Everything we do affects the environment, and the same goes for the clothes on our back. That’s why eco-friendly fashion has been steadily gaining popularity amongst consumers, as seen evidently from the well-received offerings from brands like Toms, Stella McCartney, and H&M’s Conscious collection.
Closer to home, here are five brands for the eco-conscious to shop at.
1) Touch The Toes
The eco-friendly tag helps yoga wear company Touch The Toes keep its customers, says co-founder Eliza Inoue, 30. Close to half of the home-grown multi-label store’s customers are returning shoppers.
Ms Inoue, a Singapore permanent resident who has been living here since she was eight, says people are initially attracted to Touch The Toes’ vibrant designs and wide variety of yoga wear.
“But after they realise our apparel is eco-friendly… that is the key reason they keep coming back,” she says. “Customers feel good when they do good for the environment.
The signature traditional block prints that adorn the garments produced by home-grown travel wear label Matter do not come easy.
Its co-founder Ho Renyung, who set up the company with her friend Yvonne Suner in 2014, searched for craftsmen in Rajasthan, India, to produce her designs made from fabrics including hand-loomed cotton and natural materials such as silk and linen.
Singapore-based fashion label Etrican considers ethical practices such a selling point, its name is a combination of the words “ethical” and “intricate”.
Its clothes are made from only organic cotton, grown without chemical fertilisers and pesticides which can kill small animals nearby such as bugs, birds and squirrels.
Such cotton takes less energy and water to produce than non-organic cotton, and growing it also produces about 94 per cent less greenhouse gas.
4) Heads of State Millinery
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Milliners typically use steamers that run on electricity to loosen fibres, making them malleable enough to shape into hats.
But all home-grown hatter Chee Sau Fen, 42, needs is the warmth of her hands.
Most of the entrepreneur’s hats, under her Heads of State Millinery label, are made from abaca fibre, peeled by hand from the upper trunk of the abaca tree – a relative of the banana plant – native to the Philippines.
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Known for making clothes from bamboo fibre, home-grown eco- clothing brand Zhai is an extension of its eco-conscious team.
The seven-man group regularly use recycled paper bags and energy-saving light bulbs at the company’s office in Ubi Avenue 3. They prefer to use computer tablets instead of printing documents, and have cut their paper usage by 70 per cent over the past two years.
The brand was founded in 2009 by Ms Kim Rose Allen, an Australian, and her business partner Eric Polfliet, a Belgian.
This story first appeared on The Straits Times. Written by Melissa Heng and Benson Ang.