If you have an appetite for ethical clothing, you may have felt frustrated at how long it takes to find responsible brands that don't cost the earth. A new site is putting an end to the hours spent Googling. By listing the offerings from numerous brands all in one place, Project Cece is simplifying sustainable fashion buying.
Founded by three women — Noor Veenhoven and sisters Marcella and Melissa Wijngaarden — in 2015, Project CeCe (which stands for Conscious Clothing) has been changing the ethical game in the Netherlands. Now, it has officially launched in the UK with around 5,000 products ranging from clothes and bags to shoes and jewellery.
The site aims to break down three barriers: the fact that sustainable fashion is difficult to source, the fact that it tends to be expensive, and the fact that it's common not to like the look of it. The three female founders have certainly done all of that and more.
Project CeCe is super easy to navigate. Housing bigger brands like Toms and People Tree alongside smaller unknown names, it's a gateway to a more eco-friendly wardrobe. Every item is completely affordable and brand credentials are plain for everyone to see, highlighting which ethical fabrics the dress you're eyeing up is made from and whether a particular brand gives back to its local community. Labels also clearly show when an item is vegan or fair trade. When it comes to purchasing your chosen pieces, simply click a button to direct you to the retailers' sites.
People in the UK are likely to fall head over heels for the site. As Fashion United reports, a recent poll by the Clean Clothes Campaign and Changing Markets Foundation found that 55 percent of UK shoppers would "be put off buying from a brand associated with pollution in its manufacturing." The sustainable fashion market is also growing, giving you more and more brands to peruse. According to the 2018 Ethical Consumer Markets Report, the ethical clothing sector increased by almost 20 percent in one year.
Project Cece has recently raised funding from Amsterdam Student Investment Fund (also known as ASIF Ventures). The company explained its decision, saying that "the natural replacement for 'fast fashion' will be 'fair fashion', where products are produced, distributed, and marketed with the environment and sustainability front and centre."
Our obsession with buying inexpensive clothes then throwing them away a few wears later is certainly damaging the planet. As the Independent reports, textile dyeing is the second biggest polluter of clean water. This pollution is added to by the sheer amount of textile waste. A recent parliamentary enquiry showed that the UK in particular is a big culprit in this, finding that UK citizens throw 300,000 tonnes of textiles in the bin every single year. A fifth of that figure ends up in landfill. The rest is burned.
Sites like Project Cece are therefore a necessary addition to the online shopping landscape. And the fact it will save you so much time is just a nice bonus.