This Canadian-Turkish brand manufactures all of its pieces, like bell-sleeved blouses and checkered slips, from fabrics that have been thrown away by garment factories in Turkey. “There’s a neighbourhood in Istanbul where they resell rolls of old fabric; I buy as much of it as I can, and that’s how I start my collections,” says Canadian-born, Turkey-based designer Megan Mummery. Because of the small amount of fabric Mummery can get, each piece is limited edition and each collection consists of just seven pieces — hence the name.
“Cashmere is a super-fibre,” says Mandkhai Jargalsaikhan, the founder of luxury-knitwear brand Mandkhai. “It’s biodegradable and will eventually turn into dust.” The label is based in Mongolia, a country that produces a third of the world’s cashmere. Jargalsaikhan says her brand is “goat to garment,” which means she controls every step of the production process at her factory, from collecting hair from free-roaming goats to sewing the pieces. And there’s more to the brand than fuzzy sweaters — think embroidered suits and ribbed bike shorts.
“The best way to be sustainable is to buy less, but the reality is that we live in a world driven by social media — people are consuming,” says Ethan Song, CEO of Frank And Oak. That’s why the Montreal-based retailer is making moves to reduce its carbon impact. Last year, the brand launched hydro-less denim, which uses up to 95-percent less water than traditional manufacturing methods, and made the switch to 100-percent recycled shipping boxes. Plus, each Frank And Oak store acts as a recycling centre where anyone can ethically dispose of old garments from any brand.
This article first appeared in the April 2019 issue of ELLE Canada.
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