The ongoing conversations on climate change and sustainable living have been subtly signalling a new direction for all of us. It comes down to one that is ethical and good for the environment. A key approach to take here is challenging ourselves to lower our individual carbon footprint. The easiest way to do that? Employing the three R’s: re-use, reduce and recycle. Sustainable fashion is part of that.
When it comes to our sartorial choices, we’re the decision-makers. This fall, let’s try to make a difference. Let’s challenge ourselves to re-use, repair or up-cycle our old clothing. Let’s avoid the temptation to shop from fast fashion brands. Instead, look towards sustainable brands that are making a real difference.
From eco-friendly sneakers to ethically-made clothing, here are six fashion brands championing transparency in the supply chain. These are brands propagating fair wages for garment workers and leaning towards zero waste.
Known for: Sustainable running shoes
A brand that uses sustainable Merino wool and ethically-sourced knitwear made from eucalyptus trees. New Zealand-based brand All Birds has carved a niche for itself in the eco-friendly sneaker industry. Their approach is directed towards reducing the carbon footprint of every product they create. Eventually they want to move towards carbon neutrality.
Their website notes that the standard sneaker has a carbon footprint of about 12.5 kg CO2e, and the average carbon footprint of all their products is 7.6 kg CO2e. Food for thought?
Men’s Tree Dashers, $175. Shop Here
Known for: Wardrobe essentials
Founded in 2015, Asket’s story is inspired by the pursuit of less. They ask you to reconsider every item of clothing in your wardrobe. Does it spark joy? If not, discard them or donate them to someone in need. Refresh your style with timeless, high-quality pieces of craftsmanship that will stand the test of time.
Their Permanent Collection features seasonless garments rich with stories – about the weavers, the factories, the raw materials and so much more. Transparency and traceability are intact.
The Marino Wool Polo, $172. Shop Here
Known for: Classic and universal styles
This American brand propagates slow fashion through and through. They openly state their focus is not on trends, but on helping cultivate a sartorial wardrobe that is timeless. Everlane works with trusted factories all around the world to source the finest fabrics and quality materials. That ensures radical transparency in its supply chain. They also declare the true cost of each garment.
For example, the raw materials for the Elements Jacket cost $60, and Everlane’s marked up price is $128. That’s a 2-3x increase as compared to the traditional 5-6x increase. That also makes them much more affordable. A jacket at a fast fashion brand would cost you the same, so why not choose the sustainable option?
The ReNew Storm Jacket, $197. Shop Now
Known for: Laidback, surf-inspired clothing
Founded by brothers Alex and Mike Faherty, the vision for this American brand was to give laidback surf culture a sustainable (and stylish) makeover. The label is dedicated to giving back – both to the environment and to the community. Their collections glean inspiration from the pristine beauty and simplicity of nature. Equal parts comfortable and chic, this brand will appeal to you if you love living in cool casuals.
Campfire Hoodie, $175. Shop Now
Known for: Authentic Egyptian cotton
When talking sustainable fashion, Kotn’s pride lies in its use of genuine raw cotton grown on the banks of the Nile in Egypt. They work with small cotton farms and provide them with subsidies (like fertilizer and agricultural consultants). The brand employs local weaver groups who bring the garments to life. Kotn’s farm-to-store journey is 100% traceable.
The Toronto-based brand also supports the farming communities in the Nile Delta and Faiyum by funding elementary schools, allowing rural kids access to education.
Essential Sweatshirt, $68. Shop Now
Known for: Outdoor clothing and sports gear
Apart from producing clothing that’s good for the planet, Patagonia also supports and participates in environmental activism. Their “1% for the Planet” campaign constantly gives back to environmental groups promoting change in their community. For those of you craving outdoor adventures, check out this American company’s recent collection for your fashion fix.
Men’s Pile Lined Trucker Jacket, $225. Shop Here