More than just buzzwords, the fashion industry is finding ways to effect real change and sustainability, with social conscience being one of the defining messages of 2018. We’re shining a light on the designer names putting meaningful positivity into practice…
Artwork Nour Algharabally• Words Elle Timms
Born and raised in Venezuela, Monica Sordo grew up surrounded by metals in her father’s industrial design workshop. Deep rooted in the Latin design community, her jewellery is handmade by local craftsmen in both her home country and Peru.
Honouring the environment is a priority for Brazilian designer Vanda Jacintho, who uses recycled resin powders to reduce harmful waste products, and works with South American artisans in the process. Each and every piece is unique as a result.
Mother of Pearl
Arguably redefining what it means to be sustainable fashion label, ethical and organically sourced fabrics via socially responsible factories around the globe underpin Mother of Pearl, from Uruguay to Scotland. At its predominantly plastic-free head office back in London, creative director Amy Powney uses the experience of living off-grid as a child to inform much of her professional life now, tracing the supply chain right back to cotton fields and farms to ensure it’s as sustainable as can be.
Butter-soft vegan leathers are an ethical alternative to animal skin, and cult brands like Nanushka, led by founder and creative director Sandra Sandor, are working hard to tackle sustainability in the process of making this new fabrication the norm. Eliminating the toxic tanning process of natural leather is a step in the right direction.
Zero + Maria Corenejo
Award-winning commitment to responsibility has been the key to Maria Cornejo’s New York-based label for around 20 years. It produces 84% of products in the city, promotes recycled packaging, works within a carbon neutral initiative to offset the impacts of shipping, and uses innovative dyeing techniques to minimise water waste.
Produced via the only denim mill in the world with ‘EU Eco-label’ certifications, M.i.h is conscientiously cool, setting standards when it comes to environmental impact. From the organic cotton it sources, to family-run factories it uses and the way it packages and ships products, founder Chloe Lonsdale calls her savvy instinct to do as little harm as possible “second nature”.
VEJA The sneaker brand loved by Meghan Markle uses fair trade standards and improved conditions for Brazilian farmers – proudly creating eco-friendly shoes that, frankly, don’t look like eco-friendly shoes. Founded by two Frenchmen, Sébastien Kopp and Francois Ghislain Morillion, VEJA is based in Paris but works mostly out of Brazil, where the majority of its suppliers operate and its shoes are made.