5 Ethical Fashion Labels Making Clothes You’ll Want To Wear
In October of last year, Gucci announced it’s plans to be “fur-free” by Spring/Summer 2018. The fashion house’s CEO, Marco Bizzarri, said he planned to stop using fur completely and hoped other luxury brands would follow suit. This came on the back of Gucci’s parent company, Kering, doing some research into the sustainability of certain materials and finding that animal products were far less sustainable than synthetics.
Gucci’s decision was widely celebrated but it isn’t entirely surprising given the current social climate and the way fashion-lovers are now adopting more conscious consumer practices. So here are five labels – some of which you already know and love – that are leading the way with ethical and sustainable practices.
I don’t know whether it’s the comfort factor or the clothes-your-dad-might-wear factor but fashion enthusiasts, hype beasts and hikers (?) love Patagonia. Known for pullover sweaters, cargo pants and zipped vests, they’re also known for donating their time, services and at least 1% of total sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental activist groups all over the world. Recently they launched ‘Patagonia Action Works’, an initiative that connects consumers with environmental action opportunities in their neighbourhood. They’re trying to make it as easy as possible for everyday citizens to be activists by showing them petitions to sign and events to volunteer at that are close to home.
If you’re a female in your twenties or thirties, there’s a good chance you already own (or have bookmarked) something from Reformation, the LA-based, ec0-conscious fashion label loved by everyone from Selena Gomez to Camille Cherriere. Reformation’s entire business model is based around making beautiful, feminine, sexy clothes that make women feel good and the Earth feel better. Every garment is made at the brand’s factory in the U.S using sustainable fabrics and production methods, and the environmental footprint of your dress is disclosed on the tag using a ‘Ref Scale’ which states information like the number of gallons of water used to make it.
New Zealand’s very own Kowtow makes other fashion labels pale in comparison when it comes to ethical and sustainable practices. Kowtow’s founder, Gosia Piatek, said “conscious fashion is not a trend anymore – it’s a fact and the only way forward.” Every garment is made using fair-trade-certified organic cotton and the brand’s buttons are made from organic hemp. It’s factory in India pays workers a living wage in addition to providing benefits like paid holiday leave, medical insurance, free schooling for their children and transportation to and from work. Last year Kowtow was awarded an A grade by Baptist World Aid Australia – the highest grade of all Kiwi fashion brands.
CHINTI & PARKER CASHMERE
Chinti & Parker is a luxury cashmere label worn by Olivia Palermo, Alexa Chung and Poppy Delevigne. As well as making their beautiful sweaters using sustainable materials like organic cotton, bamboo and seaweed, they also produce those garments in carefully selected factories which have been identified as having safe, healthy work conditions for their employees. The brand actively offset their carbon emissions through the Carbon Neutral Company guidelines and have completely banned polyester which takes up to 200 years to decompose.
SPORTY AND RICH
Sporty & Rich isn’t a fully-fledged label yet, but it’s a brand I’ve had my eye on for a while and with Emily Oberg, former womenswear designer at Kith, at the helm it’s only a matter of time. Currently described as “a magazine, merch line and creative agency”, Sporty & Rich makes hoodies and tee shirts seen on every second millennial walking through SoHo, New York, as well as being fully committed to protecting our Earth. They donate 10% of all proceeds to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an organization that aims to “safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.” In doing so, they hope to help reduce and reverse our collective impact on the environment, creating a healthier and happier planet for all.