Matthew Williams - when subculture leads the change

Photo:  British Vogue
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Often when discussing sustainable fashion many people reject the whole idea of fashion being sustainable. The industry is associated with rapid change where new collections are launched before the previous ones even touched the customers skin. Luxury fashion brands and designers are often portrayed as the devil causing the hype of over-consumption. The last few years things have started to change. Suddenly, the ones being blamed are the ones leading the transition and innovation towards a more sustainable industry.

Matthew Williams is one of them. A Californian sub-culture-loving-designer (born in Chicago) that has his success proven by the work he’s done with stars such as Lady Gaga and Kanye West. When it was time to launch his own brand in 2015 he had done his homework when it came to sustainability. By digging into supply chains and exploring fabrics he kept on pushing his production team to find sustainable solutions. According to British Vouge he says:

We’re just fortunate that we’re getting to explore sustainability in this way: simply as an additional pillar of what we do
— Matthew Williams in British Vogue August 2019

The brand Alyx Code of Ethics has a long list of commitments. The brand stands strong against any kind of child or forced labour, sexual harassment, discrimination and so on. Further, the work conditions and the health of anyone being involved in relation to their safety system is a priority. The clothes are made from recycled cotton rich yarn and fishing nets. Waterless dyeing is implemented and packaging biodegradable. It seems like Matthew and his team takes a holistic approach and according to Vogue his family even moved to Italy to stay close to his factories.

It seems like the designer truly wants to create something that respects the planet and the processes in which clothes are created. I hope more designers are following his example. Another of his quotes might explain it better. :

I believe that there are too many clothes on this Earth. If I am going to take the responsibility of making clothing, I need to make something that deserves to exist
— Matthew Williams in GQ Style 2017.

Gestuz - danish brand using recycled polyester

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What is happening in the country south of Sweden? Since I started my journey to find the brands being on the forefront when it comes to sustainable fashion, many of the brands I found seemed to be danish. Are the danish consumers more aware? Well, their percentage of organic food sales is higher than Sweden but does that trend also apply for clothes? Or is it a part of the danish culture of Hygge to know where things come from and how they are produced? Who knows why, but I’m definitely going to introduce you to some brands who will increase your utility next time you visit Copenhagen.

Let’s get back to Gestuz. It was on a rainy day in Copenhagen me and my love passed by their store. What first hit me was the high percentage of really nice clothes I would love to wear. However, I remained sceptical since there was no evident communication regarding their CSR-work. I took out a few clothes items, stared at them and wished they where growing on plants in Denmark until i noticed the little text inside the skirt saying “recycled polyester”.

Yep, I had to do some research and found out that many of their polyester clothes was made from recycled plastic bottles. Further they have introduced organic cotton, all their leather comes from waste from the meat industry and the leather production also have high requirements of reduction in water waste where 60% of the water is recycled. They also ban fur and have strict criteria for the use of chemicals.

Well done Gestuz, I’m looking forward to see your CSR-work improving!

Kale 'Em with kindness - statement clothing for the plant based warrior

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Photo: Plant Faced clothing and the last one my private

A year ago I visited the Vego-festival taking place in Stockholm. Among all the new plant-based food options, giving visitors a tasteful bite, a few clothing brands had taken some spots on the arena. Plant Faced clothing wasn’t that hard to spot since the people working there looked just as cool as the people on their commercials. What’s this black-and-white-statement-streetwear all about? The answer was short - it’s a non-cruelty free brand, 100 % ethically produced. And honestly, I didn’t do much more research then that. I loved the message and I felt I had to get a t-shirt telling all the animal protein believers to fuck off - So I did get one - with a statement praying to kale instead of Jesus christ. I instantly felt I was a part of the cool vegan german cult (even cooler when it’s german and if you’ve been to Berlin you know why).

What does cruelty free means? It means that they’re vegan - which means that no animal products are being used. Not even in the inc. It also means that they have chosen to use environmentally friendly material such as organic cotton, their prints are free from toxic chemicals and their products are fair trade certified. Read more about their sustainability standards and get their clothes from their web! Enjoy!