Sustainability is anything but boring. Eco-conscious brands have proven that creativity is the next step forward in protecting our planet, whether they’re designing their next vegan shoe collection or offsetting their carbon footprint. Sublime introduces the UK’s top cool sustainable brands.
Aspiga is a one-stop-shop for sustainable fashion, using materials sourced from natural, organic, renewable, and recycled sources wherever possible. They boast gorgeous dresses, beautiful blouses, cover-ups, and Kenyan sandals and, in the men’s section, you’ll find a capsule collection of crisp linen and organic shirts and shorts. From the production processes to the materials, fabrics, and packaging choices, Aspiga has been committed to reducing and offsetting their carbon footprint across all operations since 2005.
Core to Aspiga’s DNA is supporting positive change. The brand has nurtured a strong relationship with community initiatives. In 2020, they donated to and worked with WaterHarvest in India, the Elimu Sewing Project, Restart Africa, Bluebells School in Kenya, NHS Charities Together and Crisis at Christmas in the UK. Aspiga regularly partners with artisans and suppliers from marginalised communities, primarily in Kenya and India, aiming to stimulate their economies and empower them so they can sustain their livelihoods and thrive. The brand also runs a monthly Beach Clean-Up Campaign in Malindi, Kenya, and sponsors twelve of their volunteers to attend school. This way, they gain access to the education they may have previously been unable to afford.
Aspiga has made an impact on the world of fashion, too. The brand is a finalist in the Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2021 as Brand of the Year and was voted one of the Top 21 best and most stylish sustainable brands by The Daily Telegraph. And thanks to their dedication to protecting and preserving our oceans and beaches, they landed first place in Cabana and Capsule’s Beach Clean Up Competition 2020.
Coming soon is a range of Aspiga swimwear in sustainable fabrics and a collaboration with the leading fashion influencers Belle & Bunty. 2021 will also see a series of pop-up shops opening across the UK, including London’s Kings Road, Polzeath in Cornwall, and Worcestershire.
Beyond Skin was founded in 2001 with the clear objective of offering luxury vegan footwear that encompassed individuality, authenticity and sustainability. The launch of the brand aimed at a specific target consumer base: the discerning, those who care about where their fashion comes from and what it stands for.
Marrying timeless, trans-seasonal classics with an authentically sustainable DNA and slowing fashion down, Beyond Skin is quickly approaching its second decade of producing beautiful, sustainable style and covetable design. Designed in England and ethically handcrafted in Spain using luxurious, vegan, Italian fabrics, Beyond Skin has built a feverish cult following for its trademark vintage-inspired silhouettes, expertly fused with a contemporary twist. The brand has become renowned for combining rich, opulent prints and textured faux leathers, with a focus on creating a high level of quality, design and craftsmanship.
The Beyond Skin team works closely with their shoemakers in Spain, who use sustainable materials and processes developing a new kind of luxury, one seeks to inspire more discerning, conscious fashion choices. Pioneering the way in sustainable fashion, Beyond Skin consistently demonstrates that transparency and social responsibility are not mutually exclusive.
Beyond Skin shoes have been worn by A-list celebrities like Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, Fearne Cotton, and Jasmine Hemsley for both the Oscars and Golden Globes. And that’s not it – the brand proudly holds numerous industry awards, including recognition by the RSPCA, PETA, and Grazia.
Riso Gallo is the first international brand in its sector to have undertaken the production of rice from sustainable agriculture, rendering their premium best-selling risotto rices – Gallo Risotto Tradition, Arborio, Carnaroli and Carnaroli Rustico – fully sustainable.
‘Cultivate the Future’ is the brand’s innovative measure on social and environmental responsibility. It highlights their commitment to the needs of the community and farmers whom they work with, which may include reduction of packaging materials, energy consumption, waste production, and CO2 emissions. Sustainability and the exclusive use of recyclable plastic are also indicators of the continuous attention to excellence from the Italian Maestro of Risotto.
A focus on 0km sourcing of top quality raw materials is priority for the brand, too. All of Riso Gallo’s premium rice varieties are cultivated in Italy, certified for sustainability by the Farm Sustainability Assessment. Carnaroli and Arborio are grown a few kilometres from the Riso Gallo headquarters in the Pavia area of northern Italy, where the skilful workmanship of man combined with the best technologies. Here, a modern agricultural model is built in natural balance with the earth and its fertility, respecting nature and the farmers.
This mindset stems from collaboration with farms that guarantee full respect for workers’ rights. And it is also advantageous for farmers, because Riso Gallo guarantees fair and stable prices which are agreed on before sowing. All rice variants are packaged using FSC-certified cardboard and recyclable plastic, and Riso Gallo boasts a fully-traceable supply chain to offer high quality rice, produced efficiently while protecting the natural environment.
In a nod towards the classics, London-based designer Serran has brought back the iconic double-breasted buttons. Among its collections, you’ll find chic outerwear, accessories, and homeware.
Their double-breasted pieces are versatile, making each a valuable addition to a capsule wardrobe. For a casual outfit, consider wearing as a jacket over a polo neck with your favourite organic jeans. If you are looking for a smart look, wear this as a sophisticated blazer. And if you want to make a statement, wear the Serran double breasted jacket with nothing else but your sharpest stilettos.
Serran is an ever-evolving and adapting brand. They strive for sustainable fashion and ethical working standards, a promise that they keep through purely in-house operations. Each Serran design is handcrafted to order from their London workshop. At the helm is tailor Randell Sergeant, whose sartorial background is evident in the meticulous execution of Serran’s designs: from the intricate details to the well-thought-out construction. With in-house tailoring, Serran accommodates custom measurements for any of their designs, as well as bespoke orders for those who are looking for something extra special.
The brand’s ‘just in time’ approach, where each item is made-to-order and delivered in a matter of days, means they never overproduce. Brands creating surplus stock are a huge contributor to pollution – the high quality and timeless style of each Serran design is intended to extend the lifespan of their clothes, encouraging the consumer to buy less and buy better. Shop the look.