It’s 2018, the #TrumpKim summit has happened but our environmental problems still go on – and with more and more sea animals washing up with stomachs filled with numerous pieces of plastic, you’d have to be stone cold not to care.
Start taking action by supporting eco-friendly fashion labels, using your wallet is one of the surest ways to influence change as a consumer. If there’s one heartening fact that comes out of this dire mess, it’s that more and more brands are taking steps towards being more environmentally responsible.
Here, we round up some of the newest eco-friendly brands to know.
#1: Hiraeth Collective
Started this February by The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo actress Rooney Mara and her best friend Sara Schloat, Hiraeth Collective (Hiraeth is Welsh for a deep longing for one’s home) is an entirely vegan line that’s made in Los Angeles.
It might be tempting to dismiss Hiraeth as yet another ego-driven celebrity-turned-“fashion designer” venture but there have been successful cases such as Victoria Beckham’s eponymous line and The Row by the Olsen twins. And going by first impressions, Hiraeth might be one to watch out for. The line is replete with sleek, mannish options such as a handsome burgundy pantsuit but is also tempered with softer, more poetic looks such as a lilac gown and Victorian-ish high-collared dresses.
As Mara tells Another magazine, “a few years ago I decided to stop wearing and buying leather. I really love clothes and it was really challenging to find anything that felt like it was high quality and designed especially shoes.” In short, it’s perfect for those who are looking for clothes that are as stylish as they are eco-conscious.
Given Mara’s solid credentials (she’s been a vegan for the past seven years and regularly played muse to Givenchy’s former head designer Riccardo Tisci), we’re more than inclined to keep track of this promising label. Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink (she plays Max) is already a big fan, being the first celebrity to wear the label on the red carpet.
Prices range from $160 to $1,500, and according to Another magazine, Hiraeth will launch in August. Until then, follow the label’s progress on Instagram at @hiraeth.collective.
#2: Ninety Percent
For those who prize comfort and wearability, Ninety Percent should be your new go-to label. Started by Shafiq Hassan and Para Hamilton, the London-based label offers a range of trendy oversized jersey staples, such as sweaters, T-shirts, dresses and loungewear in various pretty pastel hues.
That’s fine and all but what makes them stand out is their business model – a whopping 90 per cent of their profits (hence the brand’s name) will go to a variety of charitable causes and its the customer who gets to pick which cause they’d prefer to support. According to British Vogue, customers can key in a unique code (printed on the inside of the garment) on the brand’s website and select the charity they prefer.
While we’re not exactly sure how sustainable this business model is, it’s a commendable approach. If it means we as the customers get solid, well-made staples (made primarily from organic cotton and cashmere-blends) and contribute even a little to charity in return, we’re all for it. Check out Ninety Percent’s Instagram account here.
#3: Maggie Marilyn
Those who live for trends will take to New Zealander designer Maggie Marilyn and her fast-rising eponymous label. For one thing, her clothes have been spotted on all the coolest girls-of-the-moment: Kendall Jenner, Margaret Zhang, Karlie Kloss and more. It’s not difficult to see why this two-year-old label is blazing it up: her designs are admittedly feminine, trendy (ruffled tops with bell sleeves paired with track pants) and eye-catching (all those bright colours make for a good Instagram OOTD).
The 23-year-old designer was shortlisted for last year’s LVMH Prize (one of the most prestigious in fashion) that included a panel of industry titans such as Phoebe Philo and Karl Lagerfeld and her first season was immediately snapped up by Net-a-Porter (where it reportedly sold out on the site within 2 days).
That said, it’s not all flash – Marilyn’s entire production chain is rooted in her native country (which cuts down on her carbon footprint) and she uses primarily organic cotton, ethically produced silks and recycled metals. Check out Maggie Marilyn on Instagram here.
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