It’s 2020. We all know we need to step up and do our bit to help reduce the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve compiled a list of 10 sustainable clothing brands based in Wales, so you can support Wales and the planet, all in one go!
1. Howies (@howies)
Howies started way back in 1995, making high quality, sustainable clothing for running, cycling and the outdoors, as well as everyday clothing. Based in West Wales, the company is owned and run by its employees and uses organic, recycled or natural fabrics wherever possible. For instance; all of their t-shirts, jeans and sweats are made from Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton and their sport base layers are made using the highest quality Merino wool you can find.
Work Shy came onto the scene in early 2019, making durable workwear from organic cotton canvas. Demi and her team have since gone from strength to strength, running a successful crowdfunding campaign allowing them to expand their production and bring in new products.
All garments are made to order in their Cardiff studio. They use organic cotton canvas, dyed themselves with low impact, eco-friendly dyes. These dyes give Work Shy’s jackets their unique look and feel, as unlike heavy chemical dyes, their dyes soften and mature with wear giving that authentic french workwear appeal.
Maykher, founded by Heidi Louise-Griffiths, also took off recently after a crowdfunding campaign. Maykher is passionate about using authentic and local craft techniques for its pieces, such as block printing and backstrap weaving.
Maykher was launched with an agenda to help tackle education and inequality in the countries they work in. It’s ethical fashion that supports the needs and wellbeing of the planet as well as ALL the people involved in the making of every piece.
4. Rhetorik (@wear_rhetorik)
We couldn’t make a list without including ourselves! We are Rhetorik, a sustainable fashion brand with an iconic geometric style. Rhetorik began in 2016 as a group of friends at Cardiff Uni - an illustrator, a graphic designer, and a business manager. Four years later, and we’ve recently launched our Forest range, which donates 10% of our profits directly to protecting at-risk forests across the globe, because mitigation isn’t enough anymore. We’re dedicated to becoming an active part of the solution.
All our clothes are made in India in an ethically accredited renewables powered factory. The printing and garment alterations such as labelling happen in the UK and all printing uses environmentally friendly water based inks, in a workshop partially powered by solar panels.
5. Hiut Denim (@hiutdenim)
Hiut has been rebuilding the denim industry in Cardigan. For almost 40 years the town was home to a factory that made 35,000 pairs of jeans each week, but in 2002 the facility closed with the loss of 400 jobs when production was moved to Morocco to cut costs.
Fast forward 10 years, when Mr Hieatt - a proud Welshman - was looking to open a factory to start making jeans, he chose Cardigan. They use eco balls to mechanically soften their fabrics without chemicals, and an environmentally friendly eco wash.
6. DA-TI (@daticlothing)
Da ti in Welsh means ‘Good on you’. DA-TI clothing creates slow, responsible fashion and was set up by two sisters Julia and Sarah, who also run the Sustainable Studio in Cardiff. Dati clothing is created using environmentally friendly fabrics and upcycling to create sustainable clothing for an urban lifestyle.
They believe in the planet and people first, and describe their clothing as having a multicultural futuristic vibe. Definitely a vibe we could get behind.
7. Lifeforms Art (@lifeformsart)
Lifeforms Art began back in 2017 in Ceredigion, West Wales. They are a family business, and are all about spreading the conservation message and celebrating the amazing creatures that share our planet.
You can be sure that your T-shirt will be 100% organic cotton, printed in the UK, and made with the strictest environmental certifications for the entire production chain. Produced in exemplary factories that protect the rights of the men and women they employ and do their utmost to minimize their environmental footprint. They are.
8. Clecs (@clecs_cymru)
Clecs has Welsh at its heart. It was founded by two Welsh speaking sisters, Imogen and Bea, from Cardiff. Bea is an A-level student studying Business, Psychology and English and wants to pursue a career in business. Imogen is a University student studying Psychology. Their mum, Vicky, looks after the behind-the scenes aspect of the business and our brother Alex models for the brand.
Clecs was founded with the hope of allowing others to show their pride for the culture through clothing. All of their products are designed, printed and embroidered in Cardiff which means that Welsh companies are supported throughout the production of their clothes.
9. Bold Dino (@bolddino)
Bold Dino is a sustainable, handmade small business based in Wales. It’s run by Anna, who’s passionate about sustainability and giving back, therefore she either up-cycles items from charity shops to make her pieces sustainable and unique, or sources printed items from sustainable, fair-trade sources. We think it’s going to be big.
10. ALL the vintage stores
Okay so technically they aren’t fashion brands, but if you’re looking to support Welsh businesses and do your bit for the planet, we’ve got to give these stores a mention. My personal favourite is Sobeys, but there are so many more, from Hobos in the High Street Arcade to Little Empire Vintage over in Central Market to our local Penny Lane Vintage in Roath.
They all featured upcycled, recycled, authentic clothing from another decade, and you can be sure you'll be spoiled for choice for your next wavey outfit for a post-lockdown night out.