these brands are leading the way in sustainable fashion

As the fallout from the pandemic continues, altering the way we think, shop and live, one thing has come out of all the noise: a heightened awareness of the destruction humanity is wreaking upon the planet.

Whether through renewed empathy, heightened awareness of global current affairs, or simply weeks spent confined to home with few distractions but the internet, collectively we have emerged from the crisis with a new pro-planet perspective.

According to the MacArthur Foundation’s New Textiles Economy report in 2019, 1.4 billion animals a year are skinned for their leather. Quicklime is still commonly used to remove hair from leather in many developing countries, causing chemical burns to workers, while disperse dyes used to color synthetic fabrics such as polyester are difficult to remove from water. waste and are often discharged directly into the environment. , resulting in toxic poisoning of local plant and animal life.

Other chemicals such as flame retardants, resins and fabric softeners even alter the way natural fibers such as wool decompose, while the European Commission reported in October last year that the work of children was still rampant in 18 cotton producing countries.

To counter this, a growing number of GCC companies are offering ethical and cruelty-free alternatives to consumers who prefer not to fund bad practices. From producers of yoga mats, loungewear and ultra-feminine fashion, here are a few companies offering some interesting pieces that don’t cost the earth.


This UAE company was established in 2017 after its founders Natalie and Cobus Daghestani watched the documentary earthlings. Horrified by the reality of the meat and leather industry, the duo decided to launch accessories made with cruelty-free alternatives, curating a collection of vegan leather bags with timeless shapes and a signature print.

Materials used are certified by the Vegan Society, as well as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, to be 100% vegan and cruelty-free, which includes not only “leather” but also all glues, inks, dyes and fabric finishes. . Each bag is lined with cotton that is Global Organic Textile Standard certified and grown without pesticides, while the dust bags are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Even the outer bag each item is shipped in can be safely composted at home with no chemical residue. The brand’s production facility has been certified and assessed by the Amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative to ensure it meets the standards of open and sustainable trade. In addition, for each bag sold, Eurthlin plants a tree with OneTreePlanet, an organization that fights against deforestation in the Amazon.


In 2009, before conversations about sustainability became mainstream, Reema Al Banna launched her womenswear brand Reemami in the United Arab Emirates with a commitment to reducing waste, water and chemicals used as standard in the industry. fashion industry.

To create its distinctive contrasting patterns, Reemani uses unsold local fabrics as well as Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic cotton and denim, which are then dyed and screen printed to global standards. In addition to drastically reducing the amount of chemicals and water needed, the label also reuses fabric scraps, which are usually just thrown away, into headbands and scarves.

The brand has pledged never to use child labor, fur, leather or feathers in its collections, and works hard to ensure its garment workers receive a decent wage. Deliberately off-season designs help promote slow fashion and the brand’s strategy of only producing to order ensures there is no waste.


Abadia is committed to preserving heritage techniques through fashion.  Photo: Chris Whiteoak/The National

Originally from Saudi Arabia, Abadia is committed to preserving heritage techniques through fashion. Taken from the Arabic words for desert (badiah) and timelessness (abadi), the name serves as a statement of intent to ensure that traditional craftsmanship has a place in modern life.

Techniques such as al sadu weaving, which was inscribed on the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2020, are used with modern colors to bring a touch of history to each piece and introduce these craft traditions to a new audience. Abadia also uses unsold fabrics, organic cotton and recycled polyester in its designs, in addition to faux leather, with the sole exception of post-consumer camel leather.

Fabric scraps are repurposed into toys and packaging to keep waste to an absolute minimum, while all Abadia pieces are made in Lebanon, helping to support industry in the country and providing workers with a living wage.

The gift movement

The Giving Movement offers durable and comfortable leisurewear.  Photo: The donation movement

Launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the Giving Movement was born when Dominic Nowell-Barnes spotted a gap in the market for durable and comfortable leisurewear. After a year of researching materials and their various effects on the environment, he settled on sustainable fabrics such as Global Organic Textile Standard certified cotton, fast-growing bamboo, and nylon woven from water bottles. recycled plastic.

To ensure ethical working conditions for garment makers, all Giving Movement pieces are made in the United Arab Emirates by workers who are paid a living wage and have a two-day weekend. This proximity means that the company can guarantee that there is no exploitation or child labor in its supply chain.

The Giving Movement also donates $4 per item sold to Dubai Cares and Harmony House, a small charity that helps street children in India. Initially hoping to raise $100,000 in its first 12 months, in December last year it broke the $1 million mark. It has recently expanded to include children’s wear and a modest line, and in April held a month-long exhibition, Let Live or Let Die, in partnership with Dubai’s Bayt Al Mamzar Art Gallery, to raise awareness of the environment.

Brilliant living room

Glossy Lounge aims to take eco-friendly fashion to the next level.  Photo: Brilliant living room

Another local loungewear and shapewear brand, Glossy Lounge strives to reduce its environmental footprint while promoting inclusivity. Using only Global Organic Textile Standard certified cotton, bamboo and Global Recycle Standard certified recycled polyester, it offers a range of underwear, shapewear and loungewear in sizes XS to XL.

It also offers men’s clothing and children’s basics. Recently, it announced a partnership with Emirates Nature, part of the Worldwide Wildlife Fund, to donate money from every purchase to help restore the UAE’s mangroves, which play a vital role in protecting the marine life and coastal regions.

wild fabric

Wild Fabrik is an e-commerce platform for fashion and durable homeware.  Photo: Wild Cloth

Established in August 2020, Wild Fabrik is an e-commerce platform for fashion and durable homewares. With a focus on high-quality, natural ingredients and fabrics, it aims to support small businesses and artisan workshops, while offering a one-stop solution for those looking for ethical products.

Before a brand is added to the website, it is reviewed to confirm that it is cruelty-free, pays workers a living wage, and is plant-based. Wild Fabrik’s extensive offering ranges from clothing, including a range of vintage pieces, to embroidered linen towels by Pamuke, a banana fiber yoga mat by Earthistic and Egyptian cotton bedding.

He has also partnered with the environmental nonprofit Azraq in the United Arab Emirates to help fund the replanting of mangroves around Dubai. To promote a circular economy, customers are encouraged to return items they no longer need, to donate them to Thrift for Good, where they will be sold to help some of the world’s most deprived children.

Tribe of 6

Tribe of 6 specializes in sportswear, with a 100% eco-friendly touch.  Photo Tribe of 6

This brand is the newest addition to the regional sustainability scene and takes its name from the six degrees of separation thought to connect everyone. Like Glossy Lounge and The Giving Movement, Tribe of 6 specializes in athleisure, including t-shirts, long-sleeve tops and tracksuits made from certified organic cotton and fast-growing sustainable bamboo, while 45% of the collection is made from recycled materials. materials.

Founded by the Kuwaiti group Alshaya, Tribe of 6 aims to be inclusive, with sizes ranging from XS to XXXL. With several items designed to be fully reversible, it helps promote a more conscious and flexible approach to dressing.

All woven clothing labels are made from recycled fabrics, certified by the Global Recycling Standard, while paper price tags are produced under the direction of the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure good forest management. Parts are designed and manufactured in the United Arab Emirates, with working conditions and wages overseen by Sedex, an ethical trading organization that aims to improve working conditions in the global supply chain.

Updated: 05 June 2022, 05:27

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