It’s no secret that we’re facing a climate crisis here on earth. Temperatures are rising, ice caps are melting and extreme weather events are becoming increasingly frequent and catastrophic. The uncomfortable truth is that the fashion industry has played a considerable role in bringing us to this point, with manufacturing and waste accounting for huge amounts of global pollution.
People will continue to buy clothes, but it’s important to be increasingly conscious of what we’re buying and from where. If you have to purchase a garment, the most effective thing you can do is to buy it second-hand, but failing that, shopping for pieces made using recycled materials is the next best thing.
Let us be clear, we’re not saying that buying a recycled-cotton T-shirt is going to reverse global warming. Still, if you’re going to buy a T-shirt, recycled is better than not, making it one of many small changes we can all adopt in order to reduce our carbon footprints.
The trouble for the style-conscious individual is that ‘recycled’ has historically been a byword for ‘looks like it was bought from a stall at Glastonbury’. But there’s a new crop of brands hellbent on changing that stereotype and making recycled clothing cool. Here are a few of our favourites.
A Day’s March
There are lots of reasons to like A Day’s March, and the recycled fleeces are one of them. The Swedish brand makes a range of thick-pile fleecy goodness, including gilets, pullovers and jackets that riff on retro designs while incorporating contemporary touches. They’re ideal for layering and available in a selection of subtle and statement colours.
French brand Tricot works with recycled cashmere and cotton to craft its stylish, eco-friendly sweaters. The range includes everything from elegant knits to comfy hoodies, all made from repurposed waste fibres that would otherwise have wound up in landfill. It’s a great way to invest in a cashmere sweater, one of menswear’s must-have luxury pieces, while keeping your environmental impact to a minimum.
Artknit Studios is another great option for anyone looking to invest in some conscious cashmere. The brand makes stunning cashmere knitwear from excess fabric, which boasts all the same softness and quality as a regular cashmere sweater but with an alleged 92% reduction in its environmental impact. The fabric all comes from Biella in Italy, which is where all of Artknit’s products are manufactured too.
The perfect T-shirt is an elusive beast but we think we’ve managed to track it down. Made from 160gsm cotton and featuring a lovely bound neck (a hallmark of T-shirt quality in our humble opinion), this recycled tee really does take some beating. The fit is beautiful, the colour options are tasteful and versatile, and it’ll even make its way to you via carbon-neutral delivery.
Neem London is on a mission to make sustainable clothing stylish and we’d say it’s succeeding. The full range includes everything from outerwear to merino sweaters, but it’s the recycled shirting selection that seals the deal for us. Consisting of contemporary spins on classic styles, the range offers a variety of casual shirts to suit every taste, made using only the highest-quality recycled materials.
Saye’s footwear is striking yet simple, taking cues from retro court shoes while employing predominantly recycled materials and premium details to give the silhouette new life. Most of the sneakers are made from vegan materials, which is another box ticked off the conscious shopper’s checklist, and there’s the added bonus that they look great too.
We can’t get enough of Wax London when it comes to overshirts. They’re thick, stylish, excellent for seasonal layering, come in some stunning patterns and, if you didn’t already know, are made using recycled yarn. If you didn’t already have a reason to get your next overshirt from this conscious brand, you do now.
Yes, it’s owned by H&M. No, H&M doesn’t have a glowing track record when it comes to its environmental credentials. However, it’s impossible to deny that Arket’s range of modern minimalist staples is making recycled clothing cool, and surely that can’t be a bad thing. Not everything Arket sells is recycled, but a good chunk is, ranging from technical outerwear made from old plastic bottles to cotton sweats crafted from waste fabric.
Sustainability is central to everything British brand Raey does. The luxury label creates seasonless clothing in carefully vetted factories, using recycled fibres. The label is exclusive to MATCHESFASHION and includes everything from overcoats and knitwear right down to socks and sweatpants. Silhouettes are relaxed and slouchy, with a muted colour palette that’ll work all year round.