23 Sep

Brands Fighting Climate Change

To call climate change a problem is an understatement — it’s an emergency. Sadly, because of that, it seems to loom over all aspects of our lives, from travel to entertainment to fashion. And it’s easy to understand why: the way we’re going, NASA climate scientists predict global temperature increases of up to 12 degrees Celsius, and sea levels rising by up to 121cm by 2100. That’s not to mention the associated droughts, heatwaves, and extreme weather patterns that we have to look forward to!

As conscious consumers, it is up to us to vote with our dollar. So, while fashion may have a bad reputation when it comes to its environmental footprint, some brands out there are not only proving this wrong, but going one step further and actively fighting the causes of climate change. Take a look at some of Good On You’s favourite brands below that are fighting the good fight. This selection will leave you feeling better about the planet’s future and looking damn fine at the same time.

Alice + Whittles

Rated: Great

Step 1: Source ethical materials: 

The first step in making sure your clothing is good for the planet? Acquire it from ethical sources, of course! Alice + Whittles, a quirky designer footwear and accessories label with an outdoorsy focus, has this covered.

Alice + Whittle uses materials such as leather and rubber which, though not usually thought of as particularly environmentally friendly, are in this case: the leather is made from carseat cast-offs, and the rubber is sourced from Forest Stewardship Council sustainably managed certified forests and plantations. The brand also uses cotton which is sourced through small-scale organic farmers in India.

Plus, the shoes are fabulous.

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Shop Alice + Whittles.

Brothers We Stand

Rated: Great

Step 2: Show some manufacturing love

Brothers We Stand, a UK-based menswear retailer, sets itself apart thanks to founder Jonathan Mitchell’s vision. He wanted to create somewhere the best ethical brands for men (including MUD Jeans, Elvis and Kresse, and EcoAlf) could be found all in one place — a vision he achieves by meticulously researching the products’ supply chains to ensure that they meet the standards of his store.

Not only does Brothers We Stand source a high proportion of its materials from eco-friendly suppliers, but this label truly takes care of its own direct impact on the planet throughout its manufacturing processes (or rather, the processes of the products that it stocks). In supplying the threads you see below, Brothers We Stand has made serious efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain by consuming a significant proportion of its energy from renewable sources. It also stocks products from a high proportion of eco-friendly materials which limits the amount of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in production.

Not that there is any compromise on style: brands stocked by Brothers We Stand must also be functional and look good. That’s a rule that is taken seriously, as you can see below.

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Shop Brothers We Stand.

Svala

Rated: Good

Step 3: Slow fashion all the way

Sometimes the key to fighting climate change is simpler than it seems. Slow fashion, the movement that encourages a thoughtful and slowed down approach to the production and purchase of fashion items, is key to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions due to its waste reducing potential. Not only that, but the products are better quality and made to last longer — a win-win for the planet and your wallet.

That’s where Svala comes in. This Los Angeles brand is known for its luxe, handcrafted vegan leather bags from totes to clutches, as well as a line of gorgeous lingerie. All products are manufactured locally, and Svala’s high quality choice of materials ensures that they are produced in excellent, long lasting condition.

So go on, treat yourself to one of the gorgeous bags below. You know it’s made to last.

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Shop Svala.

Shop Svala @ Made Trade.

 

Outerknown

Rated: Good

Step 4: Recycle, recycle, recycle

We all know piles of excessive landfill are harsh on the environment. But did you know that landfill directly contributes to climate change by breaking down into a methane-emitting liquid which is released into the atmosphere? In fact, studies have found that landfills are the third highest cause of methane gas emissions in the U.S.

This makes it crucial that garments have the longest possible life and avoid ending up as landfill — a philosophy that surf-fashion label Outerknown bases its business around.

You may have heard of Outerknown’s founder. As well as creating ethical fashion, he does a little surfing on the side. Kelly Slater created Outerknown with a hope to give back to the ocean that had sustained him throughout his career. Outerknown’s manufacturing practices show he’s obviously achieved this goal — products are made from majority recycled materials including ECONYL, which is made from reclaimed marine debris and fishing nets.

Outerknown has a great range of summer and winter gear for men and women. So, what are you waiting for?

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Shop Outerknown.

Dorsu

Rated: Great

Step 5: Re-appropriate waste

Versatile womenswear brand Dorsu is not your average fashion label.

Though you wouldn’t know it from looking at the brand’s simple yet beautiful designs, a key way that Dorsu contributes to fashion’s fight against climate change is by creating clothing from fabric remnants discarded by local garment factories in Cambodia.

Because Dorsu doesn’t do mass production or mass consumerism, the garments it produces are much more limited, or exclusive productions. Turn up to an event in a Dorsu piece and you can be sure that no one will be wearing the same thing!

What started out as a way for the two founders Kunthear Mov and Hanna Guyto to raise funds for a local language school in Kampot, Cambodia, has become a movement in itself — a label dedicated to encouraging and inspiring conscious and mindful travel and living.

So get inspired, and check out the gorgeous range below.

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Shop Dorsu.

These labels might vary in style and material, but they have one thing in common: their environmental values are just as important as aesthetics. This means you can feel good about your purchases, with the knowledge that fashion doesn’t have to be fast, and clothing brands can be on the right side of the fight for our future on Earth.

Editor's note: feature image via Unsplash, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You has big plans for ethical fashion in 2019! To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offers code or affiliate links.

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