With so many new brands out there (and everyone screaming BLACK FRIDAY SALES this week!) where do you begin to look for new items? Today, thankfully, more brands are following a more transparent and sustainable approach to their business. But where are they? So before you get sucked into ‘Black Friday’ “deals”, I’d like to first remind you of our little Sustainable Fashion convo we had earlier this month. Secondly, if you’ve started your Christmas shopping or would like to treat yourself to something new, in this post I share 10 Sustainable and Ethical brands that I am following; some I have tried and experienced myself, others I am yet to get my hands on. I selected these awesome do-good brands because they share the same ethos and values that are at the core of my journey and I’m sure you would love them too!
I’m big on transparency, as I highlight in a recent post with The Cano Shoe; I want to live in a world where people are fairly treated, traditions and artisan skills are continued and respected, and above all that our environment is preserved along the way. Is it too much to ask to live in a respectful world? Since the Rana Plaza factory collapse, the Fashion revolution encourages millions of people to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. In a recent interview with Tammy Fenech, Country co-ordinator of Fashion Revolution Malta, we learnt more about the Fashion Revolution campaign and how it is impacting consumer choice.
Because I am sharing these amazing brands with you does not mean that what we have already, perhaps mostly from ‘fast fashion’ brands, should be thrown out. Read this post on sustainable fashion and how to transform your wardrobe to a more ethical and sustainable one … gradually! Check out these brands I love and why!
Ethical Home Interiors
Based In: Spain
Ethics: Fair Trade, Flexible working
I love this brand for: Handmade (and ethically made) Rugs
Product Range: Home Interiors
‘Sukhi’, means ‘happy’ in Nepali and you can see this in their products. Sukhi produces a range of gorgeous handmade rugs made in their workshops in Nepal, India, Morocco and Turkey with a deep care for preserving century-old rug making skills. The Sukhi team in Nepal, producing handmade felt ball rugs, are predominantly women, and are paid 2 to 3 times the average salary and are given flexible working solutions so that they can continue to care for their children at home. Each handmade rug is labelled with the name of the maker, and you are encouraged to contact them to thank them for the rug and their work! By eliminating the middlemen (no big warehouses or retail stores) they keep the price down making it very affordable to buy and still pay a fair price for the handwork put into each rug. Each process to make these playful felt rugs is handmade. I love how they add texture and a cosy feeling to any space. Watch how it’s made here.
Ethical Footwear & Fashion Accessories
2. CANO Shoes
Based In: Germany
Ethics: Epic Transparency, Sustainable production
I love this brand for: Handcrafted shoes and transparency
Product Range: Footwear
These guys are taking supply chain transparency seriously. The Cano Shoe has just ended their Kickstarter campaign to implement NFC technology in every pair of CANOs: an inbuilt chip will tell us more about how the shoe was made, who was involved in the manufacturing process and which materials were used at every step! The young ethical brand has a robust sustainability profile encouraging a zero-waste manufacturing process and the preservation of Mexican artisans and skills. The cowhide leather is dyed using a 200-year old vegetable tanning method that takes up to 28 days! And the leather itself is sustainably sourced from nearby farms in Mexico, where the final shoe is made. With their huarache design, The Cano Shoe are able to reduce the wastage on materials; it is made out of leather strings, which can be cut out of almost any part of the hide leaving almost no remainders. Now, I’m sorry to say that the campaign has ended (boo!) and has been fully funded (yay!). Keep an eye on this brand, I’m sure they’re here to stay and I’ll definitely be in the know on the next season campaign!
READ More on The Cano Shoe
Anthropose is a Nepal-based eyewear brand that gives back sight to people living in rural Nepal. Over 62% of blindness cases can be resolved with a simple cataract surgery yet access to healthcare remains low. Every 10 pairs of sunglasses sold covers the cost of 1 cataract surgery. When you buy a pair of Anthropose’s comfortable and high-quality sunglasses, the company provides Giving Partners with financial support and collaborates with them to restore the sight to someone in need or provide remedial courses to the children. Their stylish designs are shipped internationally (better rates apply to US, UK and Australia). Read more about them here.
4. Marina Vaptzarova
This brand is one of Nepal’s most luxurious brands I have come across so far that use the most sustainable and natural materials from the Himalayas. The designer, Marina Shrestha, is an expert in transforming local based skills and materials into contemporary designs and accessories from journals to lamps, home decor and fashion accessories. She has innovated a vegetal leather called Daphley, which is made from the fibres of the Himalayan Daphne bush. Recent additions to her collection include a range of fashion accessories including bags, purses, mobile accessories and sunglass pouches, all boasting the marvellous sustainable textiles like hemp weave and nettle weave. Aside from the brand’s initiative to ensure employees receive fair salaries and benefits that are not enforced by law, Marina donates 1% of her annual sales to Nepal Youth Foundation. Marina Vaptzarova was also awarded the Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury in 2017. Heads up! A small collection will soon be available online. Watch this space.
Follow Marina Vaptzarova
Ethical Active Fashion
Bewildher is an ethical active fashion brand made for the fashion conscious, active woman who loves adventure. The ethical brand is making the switch to pre-sales only to offer us a better price, waste far less material, and apply financial gain to supplementing the garment factory workers wages so they earn a fair living wage. Every month Bewildher release a new limited edition print of leggings available for one month only – making these slow-fashion leggings even more unique and special. This eco-ethical brand donates 1% of total sales to non-profit environmental initiatives and plants 1 tree per legging in the British Columbia. The anti-bacterial fabric treatment is made from seashells recycled from the restaurant industry and all hang-tags are made from 100% recycled paper. To add to the positive impact this brand is having on the world, their designs are absolutely fantastic and they claim to be camel-toe free!! “Wear em high, fold em low, you’ll never wear a camel toe.” I love it!
Based In: Nepal
Ethics: Providing equal employment opportunities to marginalised groups
BestFor: Sustainable & Ethical Active Wear
Product Range: Men & Women Active Wear & Custom Print Gear
Purnaa is a manufacturing unit that produces its own brand of sustainable and ethical fashion as well as for private labels and custom print gear. The Nepal-based factory employs marginalised people and survivors of exploitation who now receive a fair living wage, often two times the industry average. Their garments and accessories are made using a range of sustainable textiles that are fair trade and GOTS certified. I’ve been using their yoga pants/leggings for the last 2 months and love the way they feel and fit on the skin. Check out their video here – If your company needs custom printed wear Purnaa is the place to go!
YES to ethical manufacturing! Read here
Based In: United States
I love this brand for: Turning waste into colourful Yoga Leggings!
Product Range: Women’s Active Wear
Teeki is an eco-conscious activewear line that transforms plastic water bottles into clothes, giving them purpose again through an eco-friendly process. Their line of activewear supports your active lifestyle and adventures from yoga, gym, workouts, sports, dance… I am yet to try these but I must say their prints are euphoric and vibrant! I can’t wait to try them on my skin.
SHOP TEEKI & Get 10% off
8. People Tree
Based In: United Kingdon
Ethics: Fair Trade, Organic Cotton
I love this brand for: Knitted wear and smart/casual dresses
Product Range: Clothing
People Tree has been around for a while and for over 27 has pioneered and sustained ethical and sustainable fashion. The fashion brand gives an alternative to fast fashion options keeping sustainable factors as well as the artisans and producers wellbeing in mind in their designs. Most of People Tree’s garments are handcrafted in certified organic cotton and sustainable materials, and dyed using safe and natural dyes. People Tree are transparent about their makers that are listed on their website as well as the percentage of what materials are used in their garments. I love this brand for their knitted essentials and dresses that can be styled for any occasion. PS – People Tree just launched their FAIR FRIDAY WEEKEND – Shop on sale from 23rd to 25th November.
9. Tamga Designs
Based In: Indonesia
Ethics: Fair Trade, Sustainable textiles, Reforestation
I love this brand for: Vibrant pattern dresses and kimonos, and saving our forests!
Product Range: Clothing
TAMGA is an Indonesian-made brand “proving that fashion can be a force for good.” Their designs are vibrant, inspired by travel, textiles and colour, and made from premium quality clothing from the world’s best sustainable materials. TAMGA sources sustainable fibres that are FSC certified, such as TENCEL® and Lenzing Modal®. These amazing Lenzing fibres are not only forest-friendly, but they are also processed in a closed-loop system where 99.8% of the water and solvents are recycled in a closed loop system.
This young brand ensures dignified conditions for every worker throughout the process. Furthermore, the brand is protecting Indonesia’s endangered forests: since June 2018, 1% of its annual sales are donated to the Sumatran Orangutan Society (S.O.S.) and Orangutan Information Centre (OIC). To help re-plant what’s been lost, TAMGA created a limited-edition Trees Please Tee made from 100% Lenzing Modal®, an eco-friendly fabric sourced from sustainably managed beech wood forests in Europe. Ten dollars from every shirt sold goes directly to the Sumatran Rainforest, where its partners at S.O.S. and O.I.C. are running incredible re-forestation projects. More trees, please!
10. WAMA hemp underwear
Based In: United States
Ethics: Organic, Eco-friendly
Best For: Hemp Undies
Product Range: Underwear
Ever wondered what your undies are made of? If there’s one place on our body that deserves and needs natural fabric care is our intimate parts! WAMA studied hemp textiles and learned that hemp fabric has many benefits: it is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, has anti-odour properties, breathable and actually quite soft! That’s when WAMA was born. Super comfortable, breathable and gets softer with every wash, hemp is also organic, eco-friendly and can help save the planet. Hemp is the perfect fabric for your underwear. WAMA works with GOTS certified suppliers in China to ensure the organic status of their product. They also partner with factories that improve their employees’ lives with fair wages and quality work environments. Transparency with their factories is key. So, go on, give your ‘crotch’ some natural eco-loving. I’m so curious to try these – I think they got lost in the post… the joys of living in Nepal! But I’ll definitely keep you posted when I try them 🙂
SHOP WAMA Underwear
Whilst each and every single one of these brands has an amazing offer, do consider the clothes you already have. Can you keep wearing them? Does something need fixing instead of trashing? Read more on Sustainable Fashion in my recent blog post.
Disclaimer: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a small commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I oftentimes am able to negotiate a lower rate or bonuses that are not available elsewhere. Plus, when you order through my link it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free content and stuff. So thank you in advance for your support.
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