This article was written by Remake Ambassador Jessie Ampofo, who has a background in Business and Human rights research. She filtered brands through Remake’s rigorous criteria to make the discovery of stylish x ethical fashion easier for our community.
This summer I filtered 50 pioneers and emerging fashion brands through Remake’s sustainability criteria to see how brands that claim to be ethical stack up. I was on the hunt for womens, mens, footwear, accessories and lingerie that met our seal of approval. Those that passed are featured in our F/W collection. Here are 2017’s winners and losers.
A round of applause for:
1. MUD Jeans
MUD got the highest Remake score, 80 out of a 100, for their holistic vision to doing more good for people and our planet. The brand shares a detailed sustainability plan that encompasses each aspect of the supply chain, rather than picking and choosing areas to succeed. They even transparently share their factory audit data and work hard to recycle jeans when you are done with them.
Kowtow’s minimalist clothing is certified organic and fair trade. With an interest in craftsmanship and sustainability, they exclusively use organic cotton, GOTS certified dyes, and have partnered with Fairtrade International to help cover education and medical costs for their makers.
Soko is an ethical jewelry brand with a unique production model. Working directly with artisans in Kenya, they cut out the middleman, ensuring more wages in the hands of makers. If you are looking for sleek, geometric jewelry-this is the brand for you!
The Asos Eco Edit collection includes chic clothing, accessories, and skincare. This collection runs contrary to the fast fashion powerhouse. Every featured product had to stack up against detailed metrics in order to be added this collection.
5. Nudie Jeans
100% organic jeans (meaning makers and we aren’t exposed to chemicals) with repair services to be sure those threads are with you through the seasons. This splurge-worthy brand closely collaborates with their factories, and are members of the Fair Wear Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization striving for a living wage and better working conditions for makers.
I was excited to find a growing list of sustainable options for clothes and footwear with Po-Zu, Oliberté, and Veja really leading the shoe game. Sadly accessories had the lowest scores overall with very little publicly reported data.
We Need to See More From:
Some of the brands that heavily market themselves as sustainable or “transparent” were often the ones with little to no detail on what makes their brand sustainable.
In particular, I was surprised to see Warby Parker get a Remake score of 17 out of a 100.
Overall I found a lot of greenwashing. Brands were particularly weak in their commitment to addressing carbon and water impacts and their approach to maker well-being. We need to keep asking for more transparency from the fashion industry with our fav brands telling us how they plan to leave our planet and the people who make our clothes better off.