Even though Earth Day might fall in May, it’s worth celebrating our planet all year around. And with statistics consistently showing the harmful effect of the textile industry on the planet’s resources, there’s never been a better time to start changing the way you think about shopping.
While shopping vintage is always best, there are a handful of labels — and it’s growing every day — who are flying the flag for sustainable practices. Big names like Stella McCartney, Allbirds and Patagonia might be old hands at ethical and sustainable practices, but there’s always room for newer, smaller players.
Instagram, who plays a significant part in finding and launching lesser known brands, is the perfect place to start searching. In celebration of Earth Day, Instagram visual marketing platform Dash Hudson has pulled together some of the most popular — read, highly engaged — accounts on the app, breaking down the most sustainable, under-the-radar labels we all need to know about. From vintage-inspired denim which uses way less water than your standard pair of jeans to supple basics just begging to be worn all weekend, the below five brands are worth a follow. So next time you’re going to invest in clothes, why not go sustainable?
Using a third of the water usually required to produce a pair of jeans, Boyish has managed to craft chic denim basics which won’t hurt the planet. Their vintage-inspired pieces, which include everything from jumpsuits to pink denim jackets, pack serious style punch — and with all jeans priced under $200, they’re not going to send you broke, either.
Founded in Los Angeles, this Californian cool-girl label is packed to the brim with warm weather staples. From flowing linen pants to cutesy summer dresses, every piece from the brand is made from deadstock textile. Add to that a policy of limited runs and we’ve got ourselves a sustainable brand worth looking into.
Apart from ensuring ethical conditions for their staff, Naadam also focuses on the health and wellbeing of their animals. Producing high quality cashmere, the brand’s ethos revolves around changing the way the wool is harvested and includes paying herders more as well as investing profits back into the land.
Handmade in Nashville, Elizabeth Suzann is all about small batch processes and creating pieces that will last forever. With a focus on linens, the label’s classic-yet-elevated basics can be added into any minimalists wardrobe. And with a focus on size inclusivity and diversity, it really is getting it all right.
Focusing on one simple material, cotton, Kotn has been working with local communities in Egypt to ensure their cotton is ethically and sustainably sourced. Focusing on cotton farming families in the famous cotton growing area, Kotn’s aim is to rebuild the region from the inside out, undoing a generation of overfarming and global demand — which, along with civil unrest has created a less-than-ideal situation for locals. So far, the brand has built two schools in the region and donates more with every purchase. And with basics so good you’ll want to live in them, it’s a guilt-free purchase.
Made right here in Melbourne Australia, Bobby Universe was created to give women the option of having a handbag that’ll last a lifetime, while looking out for the environment at the same time. Each piece is ethically made using 100 per cent leather, which due to it being produced using organic material, biodegrades up to 100% faster than synthetics and man-made materials. Furthermore, the brand donates proceeds of every sale to charity and is currently working with Beyond Blue to help facilitate education and openness around mental health.
Launched from the back of a Volkswagen van in 2016, Will & Bear was created with sustainability front of mind. The Australian-born hat label has an ongoing partnership with trees.org which has resulted in over 100 hectares of trees planted across West Africa - with every hat sold, 10 trees are planted. Plus, every piece is made using a combination of 100% Australian wool and woolen offcuts otherwise discarded by the fashion industry. Where do we sign up?