Is eco-clothing the next big thing in the world of fashion? Without a doubt. As much as we love clothes, it’s also one of the largest polluting industries in the world. Fortunately, today’s fashion brands are finally listening, and even large companies such as H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, and Nike are tackling pollution and waste on a massive scale. Fashion proponents such as Stella McCartney are also stepping up to spread the message. We previously wrote about how to build a sustainable wardrobe, and now, we’re rounding the best brands to help you in your sustainability journey.
These companies — both local and international — belong to a new wave of socially-conscious enterprises that go the extra mile to make sure both their materials as well as production line are ethical and sustainable. But it doesn’t stop there — even their packaging are easily compostable or recyclable. If you’re already riding on the wave of metal straws and bringing your own cutlery out, it’s time to take it a step further by supporting these eco-friendly brands. The best part? They’re not about to shortchange you in terms of style.
We’ve talked about MATTER several times now, because they’re the ones fronting the change when it comes to building a sustainable industry for rural textile communities. This Singapore clothing brands manufactures ethical womenswear with a unique tribal elements and stylish angular cuts that add a pop of colour to any outfit. You’re looking at bold print pants, dresses, and outerwear that keep dying crafts alive at the same time. Needless to say, they only use biodegradable fabrics.
Chances are you’ve seen OliveAnkara’s eye-catching African head wraps and fabrics at a music festival somewhere. Founded just two years back in Singapore, these guys revolve around two main concepts: to be a slow fashion brand prioritising quality and uniqueness, and to reduce waste close to zero. Submerging African fabrics with a hint of Italian taste, their product line includes headscarfs, Read our interview with the brand’s founder Ify.
Shop OliveAnkara online.
With so many fine jewellery brands out there, it’s fair to say that the industry takes its toll on the earth’s natural resources. Tessellate Co. though, is a brand with a conscience, working exclusively with fair trade artisans to produce stunning designs inspired by Southeast Asian traditional jewellery. Plus, for every item you buy, the brand donates a dollar to Fior Di Loto, a non-profit organisation in India that provides education and a better life for over 500 village girls.
Shop Tessellate Co. online or at #02-14 Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238880.
No, we’re not talking about the famous beach club. Baliza makes socially-conscious beach wear that’s inspired by the stylish resort wear you’d find in beaches in Bali and Ibiza. In fact, their quality is so top-notch, you’d hardly think they were produced by the 400 women and young adults looking for work at a vocational centre in Jaipur — using ancient fabric-making techniques, no less. The clothing lineup, comprising mostly long dresses, sarongs, and cover ups take a long time to make by hand, and utilise only sustainable cotton.
Ethically-produced shoes are all the more important in a world where shiny leather loafers have become the norm in traditional offices. Veja crafts gorgeous shoes and sneakers using natural rubber from the Amazon and eco-friendly vegetable-tanned leather and cotton. Produced in Brazil, the designs are sleek and minimal, and look every bit as good, or even better than the mass-produced stuff going around your local department stores.
Shop Veja online or at Small Boutique, #03-08, Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Rd, Singapore 247933.
By upcycling fabric scraps from large manufacturers into accessories, bags, and even garment tags, India’s Doodlage balances sustainability with innovation. They also work with eco-friendly fabrics such as corn and banana, experimenting with textures, embroideries, panels, washes, and shapes to optimise the use of every little thread. They even make premium shirts, jumpsuits, and jackets for men that look like they belong on a runway.
Shop Doodlage online.
Sustainable luxury fabrics are a thing, and it’s what Trevor Ng and Lala Yang of Lantern Sense swear by. This contemporary Hong Kong womenswear label stems from a mutual love of digital painting and photography, resulting in a daring and artsy look throughout their numerous collections. Their aesthetics are generally fun: unique prints on sophisticated silhouettes with interesting colour palettes.
Shop Lantern Sense online.
Swimwear made from recycled fabrics? It’s only fitting for a brand hailing from tropical Singapore. August Society is known for its funky line of bright swimwear and athleisure clothing, and the current collection includes bikinis, one-piece swimsuits, general beachwear, and even rash guards. By combining top-of-the-line Italian fabrics with fibres found in fishnets and carpeting, they’re able to achieve unique prints and designs that will never be found elsewhere.
Esse (which means “existence” in medieval Latin) is very much about eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics such as bamboo, 100% organic cotton, and Tencel that require no chemical treatment. Plus, their thoughtfully-designed womenswear are extraordinarily versatile, meaning you can dress them up or down for any type of occasion, from the boardroom to the streets. Classic and timeless designs
Top Image: OliveAnkara