Many small businesses have launched recently – these are the sustainable labels to have on your radar.
The year 2020 has certainly been one hell of a ride. Some of the small positives to come out of it so far have been mastering banana bread, rearranging our living space with new interiors trends in mind and even learning how to create whipped coffee (remember that?). As we edge into autumn, it seems as though over the past few months a lot of people have been putting their best foot forward and leading with a now-or-never mind set. Pinterest has suggested that we’ve all been on the search for mental wellness ideas. From yoga and meditation, to future house goals. We’ve been searching for positive steps we can make and this has led to a 35% increase in the search for ‘starting a new business’. Because well, now is as good a time as any, right?
The best way to start a new brand in 2020 is by having the right brand ethos, creating a brand everyone would feel happy to own and to think about the planet. With this is mind: many start-ups have had a sustainable focus. The fashion industry can be particularly damaging to the planet, so it’s important for clothing brands now, more than ever, to focus on ethical practices.
This has to start from the offset – design through to consumer use. Womenswear brand Yasmina Q makes small collections with fewer items to avoid over-producing product and creating unnecessary waste. Then there are brands such as Etikette, who will be launching in September with one jacket style in different lengths to stick to key styles with longevity. Some brands (such as Benjamin Fox) have even taken manufacturing items into their own hands so the buyer can know exactly who made each individual piece. Other labels are focusing on packaging – ensuring everything is made from recycled, recyclable and compostable materials.
A lot of small sustainable brands launching this year is a positive part we want to take from 2020. It’s time for change, and a time to recognise and support independent businesses. These are the newly launched sustainable clothing brands to know right now, and forever.
Label: Luxury womenswear brand, Yasmina Q.
Launched: August 2020.
Best for: If you’re a fan of midi dresses then this is the label for you. With a carefully curated edit of ‘wow’ frocks, you’re bound to find countless occasions to wear them to. From silky-satin fabrics to billowing sleeve detail and cut-out designs, it’s all about attention to detail and it doesn’t stop with the designs. The detail can also be found in the brand message with a strong sustainability focus.
Sustainability: Saudi Arabian designer, Yasmina focuses on not over-producing by only creating small edits at a time. All fabrics are sustainably sourced and feature EcoVera viscose and recycled deadstock materials. The womenswear label also has a community-based ethos, producing its collections in locations close to regions the items will be shipped to.
Label: Luxury lingerie brand, Azaira Intimates.
Launched: May 2020
Best for: Focusing on gorgeous lingerie, the brand specialises in creating lingerie for fuller busts in cup sizes DD+. The founder spotted a gap in the market after not being able to find pretty, sexy bras for herself in larger sizes so created Azaira Intimates for cup sizes DD-H and back sizes 28-36.
Sustainability: Produced in a small factory in Nottingham which focuses on high standard working conditions and higher pay rates, each piece is designed and made in the UK. The orders are also all packaged in recycled paper when they are shipped to the customers. The lingerie label is working on using organic silk and biodegradable mail bags in the future.
Label: London-born outerwear label, Etikette.
Launching: September 2020
Best for: Just in time for autumn/winter, this womenswear label is going to be the go-to for weather-proof jackets. Focusing on producing a key wardrobe staple, Etikette will start by selling one jacket in three lengths: the cropped, the mid-length and the long.
Sustainability: Designed in London, these jackets are made to be keepers – a timeless, classic staple you can bring out year after year. All fabrics are UK-sourced, made from low-impact dye and are 100% vegan. To reduce waste, Etikette’s signature style will only come in a limited amount of stock. The key style will be altered with new details each season instead of redesigned to reduce waste and overproduction.
Label: Womenswear label, Benjamin Fox.
Launched: January 2020
Best for: Benjamin Fox is a gorgeous small brand to rely on for ‘nice tops’ to wear with jeans. These, along with dreamy dresses, are items that are guaranteed to have everyone asking where you got them from. The online shop is closed this month to prepare new stock but is set to reopen with the autumn collection in September.
Sustainability: All pieces are designed and handmade by the founder Ciara, who learnt dressmaking from her mother and grandmother. We love a label with a story and Benjamin Fox wants to add the sentimental value back into clothing. Each item is made from natural or deadstock materials and packaged with minimal, recycled and recyclable materials.
Label: Unisex clothing and lifestyle label, Baile.
Launched: August 2020
Best for: Created by an Irish couple now living in London, the unisex brand is great for casual wear. A lot of people went through the DIY stage of lockdown and ended up trying out a bit of tie-dye. If you prefer items already made then Baile is for you. The brand has a selection of tie-dye, plain and slogan sweaters along with matching face masks. It also has cool prints so you can decorate your new pad, too.
Sustainability: From the products to the packaging, Baile’s products are all about sustainability. The jumpers are made from 80% organic cotton and 20% recycled polyester and each piece is eco-washed to reduce water waste. The packaging used for shipping is made from 100% recycled materials, the mailer bags are compostable and clothing labels are designed by an independent artist from Etsy and are made with 100% organic cotton. Want to know even more good news? The hangtags are made from plantable paper material meaning you can tear up the tag, add some peat and water and you can grow your own plant. This Irish-born brand is ticking so many sustainable boxes.
Label: Womenswear label, Sasha Gear.
Website: Found at The Pop Up Girls shop in Shoreditch, London.
Launched: Founded in 2018 and available to shop at the store in August 2020.
Best for: The London-born brand is all about a nostalgic 90s vibe. Aptly found in the heart of east London at The Pop Up Girls shop in Shoreditch, the store focuses on supporting female-led brands. Expect coords, mini dresses and coloured denim jackets.
Sustainability: Each item is designed to have a vintage 90s feel but be plain enough to have maximum wear. The LBD you’ll wear on repeat, the cropped denim jacket you can style many ways. It’s all about key items you can style in different ways. The London-label aims to use eco-friendly materials and ships items in recycled material packaging.
Opening image: Yasmina Q
Other images: Instagram