There may have been a time where appearing professional meant putting a lot of effort into looking and dressing sharp. On the opposite end of that style were so-called “hippies”, stereotyped as looking unclean or unconcerned with their appearance, instead focusing on non-material and altruistic pursuits. Nowadays, more people are concerned with the environment than ever before, and a new group has emerged: Sustainable Entrepreneurs. There is a lot of passion and a lot of money driving projects that improve the environment and leave a better world. With this comes new fashion needs, to look professional and presentable without filling landfills with fast-fashion and wearing the products of exploitative labour.
Stylish sustainable entrepreneurs rejoice! Here are some exciting new fabrics and companies to with innovative ways of helping our environment. These pieces are a great conversation starter that show your clean and professional side, and your dedication to sustainability too!
Yes, pineapple leather. Until now, the only alternative to the wasteful and cruel leather industry was petrol-based polyurethane. Now we have Piñatex, a pineapple leather from Ananas-Anam , which is a sustainable and natural product made from the leaves of pineapples, which would otherwise be thrown away. The fabric is being used by different designers for everything from sneakers, to purses, smartphone cases, and everything else leather is currently being used for.
Sonic Fabrics is a small business from New England which makes a unique product for music lovers: beautiful neckties made from recycled cassette tapes. Their ties are made in the USA and show that recycling can be creative and a lot of fun. Have an idea of what you would make out of this super cool fabric? They also sell swatches so you can make a sonic item of your very own.
Hemp really is a wonder-crop. It grows easily, is cost-effective, and produces a tough and durable fabric . It has a tough feel, perfect for imitating things like wool, denim, and linen. Many producers, like Washington/Vancouver-based Rawganique are experimenting with hemp clothing, creating polished styles that no longer look like they belong at Burning Man.
Recycled fur & leather
Love the look of real fur and leather, but don’t like the wastefulness of the animal product industry? Montreal’s Harricana is saving animal lives and human wardrobes with their repurposed pelts. Fur itself is a very durable material, that can last for over a century. In addition to selling beautiful recycled designs, they have a buy-back, tailoring and fur exchange program to make sure no pieces go to waste. Harricana products can already be found in major stores like The Bay and Simons, and is expanding fast.
What’s Next For Sustainable Fashion?
From small businesses like those we showed here, to bigger retailers like Zara, H&M and Adidas experimenting in recycled fabrics, we can say for certain that he future of fashion is sustainability . We still have a lot of work to do, but there is a proven interest in these green, cruelty free, and fair-wage clothing. We are glad to see so many retailers joining in, and making creative products with business professionals like us in mind.