We have rounded up some of our favourite eco-friendly designers
This month saw the launch of the #whatsinmywash campaign, which is raising awareness and action on ocean microplastic pollution from microfibres that shed off synthetic clothing.
So, with synthetic clothing on the rise, Stylist has looked into various designers who strive to pursue fashion in an eco-friendly and sustainable way.
Having just launched their Paradise capsule (five pairs of sustainably sourced and made jeans), this British brand aims to lead the way in denim sustainability. In partnership with ISKO, the only denim mill in the world to be awarded the EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan Ecolabel environmental certifications, MiH Jeans strives for a change in the way the industry produces clothes.
A pioneer in the movement to reduce the environmental impact of garment production, MiH have introduced a recycling service for their customers, as well as using organic cotton produced in a chemical-free process, with as little water wastage as possible. The brand is also collaborating with Selfridges to re-sell vintage pieces (rather than creating new jeans) sourced from cultural spots across the globe.
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Christopher Raeburn has made no secret of his desire to protect the planet through his eponymous brand. His designs incorporate the ethos of ‘Remade, Reduced, Recycled’, pioneering a sustainable movement in fashion design. Not only are his creations iconic, but they also merge style and functionality, proving that caring about the environment does not compromise fashionable integrity.
“I think as a designer you have an obligation to consider what you are doing and why,” he says. “Ultimately, we want to make strong, sustainable choices that provide our customers with a completely unique and desirable product.”
Raeburn adds that his key focus is using otherwise wasteful materials to create new and extremely sought-after designs: think old parachutes or army blankets. Never has someone looked so good in an old bin bag - literally.
Swedish brand Lindex is also part of the sustainable fashion movement. Having launched its first denim collection using 42% less water and 27% less energy in the process, the brand wanted this to be a pillar around which their values centred.
“We are very happy about the results, and this is only the beginning,” they say.
Their next mission is to use only sustainably-sourced cotton by 2020,and they have already begun looking into using Better Cotton (a sustainably-sourced substitute) or organic cotton, which uses natural processes instead of artificial chemicals in its production.
Essentially, it’s go hard or go home on the sustainable fashion front from these guys.
Swedish high-street favourite, H&M, have released their Conscious collection, which means that they now have the most extensive sustainability programmes within the industry. They aim to keep resources in the system, using them to make future products. And, similarly to Lindex, H&M’s cotton is all sustainably-sourced, aiming for all fabrics used in their manufacturing to be from sustainable or recycled sources by 2030.
“We’ve been working hard to make sustainable fashion affordable and accessible to all” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, Creative Advisor for H&M, adding that the brand embraces challenges, such as working with sustainable leathers (made of grape and mushroom).
H&M also has a vintage archive in their head office in Stockholm, which is used for inspiration. Kelly Harrington - @kellouhar - is the lady behind this archive, sourcing pieces for this special collection from all over the world
Eco-friendly swimwear brand Magdakinedesigns donates 4% of each purchase to the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF). The result? You don’t just look cool and original by the pool in your manta ray bikini, but you also help save threatened marine life.
Founded by Magdalena Berger, the swimwear company is a way to combine her two passions: environmental conservation and style.
She says: “I’m proud to be able to say that my one small bikini can make a huge difference, and there’s still so much more I want to do!”
Saving the planet, one swimsuit at a time, each piece from the collection is made from ECONYL® Fibre, which is made from recycled carpet and fishing nets. And, digitally printing her designs on regenerated fabrics, all of the inks used in Berger’s pieces are environmentally safe, minimal water is used and no plastic packaging is used for shipping. That’s pretty committed.
All hail the power of sustainability, eh?
Images: Getty and Instagram