5 Sustainable Fashion Brands from Around the World
The streets and malls are still lined with fast fashion shops, and while some are beginning to implement new, sustainable practices, we still have a long way to go until the fast approach to fashion will become a thing of the past. This makes the fact that there are so many incredible, sustainable fashion brands popping up around the world all the more exciting. We can finally see a much-needed change happening in the world and we are glad to see that the fashion industry is playing a part in it.
To celebrate this move towards a sustainably fashionable future, we have compiled this list of the five best ethical fashion brands from around the world!
“If fashion helps us express who we are and what we stand for, then our clothing choices matter. It matters that we throw 26 billion pounds of clothing into global landfill every year. It matters that fashion will drain a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. It matters that a single T-shirt takes 700 gallons of water to produce. The choices we make matter. To our planet. To our kids.”
What started out as a San Francisco-based men’s shirt swapping company founded by CEO, James Reinhart, soon turned into a movement, a call to thredUP in second-hand clothes from a selection of 35 thousand brands at up to 90% off retail prices. Having now refocused on children’s and women’s clothing, you can find up to 40 thousand unique pieces on the site on any given day.
The system is simple: if you’re looking to sell your clothes, order a Clean Out Kit from thredUp and you will be provided with a polka-dot bag big enough to fit all your wardrobe rejects. Send them back to thredUP free of charge, and you will get cash or shopping credit in return. You also have the option to go for the Donation Kit – instead of receiving cash back, the money will be donated to a charity of your choice. What a fantastic initiative!
The Canadian fashion brand “tentree is rooted in the belief that we have a responsibility to protect and preserve the world we live in. Buy one, and we'll plant ten. Let's branch out to nature, ten trees at a time.” Specializing in outdoor wear ranging across hoodies, jackets, tops and hats, you can rest assured that by buying their products, you will not only be looking the part, but you’ll be doing your part towards creating a better planet.
The tentree clothing range is made up of cozy, comfortable and sustainable pieces made from materials that are designed to be functional, fun and fashionable, and they are inclusive of all body types. For every product purchased from tentree, the brand will plant ten trees at a time. So far, the brand has planted 30 million trees and has restored land in over eight countries; by 2030, their mission is to plant one billion trees in a bid to reduce climate change.
Kotn’s mission is clear: to provide “quality essentials, ethically made from authentic Egyptian cotton.” Upon learning about the steady decline in demand for Egyptian cotton from big corporations, and seeing how this affected the millions of farmers, weavers and craftspeople, Kotn founders Ben, Mackenzie and Rami, decided to take matters into their own hands. They began to rebuild the industry from the inside, working directly with raw cotton farming families and turning it into the countries’ “white gold” once more. They like to compare their concept to the “farm-to-table” idea, only in the Kotn case, it’s “cotton-to-body”.
Their cut-and-sew factory is based just outside of Alexandria and employs locals at a fair wage. They have also partnered with pro-literacy organizations in the Nile Delta, to combat child labour, and in 2017, Kotn funded and constructed its first school which aims to improve the literacy rate of Egypt’s children.
“Make, undo, redo, improve” – that is the motto of French fashion brand, Sézane, who likes to remind fashionistas that their products are made up of a French “every body can speak.” It all began when founder and designer, Morgane Sézalory, began looking for ways to combine her love for vintage clothing and her desire to offer women the finest quality fashion pieces with a Parisian touch. This resulted in setting up a fashion brand the French way, one that respects the processes of teams and suppliers, in ateliers that encourage working with the planet, instead of against it.
Sézane offers wonderfully romantic fashion collections with a strong focus on knitwear, modern bohemian patterns and sophisticated cuts, always keeping the next generation of fashionistas in mind. As such, the French brand has founded DEMAIN, a philanthropic program aimed to support children in marginalized communities. DEMAIN supports children from all around the world via direct actions aimed at establishing equal opportunities for them.
Black Velvet Circus (Germany)
You can never go wrong with a fashion brand that is on a mission to “restore balance to Mother Earth, our working relationships and our daily lives.” Black Velvet Circus creates small editions of authentic, unique designs. The brand is determined to keep textile traditions alive through fair trade wages and high-quality materials, and are dedicated to reinventing fashion as a powerful, positive force that empowers women.
Based in Hamburg, Germany, Black Velvet Circus’ latest range, Utopia, was created in collaboration with the traditional Thai production facility, Studio Naenna, and offers simple but bold jackets, dresses and overalls in a deep shade of blue, featuring intricate, woven designs. For a more sophisticated, she-boss look, Black Velvet Circus’ Working Goddess collection is simply divine – elegant cuts, demanding colours and a touch of urban chic coolness.