Sustainability is a theme that has run through this very platform since early autumn. As the fashion industry looks at more ways of becoming sustainable, we’ve looked into how we can do our part. Today we are flagging some of our favourite Black and Asian designers that we have on our watchlist. This list is in no way exhaustive, but it’s a great way for you to explore other fashion avenues you didn’t know existed.
Check out some of our favourite designers below and let us know if we’ve missed anyone out. We’re always looking to add promising and eclectic designers to our radar.
Black-owned and female-run, Autumn Adeigbo specialises in made-to-order clothing that reduces waste as much as possible. This reduces the need for excessive manufacturing, saving energy and water. Moreover, Autumn sources her fabrics from France, Spain and the UK whilst paying her artisan workers who create the clothing fair-trade wages. As a result, they remain ethical and reduce exploitation. 100% worthy of being on our watchlist.
Edeline Lee produces timeless pieces that aren’t trend-driven, allowing them to be constantly recycled in your outfits. They use 100% renewable electricity in their factory and studio and intelligently cut their patterns to reduce waste. The company sources fabric locally in the UK as well as oversees factory conditions and quality to ensure a pleasing workplace environment. She uses vegan fabrics wherever possible, along with organic cotton and recycled polyester. Furthermore, Edeline uses biodegradable packaging that is recyclable. Perfect for the environment and consumerism. Totally worth being on our watchlist.
Studio 189 is an African clothing brand that supports artisanal communities and makes clothing with African influences. While remaining authentic and traditional through their collections, their focus is on creating jobs for people in Africa and supporting their education and training. Whenever possible, they use natural fibres grown in Ghana as well as recycled cotton and glass. They have also experimented with new fibres like pineapple pinatex and Tencel. The dyes are mainly sourced naturally from local plants and they use low impact azo-free dyes.
In India, Roopa Pemmaraju employs artisans who sew each garment by hand. She makes sure her artisans receive fair wages and a good working environment. By slowing down fast fashion, they aim to make their clothing last for more than a couple of seasons. Roopa operates a ‘made-to-order’ policy so that she doesn’t use a mass amount of material. When Roopa does make her garments, she uses natural fibres and recycled materials. Digital printing and hand weaving are used to cut down on energy.
Traditional Chinese designer Angel Chang focuses on sustainable design in her collections. She sticks to using traditional processes using organic and natural materials. Any water wasted is assured to be free of chemicals and non-polluting, allowing for locals to safely use the water. By sourcing locally in China, they keep their traditional and cultural roots close to their designs and have created many jobs for villages, allowing them to earn a living. Add Angel to your watchlist, as she often publishes her lookbook so that you can see what she’s looking to produce.
Nazifa is a fashion and style contributor for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, although she occasionally contributes to sseditorial runway and education. She regularly talks about all facets of the fashion industry, including sustainability, social issues, style, and fashion. She also enjoys going to art galleries and exhibitions when she has free time.