5 sustainable brands you should know about
The fashion world is being led by a new generation of people who want to consume products with a higher consciousness. Mindless consumption is finally going out of style. Here are the top five brands we stock at Bernard who are paving the way towards a more sustainable fashion industry.
In portugese, 'Veja' means look, and as a brand, French founders and childhood friends, Sébastien Kopp and François Morillion, want you as consumers to look into the process of how fashion is made before you buy it. Their company started 15 years ago, with a dream of making a sneaker brand known to be the most ethical in every step of the design process, and 15 years on they have gained that reputation and are now paving the way for other brands to catch up on the journey of sustainability within fashion. You may already know about their Vegan leather shoes made from a leather tanned with a vegetal process and their B-mesh range made from a new fabric created from recycled plastic bottles found on the streets of Brazil, but did you know the reason why they don’t pay for the advertisement of their shoes? 70% of the money you spend on trainers from a big-name brand will go on advertising costs, and when the founders found out about this statistic, they decided on a better way to use that money. Veja decided they were going to give up on advertising and instead, invest in more expensive but sustainable materials to create their footwear. "If we gave up advertising, we could make sneakers that were 5 times more expensive to produce, yet still offer them as the same retail price as the big brands." Because of this decision, the company can afford to buy all of their materials from ethical sources. Working with the locals who harvest wild rubber in the Amazon Rainforest; sourcing organic cotton grown without fertilizers and pesticides; and using a manufacturing company in the South of Brazil with strong social rights and reasonable hours for the workers - all of these positive steps are simply down to their choice to not pay for advertising.
Sustainability is at top of Nanushka’s priority list and are continuously working towards making it a key part of the present and future of the brand. With the Hungarian brand being just over a decade old, Creative Director, Sandra Sandor is known for being a champion of sustainable style within the fashion industry. With Sandor’s talent of designing timeless pieces with the longevity to last, her ethos of creating pieces that will last and look stylish for more than just one season is one of the less complicated solutions to being known as a sustainable brand. One of Nanushka’s most loved pieces is the ‘Hide’ vegan leather puffer jacket that was an instant sellout on our website and was seen being styled all over the streets during New York Fashion Week last year. L’officiel magazine describes their vegan leather as having ‘the sexy suppleness of the material we all love so much without the same environmental and ethical cost’ and if you’ve ever worn any Nanushka vegan pieces before, you’ll know that they’re right. There is the argument that vegan leather still isn’t great for the environment, as it will be made with a Polyester lining which contributes to the plastic industry. However, using the Vegan leather that Nanushka works with is statistically two-thirds less bad for the environment than cow leather. The Budapest based designer always makes decisions with love and consideration for the planet and the people when it comes to her design process and has begun by changing the polyester based lining of the vegan leather to recycled polyester, which is definitely a step in the right direction towards a more sustainable future.
This footwear and accessories brand is new to the fashion scene but online influencers went crazy for it and within a year they became an instant success. French designer Leslie Halfon created a classic hiker sandal and turned them into a staple summer shoe with a fun twist of wrapping vintage bandannas around the straps – re-imagining the ‘dad’ sandal in a stylish new light. “We have developed fun, colorful and trendy trekky sandals. We use a cult fabric for our sandals and accessories: 100 % cotton vintage bandannas.” Each sandal is handmade and Halfon describes the shoes as being ‘perfectly in tune with its time’, so each colour choice and embellishment changes with the seasonal trends and can be worn all year round. Their workshop is also based in Paris as a way to minimise the company’s ecological footprint on the environment, which is another positive element to this sustainable brand that made a positive choice to use recycled fabrics to create stylish and unique footwear.
Much loved Scandi-brand, Ganni, have recently teamed up with Re-pack: a free reusable packaging alternative made from recycled materials. “By choosing more sustainable packaging, together we can save up to 80% of CO2 emissions compared to single-use waste.” The founder and creative director (who also happen to be husband and wife), Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, created Ganni to do something different than the typical stereotypes of Scandinavian fashion, “When we started, there was either high concept scandi-style or girly boho. We wanted to create a third alternative.” Ditte sought after a more playful and effortless approach to design, that represents how she wanted to dress and look and the positive reaction it had in the fashion industry shows more women were searching for a third alternative too. Having started the brand in 2000, the creative pair are now looking at ways to make their brand more sustainable. All Ganni’s parcels are sent to customer with the recycled Re-pack packaging and can be sent back and reused again and again if you wish to return the item. “It’s one small we’re taking in our commitment to sustainability, and we strive to do better every day.” their collaboration with Re-pack as well as recycling fabrics from previous garments for their new collections are small changes that will make a big difference.
With the arrival of a new decade, LA based brand J BRAND has a new mission: to create the world’s most sustainable premium jeans. Mindfully crafted in California—arguably America's leader in sustainable practices across every industry—J BRAND is uniquely positioned to lead the industry in its commitment to innovating sustainable practices and reconsidering the entire production cycle in the most thoughtful, environmentally considerate ways possible. At the beginning of this year, J BRAND made a pledge on their website and social media to apply sustainable technologies to 100% of the washed denim by the end of the year. “Our promise is simple: Jeans made better—for a better world. Because we believe that fashion doesn’t mean all that much if it isn’t shaping a better tomorrow.” Their new Eco Wash line are free form harmful chemicals and are made with 90% less water, reducing their waste to almost zero. While many denim brands employ similar technology to theirs, they have four methods that set them apart from their competitors. Their wash process now consists of nano bubbles to help promote low-water usage; they use reusable manmade eco stones to thrash and age denim; the development of their clothes is sprayed with potassium free products to protect the artisans from harmful chemicals; and they have switched hand-handing with lasers to destruct and fade the denim products. We all know how much the denim industry contributes to the water usage used around the world, and by J BRAND taking these steps into action, other companies are bound to follow in their positive footsteps towards a healthier industry.