Sep 27, 2019

Environmentally Conscious Brands: Apparel


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Doing More With Less On Your Sleeve

Consumer demand for cruelty-free apparel is reshaping the way brands are considering the materials used in their products. From head to toe, even high-end fashion brands are coming up with creative ways to make their products more sustainable so that their mindful consumers can truly dress the part.


Cubitt's recycled material eye glassesCubitts’ Redux Collection has manufactured ten experimental glasses designs that each come from a different waste material. While some frames utilize human hair or potatoes, others come from mushrooms or old CDs. But the brand isn’t just being environmentally aware. It’s being aesthetically inventive, challenging the traditional look of eyeglasses with unexpected shapes, colors and textures.


Chanel vegan leather white jacketAs though we didn’t have enough reasons to be astounded by Chanel’s future-forward fashion designs found on the stunning models that strut the runway, the French fashion label has just introduced a gold boater hat made of pineapple fibers and felt. As the vegan leather trend continues to rise and consumers are looking for more leather-free offerings, it’s exciting to see even high-end luxury brands answering the call.




Xiero biodegradable shirtT-shirt sweat – a humiliating issue that eco-friendly t-shirt brand, Xiero, fearlessly took on. This biodegradable t-shirt is made from wood and designed to keep you cool and odorless for up to 48 hours due to the antimicrobial fabric that enables thermoregulating properties.




Fortunale’s organic wool garments take sustainability to the next level with wool sourced only from cruelty-free farms and a dying process that leverages 100 percent natural ingredients like berries, leaves, roots and flowers. And there are no synthetic fibers, which means the sweaters can be recycled up to 80 percent. Plus, consumers can “return” worn and tattered sweaters to be recycled for a discount on product purchases. At Fortunael, the wool goes round-and-round.



Clothes made from recycled car tiresNew, upcycled fashion designs are coming to us from the most unlikely of places – Hyundai Motor partnered with fashion brand to host Re:Style, an event to showcase “a creative upcycling collaboration between the automotive and fashion industries.” The event, showcasing clothing designs made from recycled leather car seats, went down on the opening night of Fashion Week in New York and celebrated the designers’ desire to get creative with “things that have had a life before.”



Eco friendly reusable baby diaper cleaning serviceWhile the idea of reusable diapers is appealing to environmentally friendly parents, most are deterred by the hassle involved with them. Bear Bottoms is promising a solution with a delivery and washing service that promises hospital-level sanitization without the use of harmful chemicals, utilizing low energy washer and dryers. Made from cotton, hemp and cotton sherpa, these diapers and comfortable, soft and safe on baby’s skin while also significantly reducing carbon emissions.


Hemp denim jeansThe hemp denim industry suggests that each pair will have a 50 percent decrease in global impact compared to all cotton denim, with less water and landed needed to groom the materials used to make it. Contemporary brand, a n a r a, has created a hemp denim product that’s high-quality, super comfy and wrapped in biodegradable packaging.



Wrangler, a brand that knows all too well the amount of resources that go into making a single piece of denim clothing, has taken on the challenge of creating more sustainable styles with the introduction of “Indigood – the first-of-its-kind foam-dyed denim on the market. This innovative process transfers dye to yarn with virtually no water or wastewater, so you can still enjoy those beautiful blues on their shirts, pants and jackets.


And Toes

Tennis shoes made from ocean plasticPartnering with Parley for the Oceans, adidas has dropped the Terrex Two Parley Shoes, another collaboration in which lightweight, supportive footwear design is brought to us by the plastic that plagues our oceans. Parley Ocean Plastic is originally sourced by collecting waste from beaches and coastal communities before it has the chance to pollute waterways and threaten ocean life, making adidas’ desire to turn “threats into threads” all too possible.


Converse shoes made from jeansLong-time loved sneaker brand, Converse, has released the “Renew Denim” line of footwear, which comes from upcycled denim, to bring attention both to materials used to create footwear but also to recognize the amount of resources wasted in denim production. This 70s Chuck comes in three different washes so you can kick it in light, medium or dark wash without having the guilt of landfill-bound denim hanging over your head.



Shoes made from recycled materialsWith the promise of a 100% animal-free shoe, Native Shoes has brought us a shoe that’s stylish, comfortable, breathable and also comes from an impressive ingredient cocktail of linen, pineapple husks, eucalyptus pulp, kenaf fiber, hevea milk and cotton. To top it all off, it’s totally biodegradable.





What do these brands have in common?

Sustainable and environmentally aware apparel brands are no longer residents of a niche market, well-known and luxury brands are also rising to the demand. Now, perhaps more than ever, consumers are aware of, and interested in, wearing a cause on their sleeve. 
Brands that are making the impossible possible (like sunglasses made from human hair) are the ones that give their consumers something to believe in, and therefore have the ability to create long-term loyalty and engagement. 


We work with brands that are seeking to elevate their industry in some capacity — those hoping to make an impact, not leave a footprint. Be it environmental, social or experiential, your brand should be a true expression of your organization’s values and beliefs. Our client American Wool, for example, has a rich heritage and story rooted in sustainability, ultimately resulting in more thoughtful creation and appreciation for the fabric industry. Is your story being heard? Reach out if you’d like us to help you amplify it.

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