Natural clothing is an obvious choice if you’re looking for slow fashion or a sustainable style that doesn’t trash the planet.
Why Choose Natural Clothing?
Natural clothing has well known, eco friendly benefits because natural materials can be :
- Grown organically & sustainably
- Produced non-toxically
- Made to last and mended
- And finally are biodegradable
But there are also a bunch of other big benefits to natural clothing you may not know.
Natural materials actually :
- Have synthetic beating super powers
- Support small scale skilled production
- And have lower clothes miles.
These big benefits can help us and the planet.
I’m going to share quickly these benefits and then a list of wonderful natural clothing brands supporting sustainable fashion.
1. Natural Super Powers
Huge amounts of money is invested in synthetic fibre development but few of them can beat the super powers of natural materials.
Made from natural flax, linen is strong but also naturally cooling as it prevents warmth being trapped by our skin. It also absorbs a phenomenal amount of moisture without getting wet, so it doesn’t get sweaty.
Hemp fabric is lightweight and absorbent but very strong. It also has natural weather and mould proofing properties and is easy to grow organically without using too much water.
Cotton is obviously lightweight and breathable but also naturally hypoallergenic.
Cotton crops can soak up water and pesticides but the problem’s not with cotton, it’s the:
- Sheer volume grown for crazy fast fashion
- And how we grow it.
Smaller scale, organic cotton is sustainable and can be used in durable denim, drill and cord.
We all know wool keeps us warm, right?
But it can ALSO keep us cool in the summer because it has natural thermostatic powers.
Wool is also anti-microbial and anti-bacterial so needs less washing than synthetics.
AND less laundry equals less pollution!!
2. Small Skilled Producers
Natural materials can be milled and woven easily on a small scale without huge factories.
Production can rely on deep skill – passed down with pride – rather than toxic technology.
So when we choose natural clothing we help to bring skilled jobs back to our communities.
And skilled local jobs are great for the planet as well as communities as they cut clothes miles.
3. Lower Clothes Miles
If we truly want to stop trashing our planet, we absolutely must lower our clothes miles.
Transportation of consumer goods, especially clothes, around the globe is one of the biggest – if not biggest – sources of toxic pollution.
So using our purse power to buy locally made, natural clothing truly can help the world.
OK but where can we buy natural clothes?
Well, if you’re a fellow Brit I’ve got 15 brands for you here who are all making natural clothing in the United Kingdom.
In this list I’ve focused on a workwear aesthetic: jeans, chore coats, boiler suits, smocks and the like made in linen, cottons and hemp.
I will be sharing separate lists of:
- British knitwear makers
- Luxe British brands using natural fabric
- Natural clothes brands in the USA.
So do follow my Slow Fashion board to see these and more sustainable style ideas.
4. 15 Brands Making Natural Clothing In Britain
- Blackhorse Lane : organic jeans, chore coats and smocks made in a renovated 1920s factory in Walthamstow London.
- Bug : small collection of essentials made in natural fabric deadstock from designer factory waste in East London.
- Carrier Company : classic workwear essentials from collarless shirts in Irish linen to traditional guernsey, fishermen’s and lambswool jumpers, waistcoats & coats designed and made in Wighton just a few miles from north Norfolk’s beautiful big beaches.
- Colenimo : capsule collection of contemporary essentials made with Irish linen, cotton and silk in a Shoreditch workshop.
- Emily & Khadi : small collection of naturally dyed essentials made from khadi hand woven in India by a not for profit group and cut and sown in Cornwall and London.
- Henri London : organic cotton workwear made mostly in London.
- Kate Sheridan : women’s workwear inspired essentials including denim dungarees, boiler suits, pottery dresses and more made in durable corduroy and cotton drill across the United Kingdom.
- Jane Forty Five : unisex workwear style shirts, jackets and more handmade to order from sustainably produced linen and cotton in London.
- Nadinoo : simple linen and organic essentials made to order to last forever in the small Rutland town of Oakham.
- Pajotten : workwear inspired clothing in natural fibres including capsule tops, & trousers plus dungarees, made in Tenterden on the edge of The Weald, Kent’s ancient forest.
- Phaedra Clothing : simple sustainable workwear inspired essentials for tall women handmade in Norwich.
- Ren London : capsule wardrobe in natural fabrics including recycled cotton. Collection includes sumptuously simple jumpsuits. Designed and manufactured in London.
- Rozenbroek : vegan and organic clothing menswear basics made in solar powered factory in East Yorkshire.
- Stalf : capsule collection of jumpsuits, sweatpants, ts, vests designed, cut and made in Lincolnshire from organic linen and cotton using non-toxic dyes.
- Yarmouth Oilskins : classic workwear for British living including smocks, shirts and dungarees still being made by 20 skilled machinists in a small factory in Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast.
I do hope you find what you’re looking for from these wonderful skilled makers.
Remember every one thing you buy from them rather than five from the high street :
- Slashes toxic pollution and waste
- Cuts clothes miles
- Brings skilled jobs – and pride – back to small communities across our islands.
So when you’re shopping, spend well.Original images : Marco Verch & Weaving