I think that one of the main reasons to why we still hold on to the big fast fashion giants is because that’s what we know. A lot of consumers’ care about sustainability and socially fair fashion, but they don’t know where to shop for it. But fear no more – here you have 5 UK based brands who you do not have to feel guilty for supporting.
Starting off in 1995 selling men’s shirts and beachwear in ramie and hemp, the brand today offers women and men’s wear in contemporary, yet sustainable fashion to reasonable prices. This year the brand made a big adjustment, changing their name from Braintree Clothing to Thought. They are still a small team of twenty working in their head office in North London, but run over a 1000 shops around the world.
This brand is all about ethically made Scandinavian inspired loungewear with quality. Having witnessed how the cotton manufacturing impacts lives and our planet, sisters Zoë and Milly were determined to find the right manufacturer and spent years looking for it. The factory they are now working with guarantee equality, women empowerment, it offers training programmes and last but not least, help people who have been affected by chemicals by starting a cancer hospital.
Mixing modern design with African techniques in their clothing, accessories and home décor makes Mayamiko quite an original brand. They offer quality fabric from local markets in Malawi, recycled collections and ethical clothing. The brand means a lot to local communities. Not only goes part of their profits back to them, but they also sponsor creative talents and creates work places.
Alicia Taylor and Stephanie Hogg founded the online retail shop based on their own need to find brands that offered fashionable and ethical clothing. They came up with a website and decided that they would only showcase designers who would fit into at least 3 of their 5 policies: Fair Trade, Eco Friendly, Organic, Small Scale Production and Heritage. Taylor and Hogg states:
‘As a pair of fashion lovers who have shopped endlessly from department stores to high streets, markets to charity shops we started to think about how disconnected we are from the production process behind the clothes we were buying. We wanted to find brands that were transparent, treated their workers fairly and safeguarded the amazing craftsmanship we had seen around the world.’
Rêve En Vert
The online retailer offers smart, sustainable luxury. Being consistent about not sacrificing style for ethics, their designers have to operate organic, local, re-made and fair. They try to minimalize the impact on the environment as much as possible, always developing new sustainable packaging and cutting down on plastic. Today they have created a paperless office and are planning on taking it further implementing a green energy office.
Read more about sustainable brands HERE.
Text: Christine Rye-Johnson
Images: Thought, Gather & See, Noctu, Rêve En Vert, Mayamiko