Friday, 24 June 2016

Ethical Fashion: Braintree Clothing

The thing I realised last month is that all the ethical fashion label I have showcased on this blog so far make clothes only for women—although sometimes for children too—and none for men. What happens when a man wants to go ethical? Are they just supposed to be stuck with fast fashion? Well, luckily, after going to google with it, there are plenty of amazing ethical menswear labels across the globe. Some of them cater specifically to men but most of them do both men and women. And, since the menswear industry isn't exactly big, they have very little selection of clothes, I suppose. But let's start with one brand whose tagline is "thoughtful clothing." Let me introduce you to Braintree Clothing!

Braintree started out in Australia back in 1995, with the founder, John, who in 2002 moved the whole brand to London, and Rachel, who joined the team in 2008. First, they began to have their own pop up shop and catered exclusively to menswear. By 2005, they managed to set up their website, office and warehouse. Now, with over 500 distributors around the world, they still think of themselves as a small business with around 20 people working in their offices in North London. They believe in doing business openly, being honest and down-to-earth. It is their principal to be thoughtful in every aspect of their business. Their mantra is 'Wear Me, Love Me, Mend Me, Pass Me On.'

For their clothes, Braintree started out using hemp as their go-to fabric, since it has a beautiful, textural finish and it softens after each wear. Now they also use naturally grown materials, such as bamboo, cotton, wool, rayon and—their newest addition—Tencel, which are not only safe for the environment, but also often softer and stronger. Their cotton is Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) certified, their wool is cruelty-free and their dyes are Azo-free, which means they are free from harmful carcinogens. You can read more on their thoughtful fabrics here. In terms of manufacturing, Braintree also has an ethical code of conduct as a guide on how to treat their workers. Their designs are also made to cater to sustainable, slow fashion and make people feel good about themselves through and through. 

As for their design, Braintree leans towards a more casual style, to be worn by anyone at any time. Their focus is solely on the comfortable factor of clothing but still with beautiful silhouettes, lovely patterns and wonderful quality. Although it used to cater specifically to menswear, now Braintree has a wide selection of womenswear as well as socks and accessories. Their designs tend to be so close to nature, taking plants and flowers as inspiration. I absolutely love their play on classic patterns, such as plaid, stripes and polkadots, as well as novelty prints. Their latest collection is my favourite! All the gorgeous dresses are just beckoning for me to come and get them. Now with countless options for both men and women, you can go ethical with your significant other too!

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