Over the last 10 years climate change has accelerated to all new levels. We take a look at some of the most sustainable streetwear brands who are doing their bit for the planet.
With fashion being the second-most polluting industry in the world, the time for sustainable products is needed more than ever. The rise of fast-fashion has seen a tremendous amount of non-bio gradable materials that have ended up in landfills and in the ocean. More recently, we have seen a change in brands using recycled sources as well as a range of sustainable streetwear brands that are producing eco-friendly clothing that is both street ready and sustainable.
Formed in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia has become one of the world’s most beloved outdoor brands. With its array of rain jackets and fleeces, the California based designer has the perfect answer to reusing & recycling. Fast forward to today and the streetwear brand ensures that each product is safely and ethically produced, even going as far as revising its entire supply chain to reduce the environmental impact of production. Their Worn Wear programme also means that any Patagonia can be restored in time for the chillier months. Patagonina are still regarded as one of the original sustainable streetwear brands out there.
Nike Air Max, ASICS & adidas collaborator Sean Wotherspoon teamed up with the American clothing brand Guess to launch cruelty-free trainers, Digging into the archives of GUESS, the vegan sneaker uses updated materials in a retro-inspired mix of suede, leather and mesh alongside 3M reflective material. The partnership came about after Nike held a competition whereby people submitted their design ideas and the public voted on their favourite. Wotherspoon won and also created the Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 1/97 trainer that combined his passion for ’80s culture, vintage corduroy caps, Virginia and LA, and his go-to sneakers, the Air Max 1 and the Air Max 97.
Manufacturing all of its product with 100% organic cotton (using 91% less water than traditional methods in the process), Scandi streetwear brand Nudie Jeans pays everyone in its supply chain a living wage, recycles and resells second-hand garments. Spot checks from their factories and suppliers also occur on a regular basis, with reports being published for the public to see.
Founded in Portland and made in LA, their collections are of contemporary classics designed to be worn formally, casually and include overalls, wide leg-pants, loose denim, and dyed cotton tees (much like everything worn by an older brother). Each piece is designed with no gender in mind and it’s naturally dyed, and free from heavy metals, salts and toxins.
Produced in New York and founded by Brendon Babenzien, former creative director of Supreme. Taking from the influences of skateboarding, punk and nautical culture the results of Noah sees a unique and exciting identity of good quality fibres and long lasting fabrics. The NY streetwear brand makes no secret of its ethical values, its released products to support #BlackLivesMatter, written extensively about issues like pesticides and ocean pollution. Each product also uniquely features a fact about the damage humans are doing to the ocean on the reverse of the care label, like areas where pollution has made life completely unsustainable. The list of reasons to support the brand is endless and when making your purchase, make sure you dig deep as a portion of their profits are donated to their favourite charities.
Founded in London, EBYAK is a British label specialising in vegan and sustainable streetwear. Featuring a range of -shirts, sweatshirts, and sports-luxe style hoodies help to create a stylish and affordable designer brand. “The Collection” comes from not only being sustainable but by it being vegan-friendly with a ‘vegan’ seal of approval from PETA — making this streetwear collection different from the rest.
Based in Amsterdam, the ethical eyewear brand uses 97% recycled acetate for all of its frames (the 3% is black ink), and its microfiber lens cloths are made from recycled PET. Even the glasses cases are made from recycled leather.
With its distinctive “V” branding, you’ve probably already encountered Veja’s shoes countless times. The French footwear brand uses organic cotton and sustainable natural Amazonian rubber to make its shoes, and refuses to work with any leather manufacturers from the Amazon, where cattle farming has been a major contributor to deforestation.
The premium British sustainable streetwear brand, Raeburn, recently introduced their ‘RAEMADE’ collection which features a collection of reconstructed fabrics from parachutes, RAF silk maps, recycled corduroy and old German safety jackets.
Studio ALCH is a London based streetwear label under the direction of the Australian designer, Alexandra Hackett aka @miniswoosh which focuses mainly on function as well as deconstruction and reconstruction of garments. Previous collaborations have included Grime royalty such as Stormzy as well as the Amsterdam born streetwear label, Patta.