It’s that time of year again. We’re deep in holiday season, aka gift shopping season.
Whether it’s a present for a loved one, or just a little treat for yourself (you deserve it!), this season is synonymous with the joy of opening presents for many of us. It’s also the season for impulse shopping, a season where fast fashion thrives. But I don’t need to drone on about the dangers of fast fashion to you.
It’s not all doom and gloom in the world of fashion though. Sustainability has now become trendy, and consumers, especially the younger ones (with millennials and Gen Z’ers leading the charge), have caught on to the trend. A survey conducted by Vogue recently shows that 69% of Vogue readers consider sustainability to be an important factor when making a fashion purchase.
Demand drives supply — that’s just Economics 101. And so brands are starting to give consumers what they want. In the past few years, there’s been an explosion in the number of conscious brands out there (which is awesome!). According to a report by The Business Research Company, the sustainable fashion industry, which is currently worth over $6.35 billion, is expected to nearly triple in under a decade, and this meteoric growth is primarily attributed to the growing awareness, and demand, amongst consumers about sustainable and ethical fashion.
As the year draws to a close, we wanted to share some of our favorites with you — these are brands that we know and love, they’re stylish, they’re chic, and they don’t hurt our planet.
So, without further ado, we present to you our festive season selection of sustainable brands from around the world.
Based in: Paris, France
For: Outerwear and boots
No one knows fashion like the French, and this Parisienne label is no exception. Check out Aigle for all your outerwear needs: Parkas, fleeces, beanies, scarves, and boots, Aigle’s got you covered (and cozy) from head to toe. Sustainability is at the heart of what they do. Each piece is designed to last — they use good quality and durable materials, and go through stringent quality checks to make sure the piece stays with you for years to come. They also have a second-hand platform for pre-worn pieces, both for boots and clothing. We love this initiative — it extends the lifecycle of the pieces, and supports circular, and more responsible, fashion. If you’re interested in reading more about their sustainability initiatives, you can read their (very detailed!) CSR report here.
You can’t miss their boots, made from natural rubber, which is what they’re known for. They also have a line for children — how adorable are these little monster toddler wellies (€39)?!
Also check out their classic parka (€550). It’s padded with DuPont™ Sorona® wadding, which is a more ethical alternative to the animal down that is typically used. This one is made from fibers extracted from recycled plastic bottles and other natural plant fibers. Plus, look how good it looks.
Based in: Madrid, Spain
If you’re on the lookout for a smart new tote or backpack, look no further. ACE’s sporty-chic and ultra-functional bags are ideal for women on the go. They’re made from ECONYL, which is a type of regenerated nylon made from recycled land and ocean plastics such as old fishing nets. The material is OEKO-TEX certified, which means it’s free of harmful or toxic substances, and is also GRS (Global Recycling Standard) Certified.
Plus, the bags are super versatile. They’ll transition seamlessly from your early morning gym session, to work, to drinks with your friends or co-workers. This leopard print tote (€189) is one of our favorites — edgy but sophisticated at the same time, it’s ideal for the day or night. Their large totes (€229) are perfect for travel. They’re ultra-spacious (so you don’t have to worry about packing light for that weekend getaway with your girlfriends!) and are also lightweight and durable. And who can resist a classic millennial pink, am I right, ladies? They also have super cute cosmetic bags (€89) for your makeup and jewelry and are the perfect accompaniment for the tote.
And finally, with their “Take Back Program”, you can return your end-of-life bag to them and they’ll recycle and repurpose them into new products, closing the loop!
Based in: Hong Kong
Circular fashion is the future of sustainable fashion, and The R Collective is definitely ahead of the game. Circularity is at the core of what they do — their collection is made from rescued and recycled discarded luxury fabrics, including upcycled cotton, silk, and Lyocell. They give these pre- and post-consumer waste fabrics, which were destined for the landfills, a new life. Rescue. Reuse. Recycle. Those are the three Rs of this Hong Kong-based fashion label.
Don’t worry though, they definitely don’t neglect style in their pursuit of sustainability. They’re all about conscious consumption and slow fashion, and their timeless styles are designed to last. We’re huge fans of their sharp, geometric cuts and classic, chic designs. Check out this dreamy asymmetrical Islington Dress (USD 95) made from upcycled 100% silk — pair it with sneakers and a jean jacket for a casual daytime look, or with a nice pair of heels (like these ones from Hexa) for the ultimate date night outfit.
Note: The R Collective has free shipping in Hong Kong, and of course ships internationally as well, with free shipping for orders over USD 250.
Based in: Bangkok, Thailand
As Thailand’s first vegan accessories brand, a lot of Hexa’s designs are inspired by the fun, flirty vibes of Thailand’s gorgeous beaches. If you’re on the hunt for those perfect pair of wedges or sandals for your next beach vacation, Hexa’s got you covered. They also have pumps, high heels, and sneakers, which are all designed keeping sustainability, style, and comfort in mind. These glamorous slingbacks (originally €128, currently on sale for €42) may be our favorite. They’re sexy, chic, and comfy, and are an absolute steal — what more can you ask for?
Hexa’s vegan leather is made from a polyurethane microfiber-based material sourced from Japan. Yes, this is a synthetic material, but it’s OEKO-TEX Certified and the manufacturers are making efforts to reduce their CO2 emissions — you can find out more here. They also use a lot of linen jute (60% jute, 40% cotton), which is an eco-friendly material, and the dyeing process they use for their fabrics uses 40% less water. Their foam insoles are sourced from Ortholite, and are made from recycled rubber and a plant-based bio-oil made from castor beans.
Finally, keep an eye out for their new product line in 2022. They’re starting a new vegan beauty line, and their first product will be a vegan mascara.
Based in: New York City, USA
Sandrine is a French-born jewelry artist living in New York City (don’t worry, she ships worldwide!). Her collection is inspired by the beauty of nature, and each piece that she designs comes with a story. Most of her pieces are made from discarded objects or remnants from nature, such as twigs, acorns, or pine cones. She finds meaning and magic in these forgotten objects by casting them and creating molds for her jewelry. Her jewelry is made with recycled metals, Fairmined licensed gold, and responsibly sourced gemstones.
Fairmined licensed gold promises the traceability that most gold lacks. It reduces, or even entirely eliminates, the chemicals in the extraction process, and more importantly, ensures that the miners earn a fair price for the gold. Keep an eye out for her Spring 2022 Collection which will be made with Fairmined gold (drop date: May 2022).
We love her Fishing Net Collection, which is cast from a reclaimed and recycled fishing net that was used by fishermen on the East and Gulf Coasts of the US, and bought from a dealer in Florida. The net was cast in silver to create these gorgeous pieces (such as the necklace worn by Kiko in the photoshoot).
Sandrine is always thinking about sustainability. For example, she uses recycled boxboard for her packaging, and her business cards are made from seeded paper.
Based in: Singapore
For: Essential oils
Based in Singapore but with deep roots in India, Ollie is all about harnessing the power of essential oils in a way that nourishes your body without harming the planet. Their range of pure essential oils is sourced directly from local farmers and ethical distillers around the Asia Pacific. They’re a woman-owned brand that is committed to working towards a circular economy by sourcing ingredients sustainably, working closely with suppliers, and keeping their supply chain as green as possible.
We love their super gentle, all-natural hand sanitizer (S$9.90) made with tee trea and peppermint essential oils, aloe vera leaf juice, and 70% alcohol — a must-have these days. Who else is sick and tired of dry, damaged hands after reapplying harsh, commercial sanitizer 1000000x a day?
One of their most popular products is their mosquito repellent oil spray (S$13.90). Made with a blend of 10 essential oils (with lemon eucalyptus being the star), it’s free from the toxins and harsh chemicals that are typically found in other bug repellents. Safe for you, your babies, pets, and the earth!
If you’re having a hard time choosing just one product, their gift boxes are a great choice for a holiday (or self-care) present.
Photographer: Ekaterina Aseeva @katrin_aseeva_photo
Model: Kiko @kiko.sunflowersoul
Stylist: Emy Venturini @emy_venturini
Hair & Makeup: Katiuscia Pezzullo @katiuscia.pezzullo
Set Designer: Edgar Artis @edgar_artis
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