Sustainability and conscious consumerism have evolved. No longer mere buzzwords, these terms have become integral to the choices we make when it comes to our purchases, especially as awareness towards environmental and social justice issues rise.
Fashion is an industry that has proven to be the complete opposite of sustainability, especially when we hone in on the waste and the labour exploitation the sphere is associated with each year. In light of the need to make a difference, the industry has responded by integrating eco-friendly slants to their production chain. Giants like Stella McCartney, Prada, Dior and Veja, to name a few, have garnered attention for their shifts towards embracing sustainable fashion, but beyond the big names, every powerful movement has its roots in the small.
Indie labels have long been propagating the sustainable fashion message, including the likes of our very own homegrown brands, most of which have championed the good fight even before sustainability entered our collective consciousness.
We round up these sustainable fashion brands in Singapore for you to shop at in good conscience.
If bold prints that nod to heritage patterns is what gets you sparkly-eyed, then you’ll fall right in love with Matter Prints. The label is centred around merging heritage with the contemporary, applying traditional prints, materials and textile craftsmanship to their wares. Working with artisans in rural communities, Matter Prints makes its ethical garments with biodegradable fabrics as well. Their popular dhoti pants are ever the best-seller, but the label stocks items for all aspects of your wardrobe, even catering to your kids.
Esse champions classic garments that any women can bring to her wardrobe with ease. All of Esse’s wares are minimal and versatile enough to cater to a number of occasions, all while being made with sustainable fabrics that range from organic cotton, bamboo and Tencel — especially comfortable in our tropical climate.
Source Collections is your one-stop-shop for all the basic needs in your wardrobe. Keeping their colours and cuts simple, Source Collections offers anything from long-sleeved to tank tops, even underwear as part of their garment line, all made with Tencel fabric in ethical labour factories in Dongguan, China.
Swimwear and workout wear are the DNA of August Society. Setting out to be inclusive for wearers, the brand offers a myriad of swim- and activewear styles, ranging from bikinis to long-sleeved rash guards. August Society also makes its apparel from plastic waste, all made in a factory in Bali that pays its workers twice over the legal minimum.
We’re thick in the age of fast fashion, where excess is abundant to extremes. Oliveankara is the opposite. Slow fashion is key here, with its exquisitely bold pieces all made by hand Singapore, to limited quantities that can even go as little as one. You can be assured that Oliveankara’s wares make serious statements, however, as its garments are an expression of the founder’s Italian-Nigerian heritage, merging with her life in Singapore. Take the contemporary cheongsams, for example. Each features loud Nigerian heritage prints and are materialised in Italian fabric, in cuts that pay homage to the traditional Chinese dress.