This New Zealand brand produces clothing through a sustainable lens, with garments that are derived from non-GMO seeds and dyed using non-toxic pigments. Their latest addition is swimwear created with econyl, a fabric made from discarded fishing nets that can be recycled indefinitely. Each swimsuit comes with a “take-back” programme so discarded bathers can be sent to a regeneration plant.
Australian designer Kit Willow turns out her signature easy, breezy pieces with an eco-friendly slant. The label operates using only non-hazardous materials and recycled fibres from traceable sources: upcycled PET bottle caps are painstakingly transformed into paillettes; recycled cellulose is turned into cupro (a fine, soft rayon) and combined with linen for a silk-like material; and beads are made from natural shells that originate from the Solomon Islands.
3. RUMI X
Hong Kong’s RUMI X doesn’t trade style for function, with colourful leggings (dyed using water-based ink) made from recycled plastic bottles that are melted and dried into flakes. The flakes are then pulled and loomed into a four-way-stretchable yarn. The brand also makes functional sweat-wicking tops from upcycled coffee grounds, and soon, they’ll turn discarded crab shells into stylish threads.
Japanese product-turned-fashion designer Hiroaki Tanaka creates wearable art made out of a highly durable, biodegradable wool material woven together by “protein resin”. The keratin in the wool – when heated and compressed – transforms into a non-toxic, animal-derived resin. This eliminates the need to sew pieces of the garment together and reduces the amount of raw materials required in the process.
The American brand goes beyond retailing clothing made from renewable or upcycled materials like TENCEL and Recover – it also publishes an annual sustainability report that’s shared with customers and aims to produce 75% of its entire collection from A and B fibres (classed as renewable, plant-based or natural and recycled) and to never use more than 10% of E fibres, defined as environmentally intensive.
Vietnam-based Kilomet109 forages for yam root that it turns into a spectrum of warm, earthy tones, such as baked brick and rose pink, used to colour its garments. The label also grows its own indigo and has gone on to perfect 10 different shades in collaboration with the ethnic minority women from the village of Cao Bang, and also experiment with tree bark, betel nut and green tea to create attractive botanical-dyed yarns.
This article was originally published in the March 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine