FACT: The fashion industry isn’t the most environmentally friendly. From water needed to wash the cloth after it’s dyed, to the dyeing process itself, the use of cotton, logistics and much more, it generates a lot of carbon. However, it’s also doing its best to correct the situation, as long as you’re not centering your attention on fashion labels that are produced in sweatshops or fast fashion.
In fact, there are plenty of fashion brands and companies out there that do good in fashion, both in terms of the manufacturing process and also in how they source their products. Here are some of our favourites.
Image by Everlane
The American online retail store has a reputation for transparency in its pricing as well as sourcing from reputable agents and factories for its products. Prices are not steep particularly when you consider the quality it provides. It’s excellent for basics, and colours are not the most thrilling – the most vibrant it offers for menswear is probably the burgundy cashmere sweater in the store – but if you’re looking for practical, quality buys under US$100 for the most part, this is where to go.
Image from Project Insider
Apolis means “global citizen” and was founded by brothers Raan and Shea Parton in 2004. In layman terms, they make essential menswear that make you think “Hmmm, yeah I’d wear that”. I’d call it American workwear but it’s pretty international in style. Similar to Everlane, they are focused on giving their supply chains access to the global marketplace and therefore offering fair grounds to compete and do better in. They work with factories around the world to create their products, and source their products locally – that also means less carbon impact on the environment due to logistics, and benefiting the local community directly. We like that. And yes, we definitely see plenty in the store we’d buy and wear.
Anything that has to do with Pharrell is pretty cool, but when you add getting rid of plastic from the oceans, turning it into fabric and making it into cool clothing by G-Star, you have our immediate attention. The G-Star RAW for the Oceans campaign has been going on for a couple of seasons now, basically recycling plastics that would otherwise end up in the stomachs of sperm whales and converting them into great clothing. Designed in partnership with Pharrell, we’re definitely for this big brand doing more for the world.
Image courtesy of Stella McCartney
The fashion label founded by Paul McCartney’s daughter has always focused its attention on fair trade and eco-friendly measures, from biodegradable plastic soles to organic cotton tees and dresses. Stella has collaborated with other sports wear brands in the past but in 2017, she plans to introduce menswear into the collection. With her familiarity with sustainable fabrics, a vegan and cruelty-free menswear fashion line could prove lucrative to market. Wait for SS17.
UPDATE: While we hesitate to affirm that fast fashion is good for the environment, we have to admit that H&M is certainly doing its best to remedy the situation with its Conscious collection. The range, which still remains a small part of their products, works to ensure that natural resources such as water are maintained so that the environment isn’t as badly impacted, while staffing and climate care are all facets of how the collection is sustainable. During the Recycle Week, they were collecting clothing that would be recycled into future clothing items.