Climate change is no longer a looming threat. The Earth’s temperature is rising; natural disasters are more frequent, and our landfills are filling up way too quickly. And the fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to pollution. From water wastage to fabric dyeing, these are some processes that contribute to the adverse impact on our environment.
Fortunately, today’s consumers are a discerning bunch and many of them are making educated choices and opting for sustainable fashion alternatives. And there is also a group of thoughtful designers who are looking at the bigger picture, and doing things differently. Whether it’s taking into the consideration the amount of waste that is already rampant, or focusing on upcycling and recycling, the brands listed below are committed to making positive changes to the way we shop.
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This label was thrust into the spotlight recently during the 2022 Oscars, thanks to the custom beaded headpiece seen on one member of Beyoncé’s band. But that’s just a sliver of what BOTTER has to offer.
Funky coats and bags are definitely a highlight but it’s their dedication to sustainability that left an indelible impression on many. The brand aims to have 80 percent of their collections to be made out of waste plastic from the ocean and the remaining 20 percent dedicated to using totally biological materials that decompose safely.
BOTTER is also striving to conserve the coral reefs through their own farm through collaborating with a local diving team in Curaçao to fight against coral bleaching, which can have devastating effects on the ecosystem of the sea and the seafood we eat.
Sporting biodegradable yarn and upcycled fabrics, the collections from Marine Serre prove that circular fashion is both possible and fashionable, as Dua Lipa, Khloe Kardashian and Kendall Jenner can attest to.
Coining the term eco-futurism, upcycled materials is the name of the game for this designer. Everything from leather, denim, silk, linen and popcorn materials amassed from dead-stock and discard piles are given new life and purpose.
It takes approximately 6,819 litres of water to make an average pair of jeans. Scary, right? However, denim brand DL1961 only uses about 45 litres per pair and 98 percent of the water used is recycled in their in-house treatment plant.
The team starts by collecting old denim and shredding it down to its fibres, which are then woven together with new yarn that is eco-friendly, possesses high-performance stretch and highly absorbent. The fabric is then dyed and cut by a waterless laser manufactured by a sister company.
Centred around nostalgia, Ives’ collections rely heavily on vintage and dead-stock garments that have been repurposed. Each piece of clothing produced is inherently unique and available in small batches.
The London-based designer who has impressed the likes of Rihanna, aims to elevate regenerated clothes and destigmatise it by showcasing excellent craftsmanship and design throughout his work.
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Sustainable from start to finish, swimwear brand Arloe uses a 100 percent bio-based thread called EVO that is derived from castor seed oil. The renewable source lowers the risk of global warming while delivering a high-performing material.
The brand manufactures every element down to the labels in Italy to cut down shipping, which in turn minimises their carbon footprint. The fabric is carefully trimmed to avoid wastage and the finished swimwear is packed into bags made out of upcycled fabric collected over the years.
House of Sunny
Famous for their avant garde knitwear, House of Sunny’s ethos is all about slow fashion – producing only two collections annually. With more time on their hands, the focus shifts to sourcing sustainable materials and eco-friendly technologies to produce their garments.
That’s not all. All product bags are completely biodegradable and the brand opts for sea freight over air for their logistics and transportation as it produces less carbon emissions.
This Danish brand’s approach to green fashion lies in longevity. Choosing quality over quantity, every garment made is guaranteed to stand the test of time. The brand also mixes organic and recycled materials whenever possible to reduce waste.
Although we live in an enigmatic world that loves big and flashy performances, events and promotions, Brøgger chooses to produce simple shows and campaigns to minimise their environmental impact.
Rearing livestock for leather has a ton of drawbacks that lead to global warming. As a fully vegan label, RAFA is both cruelty-free and sustainable with their line of footwear that is handcrafted by artisans in a small factory.
Even the wood used in their heels are made from reclaimed wood, which reduces the need for more trees to be cut down for manufacturing purposes.
Mother of Pearl
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Transparency is key when it comes to keeping organisations accountable for their actions and this brand knows it best. With the “field to final” filter, potential customers are given the power to trace the origins and the creation process of every garment.
The brand also works with many non-profit organisations and social causes to aid in the conservation of our planet and the ethical treatment of every person beyond business and fashion.
This Bulgaria-based brand uses a made-to-order system that produces every order quickly based on actual demand at their in-house factory.
Although unconventional, a made-to-order system has its upsides. First, every item will be constructed with more care. Second, it leaves no room for dead-stock that usually occurs from unpopular designs and sizes; the unused fabrics can be saved and redesigned for future collections.