1. Eco Swim by Aqua Green
As we are approaching the summer months, it seems only fitting to feature a swimwear brand at the top of this list.
Eco Swim by Aqua Green is “where sustainability meets cutting edge design in the swim industry”. The fourth generation family owned US company has a passion for preserving the environment through making swimwear from sustainable materials. Not only this, it also goes one step further by participating in beach and waterway clean ups to remove tons of trash from oceans.
Five years ago, the Pennsylvania-based firm formed a ‘Green Team’ to focus on both an innovative future for the company, the well being of all associates, as well as leading ecological initiatives which ‘reduce your carbon footprint in the sand.’
Available from 15 different outlets online and also in stores throughout the US, this should definitely be the beachwear of choice for the environmentally-conscious holidaymaker.
2. Study New York
Fronted by Tara St James, formerly the creative director of Covet, a mainstream eco-friendly sportswear collection for men and women, this US label only uses organic cotton, linen, hand-dyed fabrics and recycled materials while striving for no-waste pattern-making and production. Everything is made locally in New York.
3. Elroy Apparel
Formed by Leanne McElroy, the label prides itself on fostering responsible growth in Indonesia’s textile industry. Uses Remains organic cotton, bamboo, tencel, linen, hemp, wild silk, pineapple, wool and even ‘upcycled’ fabrics - scraps or end-of-rolls from large factories that are no longer being used.
4. CARRIE PARRY
A graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London and honoured with the Ethical Fashion Forum’s 2011 Innovation Award, designer Carrie Parry's line produces ethically and locally in the New York garment district, sourcing environmentally conscious materials and textiles supporting artisanal communities worldwide.
This eco-friendly label is based in the Isle of Wight. It makes organic, ethical clothing using renewable energy with award-winning traceability. Catering for both men and women, it promises customers that clothes are made ethically using cotton from low impact farming.
6. Alabama Chanin
Using a combination of new, organic and recycled materials, each item is hand-made by artisans living in Florence, Alabama. The brand stresses the importance of sustainability and “slow design”, which considers the social factors as well as the short and long term impacts of clothing design.
7. People Tree
Made famous by Harry Potter star Emma Watson’s collection, People Tree works closely with 50 Fair Trade groups in 15 countries. It works hard to ensure that it pioneers ecologically sound methods of production to minimise environmental impact at every stage of production to help alleviate poverty in the world's most marginalised communities.
Credau ‘blends Gallic elegance with a Saxon spirit’ in its stylish and timeless collection. The mens label believes in integrity and longevity through quality work and recycling, using fabrics and trims sourced in the UK and France and materials that are natural, organic where possible and from sustainable or eco sources.
9. Amawaki Lab
Awamaki is a Peruvian non-profit working with indigenous Quechua women weavers to improve their skills and increase their access to market, revitalising an endangered weaving tradition while affording Quechua women a reliable source of income. Its collections are designed by young designers who travel to rural Peru to work side-by-side by locals to create Peruvian style.
10. Katharine E Hamnett
Founded by English fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, the ‘E’ in her label stands for environmentally and ethically sound production. A campaigner of the use of organic cotton, Hamnett has always worked to increase consumer awareness of environmentally-friendly practices in the fashion industry.