These on-the-brink brands are powered by ethics. They value sustainability over growing margins. We recommend you get them on your style radar.
It all started with a bucket bag and boom, Staud became a household name amongst fashion insiders like Alexa Chung and Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine. Of course, it helps when you have a solid fashion background like Sarah Staudinger did as the ex-fashion director of sustainable e-commerce fashion platform Reformation.
She launched Staud in 2015 as she felt the void in well-priced clothing that was chic and unique. Today, her brand is the go-to for timeless everyday type of clothing and accessories, all manufactured in limited quantities to ensure quality of product in her hometown of Los Angeles.
Best buys: Bucket bags and vintage-inspired cotton-poplin dresses
Staud is available at Net-a-porter.com.
Spencer Phipps, a former menswear designer at Dries Van Noten, is now heading up his eponymous label. It’s an eco-conscious brand that utilises organic cotton, recycled nylon, Mongolian yak, British wool as well as natural dyes. It focuses on sustainable manufacturing processes. His line features a luxe, sportswear-meets-tailoring vibe and his earth-friendly ethos was largely influenced by his San Franciscan childhood.
Best buys: Sweaters, organic cotton T-shirts and organic cotton chino trousers.
Phipps is available at Matchesfashion.com.
Also known to its founders Kate Zubarieva and Asya Varetsa as the “uniform for happiness”, Sleeper started out as a self-funded project with a startup capital of USD$2,000. The idea behind Sleeper’s transitional sleepwear wardrobe is simple. Both Zubarieva and Varetsa believe in creating a garment that could easily be integrated into your closet – like wearing a pyjama top to the office instead of a regular shirt or a silk robe that can also double up as a summer coat.
All their pieces are “made-to-order” which means there will no wastage as the brand prides itself on quality not quantity. Each garment is hand sewn and takes between eight to 12 hours to finish. The company also uses only natural eco-friendly fabrics with a bulk of their garments made in linen as it’s a local Ukrainian fabric.
Best buys: Basic PJs, off-the-shoulder linen dresses or the Brigitte Flower Print Maxi dress
Sleeper is available at the-sleeper.com.
Although Budapest-based brand, Nanushka was established in 2005, for the first seven years they only sold within Hungary. It wasn’t until 2016 when they started branching out actively on an international platform, showing at New York Fashion Week this year and stocked at luxury retailers and e-commerce platforms like Net-a-porter and Selfridges.
Last year, the brand whose signature style is predominantly feminine with an east-meets-west vibe, introduced vegan leather – a 100% animal-friendly faux-leather – in their collections. Says its founder Sandra Sando to Refinery29.com, “I think the fashion industry is changing – we have to take better care of our planet.”
Best buys: Any of their vegan leather pieces.
Nanushka is available at Net-a-porter.com.