Ethical, sustainable and slow fashion is THE new fashion trend that is here to stay. Now that fast fashion is taking notice, with H&M being the most recent brand to jump on the bandwagon it is starting to trickle into the mainstream. Consumer pressure and sustainable values are taking hold throughout the industry, but I don’t believe that any fast-fashion brand can be part of this movement unless they fundamentally change their business model by reducing excessive sales and growth targets. Pushing customers to buy more stuff made out of more sustainable fabrics isn’t a sustainable model.
To be truly sustainable it’s important to evaluate the full supply chain and lifecycle of the product from cradle right through to its grave. Where does the cotton, rayon or viscose come from, as even though these fabrics are made from natural fibres it might have come from cutting down the rainforest?
When it comes to fashion, design and aesthetics are key drivers in making a great brand. Just being sustainable or ethical is not enough to cut through the clutter, great design and more classic lines, that can be fashionable for several seasons are vitally important.
Our favourite brands who are doing just that are:
1. BAM Bamboo Clothing
BAM is an activewear brand made from bamboo fabric, which some people debate for its sustainability because it’s a hard wood-like material to work with. However, BAM tracks their material from a sustainably managed forest right through to the production and manufacturing of the garments.
2. Elvis & Kresse
The bags, homeware and accessories produced by Elvis & Kresse are mainly made from decommissioned fire hoses. Saved from landfill this company makes beautiful products from an unusual material that will last season after season. As it’s not a product that you will wash, there is little concern about microplastics shedding during the cleaning process.
Visit Elvis & Kresse
3. People Tree
Founded back in 1991 People Tree is a contemporary and playful brand who actively tracks the entire manufacturing and production process. They support the “who made my clothes” movement by providing information about the makers of their items online.
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Thought was founded in Australia and originally promoted hemp, but they have since expanded their range to include other sustainable fibres. Note that they do use recycled polyester in some products which is a plastic derivative.
See Thought at Natural Collection
6. Nancy Dee
Nancy Dee is a pioneering women’s wear label that takes great care in considering the full lifecycle of their products from the source right through to end of life. Designs are inspired by vintage lines and garments are made to be beautiful and long-lasting.
See Nancy Dee at Natural Collection
Synergy is based in Santa Cruz California and is committed to the highest quality organic cotton. Products are manufactured in Nepal and their commitment to sustainability can be traced throughout the supply chain.
8. Shift to Nature
Based out of Australia, Shift to Nature carries everything from sought after basics in luxury organic cotton leggings, bamboo essentials, beautifully made organic cotton t-shirts, dresses and activewear for ethical yoga and pilates or just lounging around.
Visit Shift to Nature
9. Amour Vert
Crafted in California, Amour Vert, address all aspects of their business operations and the full lifecycle of a garment with their sustainability practices. Garments are made from sustainable fabrics in limited quantities to ensure minimum waste.
Visit Amour Vert
10. Alternative Apparel
Alternative Apparel’s garments are crafted with sustainable materials & processes, including organic & recycled materials, low-impact dyes & water-conserving washes. They support the Fashion Revolution movement making it clear who manufactured their product.
Visit Alternative Apparel