Known for its effortless, lust-worthy dresses, Realisation Par is an example of an internet-originated brand that skyrocketed in its popularity through social media. Their dresses are simple, with classic silhouettes and made out of 100% silk. Priced at $100 or more, the brand has a cult-like following of celebrities, influencers and younger crowds. While the brand has established itself in the fashion industry and garnered a steady following, it fails tremendously in terms of ethics and sustainability. The following review highlights their ethical practices, or lack thereof, and makes recommendations for the brand to take initiative towards greener practices.
According to their website, Realisation Par makes dresses, t-shirts, skirts and sweats. The fabrics they work with the most are silk, organic cotton and polyester. There is no information regarding where these fabrics have been supplied from, which is a general theme with most of the brand's practices. They use high quantities of silk, which is not a vegan product but it is completely biodegradable. Additionally, they send out their clothes in sealable plastic bags, which could be reused, along with a cotton tote bag for their buyers. What they could do to be more sustainable is replace the resealable plastic bag with a cloth or satin bag, allowing their customers to use it more often! For these reasons, I will be giving them 0.25 planets because they lack transparency in the supply of their clothes and, thus, aren't considering the environmental impact of their clothing.
Realisation Par's headquarters are in Los Angeles and their factory in China. They make limited designs for limited pieces per year. Their clothes are meant to last and are of extremely good quality. This means that a dress bought from Realisation Par will last a long time and could be used a lot. All their clothes are shipped from China, which may mean that they might have high transport costs and higher emissions. Otherwise, there is no other information about their emissions or environmental impact. Though their clothes have a longer life than any other fast fashion alternative, I still give them 0.5 planets because there is so much potential to incorporate sustainable practices in the company and the company hasn't fully made use of this.
The recommendations I would make for the brand to step into the sustainability sphere are: working on transparency, repurposing fabrics and setting up other warehouses in their most popular countries. By being more transparent about their current practices, Realisation Par will open the dialogue to talk about sustainability and ethics which will help improve their practices with time. Additionally, they should look into other forms of fabrics to work with- either recycled or repurposed fabrics. While silk is their statement fabric, they should look at ways they could minimise waste by reusing the fabric to make smaller items such as pillowcases, hair ties, hair bands. Lastly, another easy to implement initiative would be setting up warehouses in their most popular countries so that they could reduce shipping costs as well as their emissions.
According to the website, most of their clothes are “designed by our international creative team” and then produced by their specialist factory team in China. Alarmingly, this is the only information they have put out about who makes their clothes. Realisation Par is a brand that is centred around making limited, classic pieces that are supposed to make the wearer confident. However, I wouldn’t feel confident knowing that my clothes were probably made in a sweatshop.
The reason I give them 0 planets in this section is that being an upmarket brand that takes pride in their designs and garments, they should also provide more information about the workers and conditions who make these garments. They have the opportunity to do so much more, and yet they choose not to. What Realisation could do better in this area is start by providing information about their factories, workers and working conditions. They could also have a social impact assessment where they can invest in initiatives to improve their workers' conditions and adopt the ILO's Four Fundamental Principles to treat and pay their workers more fairly. The company also lacks diversity in terms of race and size, which further begs the question, are cult status dresses worth ignoring the moral and environmental grey area they operate in?
Realisation Par has so far done nothing. This is disgraceful because they easily have the capabilities to do so due to their large customer base and high prices. However, they still have the scope and chance to change that.
Overall, I will be giving Realisation Par 0.25 planets because for their price range and popularity as a brand, they could easily be doing a lot more. There is still time for them to still change, do better and be more transparent and I am hopeful that these changes are considered.