Something Sustainable for the Weekend

Words by Cameron McLauchlan

It’s well documented that the fashion industry alone is the second most damaging industry behind oil. Its effects are widespread from its astronomical water usage in production, to dye and fibre pollution in local communities and agriculture. These are just some of the most common effects in a much larger list.

We are not heading towards an irreversible Armageddon type situation however, and due to the constant pressures from consumers and the pro-active approach of many sustainable brands, fast fashion companies around the world are now changing, pledging and offering sustainable alternatives in its production and product offering.

As environmental impacts of our industry grow ever more prominent it is crucial that conversations, coverage and consumer education on sustainable alternatives continues to grow.

In this edition of something for the weekend well be placing a focus on some of our favourite sustainable brands and highlight some of the keys words to look out for when shopping sustainable.

1. Dyes + Demons, ‘Caged thoughts’ T-shirt

Dyes and Demons or ‘D+D’ is a new Leeds based streetwear brand which creates meaningful designs which are both ethically and sustainably produced whilst doing crucial work to help raise awareness on an equally important issue of mental health.

D+D is the ethical streetwear alternative. When me and Indi first began setting up the brand we had two visions; create meaningful designs and only use materials closest to nature. Our brand therefore began focusing around two key topics; Mental Health and Global sustainability. Indi, the co-founder of the brand, hand draws each design which has become key in supporting our mental health aims.

We use our designs to create a lighter access point for conversations surrounding mental health, with designs such as Caged Thoughtsand Inner Demons, Our number one mission is to get young people to start talking about their own mental health and encourage them not to fight any of their Demons alone.

The use of natural materials extends far from the t-shirts we sell. We use bio-degradable potato starch mailing bags as well as our own100% cotton labels. We continue to use renewable energy in the production of all our t-shirts, ensuring that they are vegan and created using chemical free Dyes in the screen printed designs.

Every part of the production process is important to us and we wanted to tackle the problems of fast fashion rather than hiding them in our product. An example of this was finding a t-shirt manufacturing factory that empowers its female workers by providing them with free sanitary products and womens rights training programmes.

The guys at D+D will be at HEADROW HOUSE in Leeds city centre for the Anthropocene’ event, which hosts a a mix of art, film and creatives from across the UK focusing on ideas surrounding sustainability, consumption and climate change.

The event schedule is as follows, entry just £2 :

Sunday the 2nd of June 5PM-11PM

Monday the 3rd of June 12 – 6PM

Tuesday the 4th of June 12-4PM

Head over to D+Ds website below to check-out their full collection of current designs and keep up to date with their latest happenings.

Photography: Bronte Carter (@bronte.carter)

Model: Jerry Beatson (@88jjunior88)

2. Christopher Raeburn, Re-cycled polyester quilted Gillet

Christopher Raeburn has long been at the fore-front as a leading eponymous brand which showcases how materials can be re-cycled and re-purposed into fully functioning read-to-wear pieces. The brand works with its 4 core values known as the 4 Rs” at the heart of every decision it makes ; RÆMADE, RÆDUCED, RÆCYCLED and RÆBURN.

The 4 Rs all have slight differences however all exist with the overarching goals to reduce the impact the brand has on the environment and re-use surplus materials which otherwise would be sent to landfill.

From his time spent as an Air Cadet when he was younger he grew a fascination with military/utilitarian clothing something which stayed with him throughout his early designs at university and the subsequent founding of his brand through re-using such materials. Visible in his designs today.

Raeburn, studied at the Londons Royal College of Art before graduating in 2006. His pivotal moment came in 2010 when he won the NEWGEN sponsorship from the British Fashion Council, the brand was set-up the same year.

His clothes, for both men and women have as previously mentioned a very utilitarian visage with collaboration also a key part of the brand. Current available collaborations include Timberland and MrPorter.

As well as creating striking garments Raeburn also has an acclaimed Raeburn Lab” in London, open Wednesday through to Sunday it is open to the public and invited you to various workshops and event (please see website for latest)

I think as a designer you have an obligation to consider what you are doing and why; ultimately, we want to make strong, sustainable choices that provide our customers with a completely unique and desirable product

3. Stella McCartney, Julian Trousers