Meghan Markle: The Perfect Advocate for Sustainable Fashion
Meghan Markle dropped by our office last week for a quick chat about sustainable fashion and a cup of tea. Just kidding. She did stop by the building though. She was actually visiting King’s College London to speak on a panel about International Women’s Day and the future of feminism.
Along with feminist activists Annie Lennox and Adwoa Aboah, Meghan talked about “Global Feminism”. More specifically - the understanding that feminism is a movement that extends to all women and girls in all countries. The HRH Duchess of Sussex talked about the importance of educating girls, her work with Myna Mahila Foundation in India, and how we can use social media to affect real change. When asked the obligatory question about her baby bump, Meghan replied: “I feel the embryonic kick of feminism.”
We may not be feeling any embryonic kicking, we can testify that ever since Friday, the power of feminism is definitely kicking around here. So we started thinking: if Meghan can leave tangible traces of her trademark sparkle all around our hallowed halls, what other powers lie within the Duchess’ remit? And most importantly...
...what effect is Meghan Markle having on sustainable fashion?
The “Meghan Effect”
The “Meghan Effect” was a term coined to explain Meghan Markle’s trendsetting abilities on a global level. If she wears something, it sells out immediately. That’s the Meghan Effect. She sports a trench coat, shift dress or outrageous hat, and that trench coat, shift dress or outrageous hat suddenly filters down into the closets of avid Markle-loving consumers. That’s the Meghan Effect. She turns fashion products into must-have pieces. That’s the Meghan Effect.
“Did you know this is the same coat Meghan Markle wore in her engagement photos?” you might hear someone say. Although more likely, you won’t, since the brand’s website actually crashed from overload moments after Meghan’s engagement photos surfaced.
But what does the Meghan Effect mean for the sustainable fashion industry?
HRH: Duchess of Sustainable Fashion
Initially, the Meghan Effect seems dangerous for sustainability. On some level, it supports a cultural trend towards buying clothes we don’t need because of our undying admiration for HRH Meghan. But, Meghan’s managed the negative implications of that effect—and she’s done it by making informed and sustainable choices with her own fashion. So instead of inadvertently promoting an arbitrary wardrobe, she’s consciously shedding light on some sustainable fashion brands.
Duchess Meghan truly seems to understand the importance of making sustainable choices. When she talks about Global Feminism extending to all girls in all countries, she is including the exploited women working as forced labour as part of oppressive supply chains.
“It is about global feminism. It’s about parity and equality for all of us,” Meghan Markle said on Friday. She talked about how educating girls is a way to reduce “early childhood marriage, susceptibility to trafficking, [and] modern slavery.” But the beauty of Meghan is that she practices what she preaches. Many of her fashion choices come from sustainable fashion brands with transparent and open supply chains. These brands value their female workers as skilled tradespeople and pay them fair wages.
Meghan's position as the Duchess of Sussex and the enigmatic woman that lent her name to the aforementioned “Meghan Effect,” puts her in the perfect position to champion these labels and the ideals they stand for.
Dress like the Duchess
Meghan Markle loves her iconic coats and we love how sustainable they are. She held the arm of handsome hunk, Prince Harry, on Christmas Day 2017 when she stepped out in this brown SENTALER coat. SENTALER is known for dressing royals on certain occasions. However, it’s also known for its sustainable principles. It works with Peruvian families in the Andes who raise alpacas as a source of income. Workers are paid a fair wage for the gorgeous alpaca fur that ultimately becomes stylish coats. It’s cruelty-free, eco-friendly and Fairtrade.
With that in mind, here are some coats from MAMOQ that we think Meghan Markle would also love:
If there’s one thing we know about Meghan, it’s that she loves a good collared coat. The shawl collar on this Komodo Manchu Coat (£98) would certainly fit in with the Duchess’ outerwear aesthetic. It would also fit in with her sustainable values. Komodo is committed to designing and creating clothes that protect the environment and empower garment workers. It regularly inspects its overseas factories to ensure that all workers are paid the living wage, and have safe and fair working environments. This is a sustainable fashion look we can definitely see Meghan sporting made be a brand we can definitely see her supporting.
Still, nothing beats Meghan’s iconic white coat look. And we have a feeling she would love Elsien Gringhuis’s wool Round Coat (£950). The minimalist tie-waste of this garment is giving us major flashbacks to M and H’s engagement announcement. Meghan wore a similar white coat that became a must-have item. We think Meghan would also be a fan of Elsien Gringhuis’s mission: training local tailors to produce all their pieces in the Netherlands instead of outsourcing cheap labour. If you’ve been captivated by the Meghan Effect (and honestly, who hasn’t?) Then this might be the coat for you.
In the coming months, we can’t wait to see what sustainable maternity styles Meghan will start to wear. That and of course, how she and Harry will dress their little one. We do expect that swaddled in sustainable fabrics, this child will bring Meghan’s love of feminism, fashion and sustainability into the next generation. And, as long as we’re making predictions, maybe Meghan will really stop by our offices for a chat and a cup of tea sometime soon.