Yes you can still enjoy beautiful things: it's all about shopping with a conscience. We let you in on our favourite ethical and environmentally friendly fashion in Singapore.
We know firsthand how difficult it is to kick a fast-fashion habit. As hard as we try to reduce waste by renting clothes and only shopping for high-quality wardrobe essentials, it’s a struggle to resist the allure of high street stores or the highly addictive Taobao rabbit hole. Our inspiring interview with Green is the New Black founder Stephanie Dickson was a real eye-opener about the part we all play in consumption, waste and pollution. Yes we can still enjoy beautiful things: the point is to think about what you’re putting your money towards, what you really need and to shop with a conscience – this means supporting brands that aren’t just environmentally friendly, but ethical too.
If you’re new to MATTER, here’s what you need to know: it champions connected clothing – essentially knowing where something is made, and by whom. All of its items boast story and soul; its heritage-based fabrics are crafted by artisans in India, then finished off in a fair trade factory, where garment construction is the speciality. The brand even boasts an organic cotton line of breezy, yet structured pants, as well as ones made from biodegradable fabrics. You’ll see quite a few pairs of MATTER pants around Honeycombers HQ – it’s one of our go-to brands, and absolutely worth the investment.
Shop MATTER online.
Founded by editor Susannah Jaffer, Zerrin is dedicated to building a community of shoppers who #shopmeaningfully. The new one-stop shop for all things ethical is home to a variety of eco-conscious and socially responsible fairtrade jewellery lines and handmade clothing. It’s even got some of Singapore’s best organic beauty brands in stock, including Frank Skincare and Biconi.
Shop Zerrin online
We’ll come out and say it right now: soft t-shirts make us go week in the knees. So when we heard of a sustainable fashion brand which delivers these, we rejoiced! Under-the-radar Source Collections ticks all the right boxes – its t-shirts are made with quality, sustainable fabrics and are delivered in eco-friendly and plastic-free packaging. Best of all, it takes care of its workers, with excellent working conditions.
Shop Source Collections online
Mark our words, local womanswear label Esse is one to watch. Born out of a desire to redefine “disposable” mindsets towards fashion, the brand delivers quality classics made of more sustainable fabrics like tencel, bamboo and 100% organic cotton. Esse prioritises knowing and respecting its partners, with regular visits to its seamstress at its factories in Ho Chi Minh. Design-wise, we love that it combines clean silhouettes with neutrals.
Shop Esse online
We love how dedicated Icelandic jewellery brand Twin Within is to its cause; all of its pieces are handmade by mothers in need, as part of its partnership with the FOCOLARE organisation, located in the hills of Tagaytay in the Philippines. Based in Singapore, its current featured collection melds elegant designs with utilitarian materials.
Shop Twin Within online
We’ve heard of ethical beauty, fashion, and even food, but sneakers? That’s a first. At Veja, all of its shoes are crafted in Brazil, and made with only sustainable materials – its soles are made with natural rubber from the Amazon, while everything else is made with vegetable-tanned leather and ecological cotton. Perhaps best of all? They’re sleek and minimal, and will fit right in with the rest of your sneaker rack.
Veja is available at Small Boutique, #03-08, Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247933
An homage to ‘modern bohemianism’, Kalaia Label offers quality, understated clothing ethically made on our Singapore shores. Fabrics are sourced from ready stocks to avoid large-scale re-productions. And if you’re worried about wastage, fret not, as leftover fabrics and products are upcycled into new ones. We love the beach-ready designs, particularly ones from the Holiday collection – it features head-turning white maxis which won’t look out of place at brunches and beaches.
Everything in Zhai’s collections are made with natural fibres like bamboo and flax-made linen. But both fabrics aren’t just great for the environment– they’re also perfect for your skin, providing relief from Singapore’s hot weather thanks to its moisture-wicking abilities and air permeability. Here, you’ll find everyday basics of flare pants, maxi dresses and cardigans.
Zhai, #02-26, Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247933
Not to be confused with the club, volunteer-run Baliza makes socially conscious beachwear inspired by chic resortwear often seen in Bali and Ibiza’s beaches. Its clothing lineup – made up of long dresses, sarongs and cover ups – is entirely handcrafted by artisans of Ladli, a vocational centre called i-india in Jaipur, using ancient fabric making techniques.
Shop Baliza online
Eco-friendly since 2009, Etrican doles out sustainable threads produced in a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified factory in Tiripur, India. All apparel here is made with organic cotton, and are kept at wallet-friendly prices. Think everyday casual wear of loose maxis and printed, short flirty dresses for the weekend.
Shop Etrican online
Heads of State
If it’s a show-stopping hat you seek, you’ll love Heads of State – the brand delivers luxurious hats that are bold, loud, and more importantly, sustainable. All of its designs are made without the use of glues, chemical sprays and with eco-friendly resources.
Shop Heads of State, available at various stockists.
Eco warriors, sustainable jewellery is actually a thing – just look to Amado Gudek. All pieces are crafted using environmentally-friendly bioresin, which contains bio-based renewable materials and UV properties to prevent yellowing. The best part? Everything resembles wearable art. We’ve got our eyes on the Diamond Fauxever collection and the unique Drift Away collection made with driftwood.
Amado Gudek, Chancerlodge complex, 105 Sims Avenue, #10-07, Singapore 387429, by appointment only, e. email@example.com.
Jewellery with a conscience? We’re sold. Travel-inspired Tessellate.Co works with Fair Trade artisans and commits to empowering underprivileged girls with education. For every item sold, the boutique donates a dollar to Fior Di Loto, a non-profit organisation in India that improves the lives of over 500 village girls. Bling here is nothing less than stunning, with designs inspired by Southeast Asia’s traditional jewellery. Our picks include the 925 Silver rings from the Bold and Dare collection, and Vera pendant necklaces made with labradorite.
Shop Tessellate.Co online
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