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Green is the new Black: 6 eco-friendly brands and collabs to shop this summer

Fast fashion, plastics, waste, and other non-biodegradable materials have become increasingly unpopular these days. The movement towards sustainability is now more popular than ever, coinciding with the public’s awareness of climate change and environmental issues. As a result, there has also been a huge shift in the way we consume and buy our products. Here are the eco-friendly fashion items to shop this summer.

The younger generations are striving to bring about a sustainable shift in consumer goods. Their purchasing power, needs and a sense of socio-civic responsibility are compelling corporations to adapt to earth-friendly alternatives.

Millennials and Gen Z are battling with the adverse effects of the climate crisis, including famines, water shortages, extreme weather changes, rising sea levels and unrest in destabilised societies. Big brands and companies are taking accountability and aiming to integrate environmental, economic and social issues into its business operations.

Brands like Nike, Adidas and Gucci are upping their manufacturing processes to cater to a smart, sceptical group of young consumers with long lives to live, money to spend, and ecological concerns to tackle.

Recycled, sustainable, and eco-friendly fashion collabs and pieces you should add to cart:

Nike Flyknit Running Shoes

Nike Flyknit running shoes
Image: Courtesy of Nike

To cater to the needs of runners who prefer wearing their shoes wear snug like a sock, Nike designed the Flyknit in 2012, and it was a breakthrough in sustainable innovation. After working on the technology for nearly a decade alongside designers, engineers, and programmers, Nike developed a fabric that provided the perfect fit, without compromising the support and durability needed for sporting activities.

Nike found innovative ways to minimise its carbon footprint and transformed its manufacturing process by switching to recycled polyester for creating these Flyknit shoes. The process weaves knit strands of yarn together to form one seamless footwear upper, which allows for accurate engineering down to the millimetre.

According to Nike, Flyknit shoes dramatically cut down on material waste by making use of digital knitting technology, rather than the traditional cut-and-sew production, which produces a lot of scraps. With an aim to double its business while reducing the company’s environmental impact by half, each pair of these shoes is crafted using materials equivalent to six recycled plastic bottles.

Shop Nike

COS’s Spring/Summer Collection ’22

Promoting its versatility in adapting to everyday transitional moments, the foundation for this eclectic collection is continuing the brand’s dedication to sustainably and a circular economy. 92 percent of the collection is made from sustainably sourced materials.

Reformation clothing

Lifestyle products made from recycled material: Reformation
Image: Courtesy of Reformation

Founded in 2015, the Los Angeles clothing brand Reformation is an ethical and ‘slow’ eco-friendly fashion company, which advocates for sustainability and climate positivity. The brand hopes to lead by example and inspire customers to join in this critical move through its eco-friendly creations, and has amassed fans such as Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber, Blake Lively, Taylor Swift, and Hailey Bieber, to name a few.

Featuring eco-friendly products like the ‘Glenna Cashmere Sweater,’ made from fine-gauge 90 percent recycled cashmere and the ‘Upcycled Patchwork High Rise Straight Jeans,’ made with 57 percent regenerative cotton and 43 percent TENCEL™ Lyocell, Reformation clothing is inspiring people to shift to slow fashion.

Its 100 percent recyclable ‘circular Ref Jeans’ are also made from fabric scraps that would have otherwise ended up in the trash.

Shop Reformation

Breitling’s Kaki Outerknown Econyl-Yarn Watch Strap

Breitling econyl watch strap
Image: Courtesy of Breitling

Breitling is a Grenchen-based Swiss luxury watchmaking company which was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. The brand is known for precision-made chronometers designed for aviators.

Apart from timepieces, the watch company also produces sprightly and eco-friendly watch straps co-designed with Kelly Slater’s surf wear brand, Outerknown. The sporty strap is extremely kind to the environment too; it’s manufactured from ECONYL yarn, an innovative material repurposed from nylon waste that’s extracted from the oceans. With a slew of vibrant colours to choose from, Breitling’s Outerknown ECONYL yarn straps are perfect for your summer adventures.

Shop Breitling

Parley X Adidas

adidas parley
Image: Courtesy of Adidas

In 2015, Adidas partnered with an environmental organisation, Parley For The Oceans, which focused on the preservation of the oceans and reducing threats of contamination. The brands collaboratively worked on turning scrap generated from marine pollution into sportswear and launched apparel and footwear too. They brought together high-performance technology and sustainable materials to create products made entirely from recycled ocean plastic and gillnets.

The brands addressed some of the biggest and most tangible threats looming in the marine environment, and showcased it to a global audience.

Adidas parley shoes
Image: Courtesy of Adidas

Each Adidas Parley sneaker repurposes approximately 11 plastic bottles that would have otherwise ended up in the oceans. The colour palette of seafoam blues, deep greens and navy reflect the environment, which both brands aim to safeguard.

Shop Parley x Adidas

ReNew collection by Everlane

Everlane coats
Image: Courtesy of Everlane

Everlane, the San Francisco-based, direct-to-consumer fashion retailer, launched ReNew in 2018, an eco-friendly collection of puffers and fleece that has been made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. Everlane has also pledged to eliminate all virgin plastic from its supply chain.

“Starting with the ReNew collection, all virgin plastic poly bags used for shipping products will be removed and replaced with renewed poly bags made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic,” the brand said. In 2019, Everlane also collaborated with The New York Times to help raise awareness about climate change and sustainability.

Shop Everlane

Rothy’s

Rothy's footwear
Image: Courtesy of Rothy’s

Blending together exceptional comfort, innovation, and sustainable design, Rothy’s is another San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer fashion company that champions sustainability.

Made from 100-percent post-consumer plastic, the lightweight washable flats and loafers from this brand feature foam components in the insoles, which are upcycled from other pre-owned footwear. The company has recycled over 50 million plastic water bottles since the inception of their brand. Rothy’s durable flats are also made manually on 3D knitting machines.

The brand also branched out into making handbags in 2020 and has opened more stores in Washington, D.C., Boston and New York City.

Shop Rothy's

Gucci Off The Grid

Gucci Off the Grid
Image: Courtesy of Gucci

Designed for mindful and environmentally-conscious consumers, Gucci Off The Grid was launched in 2020, as part of Gucci Circular Lines—the house’s initiative for circular production. The collection uses recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials to make packing cubes, laundry bags, backpacks, handbags, hats and footwear.

The accessories are crafted for contemporary and stylish travellers, with a mission to bring about positive changes and to secure our collective future. The collection is made using materials such as ECONYL regenerated nylon, which was completely derived from pre- and post-consumer waste, including dumped fishing nets and carpets.

The sustainable Gucci collection makes good use of harmful plastics and waste materials, which are otherwise likely to end up in landfills. They regenerate this trash into a new high-quality yarn.

Shop Gucci Off The Grid

(Main and featured image: Courtesy of Adidas)

Eesha Kulkarni
Eesha is a passionate digital nomad with a master’s degree in architecture and industrial design from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. A jack of all trades who enjoys writing art, architecture, travel and lifestyle features, she is found petting dogs, taking walks in nature and sniffing books in her free time.
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