Ideally the most sustainable way to chop and change your wardrobe is to not buy brand new.But sometimes you just can’t find what you need raking round vintage shops or scrolling through second hand websites. If you do need to buy brand new, then make sure it’s from an ethical source. Somewhere that looks into their materials, their production process and their supply chain. Somewhere that ensures they are minimising their impact on our planet and treating their people fairly.
In celebration of Fashion Revolution Week, here are 10 of my favourite ethical brands…
Enchanted Rebels – Quirky simple pieces made from organic cotton. I have their lovely Annie top which goes perfect with a high waisted skirt or vintage denim shorts, I also have my eye on their Marilyn Kimono which will be spot on for my travels. Lara Intimates – In February I was lucky enough to visit Lara Intimates for a fitting. Hidden away above a pub in Soho are a handful of seamstresses that make the most comfy and flattering bras I’ve ever seen or worn. Every garment is made from reclaimed material and they come in sizes that fit all, even my own narrow back / big bust combo! Below is what I bought, the Clio, the Crop and some high waisted briefs. And for all you new Mams out there, they now do lovely nursing bras.
Fridays Project – A Spanish brand hosting collections made out of natural, organic and recycled fabrics. They have the ethos that it’s not necessary to have lots of clothes to create different outfits, so they make high-quality garments that are built to last and that can be mixed and matched. I’ve just ordered this cardigan, a staple for my travels, and I can’t wait for it to arrive!Know the Origin – KTO is run by Charlotte, who was studying at London College of Fashion at the time of the Rana Plaza disaster. She spent her dissertation year in supply chains around Bangladesh and India trying to understand how she had no idea where her clothes came from. She then decided to do something about it and created KTO that can trace it’s garments from seed to shop.
Mayamiko – A really cool collection ethically made in Malawi. I’m going to a couple of weddings this summer, so I’ve treated myself to a jazzy African print jumpsuit from Mayamiko. It’s made from surplus ethically sourced cotton fabric for a zero waste design that I personally love. It’s bright, bold and made well.
Jan n June – Started by two friends, Anna and Jula in Hamburg. All clothes are produced in Wroclaw, Poland in the Ciborski family-owned factory from sustainable materials such as organic or recycled cotton, recycled polyester and tencel. The clothes are minimalistic, very simple and cool.Monkee Genes – Organic and ethically made jeans. Doing both men and women’s wear ranging from skinny, to flare, to skate. The company’s catch phrase is – “No Blood, No Sweat, No Tears.”
Wynad – With a mission of gender equality through sustainable fashion. The business began as a collaboration with rural development charity TGG Foundation who are based in the district of Wayanad, India. TGG operates a stitching workshop in the area known as the “women empowerment centre”, providing jobs, fair pay and training to women and young girls in the local community. For every single sale of Wynad clothing 10% will go directly to TGG Foundation to support the growth of the Women Empowerment Centre in Wayanad.
Birdsong – At Birdsong they connect women, from worker to wearer. They work under the promise of no sweatshop and no photoshop (the devil!) and work solely with women’s groups and charities in order to produce their clothing. All women they work with are paid a London living wage.
Thinking Mu – Using organic, Fairtrade and recycled materials, Thinking Mu hand print and stitch all their garments in India. Their website gives the buyer – us, you – a call to action to close the loop. We can buy less and buy better, wash less and cooler, dry clothes naturally and recycle and upcycle clothes. All these simple changes will drive an improved fashion industry.
So there you have it, 10 of my favourite ethical brands. I’m always on the look out for more, so if you have any you’d like to share with me, please get in touch!