This time last year, as we all donned our best party outfits and prepared to welcome 2020, there was no way for us to know that the year ahead would, sartorially-speaking, be filled with tracksuits, leggings and anything that closely resembles a slipper. This year has undoubtedly changed the way we all get dressed and it's likely to have a lasting effect on our wardrobes. Now, as we face Christmas and another new year, it makes sense that we're still craving comfort – albeit comfort that looks good, too. And luckily, M&S has just the answer.
Nobody's Child arrived at M&S back in October, marking the very first time M&S has stocked another fashion label other than its own. If you're not familiar with Nobody's Child, it is an independent brand that creates on-trend, affordable clothes with a sustainable ethos. While its excellent range of midis, tea dresses and lovely separates are worth a look, it's the loungewear that's really appealing as we find ourselves in the season of excess.
With its luxe, laid-back feel, it's no surprise that Savannah Miller is currently working with the brand, which is owned and run by friends of hers. 'I've been helping to spread the word for them,' she says. 'It appeals to me enormously because they are a high street brand doing things really differently. When I heard about all of the steps they were taking to make as little impact as possible, with a goal of being completely carbon neutral by 2022, I was really inspired.'
There are tapered cotton joggers in powder blue, beige, soft pink and grey, with matching hoodies that bear Nobody's Child's 'Be Kind' slogan – a sentiment that feels more profound now than perhaps any other time. It's also all sustainable, both in terms of how it's made and from what. The materials used, for example, are organic cotton and recycled poly, both produced in the brand's Echotex factory in Bangladesh which, says Miller, is the first of its kind in terms of its sustainable methods of manufacture.
'By using less water in dying, Echotex is more than four times efficient than the average dying plant. It harvests rainwater to reduce dependency on ground water reserves. All sewing machines are energy efficient and conserve energy by 60%. We also upcycle leftover eco-responsible fabrics from previous and existing Nobody's Child collections. We take a zero-waste approach to materials where possible, keeping fabrics in use and out of landfill.'
BUY: Nobody's Child's Sustainable Loungewear At M&S
This means that the brand has created scrunchies, tote bags, detachable collars and face masks, all without producing excess fabric or waste. ' As a team we share key values regarding our environment and the positive differences we want to make,' Miller says. 'Improving our sustainability is paramount.'
Nobody's Child is, in many ways, revolutionary in its approach – an approach which is more crucial now than ever. 'I think Covid is going to have a negative effect on people's shopping habits,' says Miller. 'Fast fashion won't go anywhere. The economic impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic and people who have shopped more sustainably in the past will find that more challenging now because of the prices associated with sustainable fashion. That's why Nobody's Child excites me so much because they are finding great environmental solutions and keeping their prices accessible.'
So, to think you can be cosy for all of Christmas, while still being presentable and knowing you've shopped sustainably is a great comfort. And if your new year's resolution is to be more sustainable in general, Miller has some great tips.
'Do your research. Brands which are actually attempting change should be really transparent about it on their websites. I think it's really important to celebrate every tiny effort made to improve the situation and brands doing this deserve to be shouted about.'