It takes a lot of man-made materials to make a traditional trainer. That’s something Umberto de Marco, founder of Italian sneaker brand Yatay, wanted to change. “Sustainability needn’t forfeit luxury or appealing silhouettes,” he says. “That’s why we focused on minor adjustments and updates to the styles we launched with, rather than getting sucked in to the dangerously disposable cycle of drop culture.”
Established in 2018, Yatay produces superbly sleek vegan sneakers, handcrafted in Italy from a mix of cereals (the soles and leathers), tree pulp (the linings), hemp (the laces) and recycled plastic bottles (the outers), all of which can be responsibly disposed of at the end of the product’s life using the brand’s complimentary recycling service.
More details at Yatay.
Harris Wharf London
Winter is coming, and if you’re looking for a new chill-beating top layer, make sure you check out Harris Wharf London. Set up by siblings Giulia and Aldo Acchiardi after they finished their courses in design and business in London a decade ago, the brand specialises in jersey outerwear made from high-quality Italian and Japanese fabrics in their great grandfather’s former glove factory in Turin.
What sets them apart is that they only produce to order, meaning there’s never any overstock, and they cut garments digitally to ensure as little fabric waste as possible. If there is any left after the cutting process, it is sent to a specialised plant in Turin that breaks it down to create new yarn, wadding or insulation – so homes will be just as warm as you are in one of their coats.
More details at Harris Wharf London.
When we talk about sustainable materials, it’s understandable to just think about fabric – but it doesn’t stop there. Neubau, an Austrian opticals brand dedicated to being as sustainable as possible, has just launched its first line of 100-percent bio-based sunglasses.
Inspired by Jacques Derary’s 1969 masterpiece La Piscine, hands-down one of the most stylish films ever made (so stylish that even its 2016 Hollywood remake, A Bigger Splash, was stylish), the collection features two styles for men, named after the movie’s two lead actors: Alain, a louche turn-of-the- Seventies-style aviator; and the beautiful bulbous Maurice. Both have been 3D-printed using a powder made from oil extracted from the seeds of castor oil plants, which can be reused if there is any excess, meaning far less waste during manufacture.
More details at Neubau.
Environmentally conscious fabrics are the only type that Swedish men’s underwear and swim label CDLP uses. Established in 2016, founders Christian Larson and Andreas Palm started out making block-coloured trunks, boxers and briefs for men from Lyocell, a breathable cellulose fabric made from sustainably grown wood pulp. While the idea of wood-based underwear might sound scratchy, trust us – these feel like silk and, due to the fabric, keep their colour wash after wash.
Since then they have expanded the line to also include slinky dress socks crafted from bamboo grass and swimwear (seen being worn by David Beckham on holiday this summer) cut from Econyl, a regenerated technical fibre sourced from fishnets and nylon waste. Most importantly, it all looks and feels damn sexy when you slip it on. Look good, do good.
More details at CDLP.
It’s hard to find a jeweller more environmentally-minded than Bleue Burnham. Formerly head of sustainability at menswear label Oliver Spencer, Burnham started crafting his eponymous men’s jewellery line in London in 2018 – and he takes sustainability incredibly seriously.
Perhaps most notably this can be seen in his commitment to only using recycled precious metals and lab-created stones in his eye-catching, exuberant designs. “Metal mining can often involve the destruction of natural environments and the use of toxic pollutants such as mercury and cyanide,” says Burnham. “Tracing metals back to source is also murky. As precious metals are easy to reuse, it makes using a recycled option a no-brainer.”
More details at Bleue Burnham.
Sunspel has been thinking about sustainability since before sustainability was even a thing. Founded in 1860, the brand, which, famously, introduced British men to the boxer short in 1947, has a policy of “no-waste luxury”, a term coined by its third owner, Thomas Archibald Montgomerie Hill, during the Second World War.
At a time when resources were scarce, he introduced an ethos of efficient design, responsible manufacturing and conservation of materials to produce items of the highest quality without excess or avoidable waste. It’s a policy that’s still a core part of the way the brand makes its superb, long-lasting staples today, now joined by responsibly sourced materials such as ethical Merino wool and organic cotton as well as the use of recyclable plastic and recycled card in its packaging.
More details at Sunspel.
Volunteer beach warden Dom Bridges set up Haeckels in 2012 after seeing the amount of excess seaweed that washed up on the shores of Margate, where he lived with his wife. That seaweed, harvested from Margate’s beaches, is still a perennial ingredient in Haeckels’ skincare and grooming products, but the brand’s global success has allowed the team to be even bolder with how they create products in an environmentally friendly manner.
Take its new Bio-Restore Membrane, a pack of 18 pads infused with hyaluronic acid, cucumber and witch hazel to help ease inflammation under your eyes and made from seaweed agar that is grown to order when you add them to your basket online (the brand emails you every week to let you know how your order is coming along in their lab). Unlike many disposable under-eye pads, these are not only 100- per-cent natural, but also 100-per-cent compostable – including the packaging.
More details at Haeckels.