At one time, it would have been difficult to find a readily available fair trade clothing label. But now thanks to considerable changes in the ethical fashion movement, even the high street offers up eco-friendly or conscious ranges.
We take at look at some of the top sustainable, ethical, and fair trade fashion brands on the market.
With a host of accolades under its belt and ethical fashion campaigner and CEO Safia Minney at its helm, fair trade clothing brand People Tree is based in Japan and London.
Founded in 1991 in Tokyo, the brand is often cited as a leader in the fight for a fairer fashion industry.
Accredited by the WFTO, the Fairtrade Foundation and the Soil Association, the brand is able to improve the lives of an estimated 4,000 farmers and artisans around the world.
Hand skills such as weaving and embroidery are utilized for their carbon neutral qualities and to protect local craft, while almost all cotton is 100 per cent fairtrade certified.
Aside from their own collections, the brand actively supports 50 fair trade groups in eight developing countries.
Founder Minney is recognized as one of the faces of ethical fashion, featuring in campaigning documentaries such as The True Cost (2015).
Matt & Nat
The concept of Montreal based brand Matt & Nat is to explore the synergy between material and nature.
Started in 1995 under the motto ‘live beautifully,’ the brand is committed to not using leather or any other animal based materials across its range of bags, wallets, and shoes.
Opting instead to explore and utilize innovative ways to improve sustainable and eco-friendly methods, Matt & Nat produces high-quality products with timeless appeal.
Through the seasons, the brand experiments with different recycled materials including nylon, cardboard, rubber and cork.
Since 2007, the brand has been committed to using linings made solely of 100 percent reused plastic bottles.
Recycling more than two million plastic bottles during the manufacturing process, Matt & Nat produces an extensive range of bags, from satchels and backpacks to yoga bags and belt bags.
Collections are split into themes such as the brand’s signature Dwell Collection, made from 100 percent PVC.
Abury was founded in 2008 by Andrea Bury after a trip to Marrakech to renovate an old house in the Medina.
Inspired by the skills of the craftsmen, Bury built the brand around a desire to preserve the dying handicraft tradition and the heritage of the Moroccan people.
The label operates as a fashion platform that brings together traditional artisans with avant-garde designers, typically producing collections that foster intercultural exchange while preserving craft.
Offering a range of accessories and bags ranging in size and style, unique designs and contrasting colours are presented in each collection.
The brand’s upcoming ADEX Winner Accessories Collection – A Non Existent Tribe – is the result of an international search for emerging designers.
The capsule collection uses traditional craft knowledge from different cultures and features six bags in a mix of leather, straw and alpaca wool.
50 percent of the collection profits will be reinvested in education projects in Ecuador.
Raven + Lily
Raven + Lily was created as a means to alleviate poverty among women.
Through partnership with groups of marginalized women, the brand helps to employ over 1,500 artisans in countries around the world including Ethiopia, Kenya and Pakistan.
With an aim to break the cycle of poverty, the brand focuses on producing modern minimalist products that are made by hand and follow Fair Trade standards.
As a certified B-Benefit Corporation, the brand provides fair wages, donates back to workers’ communities and follows eco-friendly practices in its sourcing and design process.
Style is simplified and silhouettes are stripped back to reveal timeless staple pieces, which focus on texture, colour and cut.
Materials including baby alpaca, mohair, hand-loomed silk, organic denim and up-cycled jerseys are sustainably sourced.
Minimalist geometry is also seen through eco-friendly brass, horn and beaded jewellery designs, along with vegetable dyed leather bags.
The brand’s ethos of empowering women through simplified clothing is reflected through its minimalist designs.
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