Forget what you think you know about sustainable fashion because there are multiple brands looking to change perceptions while staying current and ethical.
There was a time when the phrase ‘sustainable clothing’ conjured images of drab, shapeless, and trend-irrespective pieces of clothing but that’s all in the past thanks to a surge in ethical awareness. Now, it’s possible to support conscious labels from head to toe and the following are some of our favourites:
Cited as producing “the world’s most sustainable hats”, Topiku (meaning ‘my hat’) is a masterclass in how fashion can be a force for good. Creating classic five and six-panel caps using materials made from trash, the brand is focussed on repurposing waste while supporting its artisans with fair wages and the opportunity to work from home, in comfort. This really isn’t a brand to snooze on as it is making a difference with every hat made. Plus, the designs are current yet timeless and beautiful.
The antidote to fast fashion, Rapanui focuses on sustainable production by making everything to order. Materials used include certified organic cotton and recycled polyester and the ultimate aim is to create a circular supply chain, with worn out pieces being easy to send back to be turned into recycled materials for new items. Pieces are classic, understated and easy to accessorise, with the only ‘seasonal’ inclusions being relevant charity collaborations. This is clothing designed to feel good, do good and set an example as to how the fashion industry needs to move forward.
Brothers We Stand
Working with a three-pronged mission in place, Brothers We Stand seeks to showcase ethical production, clothes that perform, and longevity. Not a cynical adopter of ethical standards, the company has woven transparency into every product, thanks to a detailed carbon footprint breakdown on each listing page. Pieces are seasonal, but mostly in name, as they are high quality and designed specifically to last longer than regular high street offerings while being transitional and useful year-round.
Pioneered by ex-pro surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown was a risk, as the company acknowledges. It has been honest about the doubters that said nobody would pay more for sustainable materials, but success is the best retort. As a fashion brand, Outerknown has become synonymous with easy styling and designs that never go out of fashion as well as eco-initiatives that set it apart from other clothing brands. To keep its jeans out of the landfill, for example, there is a repair, replace or recycle scheme in place.
Humans Are Vain
Chris Margetts founded Humans Are Vain from a unique standpoint. He had been a part of the fast-fashion world for a considerable amount of time and having seen it from the inside, he knew what needed to change and how to do it. The result is a slow fashion brand that seeks to put seasonal trends to one side in favour of eternal chic and new ethical materials that can stand the test of time. You won’t find slogans or brash branding here, just sleek lines, clean finishes, and understated aesthetics that let the clothes and shoes do the talking. For anyone wanting to walk a mile in ethical vegan shoes, we can recommend all of the sneakers.
You might be seeing a theme here in that sustainable clothing and pared-back designs go hand in hand. It makes sense because trying to be at the cutting edge of fashion necessarily means frequent new purchases and allegiances to looks that simply won’t cut it in three months. That’s why it’s important to identify and align with the secret revolution that ethical fashion brands are leading: classic pieces worn for longer and not at the detriment of the planet or any inhabitants of it.
When kindness becomes the ultimate fashion accessory, you’ll already be ahead of the curve.