6 SUSTAINABLE BRANDS TO TRY IN 2020
So, you've bought a reusable coffee cup and water bottle, remembered to bring your tote bags to the supermarket, reduced your meat intake and now get your milk delivered by an old-school milk man in an effort to reduce plastic use. But have you given a thought to the threads you're wearing chaps? Did you know fashion accounts for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity? The good news is there are ways to reduce the impact your wardrobe has on the climate. If you are looking for a guilt-free way to add more clothing to your collection, it might be time to embrace sustainable fashion. Here we list some of the best around right now:
Not strictly a brand (forgive me). Think of it as eBay’s cooler, slightly more streetwise little brother. Whether you’ve been on the sustainability bandwagon for some time, or not, you need to get on Depop. Admittedly, it is full of Gen-Zers trying to flaunt their second-hand, often highly coveted, streetwear like it’s a generational currency (gone are the humble days of Yu-Gi-Oh cards and Match Attax). But, the app is now used widely enough that you can find all sorts of amazing brands and second-hand wares, be they the latest Yeezy drop or a vintage Dior jumper. Undeniably, the luxury resale market is burgeoning and is set to amount for almost 9% in luxury sales this year, according to Berenberg. It is estimated that luxury resale is already a $24billion market today and with growing demand for items with greater longevity, this could indicate a much-needed shift in the efforts for sustainability in an era of fast fashion.
Despite a name and minimalist normcore aesthetic suggestive of Scandinavian origins, UK-based Rozenbroek is British-based through and through; from garment production, to shop floor. Everything about this brand takes place locally, a very much intentional choice in its sustainability efforts. Rozenbroek is truly committed to maintaining a sustainable product lifecycle from start to finish. Garments are made to order in its solar-powered Yorkshire factory, not only reducing waste and storage space, but creating a “lasting” and “personal” attachment between the end customer and each piece. Each item is made with sustainably sourced, organic materials to reduce environmental impact. Rozebroek also offers a repair and recycle service to guarantee the longevity and value of its items. The London store in Stoke Newington is definitely worth a visit.
An Italian brand with a focus on innovation in sustainability. While still maintaining an element of Italian luxury in its craftmanship and artisan production, Opera Campi has built its brand by focusing on the use of hemp for sustainable, renewable garments. The brand hails the multi-purpose function of hemp in its garments; not only is it less polluting and easier to recycle than other natural fibres, but the production of it also helps to reduce CO2 in higher quantities. The anti-microbial properties as well as its breathability and high grade properties in thermo-regulation, make it an extremely versatile fabric. Opera Campi has even gone so far as to create its own technological innovation in hemp with ‘H-EMP’, the first stretchy Hemp, with a 92% fresh Hemp composition.
Founded in 2013 by husband and wife duo Saeed and Katy Al-Rubeyi, Story mfg. was built upon the ethos of fostering a kinder, more mindful approach to the production of garments. The founders wanted to focus on a craft-based approach, using natural and organic dyes. Initially, they didn’t set out to create a sustainable brand, rather, the ethical approach of the brand was a happy consequence of the processes they elected: “the things we value and love are often sustainable because they are more interesting.” The duo work with a team operating out of their atelier in the Indian forest, working with weavers, embroiders, tailors and dyers. The garments are designed “to benefit the earth, our customers and the people we work with.”
From what started out as a sustainable source of surf wear with the design of a fleece in a little flat above a surf shop in 2003, Finisterre has since vastly expanded its horizons, but remains firmly committed to sustainability. The brand puts product, environment and people at the core of everything it does from its cliff-top workshop in St. Agnes, the brand has held true to its original ethos of design, functionality and sustainability culminating in the brand’s understated cool aesthetic. From fabric to factory, to packaging and repairs, sustainability is deeply rooted in everything they do.
Knowledge Cotton Apparel
Knowledge Cotton Apparel (KCA) is a Danish brand, which has been operating in the textile industry since 1969. The brand is serious about making sustainable, environmental change that lasts, with the aim of becoming 100% carbon neutral by 2025. KCA use recycled polyester and GOTS certified cotton, as well as other sustainable fabrics. With a great selection of knitwear and t-shirt apparel, the brand’s long-standing commitment to sustainability has far from impeded the diversity of its product offering.