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4 brands leading the sustainable fashion movement

By Aileen Yu


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The world’s first museum for sustainable fashion opened in Amsterdam this month shedding light on the fashion industry’s role in closing the loop. Although there has been a growing awareness among consumers regarding sustainable fashion brands, it’s still not the dominant market share. Recently, a panel discussion was held in New York City by Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and NPD to address and inform attendees on the topic of sustainability. They discovered the demographic most likely to pay more for a sustainable piece of clothing was found to be Millennials and Gen Z. This group will soon make up more than half of the workforce and already heavily dictate style trends. Fashion is a form of self expression and will always remain a lucrative industry, but which companies are making the extra effort to contribute to the circular economy through sustainable fashion?


With the mission to further propel sustainability within the footwear industry, the two year old San Francisco based startup recently secured 50 million USD in funding. Already successful in developing a sustainable wool fabric designed especially for footwear, its eco-friendly material is drawn from eucalyptus and sugar-based foam. Allbirds’ newly acquired funding will be invested into research and development to discover more sustainable materials for the future.

Fast fashion-H&M

A pioneer of fast fashion, H&M has immensely changed the habits of shoppers in the 21st century. Human rights and low wages are pressing concerns resulting from the production of fast fashion that the conglomerate has been associated with in the past. Today, along with Zara and Stella McCartney, H&M is one of the top three brands actively expanding its role in sustainable fashion. With its “Conscious Exclusive” collection, H&M was able to create the line entirely with sustainable cashmere and velvet which was recycled from polyester.


Climate change and water waste are also looming issues when discussing about how to minimize the detrimental environmental effects of fast fashion. Wrangler, the American denim brand which is part of VF Corporation, has announced that it will become the first to launch the “Dry Indigo” denim fabric for a range of jeans. This new foam dyeing process hopes to decrease 99 percent of the water that is usually required in indigo-dyeing for denim.


Since the last five years, The Healthy Seas, an initiative that has cleaned up the ocean off the coast of Italy with volunteer divers and fishermen have collected 375 tonnes of fishing nets to be recycled. Aquafil, a sustainable textile manufacturer, will transform the rescued fishing nets into Econyl regenerated nylon, an upcycle material that has been used to create catwalk collections for high fashion brands such as Gucci.

Photo: Global Fashion Agenda
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