Although we have all just about got used to our own recycling routines and switching our light bulbs to the energy-saving kind, there is still a whole other side to our ethical and sustainable behaviour that we all ignore.
It’s a sad, and fiercely neglected side note in the world’s insatiable taste for fashion that ethical and sustainable clothing production often falls by the wayside. Supply chains are often obscured, leaving you with little to no idea of how your clothes are produced, and how big of an environmental impact that they made on the way. But there are an ever-increasing number of brands looking to change that, focusing on ‘slow fashion’ – pieces that you’ll wear for years, not just a season – and sustainably sourced materials.
Undoubtedly, there are designers out there exploring ethical clothing because it gives them a greater prestige – that’s how trends in fashion work, after all – but there’s a growing community of labels exploring new and pioneering techniques when it comes to men’s clothing. Which is vitally important, as it’s more than likely that these methods of manufacturing will become the norm if society wants to continue to live as comfortably as we have up to now. But what this interplay ultimately creates is a wide field of labels moving from different starting points. Which means more variety, more choice and more quality when it comes to sustainable menswear. With that in mind, we’ve selected some of the best sustainable brands that make clothing that looks good, feels great and contributes to the greater good too.
One of the world’s most famous and respected sustainable menswear brands, Ecoalf put in a lot of work to show their love of the natural world is more than technical outerwear and accessories. Born out of a deep frustration of wastage within the modern fashion industry, Ecoalf creates a range of contemporary jackets, knitwear, backpacks, washbags and sneakers from 100% recycled materials. And that includes everything from decommissioned fishing nets, PET plastic bottles, post-industrial cottons and used tyres, which have all been sourced as part of the brands ongoing alliances around the world that helps clear up the beaches, oceans and landscapes of Taiwan, Korea, Portugal, Mexico, Japan, Spain and Thailand.
Uniforms for the Dedicated
Ever since it was established by a collective of snowboarders and various creative minds in 2008, Uniforms for the Dedicated has kept the love for adventure and adrenaline at the heart of everything it does. Born from a relationship with the outdoors and the lifestyle it has to offer; the brand has naturally evolved to create modern menswear in response to nature’s scarce resources. The label’s strong sense of sustainability is focussed on its choice of organic, bio-based and recycled fabrics which are carefully selected to embody the quality and progression the brand aims for. Above all, it’s the sustainability and slick execution that has created Uniforms for the Dedicated’ impressive collection of shirts, denim and outerwear that are all defined by its timeless silhouettes and playful detailing.
Based in Barcelona, Thinking MU work to an aspirational, albeit simple, ethos that ‘life is an attitude.’ The brand’s array of minimal designs and signature images are a reference to carefree living, but the process behind each piece is incredibly thoughtful. From the organic long-fibre cotton from India and Peru to the biodegradable pigments and fair trade materials, every aspect of Thinking MU is carefully considered for maximum efficiency. Look out for the brand’s Matisse Swim Shorts – made from a recycled polyester fabric from fishing nets - and the classic White Puntitos Shirt crafted from premium organic cotton.
For something so simple like a pair of sunglasses – primarily made from wood, plastics and metal – it is surprising there are not more sunglasses brands out there putting in the work to make products that are more environmentally friendly. Fortunately, ‘the explorers of the sunny side of plastic,’ Dick Moby have set out to change all of that. The Amsterdam-based brand is on a mission to reduce pollution by offering recycled or bio-degradable acetate frames and micro-fibre cleaning cloths from reused plastic bottles. The independent eyewear brand transforms the upcycled materials into a range of quirky frames with curved geometric edges, simplistic design and premium Zeiss lenses.
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