-free, made from 100% compostable bio-based films. Unbelievably, this means they will disintegrate completely while leaving no toxic chemicals behind, like organic waste.
In normal circumstances, 1,800 gallons of water is required to grow enough cotton to produce one of pair jeans – but HoS use e-flow technology to reduce the water consumption required to produce denim. This technology also produces zero chemical waste without reducing the quality.
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From SS20, HoS have also started avoiding print placements, where the print is engineered to the garments shape and which traditionally creates fabric wastage. Instead they use repeat prints, making each garment unique as the placement always turns out different.
To further avoid waste, HoS only purchase the ‘bare minimum’, prioritise products with recycled-content and opt for biodegradable or recyclable solutions. They recycle or donate textile scraps and samples and claim that zero waste is their goal. HoS are primarily an e-commerce retailer, which uses 30% less energy than traditional retail spaces – although they do occasionally sell at pop-ups.
It’s worth noting though that House of Sunny still uses viscose in many of its products. While viscose doesn’t need as much water to grow than cotton, the way it’s cultivated still uses chemicals that may be harmful to the environment. Viscose also needs a lot of trees during production; it takes more than 150 million trees per year to create viscose, according to Mind Body Green.
HoS have claimed many times to be acting against fast fashion, producing high-quality pieces made to last. The brand have also put up a Depop shop where they sell samples and unsold stock. There were, however, feedback from customers that the pricing on the platform were just the same as the brand’s official store.
Read HoS’ sustainability pledge here.
You can also read an extensive list of fast fashion brands here.
House Of Sunny Animal Welfare Policy
HoS are a completely vegan brand.
Their Animal Welfare Policy states that they don’t use leather, down, feathers, exotic skins, mohair, mulesing, wool or angora.
While they identify animal welfare as important, they also identify animal agriculture as impacting greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and have chosen to reduce their impact by ditching animal products.
Read HoS Animal Welfare Policy here.
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Wear Next Opinion
Wear Next believes it’s important to highlight the negative and unjust practises taking place in the fashion industry. We believe ethics and sustainability are an important talking point to bring about change and we encourage you to contact fashion brands to demand this.
We want to keep our readers up-to-date about which brands are truly ethical sustainable. However we understand that sustainable fashion isn’t accessible for every body due to various factors, such as budget and the ability to find confidence-boosting clothes that fit.
We will continue to offer you fashion inspiration and guidance to suit every body and budget, while also highlighting the unjust systems at play in the fashion industry.
For those looking to learn more about sustainable fashion, we recommend this reading list.