Fast fashion is an industry detrimental to the wellbeing of its workers, as most work in poor conditions, earn low wages, and are overworked. Not only that but fast fashion is detrimental to the environment, too, as many dyes contain toxic chemicals that then pollute the public water. So how can you help change this? The answer is easier than expected: by switching your consumption of fast fashion to ethical fashion. Every time you shop, you are (unconsciously) choosing the type of world you want – and wouldn’t you want to live in a world where everyone is treated kindly, including Mother Earth?
If you’re wondering about if eco-friendly fashion is aesthetic then know that is most certainly is and that it’s not limited to just one type of fashion. Eco-friendly and sustainable athleisure is a thing and it’s honestly a rather trendy thing as more companies around the world continue experimenting with shapes and colours. While there are countless of eco-friendly athleisure brands to choose from, AkasaFit is focusing on the top 5 brands available around Asia.
Price range: upwards from 203 MYR (48 USD)
Terrae is focused on curating athleisure that is ‘made by people who are treated and paid fairly for their time and efforts’. The fabric is durable and made from Econyl nylon which is regenerated nylon made from discarded fishing nets and discarded fabric meant for landfills. To add to that, the swing tag and collateral sleeve is FSC certified while the garment bag is compostable.
Price range: upwards from 290 MYR (70 USD)
Outfyt is inspired by minimalistic Scandinavian designs as the founder is half Swedish and half Singaporean. Each design is focused on maximising the confidence of the wearer while a being designed for every type of activity. Made in Indonesia, the staff are paid above minimum wage and are provided with health insurance. For every purchase, 1% is donated to Healthy Seas which is an organisation that protects marine life and aims to prevent pollution.
Thailand: Shaza by Shalini
Price range: upwards from 183 MYR (44 USD)
Shaza by Shalini is a brand that collaborates with a group of (volunteer) divers who collect fishing nets and plastic waste from the ocean. The collected waste is then made into Econyl nylon or Repreve nylon – the former is made of fishing nets and the latter is made of plastic. For those not based in Thailand, the brand is available via Lazada.
Hong Kong: Rising Lotus
Price range: upwards from 147 MYR (35 USD)
Rising Lotus is a brand that acknowledges the need for self-improvement and thus, advocates the journey towards self-discovery. It is a self-proclaimed ‘athleisure brand for the women of the world who are actively strengthening their bodies and minds every day’. While not every item is 100% eco-friendly, most of the items are made from 88-91% recycled polyester.
Price range: upwards from 28 MYR (6 USD)
Stretchery was founded by two women, childhood friends, who understood the importance of sustainable fashion – especially as India is constantly exploited by the fast fashion industry. Besides sourcing textiles from a fair trade factory, Stretchery also uses eco-friendly dyes which most eco-friendly athleisure brands forget about. Specialising in the use of organic cotton, every item is made from it and scrap cotton is made into headbands. The profit from each headband sold goes directly towards the families of the cotton farmers – currently, though, the profits go towards providing sanitation kits to the aforementioned families.