Sustainable clothing is becoming more and more popular in every sector of the fashion industry. According to Sewport CEO Boris Hodakel, sustainable fashion and fair trade fashion are intimately intertwined; making sure that trade remains fair within the fashion industry also ensures that clothes are made sustainably, and to make the most of the recent sustainable men’s clothing boom, it’s important to learn more about sustainable clothing and how top retailers are making sustainable clothes that consumers absolutely adore.
What Is Sustainable Clothing?
Sustainable clothing is apparel that has been produced with sustainable means. The term “sustainable” in the context of today’s consumer economy is relatively complex, so it bears breaking down in detail. Sustainability starts at the place where a textile fiber is first produced. Whether it’s cotton, bamboo, hemp, or any other natural textile substance, it isn’t sustainable unless it’s cultivated with organic means. Worldwide organisations like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) oversee the cultivation of organic textile fibers, and to be designated organic, a textile fiber must be made in a way that is respectful of the local environment and culture where it is produced.
Cultivation processes that harm the soil, plants, or waterways in an area can’t be considered organic, and the production of organic, fair-trade textile fibers must also give back to the local community. In Sewport CEO Boris Hodakel’s experience, it’s all too common for corporate textile producers to take as much as they can from the farmers of poor countries while giving back as little as possible. Sustainable or fair-trade clothing seeks to reverse this trend. To be considered sustainable, this commitment to fair trade must be observed throughout the entire manufacturing and marketing process that goes into making a garment. Factory staff must work in safe conditions and be paid fair wages, and fair-trade clothing must be sold with fair and honest marketing techniques. In general, clothing can only be considered sustainable if it has a net positive benefit on farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. Sustainable clothing is apparel that makes the world a better place. It goes without saying that synthetic fabrics, which are almost universally made with harmful chemicals and which don’t biodegrade, can’t be considered sustainable.
Menswear in a Female-Dominated Industry
Sustainable menswear faces an uphill battle as it seeks prominence in the fashion industry. High fashion has always catered to women more than men, and even though sustainable and vegan fashions are now in high demand, this industry shift has yet to trickle down to menswear. Celebrity icons such as Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix are doing their best to popularise sustainable menswear in the annals of fashion, and the benefits of sustainable designer wear are bound to catch on eventually. For now, male consumers who want sustainable clothing might have to sacrifice on style and opt for eco-friendly brands with smaller price tags. There are plenty of brands that create sustainable menswear, but most of them don’t make dress clothing or other high-end textiles or accessories. Bit by bit, major designers around the world are accepting the inevitable industry shifts that are accompanying a greater consumer demand for women’s sustainable fashions, and the full-blown expansion of this trend into menswear is inevitable. For now, men can contribute to this trend by demanding sustainable clothing from top menswear designers, and they can purchase casual clothing options from organic and fair-trade textile manufacturers.
Key Sustainable Menswear Brands
While top menswear brands like Tom Ford, Armani, and Hugo Boss haven’t fully jumped on the sustainability trend yet, there are plenty of menswear producers out there who make sustainability their top priority. Here are just a few of the options that are out there for the discerning man who doesn’t want to compromise on his commitment to the environment:
Patagonia was one of the first eco-friendly brands to make a splash in the market, and it’s mainly known for its outdoors jackets. This company offers some products made with natural fibers, and it uses recycled materials for its outerwear.
The unique designs made by Prana aren’t for everyone, but no one can doubt this company’s commitment to eco-friendly styles. This company makes bright, colourful clothes that are perfect for outdoor physical activities, and what Prana lacks in high fashion it more than makes up for in its focus in only working with suppliers who obtain their textiles sustainably and treat their workers fairly.
Fashions by Thought are perfect for trendy urban men who want high-quality casual clothes made from sustainable hemp, bamboo, or cotton.