Selfridges' Bright New Things Initiative Is Serving Up Sustainable Fashion At A Decent Price
The fashion industry's impact on the climate is now known by most. Whether it's the sheer amount of water that it takes to manufacture clothes or our penchant for piling up landfills with discarded pieces, it's clear there needs to be a change. Selfridges' Bright New Things initiative is trying to do just that.
As Dazed reports, the project began in 2011 with a focus on highlighting the work of young fashion designers. But in 2016, Selfridges decided to champion sustainability. And it hasn't looked back since. Five new brands have now been added to the Bright New Things directory. Every single one has an eco-friendly ethos and will appeal to almost any taste with streetwear, denim, and swimwear all up for grabs.
As you may well know, sustainable goods don't come cheap. Although a fair few pieces retail for less than £100, you may find yourself spending quite a bit more than that for others. Price can be an immediate turn off, but these pieces are designed to last for years, making that initial payment slightly more palatable. Sometimes, it's worth thinking about cost per wear. That way, you'll know if you really are getting your money's worth.
If you're willing to spend a little more to help the planet, here's everything you need to know about the Bright New Things designers.
1. E.L.V. Denim
Fed up with traditional jeans? Then head straight for Anna Foster's E.L.V. Denim. The designer takes discarded denim and transforms it into unique spliced jackets and jeans. The reason for this? Because it can take up to 4,000 litres of water to create just one pair of jeans. Prices start from £150 for a pair of denim shorts and range up to £345 for the best denim jacket you'll ever invest in. Available in UK size 6 to 14.
Central Saint Martins graduate Elliss Solomon could certainly be in the running for the lowest carbon footprint. Her eponymous brand launched in 2016, reports Vogue, with one thing in mind: creating ethical womenswear. So far, that has involved creating everyday pieces (starting from £90) as well as stand-out dresses and even a swimwear item or two. Everything is made from eco-friendly materials including organic cotton and bamboo and created in a factory located next door to her studio. Available in UK size 8 to 14.
Conscious streetwear is the aim of Dutch designer Iris van Melsen's brand and Permanent is its name. “It’s almost unbelievable that the production of one conventional cotton T-shirt can require 2,700 litres of water — the equivalent of taking a 5.6-hour long shower," she said in a statement. So it makes sense that all of her tees (£45) and hoodies (£75) come with water-inspired prints and attempt to use as little of the resource as possible. Available in unisex size XS to XL.
4. Stay Wild
Stay Wild is a swimwear label with a pretty obvious theme: the health of the ocean. Created by Natalie Glaze and Zanna Van Dijk, the line of swimsuits and bikinis is created by recycling things like fishing nets. Even the colour scheme — think blue, coral, and white — promotes all things natural. "We don't promote excessive consumption," said Glaze in a statement. "High-quality pieces like ours can be worn again and again, which is how all fashion items should be treated." A full look will set you back around £140. Available in UK size 8 to 18.
5. Good News
The path to a more eco-friendly life cannot ignore footwear. That's where Good News comes in. Beginning life as a charity that has given over 3,000 pairs of shoes to migrants and refugees, the brand now sells its own trainers. Each lace-up style combines recycled rubber soles, organic cotton uppers, and a footbed made from castor beans. Prices start from £80. Available in UK size 5 to 12.
You can buy all of the above online or in Selfridges' London store.