Streetwear is bold, playful, and cool. But we know some popular streetwear brands may not be doing right by people, the planet, and animals. You can still get the style with these more ethical and sustainable brands doing streetwear better.
Self-expression in streetwear
Fashion isn’t just about keeping warm—it’s a matter of self-expression. That’s one of the key reasons it’s hard for many people to commit to ethical purchases, as they aren’t sure they’ll find what they’re looking for. It’s easy to “trade sideways” into an ethical pair of white trainers, or black trousers, or a grey t-shirt, given that basics are well covered by ethical brands. But we want to throw a spotlight onto brands that cater for wilder tastes. When you start buying ethically, it’s just as possible to dress with flair and express yourself.
One of the recent fashion evolutions is the rise of streetwear. Although the subculture’s been around for decades, it has resurfaced in recent years, pushed forward by the spread of street culture via Instagram. Influenced by hip-hop and skate, streetwear is often associated with logo-heavy sweatshirts, graphic tees, and grandpa sneakers. Edgier brands Supreme or Gosha Rubchinskiy are particularly popular, thanks to their carefully distributed products (the famous “drops”).
Streetwear cannot be defined by one single look. It’s a blend of a variety of styles, from informal leisurewear to the more tailored workwear and can often include thrifted pieces (yay, sustainability). A prime example of the current Zeitgeist, the spirit of our times, streetwear is a reflection of a more profound cultural shift, where every trend is mixed and matched. Examples of this hybridisation of styles include Virgil Abloh’s collaboration with luxury house Louis Vuitton and his own brand, Off-White, or Demna Gvasalia’s Vetements.
There’s no doubt that the less-ethically minded streetwear brands know how to produce inspiring and bold design, and do well at supplying a market hungry for style that feels creative and energetic. But how can we rock the streetwear style more sustainably and ethically?
We have done the hard work for you and put together this list of “Good” and “Great” streetwear brands so you can rock your style while doing good for people, the planet, and animals. Here are some of our favourite companies that have style and attitude without compromising on ethics.