This post is by Lusenii Kromah, founder of Tha Hunt, a video-on-demand service where you can watch films, shorts, and behind-the-scenes content from your favorite brands and retailers. Follow him on Instagram here.
It’s not news to anyone that fashion brands have a sustainability problem. A recent report suggested that fashion accounts for 10% of carbon dioxide output worldwide.
Many brands are taking steps to produce clothing more sustainably. They’re upcycling, swapping materials for environmentally-friendly alternatives, building high-quality products that can be repaired, and using more trackable (often local) production methods.
But with so many sustainable fashion brands popping up in stores and on our feeds these days, it’s not always clear who’s actually doing the work and who’s just attaching themselves to a popular buzzword.
With that in mind, this article will introduce four sustainable fashion brands that are demonstrably doing their bit for the earth.
4 Great Sustainable Menswear Brands
Everyone knows the only way to be truly green is to avoid producing new waste – even if it is recyclable or biodegradable. Run Of is an Italian brand that is bringing sustainability to luxury sneakers by employing that exact method—using materials such as motorcycle jackets, old bags, or leftovers from the warehouse to create sneakers.
Their design and manufacturing processes combine waste materials and warehouse inventories, allowing them to produce a truly unique product for each pair. Specifically, the Shuttle and the Ro-1 sneakers derive from an enormous inventory of unsold ripstop nylon bags. The bags are cut out and used as an outer lining of the sneakers. So in addition to being sustainable, the sneakers are distinct and unrepeatable.
The brand also offers complete visibility into where it sources materials from via a page on its website so you can its sustainability practices for yourself.
Founded by brothers Josh and Tull Price, Feit (pronounced fight) produces handmade leather shoes and accessories. Each pair of FEIT shoes are created from start to finish by a single master craftsman.
This NYC-based company shows their principles are focused on the human being. Their website states: “The human touch is seen as obsolete. Though computer-automated production may be better for the companies, it is not necessarily so for workers, consumers, and the earth.”
The rise in automated production has led to the surging use of synthetic materials in clothing since they are more stable in the production process. FEIT combats this with their dedication to their craftsmen, reducing the environmental impact of their supply chain and production process.
Industry of All Nations
Industry of All Nations redefines responsible trade with its production process. They even go as far as to say: “In April 2010 Industry of All Nations became a research, design & development office founded with the commitment to rethink production methods for consumer goods.”
With each article of clothing being made into the finished product at the source of the raw material, Industry of All Nations (IOAN) takes the extra step to ensure environmentally friendly products.
They produce clothing that is either undyed or naturally dyed, with some items being hand-dipped up to 12 times to achieve vibrant hues.
IOAN customizes production to suit the needs of the region (denim being made into jeans in the USA, alpaca wool turned into sweaters in Bolivia) and strives to maintain cultural respect and fair wages in every facet of their operation.
If you ask Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion, the founders of Veja, they’d say the business started with a social audit of a Chinese factory for a french fashion brand. After seeing the living conditions of the workers, they immediately realized something needed to change.
They were introduced to the concept of fair trade by Tristan Lecomte and his brand AlterEgo, a French company well-known for being an early adopter of sustainable practices. After witnessing how fair trade impacted the economy, they set out to apply those same principles to their own passions.
They decided the only thing that made sense was to focus on sneakers, which they felt symbolized their generation. In addition to their fair trade practices, they use bio-based and recycled materials, providing vegan leather options and sneakers that are made up to 57% recycled materials.