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These New Gen Sustainable Fashion Designers Will Get You Excited About The Future of Fashion

by: Rosie Dalton | 3 years ago | Features

Image: from Jacob Olmedo’s graduate collection. Image source.

Fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world aside from big oil, which means that we are constantly trying to think twice about the clothes we buy and what their overall impact will be on the natural world around us. While sustainability is truly a holistic term at its core, the fashion industry tends to define it with reference to materials in particular. At Well Made Clothes too, we have simplified this notion by structuring our Sustainable value around fabrics that are organic, recycled or generally better for the environment. Materials dyed naturally rather than using nasty chemicals, for instance, are really important to us (and to our bodies). 

So whenever we feel saddened by the fact that 85% of the human-made material found in the ocean comes from clothing materials like nylon or acrylic, we are buoyed by the inspiring work of the new guard of sustainable fashion designers. Whether these are the designers that are constantly innovating to improve their processes and move into new areas of design, for example, or those that have only just graduated from college and bring with them a fresh perspective on fabric development — either way, these are the ones that are making us feel excited about the future of fashion again. There is still hope yet.  

1) Katie Jones

Image: from Katie Jones’ SS17 collection. Image source.

Katie Jones has managed to achieve that rare thing in fashion: creating a sustainable fashion label that’s also bright, brilliant and intricately detailed. Often the companies committed to sustainability are also those brands with a fairly minimal, timeless aesthetic. And we’re all for a timeless aesthetic, but sometimes it’s refreshing to have a burst of colour in the mix as well. Which is where this innovative Central Saint Martins graduate has us feeling so inspired. Based on the ethos of “Waste Not,” Jones uses only recycled materials reclaimed from the waste of companies like Designer Surplus. Jones then works alongside a creative team in east London, manipulating the materials using traditional techniques such as hand dying, crochet and embroidery. She definitely succeeds in making us feel inspired by colour again. 

2) Jacob Olmedo

Image: from Jacob Olmedo’s graduate collection. Image source.

Jacob Olmedo is a recent Parsons Graduate that believes in sourcing responsible, natural and ethical textiles. “Textiles in themselves are systems,” he explains, “they carry a large part of the energy used to create a garment.” Perhaps the thing that’s most inspiring about Olmedo’s approach, though, is the fact that he’s currently working on a project where he grows plants onto fabrics. "I engineered a hydroponic growing textile: a textile that supports and promotes plant life," he told Dezeen. "I see these as three conceptual pieces that act as environmental armour." In addition to this, Olmedo uses natural dyes; proving that he really is thinking about all aspects of the design process and how he can make it more sustainable.

3) Teller

Image source.

Teller clothing hasn’t quite launched yet, but it has already got us feeling excited about the future of fashion. Teller uses sustainable fibres such as rayon — which is made from renewable cellulose plants, similarly to Modal — and employs vegetable dying techniques to ensure no nasty chemicals wind up in your clothing. Most inspiringly though, Teller supports a group of women in rural Rajasthan. These women make the garments (each of which is numbered and can be traced back to the individual woman) and Teller is actively working to improve their quality of life by empowering them through employment.   

4) OHLIN/D

Image source

ÖHLIN/D is the brainchild of French-born Anne Deane and New York native Jacob Park. With a focus on high-quality materials that don’t harm animals or the environment, their progressive label features beautiful basics and denim pieces made from organic cotton and designed with a contemporary twist. It is fashion-forward, but still made from quality natural sustainable, which we love. Their mission is all about “making beautiful clothing and manufacturing consciously, with a focus on recycling all their fabric scraps, conserving water and practicing total transparency. Now that’s real sustainability.

5) Base Range

Image: the Long Sleeve Tee in Nude.

We’ve spoken before about how important sustainable lingerie is — we don’t know about you, but we’d personally like our underwear not to be loaded with nasty chemicals thankyouverymuch — and Danish-French brand Base Range has totally nailed this MO over the past few years. Something that has got us super excited now though, is the brand’s increasing focus on ready to wear. Designers Marie-Louise Mogensen and Blandine de Verdelhan favour natural, breathable fibres like organic cotton, bamboo and modal for their contemporary designs that feel both sexy and practical all at once.  

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