Whenever a fashion vlogger uploads a shopping haul video, some well-intentioned keyboard warriors are bound to stir up controversy with comments like, “Why aren’t you investing in sustainable fashion?” or “Fast fashion is killing our planet!”
While there aren’t as many sustainable fashion brand options in Singapore and the current ones might not be as style savvy as we’d like, we have online alternatives to help us jump onto the sustainability bandwagon.
In case you’re wondering what “Sustainable Fashion” means, it caters to ethical labour and environmentally-friendly materials and methods. With vast amounts of non-recyclable items disposed of every year, there has been increased pressure on brands to commit to reducing their environmental footprint. Many sustainable labels are opting to be more transparent with their consumers by incorporating sustainable fabrics, operating with socially responsible manufacturers and showcasing their mission to reduce undesirable waste.
While consumers are becoming more woke on the fashion industry’s negative impact, some of the stigmas surrounding ethical fashion make finding your “ride or die” eco brands seem like a tall order.
Below, we address some of these sustainable fashion myths — plus debunk a few — and culled together a collection of ethics-meets-aesthetics style pieces. Of course, we’re not saying you need to follow this to a T (although you really should), but this guide will decipher what really merits real estate in your closet.
Myth #1: Sustainable fashion only offers basics…
We have to say this: the sustainable fashion formula — simple and staple — hasn’t veered much off course. But in the past few years, rather than emancipating our personal sense of style and limiting ourselves to overworn basics, these brands appear to be winners in the eco-chic fashion landscape.
Join The sisterhood Wren Blouse, $54
Join The Sisterhood Marin Blouse, $57
Jan’n June Slip Top Nice Silky Carpe Diem Print, $74
Fame And Partners Puff Sleeve Top, $203
Matter Prints The Button-Back Top, $107
Fictive Fingers The Linen Wrap, $170
These labels have made it their long-term mission to use recycled and sustainable materials into their collections. Local brand Fictive Fingers sources good quality fabrics that don’t leave a mark on the environment, with a made-to-order business model that doesn’t result in unnecessary garment waste. MATTER even fosters designer-artisan collaborations with rural communities in Asia to better the sustainability of their livelihood.
Myth #2: Sustainable fashion is ugly…
Girl, please. While the era of hemp (shudder!) enforces certain sartorial clichés on sustainable outfits, these labels will make you think twice with its edgy and stylish wares while championing for social and environmental responsibility.
Join The Sisterhood Angita Slip, $54
Join The Sisterhood Jacy Slip, $57
Esse The Label Strappy Lowback Maxi Dress, $145
Vetta The Blazer Dress, $244
Fame And Partners Side Button Dress, $244
Asos Design Curve Denim Dungaree Dress In Vintage Blue, $62.97
Esse The Label T-Back Maxi Dress, $149
The chic clothing brands with a difference. From a silky smooth maxi dress by Esse The Label regenerated from wood cellulose, to a blazer by Vetta constructed from leftover designer fabrics, these fashion houses are confirming their eco-responsibility with beautiful pieces that don’t have an ugly past.
Myth #3: Sustainable fashion doesn’t keep up with the trends…
While we can’t fully debunk this myth (because we’ve seen our fair share of plain t-shirts), the concept is to create a mini capsule wardrobe made up of versatile pieces that don’t trade off between fashion, people and the environment. Ergo, the shoes from these sustainable lifestyle brands are well-investable pieces.
Vegan Style ‘Grace’ Women’s Vegan Ankle Boots By Bourgeois Boheme, $338
Vegan Style CAS Women’s Vegan Sandal By Twoobs, $204
Asos Monki Metallic Glitter Mules, $26.99
The World At Your Feet Denim Slip-ons, $120
Asos Design Manic Flat Brogues, $44.98
These shoe brands like the local label, The World At Your Feet, are putting a sustainable spin on your footwear. Designed in Singapore, they are crafted with materials such as eco-vegan leather and recycled memory foam, which are equally stylish, while the brand also aims to reduce unnecessary packaging