Back by popular demand it’s the ESH Radar for September - a round up of brands that have caught our eye not only for their great garments, but for the thought behind their production.
I just read a stat on The Frontlash’s social that the world produces 100 billion garments each year, for a global population of 7.7 billion people. We are just consuming too much, it’s a frenzy. Here’s to slowing down, buying less…. and when we do buy something, doing a little thinking about the people and the earth’s materials that are behind the garments. Like these companies below. Enjoy!
What: Modern basics made from natural fibres and recycled content
Where: Melbourne, Australia and Tokyo, Japan
Why they're on our radar: So they’re not exactly new on our radar, in fact Baserange have been a staple brand for ethical fashion since 2012. Baserange’s underwear, t-shirts and sweats are exclusively made by small, family run factories in Portugal with whom they have direct working relationships. Woven garments are made by a single supplier in Turkey, with a lot of thought put into the selection of natural materials such as silk, linen and wool. Baserange takes environmental protection and transparency seriously and believe in maintaining an affordable price point while upholding these values.
2. Justice Denim
What: Ethically-designed, hand-crafted jeans with a conscience
Where: Melbourne, Australia
Why they're on our radar: Denim is sourced from a manufacturer which is both Bluesign certified and a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. Denim distressing is all done safely in Australia, not outsourced to countries where sandblasting is well understood to put workers health at serious risk (look it up - it’s crazy).
They have also partnered with two organisations tackling child slavery. Each pair of Justice jeans you buy funds four weeks education for a child who has been affected by human trafficking. You can read more on their impact page and check out Project Futures and Destiny Rescue for more info.
What: Scandi heritage brand making outwear and shoes from eco materials
Where: Helsingborg, Sweden
Why they’re on our radar: Founded in Sweden back in 1891 as a manufacturer of weather-ready rubber boots, these days Tretorn creates outwear and casual/performance footwear from innovative eco materials. They have a range of parkas made using recycled PET bottles and jackets created from discarded fishing nets. They also have a line of eco-friendly trainers constructed with locally sourced canvas.
Tretorn design and produce their products with a staunch focus on longevity. Throw in an exclusive supply agreement to the Swedish royal family and an Andre 300 collab for good measure - what more convincing do you need really?
4. Ninety Percent
What: Sustainable paired-back, luxury basics for women
Where: London, UK
Why they’re on our radar: Ninety Percent are trying a new approach to responsible fashion and reworking the very concept of capitalism itself. Not only are their clothes manufactured in a facility leading the industry in ethical standards, they share 90% of profits between charitable causes focused on the environment and children’s welfare. If this is the revolution, we wanna jump on board!
5. Dominique Healy
What: Dreamy, elegant dresses and blouses made with minimal waste
Where: Melbourne, Australia
Why they’re on our radar: Kiwi raised, Melbourne based designed Dominique is an advocate for waste minimisation in the garment production process. She incorporated in-house production so that smaller runs of clothing were possible (manufacturing companies often stipulate minimum run orders). Dominiques ‘Bella Blouse’ (pictured) was designed in such a way that 95% of the fabric is used when cutting. All clothing made ethically and fairly in Melbourne.
6. Nope Sisters
What: A kiwi sister duo combatting social and environmental issues, kick ass tee shirts, dresses and jackets
Where: Wellington, Aotearoa
Why they’re on our radar: Nope Sisters have been on our radar since launching their awesome “Masectoteee” for breast cancer awareness month back in 2016 and we have been big fans of their kaupapa ever since. But recently they have gone next level and said NOPE to fast fashion. They have switched to organic cotton t-shirts and partnered with Sustainable Coast Lines for their Mother Earth range of upcycled jackets, tees and dresses.
What: Capsule wardrobe essentials made from eco-friendly materials
Why they’re on our radar: Vetta’s design model is based around the idea of mini capsule wardrobes - five versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a month's worth of outfits. They design garments that can be worn multiple ways, and everything kind of works together. The main material used in their garments is Tencel ( made from sustainably harvested wood pulp that's processed in a closed looped system that recycles solvents), Organic Cotton, and dead-stock fabric.
Their final production stage is undertaken in the USA (although it should be noted that USA is not without it’s labor risks) and trace most of their supply chain including all of the final and second stages of production. The final stage of production is either internally audited or visited by Vetta staff members.
Bonus points for the use of ‘real’ models to show how a single garments looks on different body types too.