Men generally buy much less than women do and are famous for wearing and keeping their clothes for longer. The stats don’t lie, global womenswear including apparel and footwear is worth over $642 billion, whilst menswear is worth approx $419 billion – quite a significant difference! Perhaps you are not one of those men, or you have a lover, husband, brother, father, colleague or friend who loves shopping.
Mens purchasing habits are changing though. Men are the fastest growing category of shoppers and experts say that the millenial man is more likely to spend money on how they look than the previous generation. Some even suggest a shift in the behaviour of men, categorizing this segment as ‘metrosexual’ – a trend which shows no sign of waning any time soon. Metrosexuals are heterosexual men who love to shop and pamper themselves, traits traditionally associated with women and gay men.
Whether you are a metrosexual or you see yourself as a more traditional shopper, there is no reason why you can’t think about the environment, since there are so many incredible sustainable brands on offer.
Here are 7 Sustainable Menswear brands you should know about:
Brave Gentleman By Joshua Katcher
Founded in 2010 by Joshua Katcher, the brand describes itself as ‘the world’s first vegan mens lifestyle brand’. For the Dapper Dan’s out there, Brave Gentleman provides casual wear and formal wear encompassing suits, jackets, trousers and outerwear. Hallelujah, finally a sustainable formal brand for men with clothes you can wear to the office. Fabrics include future-silk (100% post-consumer fabric made from mechanically recycled plastic bottles) and future-wool (recycled cotton and recycled polyester blend made in a Brazilian fair trade mill).
No animals are killed in the process of making their collections. Another self titled fabric, future-leather is a PU microfiber that is water resistant and certified by EU-Ecolabel – a third party certification established in 1992 to help European consumers choose more environmentally friendly products.
Like any good gentlemen’s outfitters their attention to detail is exemplary and all buttons are made from corozo, a type of nut that is considered more sustainable than plastic buttons. All dyes used in the collection are low impact and the products are made in New York City’s garment district. I love the founders mantra “The handsomeness of an object should be matched by the handsomeness of how it was made.”
Outerknown is the real deal as far as brand authenticity goes – the company was started by surfers who see what mankind’s over consumption has done to the planet, especially the ocean bed. Believing they could do better, celebrity surfer Kelly Slater and designer John Moore decided to change the paradigm for classic surf wear by creating a conscious surf and casual wear label. Sustainable sourcing is at the centre of what the brand is about. Jackets and board shorts are made from ECONYL®, a fabric made from recycled fishing nets and surplus nylon.
They have all the items you would expect from a surf brand including, sweat shirts, purposely faded and aged t-shirts and a selection of lumber jack shirts that make me want to immediately move to California. Made from organic materials, this is definitely a range for conscious men who love the outdoors and the ocean. Something for ladies too as beach towels are made from organic cotton and baseball hats are made from organic cotton twill.
Knowledge Cotton Apparel
Knowledge Cotton Apparel’s was founded in 1969 by Jorgan Morup who started the company with his father. The brand has been working with organic cotton fabrics since the 1980s and Morup’s sons have also joined the business. Today the brand has everything any man could want, from formal shirts to underpants and t-shirts. The vast range of shirts include plain white work shirts, printed semi-formal, to casual flannels all made from 100% organic cotton. The collection is GOTS certified organic and Vegan approved by PETA. Singapore is one of the few countries outside Europe and America they ship to.
Kuyuchi Pure Goods
Kuyuchi is a sustainable outerwear label that has been in the market for a while compared to others. Started in 2001, the Netherlands based menswear brand prides itself on transparency, producing a range of denim, t-shirts, sweatshirts and other casual apparel for men. Womenswear has recently been added.
The brands tagline is ‘pure goods’ and all products are sourced ethically using sustainable materials such as GOTS certified organic cotton, linen (less pesticides and water), tencel (fabrics made from eucalyptus wood pulp with a more efficient use of chemicals and water) recycled polyester and denim made using ozone washing technique. The denim range is also made from recycled cotton and post consumer denim, which is previously used denims made into new yarn. The brand’s packaging is embedded with seeds that can grow once the packaging biodegrades.
Christopher Raeburn is a British designer who graduated from the prestigious Royal College of Art and shows at London Fashion week. Creating what he describe as ‘remade fashion’, the designer uses decommissioned military fabrics such as parachutes and surplus uniforms. The collection is manufactured in the East End of London, an area with a historic garment making tradition decimated by offshore sourcing and more recently widening income disparity.
The limited edition collections consist of tops, bottoms, accessories and their iconic outerwear. The company has ongoing collaborations with outdoor brands Palladium and Finisterre creating unique, brightly printed sweaters, colourful outdoor boots and performance jackets suitable for outdoor pursuits. This is definitely a collection for conscious men who love nature but need some swagger when they shop mindfully. The company ships worldwide and can be found stocked in multi-label platforms such as Farfetch.com.
Nudie jeans have become the epitome of a sustainable brand with great aesthetic appeal. Loved by hip urbanites, the jeans are made from fairtrade organic cotton and the brand offers a lifetime repair guarantee. They also recommend their raw denim is broken in by being worn daily for 6 months without washing. Loved by denim connoisseurs the range includes jeans and denim jackets in different cuts and colour washes. They also offer knits, t-shirts, sweaters, underwear and accessories. The brand currently ships to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Offering both men’s and women’s clothing, the brand describes itself as radically transparent – creating basics in what they call the most ethical factories in the world. Each product is sourced from the finest materials, so their range of pima teas, cashmere sweaters, Italian leather shoes, last longer than the average. The pricing transparency on which they pride themselves is based on retailers traditionally charging a hidden markup. Whilst Everlane offers well priced products with much lower margins sharing the total cost of each garment with their consumers. They ship to 38 countries including Singapore.