Sustainability has become a buzzword in recent years, with many clothing and accessory brands jumping on the bandwagon and attaching themselves to the label. Yet total transparency and real action are still hard to come by, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to discern which brands are actually taking sustainability seriously, beyond a hollow mission statement. This is where we come in. To assist you in making informed choices about the clothes you buy, we're highlighting sustainable menswear brands that are paving the way in terms of eco-friendly fabrics, transparency around manufacturing methods and fair working conditions.
ASKET is paving the way for sustainable menswear brands when it comes to traceability. Even in 2022, the extent of traceability for many brands is a simple ‘made in…’ label. This no longer suffices, due to the complexity of supply chains. With eco-friendly labels like ASKET providing in-depth analyses of the origins of each component (its 'Impact Receipt' reveals the true environmental impact of each product), we as the consumers can make informed decisions about the clothing that we choose to invest in, and the type of businesses that we choose to endorse.
Based in Biella, Italy, Artknit Studios is famed for its handcrafted knitwear, which is among the finest in the world. It’s arguably the brand’s sustainable credentials that are most impressive though. From the factories it works with to its eco-friendly fabrics, it makes every effort to be as kind to the planet, and the people it employs, as possible. Take for example its eco-cashmere fabric: it’s made in Italy from leftover cuts and excess fabric, reducing its environmental impact by 92% compared to standard cashmere.
WAHTS chooses to manufacture all of its products in Portugal, a country that’s become known as the epicentre of European textile craftsmanship. The brand works with specialist ateliers that are known for producing one thing at the best level possible, from jersey factories to shoe craftsman. WAHTS also only works with partners who’ve achieved the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, which means that every fibre, thread and button produced is ecologically harmless.
Madrid-based brand Neutrale is constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation by showcasing new processes and materials that allow it to lead the transition towards a waste-less circular economy. Using organic cotton only, Neutrale reduces the consumption of water by 91% by eliminating the use of chemicals during the production process. Its collections are non-seasonal, fusing minimalist style and functionality in the form of wardrobe staples that you'll reach for time and again.
L’Estrange’s ‘With Less, Do More’ ethos guides the label’s aim to reduce the amount of clothes needed in wardrobes by bringing versatility to everyday items. Going a step beyond its 100% renewable or recycled Italian and Portuguese fabrics, the London-based brand promotes sustainable consumption with pieces that have a long-lasting life cycle. We particularly love that L'Estrange is closing the loop in circular fashion by offering store credit for customers that recycle clothes, in addition to a free repair service as part of the Lifecare program.
ISTO. is an independent Portuguese clothing brand that wants to change the way we dress for the better. Rather than following trends and churning out multiple seasonal collections a year, it takes a much more considered approach, offering a permanent range of wardrobe essentials that it is continuously working to perfect – from relaxed worker jackets to classic tees. Sustainably made from organic materials, these are everyday staples that are made to look amazing, fit perfectly and last longer.
CDLP is an underwear and essentials brand that's hell-bent on doing things differently. Over the years, it's been showcasing the potential of biodegradable, organic, and recycled fibres. Expect lyocell underwear, bamboo socks, lyocell and pima cotton T-shirts, recycled PET performance wear and Econyl swimwear. The best part is that everything is just as stylish as it is sustainable: imbued with the perfect amount of character, these are garments that will ensure you always look the part.
Young Paris-based label Tricot (French for 'sweater') creates premium sustainable knitwear for men and women using only the finest, eco-friendly fabrics. That means organic wool and cotton as well as natural wool and wool blends and alpaca. Then there's Tricot's signature material, available in many of their collections: recycled cashmere. Tricot point out that cashmere from discarded items is eminently reusable and they've committed themselves to doing just that.
Plainandsimple was founded upon a mission "to reduce waste by creating premium quality essentials that are not only made to last but can be re-made into new products at the end of their life". The label's ethically made organic cotton tee is available in black or white and customers are encouraged to send it back at the end of its lifespan for it to be recycled and turned into a new T-shirt. It's closing the fashion loop one tee at a time.
Named after India's Neem tree, which is renowned for its healing properties, Neem aims to be an antidote to the all-pervasive fast fashion of today's high street. Designs are timeless, beyond the disposable cycles of conventional fashion, while materials are mostly recycled cotton, wool and polyester, which results in 93% less water usage than industry average. What's more, the label's innovative Wear Well Bag allows Neem customers to send back any old clothing for recycling. The aim is to create a zero-waste "closed loop menswear system", as Neem puts it.
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