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Fashion’s Journey To Sustainability

Five Brands Pursuing A Sustainable Planet

Would you be more inclined to buy a garment if you were sound in the knowledge it was crafted sustainably? In 2019, as the demand for fast fashion continues to spike, this question is something the industry must actively ponder.

Until recently, fashion’s impact on the environment had been seldom spoken of. The more well-documented pollution players are frequently exposed to blame in the press, but who should really be taking all the rap? With over 10% of the world’s carbon footprint falling on fashion, changes – evidently – need to be made. Here at Aphrodite, we caught up with some of the key brands in our line up to find out how they plan to kick-start the journey to sustainability.

NOVESTA:

If you’ve ever visited us in store or browsed our plethora of footwear pages online, you’ll certainly be familiar with Slovakian label Novesta. Renowned across Europe for its quality craftsmanship, the brand’s trainer offerings are immensely clean cut and timeless. Of course, aesthetics are positioned at the forefront of the label’s operations, but the topic of sustainability scales pretty high on the brand’s agenda too.

Novesta’s ethical efforts spill out and into the manufacturing process, where they choose to handcraft their products solely using natural materials. The employment of natural rubber, cotton and linen make Novesta’s products thoroughly sustainable. As a result, the brand’s ecological actions have caught the attention of animal welfare charity PETA. Now dubbed officially VEGAN by PETA, Novesta is proud to promote the switch to ethical fashion throughout the globe. Shop Novesta’s sustainable styles here.

Novesta Star Dribble

NUDIE JEANS:

Cross a thousand miles or so across the European continent and you’ll discover Swedish imprint Nudie Jeans. Pledging to uncover ‘the naked truth about denim’ since its inception, the label has actively pursued the journey to sustainability for some time now. Brand founders Maria Erixon Levin, Joakim Levin and Palle Stenberg have always been impassioned by the promise to pursue a sustainable planet, doing so while supplying some of the best denim styles we’ve ever laid our eyes on.

In a substantial effort to create a safe working environment for its staff, Nudie Jeans opts for the use of 100% organic cotton across its collections. Unlike conventional farming, organic cotton is grown without the exposure to harmful chemicals, creating in turn, a safe environment for employment, while also encouraging purity of the eco system. And the brand’s efforts don’t stop there.

Many of you may be familiar with Nudie Jeans’ repair services, we ourselves have hosted one of the label’s repair shops, much to the delight of local denim aficionados. The purpose of these repair shops is to provide the garment with longevity. In Nudie Jeans terms ‘we don’t believe throwaway and jeans are words that belong together.’ The introduction of repairs means that your investment can be sustained, without the need to purchase time and time again. In total, Nudie Jeans repaired 55,173 pairs of jeans in 2018 – a 6,000 increase on 2017. Pretty impressive we must admit! Browse Nudie Jeans’ approach to sustainability here.

Nudie Jeans Organic Cotton SweatshirtNudie Jeans OutfitNudie Jeans Lead Dean

OLIVER SPENCER:

In Britain menswear brands are also aiming to spread the word on sustainability. Eponymous label Oliver Spencer endeavours to improve the environment with an array of sustainable movements. Bleue Wickham-Burnham, Head of Sustainability at Oliver Spencer, explored the topic with Aphrodite.

“Any waste effluent from the dyeing and treatment of fabrics is cleaned in-line with European standards. This basically means it’s crystal clear when it leaves the factory. One of our mills in the north of England is fed by a river, where the water is put back afterwards – you could literally drink the water as it’s being put back into the river!”

Similarly to Nudie Jeans, the London-based brand also operate a repair service, allowing costs and unnecessary waste to remain at their lowest. On top of this, Oliver Spencer continues to strive for the use of eco-friendly fabrics: “For winter 41% of the cotton we use by volume will be organic. We hope to continue this until we get to 100%, unless we start using regenerative organic cotton before then.” Take a look at Oliver Spencer’s eco-friendly designs here.

Oliver Spencer Shirt

PAUL SMITH:

Across town at Paul Smith, activities and operations are being tweaked all the time to ensure transparency and the utmost social responsibility. The label’s PS Paul Smith collection, a favourite with Aphrodite customers, is growing more and more sustainable each season.

Brand Financial & Sustainability Analyst at Paul Smith, Jessica Halsey, weighed in on the label’s strategy: “We are proud to announce that almost 85% of our PS collection jersey is made from organic cotton. Using organic cotton means that we can be sure the cotton farming is non-intensive and no harmful pesticides have been used in the process.”

On top of this, you’ll be interested to know that Paul Smith is doing even more to pursue ethical operations. And what we mean by that is, if you’re hitting the beach this season you may well find yourself in the possession of Paul Smith’s sustainability efforts.

“Recently we have introduced recycled polyester into our garments, most notably our Paul Smith collection swim shorts. They are part composed of post-consumer plastic bottles. We love the idea that something can be recycled and repurposed into something completely new whilst reducing the impact consumer waste has on the planet.” Catch Paul Smith’s organic cotton collection here.

Paul Smith Polo ShirtPaul Smith T-Shirt

PATAGONIA:

Across the pond, outdoor pioneers at Patagonia live and breathe the essence of sustainability. ‘Worn Wear’ is an initiative the brand introduced to alter the relationship people have with their clothing. Avoiding a ‘throwaway’ stance at all costs, Patagonia ‘keeps your gear in action for longer’ at their repair base in Nevada – the largest repair facility in North America. Each year, the brand repairs over 40,000 items back to new, we certainly can’t complain with that!

Textile use and treatments are also of high interest to Patagonia and it’s something the brand continuously re-evaluates each season. From using recycled materials to craft its garments, to choosing PVC and phthalate-free inks and searching for non-harmful alternatives, the brand has become synonymous with sustainable production. Purchase Patagonia’s ethical styles here.

Patagonia Outfit

Though sustainability within the fashion arena is still in its inception stage, evidently, it’s of great concern to many brands who are continuously making crucial improvements to their operations to care for the environment, the staff they employ and the communities they work within. Enjoy shopping the featured styles with a clear conscience

 

6 Ways to Style the Chino

There’s nothing more versatile than the chino when it comes to menswear style and with fashion sub-genres being at their most varied, eclectic and widest range yet, we take a look at some of the looks on the street and how the classic style has been adapted.

Streetwear 

Wide leg chino pant, rolled to ankle length and a bit of layering on the upper whether it be jacket and hoodie or t-shirt and shirt combo. Brands paired throughout the fashion subculture range in everything from Nike and Champion to Y3 and OAMC the brand founded by Luke Meyer, former creative director of the brand at the forefront of it all SupremeAs possibly the widest and most varied subculture of the already wide and varied fashion culture, let us just say the range of choice we have is so broad that there’s plenty of room for, activities so to speak? Our pick for the warmer months is a dress down attire with Norse Project Indigo cap, Patagonia pocket tee and a fresh pair of Adidas Yung-1s.

Heritage Gent

The beauty of being able to pair a polo with plimsolls and a comfy trouser is exactly what makes this look so popular and above all, distinctive. The heritage gent would go nowhere in matching garments so a contrast is an intricate detail not to be missed. Known to rock the Beige before any of the modern-day adopters, the heritage gent has been decking chinos with the smartest of casual looks since there was a history to document. Fred Perry Polo and Novesta Star Master topped off by Ray Bans in Havanna Brown.

Scandinavian Minimalist

There is nothing more crisp and clean than the Scandinavian look and this is mainly down to the simplicity of every ensemble, the chino being a regular piece. The sleek style is usually complemented by the polished finishing of tapered legwear showing that all important top of footwear and bare or sock covered ankle. Striped Albam tee, Grenson Sneaker 1 and APC Tote places you in touching distance of the highest of fashion, with the refinement of a simple colour blocked aesthetic.

Surplus Solider

Attennnnntion! The post-mod-army-surplus-super-solider is known to get the dress down fashion as regimented as possible, pairing a smart casual style with essential men’s wear items to create the cool civilian uniform. Taking the old army sensibilities of the Clarks Desert Boot in a versatile beeswax colouring, and pairing it with a simple oxford shirt by the way of Norse Projects and a classic Baracuta Harrington jacket.

Contemporary Cool

That’s right, Chinos can totally set off a high fashion outfit as a contemporary choice, especially paired with the cool colours for the palette. Take the pairing of the ghostly white Margiela T-shirt and Sock Racer, then place a crisp blue stripe CDG shirt over the top. Give the T-shirt a tuck too for a variation to the norm, plus a crop to the trouser to accentuate the ankle bootie. The style is in the quality and design, the simplicity of the look with its pale tones and minimal patterning is intrinsically Comme Des Garçons, as well as representing a deconstructed style in the vein of Margiela, taking the typical fashion look and breaking it down to its sensibilities.

Casual Terrace

A match in heaven, the BOSS Green polo and adidas Gazelle work in conjunction to present a matched colour scheme. Where the usual denim would sit comes a change in the chino, colour matched with the gum sole of the adidas Gazelle Super and paired perfectly with the grey, white and blue colours of the BOSS Green Paddy 3 Polo Shirt. With influences of heritage and streetwear, this outfit works as a classy dress down approach still incorporating a classic adidas silhouette into the look.

Outfit Grid

5 Best Minimal Footwear Styles For Every Budget

Want a clean crisp minimal shoe to pair with any outfit? We’re breaking down the best minimal white tennis and athletic styles for any look for every budget.

Under £50 – Novesta Master Trainers 

A boost in popularity by the way of a heralded CDG collaboration has seen Novesta become a contemporary choice at a budget price point. Easy to pair with any outfit and a serious competitor for Converse and Van’s low top dominance. Novesta’s footwear is produced in Slovakia to honour their rich European heritage and constructed using a high-pressure machine to bond the natural rubber sole to the canvas upper, in keeping with the company’s anti-chemical and glue stance. We’d recommend a dress down casual look either a pairing with a statement t-shirt, jean and sock, similar to our Edwin ED 55 Jeans & Norse Project striped numbers in form of the Niels T-Shirt and Bjarki Sports Socks.

Under £100 – Adidas Continental 80

The Kanye approved Continental 80 is a sure-fire bet for everyone’s favourite dress down shoe come 2018 year end. With it’s obvious influence to the Calabasas Powerphase, the Continental 80 takes on more of a classic tennis styling with it’s supple tumbled leather and lateral two-tone stripes. Pulling out all the stops this year with original and unique reissues, this release from adidas is a perfect sports luxe accompaniment to the combo of a Champion sweatshirt and Ralph Lauren Flat Shorts

Under £150 – adidas BW Army Trainer

With a number of reissued iterations under their belt, adidas has put a minimalist stamp on their original 70s army trainer design with a budget-priced alternative to the Marigela Replica. Debuting a premium model close in construction to the high fashion alternative, the BW army comes equipped with an all leather constructed upper and soft vachetta leather lining for a luxurious touch topped off with the choice of premium cotton or rawhide leather laces. Pair this premium pair with the Folk Painter’s Jacket and  Norse Project Aros Black for a mix of contemporary and heritage stylings.

Under £200 – Grenson Sneaker 1

When comes to minimal styles shoe stylings, the classic white tennis shoe is a wardrobe staple the world around. Presenting their first offering in the ‘sneaker’ world is Grenson, using their shoemaking expertise to create one of cleanest designs of the moment, basing their Sneaker 1 creation on the timeless design of the 70s tennis shoe. Dial in the tennis vibes with a full Aquascutum kit in their token club check design. Aquascutum Check Shorts, Aquascutum Polo Shirt and Aquascutum Abbott Club Check Cap

Over £200 – Margiela Replica Sneakers

Weighing in at a heavy £329 is the legendary Margiela Replica sneaker, adapting the classic German Army trainer into a high fashion behemoth. The quality in the construction is the Margiela ethos with no stone untouched in it’s design. Pair these ‘GAT’s with the perfect luxury athletic look in the form of the exquisite  Maison Margiela’s Sweat Jacket and Trousers.

Novesta Brand Guide

Novesta Brand Guide

Introduction to the Novesta Brand

Opening up a factory in a small town called Partizánske located in the middle of Slovakia, famous shoemaker Jan Antonin supplied top European shoemakers from 1939 with crude rubber and cotton canvas. But in 1992 the Novesta brand was formed, becoming one of the most popular brands throughout Europe with their superior construction and minimal designs. Novesta pride themselves on tradition, heritage, and quality.

Using only certified materials, the rubber soles are machine pressed onto the shoes and finished manually by skilled craftsmen. The process leaves a tire like mark all around the shoe outsole which is now Novesta brand’s trademark look. This ecological process accords to the highest environmental standards. Using natural rubber and 100% cotton and linen, the materials used are lightweight and durable and at a high quality, making these shoes not only unique but ecological as well.

Actor Ashton Sanders from the movie “Moonlight” was spotted wearing Novesta ‘Star Master’ in white at a film festival and a pair of ‘Star Dribble’ at an ASOS party.

Novesta Star Dribble

Styles of Trainers

Star Master

The Novesta star master is their signature trainer available in lots of colour combinations, patterns, and different fabrics such as velvet and corduroy. With chrome eyelet lacing and a crude rubber sole featuring the tire mark trademark look they are a classic, simple everyday look and are made to be a long-lasting trainer. Available at Aphrodite1994 online £40.

Novesta Star Master

Star Dribble

The Novesta Star Dribble is the same as the iconic ‘Star Master’ only made into a high top. Again available in a range of colours and fabrics. Available at Aphrodite1994 online £45.

Marathon

The Marathon is largely different from the Star Master and Star Dribble being a completely different shape and style. The retro runner style trainer has a mesh upper and suede details and will fit in your day to day wardrobe effortlessly.

Browse our full collection of Novesta Shoes