sustainable fashion

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Kikoko’s Crushes: Sustainable Fashion

We know that all Kikokoans want to be better planetary stewards, we’ve decided to tell you about our favorite sustainable fashion brands.

Indigo Jones

04.29.21

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Warning: this post has nothing to do with cannabis at all. We know that all Kikokoans want to be better planetary stewards, so we’ve decided to tell you about our favorite sustainable fashion brands. 

To get you motivated to read on, here’s a few shocking stats: fashion is the third largest industry in the world, employing one in six people. It’s also one of the most wasteful and environmentally damaging industries. Less than 1% of fabrics used in fashion production are recycled. The equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is incinerated or landfilled every second of every day.

And this is without mentioning fashion’s extortionate water, land and chemical use. Or the fact that the fashion industry emits nearly 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions—almost as much as the entire continent of Europe. 

Yeesh. So what can we do? Here’s what the experts say: If you have to buy new (as opposed to second hand or renting) try to only buy something you’ll wear at least 30 times, avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester, and opt for pure natural fabrics like linen, flax, hemp or organic cotton. Organic cotton produces 98% less water pollution than non-organic cotton production, and the other natural fibres are biodegradable. 

Convinced? Check out these brands that are doing the right thing. 

WOLVEN

Photo Credit: Wolven

Wolven makes sustainability sexy. They make activewear out of post-consumer plastic water bottles and beechwood pulp. Recycled PET emits 79% less carbon than virgin plastic and beech trees regenerate naturally, so there’s no need for artificial planting or irrigation. 

Each pair of leggings is made from 27 recycled water bottles, which is just plain cool. They partner with Climate Neutral to offset their production emissions, making these gorgeous, comfy leggings basically carbon neutral. And bonus: beechwood is twice as soft as cotton.

 

SAMARA BAGS 

Photo Credit: Samara

Founder Salima Visram couldn’t find an elegant, ethical bag, so she founded Samara Bags (and named it after her sister, aww!). Their all-female team is forging the future of leather alternatives and eco daily wear. 

Wait for it: their designs include vegan leather bags made from apples, sunglasses from castor seeds, backpacks from recycled ocean plastics and loungewear from bamboo. Basically, they’re killing it. 

PROCLAIM

Photo Credit: Proclaim

Proclaim is expanding the definition of “nude” with their earth-conscious undies. Their collection is made from the prestigious Tencel (wood pulp-based fabric) and Repreve recycled polyester (100% post-consumer plastic water bottles). In the sustainable fashion world, these fabrics are a big deal.

Their everyday collection consists of three core pieces: bralettes, mid-rise briefs and high-rise briefs.

GRACEMADE

Photo Credit: Gracemade

Gracemade’s collections are simple and timeless. Perfect capsule wardrobe pieces. They source all of their fabrics locally, primarily upcycling deadstock (leftover fabrics that go straight to landfill if not used). The description of each garment on their website tells you where the fabric came originally from! 

They are combatting fashion’s overproduction problem by exclusively producing small batches. They also donate fifty cents from each sale to Life Impact International, who work to protect children sold into slaverly or prostitution. 

KELAPA WEAR

Photo Credit: Kelapa Wear

Kelapa makes uber-cute bikinis and one piece swimwear made from Econyl’s recycled nylon. Econyl finds plastic pollution—like fishing nets, carpet flooring or fabric scraps —and purifies the waste into pure nylon. The best part is that Econyl is infinitely recyclable. Has anyone ever told you that circular fashion looks fabulous on you?

ANA LUISA

Photo Credit: Ana Luisa

Think of Ana Luisa jewelry pieces like the core of a capsule wardrobe, but in gold. All of their pieces are simple statement looks or as day-to-day basics. 

Ana Luisa works with Cool Effect to carbon offset their entire production line, making their jewelry carbon-neutral. They use only recycled silver and lab-grown diamonds, which are people and planet friendly. All of their gold plating is in-house which means we don’t need to worry about dubious working conditions. 

ROTHY’S

Photo Credit: Rothy’s

So far, Rothy’s has repurposed 76 million water bottles into adorable, washable shoes. We can’t be the only ones who have worn a pair of flats into the ground and had to get a new pair within a few months. That won’t happen with these. 

The way they cut their patterns also minimizes manufacturing waste by 30%, which is pretty significant when we think about the fact that 60 billion square meters, (or 15% of all textiles), end up and cut-and-sew waste and go directly to landfill. 

They recently launched a line of sustainable wallets and purses just so you have a matching set. The bags alone have diverted 100 tons of plastic likely otherwise destined for the ocean.

A_C OFFICIAL

Photo Credit: A_C Official

A_C is too cool not to include. The Australia based brand (they ship internationally) makes gorgeous wallets and purses out of Desserto, a cactus-based leather, and Piñatex, a pineapple skin-based leather. 

Cactus grows naturally with only rainwater and pineapple skins are a byproduct of the food industry. Basically, these leather alternatives aren’t just a lesser evil, they’re beneficial for the earth by using waste, saving water and preventing us from needing yet another methane-producing cow. 

A_C have also developed ‘Ecoprene,’ a neoprene-esque material made of recycled carpets, recycled water bottles, fabric off-cuts and post-consumer textile waste.

So, for the sake of this gorgeous planet, please try supporting brands that are creative, innovative, caring, scrappy and quite literally making the world a better place. 

About the Author: Indigo Jones

Indigo Jones is a social media maven and conscious content curator at Kikoko. She is also an avid hiker, nature lover and fashionista, and has combined her passions into an unparalleled geekiness for sustainable fashion and clean beauty. Indigo runs a slow fashion Instagram and blog Live Fast Buy Slow, which discusses the environmental impacts of the fashion industry and provides advice on switching to slow fashion. Follow her on insta @livefastbuyslow

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