Truth be told, men like to play it safe when it comes to dressing up. Whenever you’re getting ready, the classic three closet staples your gut instinct would tell you to reach out for are: a navy blue blazer, a crisp white shirt (or T-shirt) and a pair of smart black trousers (or denim jeans, depending on the occasion). A little telltale sign that colours are present would instantly throw you off your game.
Yet, it’s no mean feat to find good basics that will last through several washes – and seasons. And then there’s the sustainability factor to consider, since many new gen consumers are consuming less and favouring more eco-conscious labels.
If you’re one who’s passionate about both the environment and your personal style, well, you’re in luck. We’ve sussed out five sustainable menswear brands that sell eco-friendly essentials that you can wear forever and ever and ever…
This German label is all about designing simplistic basics that can last for several years. Established by Ashley Marc Hovelle in 2019, Oftt focuses on producing capsule closet essentials that can be succinctly classified under 10 categories, such as t-shirts, turtlenecks and trousers. In order to ensure that its production processes are safe for the environment, its GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified factories in Portugal use natural dyes and consume less water. Prices start from $64 for a coin pouch to $803 for a cashmere coat.
Related article: The Best White Jeans And How To Style Them
2. Artknit Studios
Founder Alessandro Lovisetto started Artknit Studios, an Italian fashion label that specialises in sustainable knitwear, in 2018. Not only is this eco-conscious brand committed to zero wastage, it also works only with factories in Italy so as to reduce its carbon footprint. The brand also promises to deliver top-notch quality products crafted with 100 per cent natural materials by its best local artisans. Expect to find eco-cashmere hoodies (€189, S$300) and mulberry silk and organic cotton polo tops (€149, S$237).
3. Source Collections
From its actual product cost to safe working conditions for its staff in both of its factories in China, Singaporean brand Source Collections is all about being transparent. Launched in 2017 by Vincent Ooi, this homegrown label aims to provide contemporary and sustainable basics at wallet-friendly prices while being ethically conscious with its production. Currently, it only offers two types of products, organic cotton T-shirts ($38 and $40) and tencel – a trademarked fabric made from eco raw wood – underwear ($28), for both men and women.
Not to be confused with H&M Group’s Arket, Asket is a Swedish label that prides on being honest to consumers about its services. Transparency is their trump card, as it aims to have all of its products be 100 per cent traceable by 2021 (they’re at 84 per cent as of 2020). Started in 2015 by Jakob Dworsky and August Bard Bringeus, Asket provides only “meaningful essentials”, so as to reduce clutter and landfill caused by wastage. Prices range between €16 (S$25) for a pair of ribbed cotton socks to €350 (S$557) for a recycled wool coat.
5. Riley Studio
When it comes to basics, there’s no reason why we should demarcate them as menswear or womenswear. This is what Riley Uggla believes in as well, which is why she launched Riley Studio, a gender neutral fashion label, in London in 2018. This British label is leading a sustainable business model in the fashion industry by creating garbs with eco-friendly materials, such as Econyl Yarn and Recycled Polyester, derived from innovative methods. Some products include recycled and GOTS certified organic cotton t-shirts (£45, S$80) and recycled cashmere sweaters (£285, S$509).