Image courtesy of KAAREM

From my previous article we understand why ethical fashion needs to be a priority and know that our consumption choices in buying better is a way to pioneer change. But how do we put this into practice? Who are the independent designers that hold sustainable practices to create lasting solutions in garment manufacturing?

Let’s start with Asia. Some Asian countries have booming economies heavily reliant on manufacturing and clothing exports. Unfortunately, workforce exploitation and environmental degradation also occur en masse, but it is precisely because of this that the growing number of fair trade business models has become a catalyst for social change in those areas. Ready-to-wear labels like “KAAREM,” from Vietnam, or Indian-made “ace & jig” are challenging the status quo by reinventing old-age methods and finding new ways to make form and function work together in a sensible fashion.

Beautiful minimalist clothing with quiet tailored details and loose cuts in timeless silhouettes. Producing each garment from start to finish in their studio in Ho Chi Minh City with a close-knit team of designers, patternmakers, seamstresses and artisans, KAAREM believes in craft, construction and quality. The influences of traditional Vietnamese costume (áo dài) like blind stitching and hand-sewn details are integrated into collections that celebrate these cultural nuances while exploring femininity through masculine silhouettes. For the designers themselves, sustainability is a life extension, finding it inspiring and challenging to design within boundaries.



On the other side of the visual spectrum, ace & jig embodies an eclecticism in the joy of print and color. Storytellers at heart, ace & jig is a brand thriving on love for textures in colors and patterns, worn-in linen, and the holistic kaizen philosophy. Working with a textile specialist based in India that uses recycled water to grow organic produce and provides free childcare for employees, the design duo at ace & jig work with women one-on-one to create custom yarn-dye woven fabric from an ancient hand loom.


Image: ace & jig

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Editor’s Note: Samantha Wong and Tania Reinert-Shchelkanovtseva of A Boy Named Sue join Conscious to share “Why Sustainable Fashion Matters” here on consciousmagazine.co. Check out their interview and feature here. This article was co-written by Samantha Wong, Tania Reinert-Shchelkanovtseva, and Kadri Kouts.