As much as we love clothes, it’s also one of the largest polluting industries in the world. Fortunately, today’s fashion brands are finally listening and tackling pollution and waste on a massive scale. We’ve rounded up the best brands to help you in your sustainability journey.
These companies — both local and international — belong to a new wave of socially-conscious enterprises that go the extra mile to make sure both their materials as well as production line are ethical and sustainable. The best part? They’re not about to short-change you in terms of style.
Established in 2021 by dentist-turned-designer, Nabilah Islam, One Puram is a Singapore-based slow eco-conscious fashion brand. Emphasizing the significance of ecological integrity over mere trends or marketing ploys, the brand is committed to transparency and sustainable practices whilst tackling the textile waste crisis.
Offering two distinct collections — Bali Dusk and Para-sol — One Puram designs are versatile, as well as make for the ideal statement pieces that merge individuality with ethical fashion choices.
The brand’s ethical production spans from sourcing TENCEL™ lyocell fibers, minimizing carbon footprint, adopting GOTS-certified dyeing processes, and supporting local communities in Indonesia. The brand’s commitment to sustainably also extends to packaging efforts.
Shop One Puram online.
Right from its name, which translates to contemplation or reflection in Filipino, Munimuni embodies the term mindful consumption in today’s rapid retail landscape. Dedicated to adopting ethical practices and empowering local artisan communities in the Philippines, yhe brand aims to foster an environment where craftsmen and artists flourish, uniting excellent design and quality with responsible approaches.
Their small-quantity produced products are crafted through generations-old techniques and using sustainable materials, designed for longevity. Products are generally neutral with distinct floral prints — perfect for everyday wear.
Shop Munimuni online.
Renowned as a celebrated cheongsam label, Dayglow has been crafting exquisite bespoke and ready-to-wear cheongsams and finely tailored ladies’ attire since 2008. Founded by Lilian, a creative-technical designer who began honing her craft at the early age of seven, the womenswear label is ethically handcrafted in Singapore in small batches and adopts sustainability in ways they are able to.
In their designs, Dayglow represents the modern woman’s diverse attributes, merging boldness, femininity, and individuality while drawing from Singapore’s multi-cultural art and heritage. Expect hand-painted batiks from Southeast Asian cultures and intricate Sulam embroidery.
Shop Dayglow online.
Sustainable luxury fabrics are a thing, and it’s what Trevor Ng and Lala Yang of Lantern Sense swear by. This contemporary Hong Kong womenswear label stems from a mutual love of digital painting and photography, resulting in a daring and artsy look throughout their numerous collections. Their aesthetics are generally fun: unique prints on sophisticated silhouettes with interesting colour palettes.
Shop Lantern Sense online.
Embracing a paradigm shift in fashion, Soon Lee advocates for a more sustainable approach by encouraging mindful consumption and conscious shopping habits. The brand utilises a 100 per cent on-demand production model with pre-orders tailoring each item to desired sizes and colours for new collections.
This promotes longevity and minimises production wastage by an impressive 50 per cent. If you’re in the market for one-of-a-kind clothing, handbags and jewellery, this is the spot to shop at. Think statement hand-beaded and hand stitched bags as well as bright and beautiful pieces that fulfil all your shopping dreams!
Shop Soon lee here.
By upcycling fabric scraps from large manufacturers into accessories, bags, and even garment tags, India’s Doodlage balances sustainability with innovation. They also work with eco-friendly fabrics such as corn and banana, experimenting with textures, embroideries, panels, washes, and shapes to optimise the use of every little thread. They even make premium shirts, jumpsuits, and jackets for men that look like they belong on a runway.
Shop Doodlage online.
Chances are you’ve seen OliveAnkara’s eye-catching African head wraps and fabrics at a music festival somewhere. Founded just two years back in Singapore, these guys revolve around two main concepts: to be a slow fashion brand prioritising quality and uniqueness, and to reduce waste close to zero. Submerging African fabrics with a hint of Italian taste, their product line includes headscarfs, Read our interview with the brand’s founder Ify.
Shop OliveAnkara online.
Trendy designs and sustainable practices, Madmatter Studio keeps things fresh and clean as well as environmental friendly. Making their items from ‘waste to worth’ your buck, the brand collects unwanted fabrics and turns them into versatile pieces that offer a comfy and elegant look, thanks to their minimalist designs. The brand initially kicked off their launch in 2015 with a selection of caps, now it has expanded to offer various clothing forms, accessories and even home-wear.
Shop Madmatter Studio here.
Esse (which means “existence” in medieval Latin) is very much about eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics such as bamboo, 100per cent organic cotton, and Tencel that require no chemical treatment. Plus, their thoughtfully-designed womenswear are extraordinarily versatile, meaning you can dress them up or down for any type of occasion, from the boardroom to the streets. Classic and timeless designs
Shop Esse online or at their East Coast studio, by appointment only.
ALSO READ: Did you know these outfits were designed by a Singaporean?
This article was first published in City Nomads.