As fashion consumers, our currency really does count. Small conscientious purchasing decisions can help grow the small section of the industry that puts ethics at the top of their agenda. As consumers we have to lead the way, here is who, how and why.
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The festive season is over and the first month of the year is a time of mindfulness and recuperation. Still, many Brits are spending valuable time on the web looking for new outfits to only wear them once.
The choices are endless when it comes to vegan and sustainable fashion. Whether you are looking for a cool slogan t-shirt, cruelty-free faux-leather shoes, or a stylish dress to leave everyone speechless at the next gala dinner there are plenty of fashion brands to choose from.
Ph. Ksenia Chernaya, Pexels
You can easily keep up with the latest fashion trends or find the one-of-a-kind garment made just for you thanks to all the sustainable and vegan fashion brands out there.
Nowadays sustainable fashion is not something new or rare, yet everyone seems to think it is very hard to find. The proof: here are some brands to have on your list for sustainable fashion.
More than just an ethical and sustainable fashion brand, Birdsong is a social enterprise. A brand that wishes to revolutionise the way we produce and consume fashion. The slogan 'dress in protest' is meant to raise awareness of the fast pace of the fashion industry and the desire to follow trends. Birdsong designs clothes for remarkable women, but are also designed by remarkable women. The fabrics used are either ethical, sustainable or reclaimed alongside the use of eco dyes. It is all about finding that unique garment that makes you feel empowered. Their collection is unlike anything you will find on the high street: "it’s about thoughtful clothes in bright colours, edgy silhouettes and original prints made from natural fabrics."
The brand is built on the foundation of ethics and sustainability. Their goal is to popularise circularity in the fashion industry and change the way people buy, wear and consume clothing. With upcycling at the heart of the label’s philosophy, the Fanfare team manages to transform vintage pieces into contemporary designs by repurposing existing materials through various textile cutting techniques. In addition to being entirely plastic-free, Fanfare is made from sustainable materials and is certified by OEKO-TEX and GOTS.
“Our hope for the future is that we can change the world around us and become a catalyst towards powerful social good and new models of consumption.”
Lucy & Yak
Source: Lucy & Yak
Lucy & Yak is an independent, ethical, and sustainably made brand, committed to preserving the environment and society. Every item, from boilersuits to colourful dungarees to cropped sweatshirts, is made with organic fabrics and manufactured in their factory in North India, where workers receive four times the minimum wage for the state. They use 100% recycled and biodegradable postage material and stationery to distribute their products. And if that was not enough to get you hooked on the brand let me tell you that they also have a Depop shop. To ensure all stock gets sold and demonstrate that sustainable clothing can be affordable, any flawed piece is advertised at a discounted price on Depop.
Source: Indigo Luna
A small family-run brand focused on producing good quality products created using eco-consciousness and sustainable manufacturing practices. A yoga and swimwear line, Indigo Luna is handmade in Bali by women-owned and operated factories. Using natural fabrics and natural dyeing techniques, the rich, earthy colours come from various plant materials such as indigo leaves, mango leaves, Indian almond leaves and Indian redwood bark. Be sure to keep yourself updated with the brands newest addition, because their collections are purposely created in small, sustainable runs so they can run out of stock and avoid wasting any materials.
Source: Ninety Percent
Can you guess where the name might come from? Ninety Percent is a London-based sustainable womenswear label that shares 90% of its profit between charitable causes. With the purchase of their products, the brand asks its customers to pick which charity they would like to support. The pioneering business model, Ninety Percent has created, strives to have a different approach to the fashion industry. Their collection includes a variety of luxury basics that elevate the everyday, such as well-cut organic cotton sweats, detailed jersey staples and comfortable tops made from soft TENCEL.
“We don’t believe in short-lived trends and hope that once you have finished with your Ninety Percent garment you’ll pass it on for somebody else to love, too”
Have you fallen in love with the world of sustainable fashion? There sure is a lot to fall in love with. From the colourful and bold garments to the minimalistic and sophisticated high street-like collections. They all share the same mission: to be good for you and good for the planet.
New year does not always mean new fashion trends. We are entering a time in fashion where micro-trends are going as fast as they have arrived, but some have lasted well over the past year and are expected to continue into 2022.
Courtesy of The-Cøded
Matching Co-ords Are Here To Stay
Throughout the pandemic, co-ordinates have been a popular fashion choice. During the lockdowns, loungewear co-ords were the way to go to feel comfortable and somewhat put together for the endless Zoom meeting from the kitchen table.
When restrictions eased, we were not ready to leave the cute matching two-piece aesthetic at home. So we changed the hoodie and jogger outfits for a more dressed up look. From matching monochromatic tops and skirts to slick blazers and trousers looks have been the go-to look for many.
Both loungewear and party wear co-ords continue to be a favourite in 2022, while we have this hybrid of working from home and socialising with friends. co-ordinates are now a wardrobe staple for all events and will continue to be for quite some time.
2000s Fashion Resurgence Continues
What goes around comes around, and for 2021 it was y2k fashion. It is common for fashion trends to repeat themselves every 20 years, and the 2000s is no exception. Some 2000s trends have stayed in the past like frosted tips, but many have had a modern-day revival.
Some of the firm favourites include the halter tops, baby tees and chunky trainers. In 2022, it is predicted that some more 2000 trends will be at the forefront of fashion. Controversially, this includes low rise jeans, which have already grown in popularity thanks to supermodels Bella Hadid and is predicted to be a hot choice for upcoming fashion weeks.
Sustainable Fashion At The Forefront
Ph. Artem Beliaikin, Unsplash
For many of us, the pandemic made us think more about where our clothes were made – and who really made them. This has changed the way many of us now shop, leading us to more sustainable and ethical shopping brands.
Many of us have also started to create capsule wardrobes, buying high-quality staple items that can be worn again and again.
Companies like THE-CØDED are doing their bit by working directly with clothing manufacturers around the world, ensuring that they receive a fair share of the profits. They also like to highlight their manufacturers and their forward-thinking initiatives for a completely transparent approach to online shopping. Thanks to transparent brands like THE-CØDED, finding information about who made your clothes has never been easier.
Oversized Shirts - A Wardrobe Must Have
Oversized shirts have been a fashion trend for years, and they are not going away anytime soon. Oversized shirts are such a versatile wardrobe piece, with many celebrities, including the Kardashians and Hailey Bieber, opting for the oversized look regularly in their pap shots.
Oversized shirts are a wardrobe staple that works all year round, and similar to 2000s fashion they are predicted to be a large part of runway shows during the upcoming fashion weeks.
Bye-bye Gendered Clothing
Courtesy of The-Cøded
Genderless clothing has been a growing trend on social media, with people wearing what they want regardless of who the clothing is advertised to. Many fashion houses are on board with this, as many runway shows are thought to have both male and female models wearing the same clothing during spring fashion week.
This has already been seen on the high street, with many brands now selling the same clothing in both womenswear and menswear sections – both in stores and online. This includes knitted “grandad” vests, oversized blazers and structured coats.
Overall, 2022 is set to be an interesting year for fashion as consumers are moving away from the constant trend cycle and sticking to wardrobe staples that work for them. We will certainly be thinking more about sustainably made fashion and timeless pieces this year.
What trends will you be getting on board with?
Walking through life like a breeze, leaving little or no sign on our way. Newly-launched sustainable womenswear brand Organique proposes a minimal and low-impact fashion for a life in constant motion.
C’RIBBE (read [ker-rib-be]) is the creation of James Douglas, the founder. The name is inspired by the Caribbean which is at the very core of the brand.
A cool breeze on bare skin in summer, a warm hug in winter. Linen is the fabric chosen by Marta Cernovskaja for her brand Lemuel MC with sustainability and transparency at its core.
We all want ethical fashion but we also wish to personalise our shopping experience. InFashion Technologies created Yours.Truly., an award-winning project.
Fast Fashion is so last season, meet Aqua & Rock a high-quality premium sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand.
Their motto ‘Where ethical meets aesthetic’ hits the spot. Too often people still associate sustainability with strong limitations and unsightliness. Aqua & Rock surely prove this to be a false prejudice.
If you think sustainable fashion must have a dated aesthetic and cannot possibly look stunning and modern without any compromise, then read on to get to know this brand and pay their new flagship store in Covent Garden a visit when your interest is sparked.
An interior collection consisting of lamps and vases uses naturally sourced materials. All items are one of a kind due to the variable key components of wood grain, natural sand, clay and alpine hay, which naturally do not appear uniform. Furthermore, they are carefully crafted by hand.
This store is unique, since every little detail, down to the lamps, hangers and even drinks is produced 100% sustainable and guilt-free, reflecting the genuine dedication and passion behind the brand. Aqua & Rock was established in 2019 and has been driving forward innovative concepts for ethical fashion ever since. Everybody is more than eager to put a ‘sustainable’ stamp on their clothes now with younger generations, especially Gen Z becoming ever more aware of shortcomings and accordingly concerned about our planet’s future. 'Green washing’ developed to become a huge issue. Customers are getting blatantly misinformed about the background of their goods and continue to shop with a false sense of righteousness. We all know those high street companies for instance, that suddenly hop on the bandwagon by realising an allegedly sustainable line when we honestly ask ourselves: who are they trying to fool? Huge fast-fashion retailers aim to transform their il repute, however, in the end, merely a minority can really state that their company meets the necessary regulations in all areas. Founder Dea Baker and her team instead showcase what true passion and competence in the industry can look like. That is why they also deservedly won the award for “Innovator” of the year at the Drapers Independent Awards 2021 this September.
The Blue Thetis Trench Coat pictured at the front is a centrepiece of the 2021 collection. It incorporates wooden buckles and is made from 100% organic cotton.
Each piece of the latest collection is designed to be ‘seasonless’, so it can be reworked according to season and mood. Not only can they be either composted, recycled or biodegraded, but also include the use of fertiliser to support organic farming. The main concept is based upon a bio-circular model with four components, them being: organic, natural, recycled, and upcycled. All the resources like wood, hay, leaves, cotton, hemp, and flowers are organically grown. Wood, aloe vera, cotton, hemp, wool, as well as the colouring are naturally sourced. Existing materials are updated and reinvented within the upcycling process.
The model is designed to avoid the use of chemicals during manufacturing. Aqua & Rock have even created their own sustainable fabric dubbed 'Aqua Triblend', which is inspired by the French riviera. Among organic cotton, it incorporates recycled plastic and upcycled clothing. With overwhelming numbers regarding beef consumption, the brand saves the by-product of the meat industry from organic farms. Thereby, waste that otherwise would hit the landfill sites is further minimised.
According to Baker this variant of recycled leather is even more sustainable than buying vegan leather, which many people would never assume.
And that is by far not all, since the leather is going through a 'Wet-White' process it is completely free of chrome and other harmful chemicals. So, it is not only better for mother nature, but also for our own bodies. Due to this way of production the Ecotan leather items can be sent to their organic fertiliser partners. After being turned into organic fertiliser it is then used to fertilise fields and plants on organic farms, resulting in the regrowth of organic harm-free vegetation. In being reverted back to nature the bio circle is closed, ending where we started, the animal, which can gaily graze on these natural fields again.
The collection has been designed and produced in the UK, no sweatshops or underpaid labour included in any form, that the customer can be certain of. All pieces of the 2021 collection come in muted colour tones like brown, mint, white, and crème, all easy on the eyes and extremely versatile, giving customers lots of room for creative combining.
British musician Elle L gave the attendees an exclusive glimpse into her new single 'Hoping'. She took on the role of first brand ambassador because she is personally very passionate about the subject in all areas of her life and wants to advocate for less waste. As a public figure, she feels like having a responsibility to inform and positively influence others to have an impact on a larger scale and act as a role model for younger people. She aims to actively contribute to 'leaving a legacy for future generations' by not only talking about it but committing to an accordingly lifestyle.
Fashions Finest thinks this store is a great addition to the Covent Garden area and will hopefully attract lots of new customers to join forces with for a better world. Supporting this goal by shopping for beautiful clothes does sound dreamy, right? Yes, it is actually that easy to partake and conduce a little bit. Maybe this shop will be a starting point for some people to become more immersed and engaged in sustainability in other areas of their everyday life as well. Aqua & Rock officially opened their doors on the 27th of September, a visit is not only highly recommended but a must for everyone interested in sustainability and all its facets. The power for real change lies in our consumer behaviour, supply and demand regulate the market after all and progressive brands like Aqua & Rock are successfully leading the way in a current turnover. The aim does not have to be a Utopia!