Layer it up: Essential ethical menswear you need for autumn

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It's here. Our first big ethical menswear fashion edit for the cooler months ahead. From chunky knit sweaters suitable for rugged outdoor life to Welsh-made, sustainable denim that will last forever. Guys, dig in.

Mollie Carberry 10 September 2018

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With the long, glorious summer coming to a close, it’s nearly time to look ahead to woolly jumper and bobble hat season. Cosy casual menswear can still be equally stylish and sustainable, though. We’ve browsed our favourite ethical menswear brands and put together a list of our must-haves for the coming autumn.

Finisterre

Situated in a cliff-top workshop in St Agnes, Cornwall, Finisterre create clothing for adventurers. Whether you’re braving the cold at the beach or embarking on a mountainous hike, Finisterre’s garments are sure to keep you toasty and protected. From recycled insulation jackets and waterproofs to jumpers made from their own 100% natural blend of Merino, they’ve got all your adventure needs covered.

(Click here for our interview with Finisterre about their British flock of merino sheep)

Must have: Their Bundoran jumper in brown is one of our favourites, made from Donegal tweed yarn and processed minimally to retain lanolin.

Ethical Menswear Finisterre

Wrap up warm this winter in ethical knitwear from Finisterre

TOMS

TOMS are known for their charity schemes as well as their comfy, casual shoes. Currently, they provide shoes for children in need, eye health checks, safe drinking water, and vital materials and training to aid safe births.

Must have: This autumn, we’ve found the perfect sturdy shoe to see you through, whatever the weather may bring. Invest in a pair of TOMS’ Brown Suede Waterproof Ashland boots - and know that you’re helping some amazing causes at the same time.

Ethical Menswear Toms

Add a sustainable sturdy winter shoe to your wardrobe

Know The Origin

After the awful Rana Plaza factory collapse, Know the Origin’s founder, Charlotte, spent time in in Bangladesh and India meeting survivors, ethical producers and charities. Spurred on by her discoveries, she partnered with producers in India to create clothes that were fairly produced in respectful, ethical environments. Know the Origin was born - and it has since been nominated as Ethical Consumers’ top rated ethical fashion brand.

Must have: Nab yourself one of their classic, simple Nico t-shirts - a timeless, natural blue and white striped tee.

The Social Mercenary

The Social Mercenary pride themselves on ethical trading. They’ve partnered with Ethical Apparel Africa; all their products are manufactured in Ghana supporting local communities in factories that meet high-quality standards.

Must have: The Social Mercenary sell an amazing collection of ethical backpacks, t-shirts and caps - we love the bright red Trucker Cap, made from African print wax cotton.

Ethical Menswear5

Add some colour to your winter wardrobe with Know The Origin and The Social Mercenary

Po-Zu

We’re huge fans of ethical footwear brand Po-Zu - meaning to pause in Japanese. Not only do they create gorgeous durable footwear - all their materials are ethically harvested, locally sourced and contain no harmful chemicals. Their shoes are made from an amazing selection of sustainable materials, including Piñatex, coconut fibres, cork, chrome-free leather and organic cotton.

Must have: This autumn, add some of Po-Zu’s Sneak V Natural Cork trainers. The vegan lace ups even have a removable memory foam insole made from latex and cork for extra comfort.

Click here to read our behind the scenes look at how Po-Zu create their super comfy sustainable sneakers.

Ethical Menswear Pozu

Po-Zu's sustainable sneakers are made of 100% natural materials like cork and coconut fibres

Idioma

Founded in 2011, family-run business Idioma, set out with the aim to promote foreign language learning through their garments. Their strikingly unique clothing line uses interesting phrases and words from global languages. Not only this - their products are also ethically produced, with Fairwear certification and factory audits to ensure each item is produced fairly.

Must have: One of our fave ethical fashion picks for autumn is the bold Waldeinsamkeit hoodie. The jumper, emblazoned with the German word for feeling alone in the woods, is perfect for the chillier months ahead.

Wawwa

Wawwa recognised that the fashion industry is one of the planet’s worst polluters. To combat the damaging use of pesticides and excess CO2 creation, they chose to be 100% organic and make their garments using only renewable energy sources.

Wawwa tick every box when it comes to sustainability - their garments are Fairtrade and vegan, they plant a tree with every print order, and run two schemes ‘Hats for the Homeless’ and ‘More Than Hats For The Homeless’.

Must have: Fancy helping out? Keep your head warm this winter with one of their Jeremy Beanies - a chunky knit that comes in either black, cream, navy or burgundy.

Ethical Menswear2

Wrap up warm in Wawwa and Idioma - both ethical menswear brands have organic and sustainable options

Riz

Setting out in 2009 to create sustainable swim shorts, friends Riz and Ali started up their swimwear brand Riz. Creating summer-y swimwear in the middle of London proved a challenge, but they’ve blended traditional city tailoring with laid-back surf style to create something entirely unique. They’re now the self-appointed ‘tailors of sunshine’.

Must have: Off on a winter break? Pick up a pair of the Braunton Endangered Flower Black Shorts, made from eco-friendly recycled materials. Their Rizcycle scheme also allows you to return old shorts for a discount off a new pair, for a wasteless lifecycle.

Riz Ethical Swimwear 2018

Get your eco-friendly shorts from the 'tailors of sunshine'

WYNAD

Hannah and Rob, owners of WYNAD Clothing, volunteered with the TGG Foundation in Wayanad, Kerala and were inspired to set up a business that supports the empowerment of women in India. When you purchase a garment from WYNAD, 10% directly supports amazing female empowerment projects, providing secure working opportunities for women in rural India.

Must have: Feeling fluid in your ethical fashion choices? We love the bold and bright unisex kimono with a vibrant print and flashes of yellow. Plus it’s made of lotus flower fibres and is super soft.

Hiut jeans

Hiut Denim stand out from the denim crowd. Their innovative Denim Breaker Club project allows volunteers to break in jeans for their customers, increasing the comfort of their clothing and encouraging a 360 degree lifecycle for their denim. They added a personal touch, too, with a HistoryTag where the wearer updates the customer on what they got up to in their jeans.

Must have: Grab yourself a pair of Hiut jeans - our faves are the classic slim tapered fit of their Selvedge Denim SlimR jeans.

Ethical Menswear1

There are a huge array of British ethical menswear brands that are pioneering new processes

Community Clothing

Community Clothing make British essentials that will last you a lifetime. These classic Harrington jackets are made from 100% cotton produced in Rochdale and made in a factory in Blackburn that has been going since 1860. There's a zip front, two button collar, traditional ribbed cuff and waistband in this slim-fit lightweight, autumn jacket that you'll love year in, year out.

Ethical Menswear Community Clothing

Community Clothing use up fallow hours in British factories so they don't have to lay people off

ECOALF

ECOALF’s founder Javier was frustrated at the thoughtless use of the planet’s resources and excessive waste produced - so decided to channel this anger to drive a change. ECOALF’s clothes are all made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, cotton, fishing nets, tyres, coffee and wool. Not only this - ECOALF’s foundation has embarked on a project called Upcycling the Oceans, collecting rubbish from the oceans to turn into high quality yarn.

Must have: Help out this incredible cause by treating yourself to one of their Oslo waterproof backpacks, ideal for autumn hikes and made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.

Ethical Menswear Ecoalf

Off on an adventure this winter? Check out ECOALF

Brothers We Stand

Every product from Brothers We Stand meets three standards - ethical production, designed to please and created to last. The brand celebrates authenticity and avoids greenwashing by ensuring their garments each have a footprint tab, letting you know its social and environmental impact. We love their transparent outlook and it helps that the clothes are gorgeous, too.

Must have: A painted logo T-shirt, with tonal organic cotton and striking design that’s ideal for layering up this autumn.

MUD jeans

Everyone needs a classic pair of jeans to see them through the colder months so look no further than MUD jeans. They’ve won numerous awards, including the Sustainability Leadership Award and the PETA Vegan Awards. They also offer Lease A Jeans service, where you pay a monthly fee instead of buying them upfront, send back your worn-out jeans and get a fresh pair in return.

Must have: MUD men's jeans come in five classic styles. We’re loving the Regular Dunn jeans for a vintage inspired regular fit, that comes in six shades.

Ethical Menswear3

It's the classic jeans and T-shirt combo but with an ethical twist

KIKS

It’s almost time to make sure you’ve got a durable, hard wearing but stylish coat to see you through the winter. KIKS make timeless, comfortable, sustainable and genderless clothes, which are all produced in Oulu, Finland. They focus on creating products in small batches and made-to-order, which is a fantastic way of reducing waste and excess production.

Must have: KIKS Acts Wool Jacket is made from wool from army surplus stock, and fabrics leftover from the textile industry - the ideal way to bridge the gap between style and sustainability.

Ethical Menswear Kiks

Ethical fashion store Mamoq stock KIKS which are made of army surplus stock

Shenanigan

Inspired by modern West African culture, Shenanigans create loose fit boxer shorts made of African wax prints. They mix up international fashion trends, West African traditions and Senegalese metropolitan street culture – and the result is striking set of vibrant printed pants. 

Must have: Our top pick are these dark forest green Eddy shorts but all the patterns are equally as intricate.

For more sustainable undies options click here.

Ethical Menswear Shenanigans1

Don't forget the ethical pants in your autumn wardrobe

Otter & Goat

Inspired by nature and delicate illustration, Otter and Goat’s clothes are designed, printed and packaged by three friends Jonny, Laura and Jen. They raise money for global charities that fight to protect rainforests, seas and endangered animals.

Must have: We’re loving the organic Squirrel T-shirt, made in honour of the UK’s declining population of red squirrels.

Ethical Menswear Otter And Goat

You can't go wrong with an organic cotton T-shirt from Otter & Goat

Just AK

Art can be an influential vehicle for change. Just AK use artwork in their designs to convey powerful messages and to trigger debates and conversation. Their menswear designs are also sustainable and ethical, ensuring workers are treated fairly and they limit their carbon footprint and wastage.

Must have: Want to make a statement? Just AK’s Extinction Sweater shows the alarming extinction rate of animals in its simple but effective design.

Compare Ethics2

Just AK are one of the ethical menswear brands featured on fashion comparison platform Compare Ethics

Resole

In need of some new trainers? Resole are shoes with a difference. Their fabrics come from the seats of subway cars and buses in Stockholm, which have been salvaged before they’re burnt and transformed into Resole’s gorgeous trainers. The outer soles are made from recycled cork and rubber, and each shoe is unique due to the fabric being differently affected by sunlight and wear. 

Must have: Their Malmö White sneakers are our favourites due to their lush two-toned green fabric.

Mamoq Resole Ethical Fashion Advice

How about shoes made of old subway cars?

Ivywake

Ivywake produce timeless, smart menswear with minimalist, classic style. Every piece is made from organic cotton and they even package it in a recycled cardboard box. With every sweater they sell, Ivywake donate £12 to the Innovation: Africa Project, which provides a rural medical clinic in Africa with life-saving equipment.

Must have: Add a classic sweater to your collection this season - we’re loving Ivywake’s Origin Polar Explorer Cream Knitwear

Ethical Menswear Ivywake

Invest in a go anywhere where anytime sweater this winter

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