by Aisha Hassan on November 26th, 2020
The holiday season is a great time to reflect on the habits that we’d like to cultivate in the new year. Top of mind here at Dia is a desire to be more conscious consumers, especially with the gift-giving season upon us. That’s why we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite sustainable fashion brands that aren’t on Dia (yet!) to help you explore the green fashion scene.
Before we dive in, a quick note on what sustainable fashion means: It’s an umbrella term for fashion production, marketing, and consumption, which takes into account environmental and socio-economic issues. That includes using biodegradable materials, providing fair working conditions, and minimizing waste and mass production. (Watch out for companies taking advantage of this catch-all term to greenwash their products.) Here’s a great guide to different terms that fall under sustainable fashion.
Ultimately, being mindful of where you shop or purchasing pieces made to last are some of the best ways to support sustainable fashion. We hope you find something special from these brands.
From vegetable dying to calendering hemp, Kilomet109 founder Thao Vu uses traditional techniques when creating her unique designs. Based in Hanoi, Vietnam, the brand hand-stitches all its garments and focuses on innovative designs that still preserve Vietnam’s textile heritage.
MANAVA is a Cambodian brand that prides itself on providing a fair and sustainable income for its artisans. Not only does MANAVA conduct life skills programs for its artisans with female-focused NGOS, but they also create artisanal products using ethically sourced rattan.
This Singaporean brand specializes in creating accessories from discarded wood pieces. Studio MU/YU even runs workshops to teach woodworking skills and the value of slow handcrafting.
From the same founders of The Alphabet Press comes Ana tomy, an award-winning stationery brand that focuses on personalization. Every item is made-to-order, which reduces waste, and even the packaging is designed to be reused.
Stain is an Indonesian brand that creates eco-friendly contemporary collections by upcycling natural fabrics. The brand only works with local artisans or family-owned manufacturers, and even their packaging made of cassava is biodegradable.
Lemon by ACK
Based in Malaysia, Lemon by ACK focuses on upcycling textiles and experimenting with scrap fabric to create flattering pieces. The brand endeavors to be sustainable at every point of their supply chain, and its sewing centre is run by a local non-profit working with refugees.
This “farm to tailor” denim brand from Thailand is three generations strong and even named after the matriarch, Grandma Teeta, in the family. Mae Teeta specializes in indigo dyeing using locally harvested cotton while minimizing waste.
SOJAO is a Singaporean-based bed linen brand that focuses on ethically-made, organic luxury. This “seeds to sheets” brand emphasizes using certified organic cotton, working with family farms, and paying fair wages to all their artisans.
Anthill Fabrics is focused on keeping Philippine weaving traditions alive while working on capacity-building programs. The brand’s business model prioritizes inclusivity and supporting sustainable livelihoods at every point of its supply chain.
This Malaysian clothing brand uses natural and biodegradable materials like linen to create timeless everyday pieces. Li’s Atelier is designed for those who seek both sustainability and style in their fashion choices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aisha Hassan is a writer, journalist, and co-founder of Dia. Previously, Aisha worked for Quartz in New York and Harper’s Bazaar in Malaysia. Her fiction has been published in international literary magazines. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from the University of Oxford, and a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.