As we’ve mentioned many, many times before, as much as we live and breathe fashion, it’s a largely unsustainable industry.
It’s not just the waste of Earth’s natural resources, there’s also the issue of chain supply production and mistreatment of workers as many of our clothes are made in poverty-stricken or less developed countries (you know where they are).
As clothes are increasingly mass-produced in sweatshops with terrible conditions using unsustainable materials and methods, it’s also time we stop and ask ourselves, “Do we really know where our clothes are coming from and what’s the true cost of creating them?”
It’s a touchy subject, and we don’t have all the answers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something. Here’s a start: Make a conscious effort to support sustainable businesses, especially if they’re from your own hometown (i.e. Singapore). Keep reading to check out 7 of our favourite eco- and socially responsible local fashion brands!
Lemons Bath, $26.90, by Not Soap, Radio, and Bangle, $209, by Zariin from Curator's Den.
Founded by Nandini Joshi and Meha Mehta, this multi-label boutique brings together innovative and socially-responsible independent brands from around the world, selling a range of fashion and lifestyle products.
Shop Curator’s Den at #02-20E Great World City.
Etrican has long made a name for itself as Singapore’s pioneering eco-fashion brand.
Established in 2009, the label is beloved for its wearable, every day designs made with organic cotton and with a stringent production process. It also works directly with factories to ensure proper and fair treatment of production workers and uses upcycled materials to create accessories.
Shop Etrican at Etrican.com (FYI the site is under construction and unavailable at press time).
Petals on a Bloom bracelet, US$89.90 (approx. S$121), and Egg on Peace ring, US$168 (approx. S$226.20, by Saught.
We’ve always loved Saught, a social business that creates beautiful jewellery out of landmines and unexploded ordnance. The business supports sustainability and provides employment opportunities in post-conflict countries like Cambodia.
With deactivated bomb shells as their material of choice, Saught turns something as terrifying and horrible as war into jewellery that promotes peace and love.
Shop Saught at Mporium, #01-477 Suntec City Tower 1.
Looking for a statement headpiece for that special occasion? Head to Heads Of State Millinery. The award-winning millinery brand creates beautiful, intricate and sometimes showy headgear with sustainable raw materials.
Working with regional tribes to revive and preserve endangered crafting methods, each piece is painstakingly handmade by artisans around the region.
Shop Heads Of State Millinery at Mporium, #01-477 Suntec City Tower 1.
Matter is known for their vibrant printed pants that pay homage to heritage techniques and patterns, but did you know they also have similarly beautiful creations like tops and scarves? There are even pieces for the boys.
What we love most about this brand is their transparency and dedication to build connections with their suppliers, which is often lost in mass-produced fast fashion. Its production partners and methods are clearly listed on its website, taking shopping to a much more educational and enlightening level.
Shop Matter at L2 Tangs.
Red Colette rattan clutch, $60, and Nusantara pillow cover, $45, by The Nomadic Trails.
A socially-conscious fashion and lifestyle label, The Nomadic Trails was set up by friends Ratri Maria and Akshata Buch.
The brand connects with artisans in underdeveloped countries and provides people with opportunities to share their creations while earning money. Shop unique, high-quality jewellery, bags, and homeware goods made by hand.
Shop The Nomadic Trails here.
Yoga will be much more relaxing when you know you’re wearing eco-friendly sports apparel.
Shop Touch The Toes for chic, modern yoga gear made with organic cotton, bamboo blends, and recycled or upcycled materials. They also have an extensive selection of yago mats and handmade jewellery.
Shop Touch The Toes at L2 31 Arab Street.
Photos: Matter, Curator's Den, Saught and The Nomadic Trails.