Earth Day takes place next week – April 22 – and it’s never been more crucial to be aware of growing environmental issues – whether it’s the young sperm whale that recently washed up dead with nearly 30kg worth of plastic rubbish in its stomach (just one of many to do so in recent years, mind you) or the presence of micro-plastics in both tap and bottled water around the world.
While environmental problems can seem daunting all at once – you can start with taking small steps such as supporting initiatives and labels that are making an effort to be environmentally responsible. Here, we round up several Singaporean fashion labels worth supporting:
Esse The Label
Started last August by designer Alicia Tsi, what sets her label apart from others is Esse The Label‘s contemporary aesthetic. Says Tsi, “Most local eco-friendly labels have a very bohemian aesthetic but our take is to create modern, clean and minimal pieces that are both wearable and versatile, so people can wear them on a daily basis and for all occasions.”
Going by her pictures, we’re inclined to agree. Tsi’s designs are free of prints, preferring instead to focus on experimenting with relaxed cuts and silhouettes to give her pieces a subtle edge – take for example the pale pink tank top, which can be worn two-ways. And with prices ranging from $59 to $129, it’s wallet-friendly as well, dispelling the notion that eco-friendly clothes have to be on the pricier side. “We squeeze our margins a little to keep prices accessible so most women will be able to shop sustainably without burning a hole in their pockets,” explains Tsi.
New this month: a more premium range made from silk – undoubtedly from sustainable sources.
Where to shop Esse The Label: They have no physical stockists at the moment, but what you can do however, is stop by their studio to view and try on the clothes. Alternatively, you can shop the brand here.
Singapore veteran designer Goh Ling Ling’s accessories label, Ling Wu, is well-known for its chic buttery soft bags made from sustainably sourced exotic skins. We applaud that Wu uses reputable sources of leather but there’re always folks who shy away because of the material.
That said, Ling Wu isn’t the first name in local fashion when you think of eco-friendliness. What’s new however: we’ve heard that Goh is in the midst of developing a new line of accessories made from plant-based textiles that’s set to launch later in the year (pictures above are of existing bags). While details have yet to be finalised, we imagine the new line will remain faithful to Goh’s signature aesthetic but made with more environmentally-friendly materials, so it’s a win-win situation all around.
Given that cultivation of leather poses various problems to the environment (it hurts the animals, the immediate land, the workers responsible for tanning the skin, and the global climate due to cows’ methane emission), leather alternatives will increasingly be more and more important in future.
Where to shop Ling Wu: Drop by Goh’s beautiful apartment-style Le Salon over at Chip Bee Garden to have a gander at her bags.
Source Collections is a relatively new label (they were founded in late 2016) and it hawks an extremely concise range of products: well-cut men’s and women’s T-shirts and tank tops, with the latter made from tencel, one of the most environmentally-friendly fabrics available on the market. Tencel’s production requires far less water than conventional cotton – one single cotton T-shirt requires up to 2,700 litres of water during its production process, mind-boggling huh?
The brand is also refreshingly upfront about its production process and breaks down the true cost per item, everything from the raw materials to labour costs is listed on every item’s page. How’s that for transparency? We could do with more of such initiatives.
Transparency is good but how does it actually fare when worn? Here’s what Female contributor Isabel Ong had to say on Source Collections’ products: “The brand’s relaxed tank top is breathable, lightweight and sits comfortably on skin (read: It’s great for Singapore’s perennial humidity), while the crew-neck t-shirt is well-fitting and perfect for pairing with, well, anything in our wardrobes.”
Where to shop Source Collections: Check them out here.
Like this? Check out fashion writer Keng Yang Shuen’s favourite organic skincare labels, the designer homeware we’re most excited about for Salone del Mobile 2018 and more fashion designers are banning fur – yay or nay?