Sustainable Fashion Brands: The Movers & Shakers
The sustainable fashion brands you need to know……
We love finding examples of fashion brands that have integrated sustainability into their core being. As an ethical brand ourselves, we take inspiration from the growing number of innovators shaking up the fashion world with responsibly sourced materials, creative design and a whole new approach to making ethical businesses work.
We thought we’d take a look at some of the great work being done in the specific areas of reuse, recycle and repurpose – our own personal mantra. All these brands have a fantastic story to tell and we’re happy to spread the word. So here is our go-to list of the eco fashion brands you should know about:
Sustainable fashion brands reinventing the term ‘reuse’
One of our favourite ethical clothing brands, Patagonia is doing groundbreaking work in this area. Recognising that the one single thing we can do for the planet is to keep reusing stuff for longer, they decided to help people care for and repair their Patagonia clothes. We applaud them for launching their repair service Worn Wear on Black Friday, the consumer shopping bonanza, with a festival-inspired roadshow to celebrate stories of the clothes we already own.
Patagonia also work with one of the largest garment manufacturers in the world to reuse the cotton scraps that would end up in landfill. The leftovers from 16 virgin cotton shirts can be turned into one reclaimed cotton shirt – that’s a lot of resources saved from reusing scrap material. Their groundbreaking short video about the supply chain can be found here.
Recycled materials: no compromise for these eco fashion brands
These two examples are proof, if it were needed, that using recycled materials does not mean compromising on style, design and quality.
California-based Vitamin A’s bikini ranges are worn by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Rihanna. While they are all about figure-flattering sexy, sun-kissed California beauty, they want to beautify the beach in more ways than one – by lightening their environmental footprint. They use a new EcoLux™ matte superfine jersey made with recycled nylon fibre to conserve precious resources and provide the figure-hugging, quality fit they need.
ECOALF recycles fishing nets into stylish backpacks and plastic bottles into high-performance waterproof coats. Set up in 2012 by Spanish environmental entrepreneur Javier Goyeneche, they’re on a mission to create the first generation of recycled products with the same attention to quality, design and technical properties as the best non-recycled products in the market. To make sure this happens to their exacting standards, the ECOALF team manages the whole process from waste collection to recycling technologies, manufacture, design and retail.
Ethical clothing brands repurposing materials
Here we have two great examples of how repurposing a material not normally used in garments can make clothing more sustainable.
Rapanui started making socks and t-shirts out of bamboo because of its potential for sustainability. Bamboo doesn’t require pesticides, fertilisers or even that much water. It is simply the fastest growing, high yield, low input crop in the world. The softness of the resulting material has proved a winner with customers, their bamboo t-shirts and tops are bestsellers.
Wool has been used in clothing for years but British wool fell out of favour, and perfectly good fleeces were being thrown away. Thankfully that’s changing thanks to brands like Finisterre who have pioneered a unique supply chain of merino wool from a British flock. The fleeces are now spun in Yorkshire and dyed and knitted in Scotland. A fleece repurposed into a super soft, beautiful jumper as part of a local, sustainable supply chain – what’s not to love?
Do you know of other ethical fashion brands to add to our list? We take inspiration from the leaders around us and continue to innovate towards our first sustainability accreditation.