Brands to Watch in 2018
By Hanna Pumfrey
Was 2017 the most conscious year on record? A recent report from Ethical Consumer certainly suggest it was and you can get my thoughts on this and a roundup of the conscious living highlights of 2017 here.
But, 2017 has been and gone and 2018 is here and ours for the taking! 2018 is being touted as the year of the ethical economy and the year of the super empowered consumer. So, here’s to making 2018 the most conscious year on record!
In today’s rapidly changing world, making predictions for the year ahead is a challenging job! But I'm keeping our eye on some brands because I'm pretty sure they'll be making the headlines in the coming year. So, here's the F + C top 10 list of up and coming sustainable Brands to Watch in 2018
- Awake Organics
I love the story of how Awake Organics came to be formed and the brands founder Melissa is a woman we can all look up to. This is Melissa’s second foray into organic beauty; after building a hugely successful, natural beauty brand in Canada, Melissa moved to the UK with her family and immediately started a new project: Awake Organics.
The Awake Organics Collection is carefully manufactured and consciously crafted by hand, using ethical, organic and sustainable ingredients. They buy their supplies from other British businesses, helping to keep money in the local economy. They are also big advocates for the earth by using materials that leave little impact. Their products are alive and as Melissa say’s; when you apply them with your whole heart and mind, your body will respond in positive ways.
They’re already award winning in the UK and look set to go from strength to strength in 2018.
2. Bozena Jankowska
Experience. Sustain. Repeat. This is the motto of exciting new brand on a mission, Bozena Janowska that launched in November 2017. Fierce, driven and hell bent on making us all sit up and listen, the brands founder Bozena is a woman that you cannot help but admire. She brings extensive knowledge in sustainability to the table, along with a passion for fashion to make her debut into the industry with collection ‘Ode to the Bee’, created in partnership with Buglife, and inspired by the world of our furry black and yellow buzzing friends.
If you're looking for work-wear with a conscience then you need look no further! Named 'Best Up and Coming Fashion Brand' by Eluxe Magazine in their recent awards we’re expecting big things from this brand in 2018.
Find out more about Bozena Jankowska.
3. Juta Shoes
Juta is a London based social enterprise making beautiful handcrafted espadrilles from reclaimed leather and environmentally friendly materials (3 of the 4 components in Juta’s shoes are biodegradable). Based in the east end of the city, they employ passionate, skilled local women to make their products and lead shoemaking workshops.
In the borough where Juta is based, over a quarter of residents are income-deprived, and women are even more likely to be under paid or unemployed. Juta’s mission is to combat financial and social isolation by providing well-paid, flexible employment, opportunities to build confidence and gain new skills, and a strong supportive community.
Juta is a true social enterprise that gives back in so many ways to its local community. As an East-end dweller mysel I am wholeheartedly behind Juta and its mission and cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store for the organisation.
4. Know The Origin
Know The Origin (KTO) is a women and menswear brand that is fully traceable from seed to source, something that not many brands can claim. This means that you can go to their website and see the whole process of how and where their collection is made. They work with businesses that are Fairtrade and organic, but that also have an impact on the communities that they operate in. Their goal is to create products with maximum social impact while also taking account of the impact of the environment.
Nominated by Ethical Consumer as their top-rated ethical brand, and just finished an incredibly successful Christmas pop-up that brought together ethical and sustainable brands from across the globe, the future is looking rosy for KTO. I expect to the see KTO’s marketplace expand in 2018, as well as start to see them in store, internationally.
Read The New fashion Norm’s interview with K.T.O founder Charlotte to find out more.
5. Lara Intimates
Pass Lara’s founders Faith and Cindy in the street and you’d see two girls in their early-twenties about town, having fun. But this pair are no normal recent graduates. The pair are on a mission to revolutionise the lingerie industry and bring lingerie craftsmanship back to Britain with reclaimed fabrics and eco-friendly practices.
Lara produce all their sets in their Soho factory from reclaimed fabrics that are sustainably dyed in the UK. The brand subscribes to triple bottom line’ framework, accounting for profit, people and the environment. Success for the girls is making these three elements coexist.
6. Les Sublimes
The brain child of Canadian Alexis Assignon and Parisian Kachen Hong, the pair came together to combine their extensive knowledge in the spaces of luxury fashion and sustainability, respectively to found Les Sublimes. Providing eco- friendly basics that are made from possibly the softest fabric I've ever felt; lenzing micromodal, the girls seem to have thought of everything. Packaging is well thought out, as is transportation; the brand uses carbon-neutral delivery service Colissimo to offset its emissions. On top of that, to avoid carbon emissions altogether, deliveries in and around Paris are made by bike-courier.
I'm smitten with Les Sublimes and can’t wait to see the brand grow.
7. One Aware
One Aware is a brand new bi-annual print magazine that explores what it is to live mindfully today; it explores our journeys towards a more mindful and sustainable future through a through provoking imagery and editorials.
Today we face an unprecedented number of challenges to remaining present and focused: we are surrounded by things designed to capture and hold our attention - from advertisement everywhere to social media notifications and distracting apps. Through One Aware, the magazines editor, Ana Carneiro, invites us to slow down, be present, and take some time to dream of the world we want to see.
Although Print Mags may seen seem like un-environmentally friendly indulgence, Ana has thought of everything.
One Aware is:
- printed in uncoated paper from mixed recycled and FSC certified sources, meaning it doesn't have any plastic in it
- stapled to avoid using glue, vegan, completely recyclable and compostable
- printed just outside of London to reduce its travel miles, at Pureprint: an award winning printer for their sustainability and the first certified carbon neutral printing company
Stay tuned for the F + C interview with the inspirational Ana Carneiro out later this month.
Buy the First Edition of One Aware online.
8. Study 34
Newcastle based Study 34 recently launched a collection of soft and lightweight knits for women in 100% baby alpaca. Available in two classic and natural shades, light grey and camel, if you’re looking for a sleek knit for the office we think this is the perfect choice.
Read more on alpaca as a sustainable knitwear alternative.
9. Urban Green
Founded in 2016 and bridging the gap between nature and urban life is a shared goal of F + C and Urban Green, so when I discovered the brands founder Julija I knew we had to get in contact! Based in the creative capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, Julija is creating collections to suit the city dweller, at affordable prices, from natural materials. And the designs are beautiful. Her inspiration? Dinners with friends, nights out, trips to art galleries and the cinema, reading a book with a good cup of coffee. And the list goes on... sound familiar?
With this ethos, I expect to see a lot more from Urban Green in 2018. The F + C interview with Urban Green’s founder Julija is out later this week, stay tuned!
10. Xandra Jane Design
Launched in 2015, Xandra Jane Design aims to reconnect us with the joy of making our own clothes and forces us to ask those important questions that help to make us conscious consumers, whilst at the same time being a sustainable designer brand that is on course to rival some of the industry’s most established names.
Xandra Jane’s approach to clothing stems from unusual, original concepts, often enhanced by cultural interests. All their work revolves around sustainable design and the brands fabric sourcing and manufacturing takes place entirely within the UK. Through their collections they explore important subjects such as gender fluidity through zero waste processes and up-cycled luxury that celebrates reworked one-off garments.
With achievements, such as ‘New Business Finalist 2017’ and ‘Sustainability Champion Finalist 2016’ among its list of accomplishments I'm rooting for Xandra Jane in 2018.
If you’re wondering where to shop these brands and others, here’s a list of my favourite ethical marketplaces: