The fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest contributors to pollution. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a staggering 26 billion pounds of textiles end up in landfills each year. The industry is also currently responsible for 10 percent of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
However, as consumers become more aware of climate change and how their over-reliance on fast fashion has a negative impact on the environment, a number of labels have begun to do things differently. From sustainable fashion brands that produce high-quality, eco-friendly collections to online platforms giving a voice to those truly making positive changes, here are five places to shop for sustainable fashion so you can look good while maintaining a clear conscience.
1. Whispers & Anarchy
Combining Spanish heritage with Southeast Asian culture, Whispers & Anarchy is the brainchild of Sara Ortiz and an up-and-coming slow fashion label from Singapore that offers a lineup of versatile, comfortable, and flattering garments for all shapes and sizes. Consciously made with naturally-sourced fabrics and ethically manufactured in partnership with a family-run craft workshop based in Bali, you can be assured that everything you buy is sustainable and will last for years to come.
Looking for stylish basics that are sustainably-made? Consider Bare, an independent Singapore-based fashion label that doesn’t compromise on quality and longevity. Founded by Jae Tan and Serena Chan — the duo wanted to set up a ‘Made In Singapore’ sustainable fashion brand that can become longtime investment pieces and simultaneously redefine our relationship with clothes — Bare offers customers stylish, trans-seasonal clothing produced with low-environmental impact.
3. Sans Faff
Founded by former Tiffany & Co Marketing Manager Brandy Dallas, Sans Faff is a relatively new minimalist womenswear label focused on producing limited pieces at limited quantities – to preserve resources and avoid waste. The label, which is ethically made in Singapore, says no to plastic and thinks sustainability first. Offering a collection of quality, pared back basics in soft and effortless silhouettes, Sans Faff utilises renewable resources such as bamboo fibre, which is the fastest growing plant in the world. Growing at an impressive rate of up to one meter per day, it’s truly a renewable resource. According to Dallas, “Sans Faff is a call to arms for slow fashion and conscious consumption. We are not perfect, but we are eager to learn and remain incredibly optimistic about the future of fashion and the environment. We all need to do our part to buy less and more responsibly to preserve our planet for generations to come.”
Former fashion and beauty editor Susannah Jaffer founded Zerrin in 2017. The online multi-label boutique offers a selection of emerging sustainable fashion and beauty brands that you won’t find anywhere else. On a mission to empower women to #shopmeaningfully, each label Zerrin works with must respect people and the planet. From clothing crafted in natural fabrics to hand-made jewellery and organic skincare, the store speaks to the modern women who values quality and sustainability yet doesn’t want to compromise on style. Zerrin also holds regular pop-ups and events with the aim of educating and bringing together a growing community of savvy, conscious women.
5. Source Collections
Vincent Ooi founded homegrown brand Source Collections in 2016 with a mission to create affordable, well-made wardrobe basics out of sustainable materials. As well as utilising eco-friendly fabrics like Tencel and organic cotton, Source Collections advocates transparency by being upfront about the manufacturers they partner with. When you shop for products on their website, you can see a breakdown of its journey, from the origin of the fabric, and even an analysis of the products true cost.
6. Net-a-Porter Net Sustain
Launched last year, Net-a-Porter’s Net Sustain focuses on sustainability and aims to give a voice to the considered, authentic and innovative brands that are truly making positive changes by providing them with a platform to highlight their best practices. The curated category currently includes brands such as Maggie Marilyn, Stella McCartney, Veja, Chopard, Citizens of Humanity and Ganni as well as beauty brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Tata Harper. In order to be eligible for inclusion, brands must meet one or more of five key attributes the online retailer has created, which take into account human, animal and environmental welfare, and align with internationally recognised best practices in the fashion and beauty industries.
Reformation’s design mission is to make effortless silhouettes that celebrate the feminine figure while putting sustainability at the forefront of everything they do. In fact, Reformation is committed to minimising their environmental impact and achieving fair, safe and healthy working conditions throughout their supply chain by partnering with suppliers who share a common vision of sustainability, accountability and transparency. By sourcing locally when possible, and screening all of their suppliers, the brand is able to minimise environmental impacts and ensure there’s no unfair or unsafe labour that goes into making their clothes.