5 new eco-friendly and ethical fashion brands to buy in Singapore to save the environment

5 new eco-friendly and ethical fashion brands to buy in Singapore to save the environment

Earth Day every day

Text: Debby Kwong

Editor: Jolene Khor

These for-profit labels can marry ethics with aesthetics — what's your excuse?

Let us drop some facts real quick: United Nations estimates about 1.2 billion people lack access to clean water, and fashion, the second largest consumer and polluter of water after oil, is hugely responsible for that. Even in a landfill, most textiles don't just magically disintegrate and become food to Earth — nylon takes 30 to 40 years to biodegrade, while polyester requires more than two centuries.

To reduce our impact on the environment, we need to counter fast fashion consumption and instead in turn, support the sustainable. Choosing clothes made from sustainable materials such as tencel, bamboo and 100% organic cotton is a start. Defending fair wages and good working conditions for garment workers, and addressing the use of toxic pesticides and chemical use is part of the equation to better fashion too.

It doesn't have to look sustainable to be sustainable — the era of hemp and homeless chic is behind us (but if you're still into it, then please proceed!). Whether it's underwear, ready-to-wear, shoes or even sunglasses, we're here to swath you with uber modern, sophisticated options for both him and her from five positive-impact sustainable brands.

Let's go.

The name Esse is derived from Medieval Latin and it means 'existence' or 'to be'. The brand's philosophy invites us to look inwards, to be aware and discerning. Ergo, the designs from this Singaporean label are constructed using sustainable materials and over-ordered fabrics. Staples that will suit any woman's wardrobe, choose from a range of no-brainer jumpsuits, maxi dresses and trapeze tops.



    Like the name suggests, it's all about going back to basics with this Danish label. A minimalist collection of undershirts, socks, underwear for him and her in neutral colour palettes, they are all consciously created from premium organic cotton that's sustainably crafted with locally harvested organic Turkey cotton. Conscious in 360 degrees, orders are shipped in a poly mailers made from 100% recycled plastic. Yes, it can be recycled further.



    3. DICK MOBY
    The idea of doing something with recycled plastic came about when Dick Moby's founders were confronted with the huge amounts of plastic waste in and around the ocean during a surf trip. The Amsterdam-based company uses 97% recycled acetate or bio-acetate for all of its frames (sunglasses and spectacles) which are handcrafted in Italy, while their smiley faced microfiber lens cloths are made from recycled PET and their cases are made from recycled leather. They also collaborated with beloved Parisian boutique Colette, so you know, major style cred to be earned here.



      4. KITX
      Believing the future is in hemp (yay!), Australian Kit Willow combines the ingredient with organic cotton jersey at KitX. For those not in the know, hemp production needs very little water, and it's a rapidly renewable antimicrobial fibre naturally resistant to UV. With the simple mantra of wanting women to feel good without harming the planet, KitX's romantic and feminine pieces are a red carpet favourite of Nicole Kidman and Emma Watson.



        5. NAK
        This vegan leather shoe brand's philosophy is simple — there is no need to kill animals for beautiful shoes. Nak stands for No Animal Killed, and this British luxury brand offers classic footwear for both men and women. From sexy stilettos to Chelsea boots and Oxford brogues, all materials for their cruelty-free shoes are sourced close to their northern Italian workshop. No long-haul logistics means the overall impact on the environment is further minimised.