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Sustainable Fashion Brands

You've heard the word being used, you've seen it labelled on clothing - sustainable clothing, ethical fashion - but, what does it mean? 

 

There are many different ways to define the term "sustainable fashion". But in general, there are 3 main things (stakeholders) to consider: people, environment and living species. 

Say you have a piece of clothing in your hands:

- who made it? (think: workers treated ethically, paid fair wages)

- where was it made? (think: carbon footprint, supporting local economy)

- what is it made out of? (think: animal skin, synthetic material, natural fibers)

- how was it dyed? (think: disposal of chemical dyes, ocean dumping)

- is waste generated? (think: unsold clothing, excess materials)

- who profits from my purchase? (think: money flow, workers wage)

 

In the insatiable world where we are constantly searching for cheap and in-trend clothing, we are purchasing and disposing clothing at a rate many deem as being unsustainable for the environment.

E.g.

- The clothing and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world (first: oil industry). 

- The fashion industry contributes to 10% of global greenhouse gases.

- 20,000 liters of water is needed to produce 1 kg of cotton.

- Compared to the average consumer in 2000, a consumer 4 years on purchases 60% more clothing and uses it half as long.

 

The True Cost is a great video for those who wish to lean in a little more, and if you need a little help navigating the grey world of ethical purchasing, there's an app (Good on You) for that! 

In summary, as we all work towards being a better version of ourselves every day, there’s no hard and fast rule to what sustainability means to you. It’s your choice. Wanna clothes swap? Awesome! Prefer to shop at thrift stores? Cool! Wanna wear naturally-dyed clothes only? Rad! Will wear anything as long as no human rights are violated? Super! 

 

If you'd like something new, you’ll find something in the list below for you. The world of conscious consumerism is gorgeous. And so are you.

Happy shopping!

Enda

ENDA was founded in New York in 2015 by Japanese designer Ran Enda. After personally turning vegan, she continued to experience unethical activities that included the usage of fabric that came from cruel sources. She decided to create and design clothes that were in line with her vegan values. ENDA has been dubbed as the queen of vegan and ethical haute couture, and her designs reflect a style that’s effortlessly fashionable, just as it is ethical. 

Information:

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/enda.us/

Websitehttps://enda.us/collections/all

Country - United States

REFORMATION

(image by: www.reformation.com)

Founded by Yael Aflalo in 2009, Reformation has come a long way since its beginnings where ex-model turned entrepreneur Yael gave new life to vintage clothing. Headquartered in Los Angeles, their clothes are manufactured in the same city and now provides life to materials that are deadstock (destined for landfill) and environmentally-friendly (e.g. linen and Tencel). Expect to find cuts that flatters, witty clothing tags and celeb and royal co-consumers.

Information:

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/reformation/

Websitehttps://www.thereformation.com/

Country - United States

NO NASTIES

(image by: www.nonasties.in)

Hailing from India, founders Apurva and Shweta created No Nasties to produce clothing that are ethically made (the first Fairtrade licensed clothing brand in India), and with materials that are sourced from a clean supply chain. In a country where the human rights violation within the fashion industry can be experienced first hand, Apurva and Shweta decided to do something about it by providing consumers an alternative, hence the birth of No Nasties. Expect earth-colours, simple designs and materials that are kind to your body.

Information:

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/nonasties/

Websitehttps://www.nonasties.in/

Country - India

CHASING UNICORNS

The lovechild of American native Sarah Humphrey, Chasing Unicorns is the perfect blend between earth-loving hippie and Ralph Lauren-esque chic. Having traveled the world (imagine VW van, collecting rain water and on any continent you can think of), Sarah found herself settling in Byron Bay. If you want to purchase clothing that is truly ethical to its core (albeit not vegan, as they use silk), this is the brand for you. Minimal quantity, handmade by a group of mums and fueled by a founder who is driven by strong ethics and and morals.

Information:

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/chasing__unicorns/

Websitehttps://www.chasingunicorns.com.au/ (good read: https://www.chasingunicorns.com.au/blogs/news/a-little-look-at-how-i-got-here)

Country - Australia

EVERLANE

(image by: www.everlane.com)

Headquartered in San Francisco, Everlane was founded by Michael Preysman and Jesse Farmer. In 2010, Everlane launched as an online menswear retailer and has since expanded to produce womenswear, footwear and bags. They stand behind their ethos of transparent pricing, and use their online platform to educate consumers on their supply chain, factories, employees and price breakdown. The go-to place for basic apparel, Everlane is continuously looking to evolve its brand and has pledged to stop using virgin plastic by 2021.

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/everlane/

Website - https://www.everlane.com/

Country - United States

AMUR

(image by: www.amur.com)

AMUR is acronym for A Mindful Use of Resources, and is the brain child of Sofia Shannon. The NYC brand was born out of a market demand for high fashion luxury sustainable fashion, that reflected more urban-chic than hippie-loving. Their designs are statement, tailored pieces with a touch of femininity, and are created out of materials that fall under 3 categories of fibre: natural (e.g. silk, hemp, linen, cotton, etc.), cellulosic (e.g. Cupro) and regenerated (waste converted into reusable material). 

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/amurofficial/

Website - https://amur.com/

Country - United States

MAE TEETA

(image by: www.instagram.com/mae_teeta)

Founded by Praphaiphan Daengchai in Thailand, Praphaiphan grew up wearing clothes dyed with indigo created by her late grandmother, and white cotton shirts woven by her own mother (Mae Teeta). With a life story that’s worth a quick read (teacher, mother, researcher, Buddhist nun), Praphaiphan was instrumental in bringing back the indigo craftsmanship and trade back into rural provinces which were once thriving hubs, but disappeared as trends changed. With her fashion-graduate daughter at the helm of their design house, Mae Teeta is set to appeal to a younger generation.

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/mae_teeta/

Website - https://www.maeteeta.net/

Country - Thailand

CHRISTY DAWN

(image by: www.christydawn.com)

Californian-native founder Christy Dawn grew up in a small town where mining and gold digging is steeped in its all-American history. Scroll through her designs and expect to be taken back to a time where dresses were tailored with the level of craftsmanship only found in your multi-generational neighbourhood dressmaker’s shop. Vintage inspired, and created using deadstock fabric, each timeless garment is limited in quantity and made by local artisans in downtown LA.

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/christydawn/

Website - https://christydawn.com/

Country - United States

SOURCE COLLECTIONS

(image by: www.sourcecollections.com)

At the core of Source Collections is the value of transparency: in their costing, and in the people who manufactures their clothes. Browse through their site, and you’ll be greeted by profiles of their Factory Floor Manager, Seamstress and QC staff all of whom work in a factory located in Dongguan, China. A factory that promotes safe working environments and are anti-forced and child labour. Seeing the market need for premium basics using sustainable materials in Singapore, Source Collections produces both men and women basics using Tencel and Organic Cotton, all which are custom-made materials. 

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sourcecollections/

Website - https://www.sourcecollections.com

Country - Singapore

imaji studio

(image by: www.imajistudio.co)

Imaji Studio was founded by Indonesian-native Shari Semesta, Lyris Alvina and Leo Pradana. The label began and still remains as a platform that allows the founders to experiment with traditional natural dyeing techniques. Driven by the philosophy to reduce and minimise any negative impact from the production of clothes, Imaji Studio sources local plants for their colour dyes, and only use hand-woven natural fabrics made by local Indonesian craftsmen. Every piece is unique, and created by people who draw design and pattern inspiration from both reality and fantasy.

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/imaji.studio/

Website - https://imajistudio.co/

Country - Indonesia

ESSE THE LABEL

(image by: www.essethelabel.com)

In 2017, Esse (Medieval Latin for ‘existence’ or ‘to be’) was founded by Alicia Tsi in Singapore. Disturbed by having a closet full of clothes but feeling like she has nothing to wear, Alicia started exploring designing her own clothes. As she delved deeper into the world of fashion, she discovered the negative cost absorbed by the environment and humans in the supply chain, and felt compelled to do something different. Esse manufactures clothing items that are thoughtfully designed, using sustainable materials, and made by ethical partners. Expect timeless pieces that can be worn for any occasion.

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/essethelabel/

Website -https://www.essethelabel.com

Country - Singapore

Hiraeth Collective

(image by: www.hiraethcollective.com)

In 2018, Hiraeth Collective launched under the hands of Rooney Mara, Sara Schloat and Chrys Wong. With a collection that was sold out in Barney’s within a month, Hiraeth Collective speaks to an audience that are interested in edgier, elevated designs that are modern yet classic. Clothes that make a statement but are versatile enough for daily wear. With an underlying motivation of wanting people to become more connected to the items they buy, be it clothing or food, Hiraeth Collective are committed to creating designer pieces which are animal-free.

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hiraeth.collective/

Website - https://www.hiraethcollective.com/

Country - United States

stella mccartney

(image by: www.stellamccartney.com)

In 2001, Stella McCartney launched her own fashion house brand and showed her first collection in Paris. As the reigning poster child of a high-end luxury brand that’s guided (and abides) by vegan and sustainable principles and values, Stella McCartney has since grown her collection to include womenswear, menswear, sportswear, lingerie, swimwear, shoes, bags, accessories and kids. With an entire section on their website dedicated towards sustainability, the brand constantly measures their impact and innovates different ways to protect the animals and environment, whilst simultaneously delivering beautiful pieces that stands the test of fashion time.

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/stellamccartney/

Website - https://www.stellamccartney.com

Country - United Kingdom

FERN

In 2013, Fern Chua founded Fern after winning a fashion pitching competition in Malaysia. With the intention of preserving Malaysian heritage through intricate batik-based (a wax-resist dyeing technique) designs, Fern creates a contemporary spin to bridge 2 worlds: fashion-conscious consumers and culture-preserving traditionalists. The brand’s pieces are simple and elegant, and handcrafted by in-house artisans who dye their original patterns onto natural materials. 

Information:

Instagram - https://instagram.com/fernthenewbatik

Website - https://www.fern.gallery/

Country - Malaysia

PEOPLE TREE

(image by: https://www.peopletree.co.uk)

In 1991, Safia Minney founded People Tree in Tokyo, Japan. As a true pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade fashion, People Tree are firsts in many accomplishments such as being the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label, implementing the first supply chain for organic cotton, and being the first to achieve the Global Organic Textile Standard. In 1999, People Tree expanded to the U.K., and today, they’re in 20 different countries, and can be found in multiple stockists, both online and offline.

Information:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/peopletreeuk/

Website - https://www.peopletree.co.uk

Country - Tokyo/United Kingdom