We hear the doom and gloom stories of the havoc fashion can wreak on the environment. That 'Instagram once, and never wear again' social media culture, unchecked production systems, unsustainable use of materials… you get the drift. But with a woke generation of designers and consumers, this is fast changing. The 'Who Made My Clothes?' movement kicked off a curious customer asking questions about the hands that a garment has passed through before making its way into our closets. While fashion can't possibly be 100 per cent good for the earth, these labels, stocked proudly at Le Mill, are engaging in steps to minimise their carbon footprint and implement ethical practices, all without compromising on style.
If you are just dipping your feet in the green fashion pool, we break it down for you by brand and their sustainability quotient. This way you can feel good about your fashion, without the buyer's remorse of adding to an already aching natural world.
IMPACT: Caring for its community
This socially conscious luxury label works with indigenous communities in Mexico, while conserving the region's traditional hand craft methods and techniques. Each Collectiva piece is crafted thoughtfully, rooted in Mexican design. The label also supports women-led micro-economies by donating a percentage of its sales to at-risk communities.
WHO: Dries Van Noten
IMPACT: Propagators of pre-loved and vintage fashion
Belgian designer Dries Van Noten designs for longevity. His clothes have a 'lived in' feel which are made to last multiple seasons. The namesake label plans on selling their excess never-worn items from their archives right from the '90s up till now, and is also looking at selling pre-loved pieces.
IMPACT: New alternatives
Another label that creates wardrobe staples that stand the test of time is Nanushka. From the beginning, the luxury label has made garments with the supplest vegan leather, an alternative that has one-third of the impact of conventional leather, according to founder and creative director Sandra Sandor.
WHO: Raquel Allegra
IMPACT: Locally sourced materials and recycled fabrics
Raquel Allegra started her namesake label by shredding vintage tees. Sustainability has been a part of her brand’s ethos right from the start. Each tie-dye piece is individually hand tied and dyed with utmost care.
IMPACT: Hand-made and zero-waste
As the moniker suggests, the label is all about handmade sandals made by local craftsmen in Greece who use traditional techniques that have been in practice for centuries. Everything from the intricately braided designs to the construction of the sole is done entirely by hand, ethically without any chemical dyes.
The label has also launched a zero-waste capsule collection made entirely from off-cuts of leather from previous seasons.
WHO: Arizona Love
IMPACT: Made from upcycled vintage scarves
If you’re looking for cute sandals for the summer, look no further than Arizona Love’s Trekky range. All the embellishments on the sandals are hand stitched, while the upper parts of the sandals are made from recycled plastic bottles. A chic alternative to flip flops!