This January, Adidas made an announcement. For the first time in the brand’s eminent, athletic history, the iconic Stan Smith sneaker would be made using 100% sustainable materials. And, in a bid to encourage the industry as a whole to use eco-friendly materials, all virgin plastic would be phased out of the shoe’s production by 2024.
It’s not the first time a big brand has dabbled with recyclable, sustainable fibres. Nike, Patagonia, Reebok, Converse and countless other designer fashion houses have released limited editions to signal their own climate-friendly credentials. But we’re not interested in these small batch runs and exclusive partnerships — instead, we’re committed to finding smaller brands; and ones that use recycled materials as a matter of course.
So, below, we’ve rounded up some of the best recycled men’s fashion brands in the world. From Sweden to San Francisco, there are plenty out there — producing jackets, jeans, coats and accessories indistinguishable (and often even more stylish) than those crafted using damaging production techniques.
Asket is using recycled cashmere to create eco-conscious luxury
Who are they? A couple of dashing Swedish eco-warriors, battling to end the onslaught of fast fashion. ‘Asket’ means ‘ascetic’ in the Scandinavian language; a words that itself describes those who live without material excess or indulgence.
How do they recycle? It’s not all recyclable. But, since 2019, Asket has traced every supply chain it uses to calculate the environmental impact of its garments. Specifically, the brand uses a family-run cashmere recycling facility in Italy to repurpose thousands of trousers, jackets and coats.
What should I buy? Either the 100% recycled ‘The Cashmere Sweater’ — or ‘The Wool Coat’ in dark navy. The latter is cut from a felted double-twill, spin from completely recycled, zero-compromise wool.
Wax London is respinning consumer waste fabrics into overshirts
Who are they? A London-based, London-made bastion of stylish sustainability. Since its founding in 2015, the British brand has scrubbed clean its supply chains and worked tirelessly to cut down on both waste and water use.
How do they recycle? Not only are the brand’s Tencel and Viscose fabrics sourced sustainably and the left-over fabrics re-used, but many of the yarns that spin Wax London’s clothes to life are recycled from pre or post consumer waste fabrics and plastics.
What should I buy? One of the brand’s signature checked overshirts. Not only are these statement button-downs bold of pattern — they’re also crafted from 100% recycled cotton sourced from a sustainable French mill.
Uniform Standard are stamping out damaging footwear production practices
Who are they? One of many footwear brands stamping out waste. Like Allbirds (making sustainable sneakers from eucalyptus and sugar cane!) to Rens Originals (crafting trainers from recycled coffee!), Uniform Standard has spent the last 15 years designing shoes with reprocessed components in East London.
How do they recycle? The outsoles, footbeds, insole boards and cotton dustbins are all recycled — using materials such as rubber, cork and rice husk shells to cut down on emissions. Packaging is also plastic free, shipping is carbon neutral — and your purchase paperwork even printed on recycled coffee cup paper.
What should I buy? The ‘Series 1’ sneaker, in an aptly-named ‘Earth Suede’ shade. With all of the climate-conscious, recycled components listed above, these shoes lace together fashion and eco-friendliness in one smart package.
Outerknown is using ocean waste to create stylish swim shorts
Who are they? A a clothing brand co-founded by pro-surfer Kelly Slater. And Outerknown has some impressive eco-credentials. In fact, over 90% of its products are created using organic, recycled or regenerated materials.
How do they recycle? Mostly, by ensuring products are crafted using at least some recycled fabrics — from corduroy trousers and sherpa jackets to denim shirts and even face masks. But the stars of this surfing show are most certainly the swim shorts — some of which are even made using recycled ‘nylon 6’ from disposed fishing nets.
What should I buy? A pair of trunks. Every pair of Outerknown swim shorts is made with 100% recycled or renewable fibres — and we’d choose the classic ‘Nomadic Volley’ design; available in six colours and spun from Quick Dry recycled polyester.
Filippa K has been revolutionising recycled style for decades
Who are they? Another Swedish brand — these Scandinavians really know their sustainability. Raised in London, founder Filippa Knutsson returned to Sweden in the 1980s to pioneer a new type of simple, eco-friendly, practical style.
How do they recycle? By using reprocessed, regenerated materials wherever they can. That means cotton and denim, Refibra, Polyamide, Polyester, Thermolite and pre-consumer and post-consumer sourced recycled wool.
What should I buy? The men’s recycled options are slightly scarcer than the women’s, but there is still a nice range of eco-conscious jackets and knitwear. We’d opt for the versatile ‘Rhine Coat’, created completely using recycled materials including 80% wool, as well as polyamide and polyester.
Sunspel has mastered the eco-friendly, luxurious essentials
Who are they? You know Sunspel; they’re the British kings of simple style. Versatile, luxury basics are the order of the day here — and have been since the brand was founded in 1860.
How do they recycle? Since the 1940s, Sunspel has been working with the ethos of creating ‘no waste’ luxury — a move made necessary due to wartime rationing. Today, they continue to use natural, organic and, most importantly, recyclable materials whenever they can.
What should I buy? Like the swim shorts from Outerknown above, recycled materials excel when it comes to repelling water. Sunspel have clearly cottoned on (or should that be ‘polyestered on?’) and created this bottle-green, unlined technical mac — ideal for taking on spring showers.
Everlane is using recycled polyester to create chic modern luggage
Who are they? Another brand a little like Sunspel — but from across the pond. Headquartered in San Francisco, Everlane are also masters of the luxurious essential, and have been sourcing ethical materials since starting up in 2010.
How do they recycle? Using a M.O. they call ‘Radical Transparency’. This means that Everlane tells its customers exactly how much its clothes cost, from materials to labour to transportation. And those materials, such as the 100% recycled polyester that creates the brand’s ReNew Fleece Sweatshirt, are as eco-friendly as they come.
What should I buy? That fleece sweatshirt is cosy, but we’d opt for one of Everlane’s many accessories. The recycled luggage and bag options are commendably numerous — with our particular favourite being the ‘ReNew 15″ Transit Backpack’ in black.
Arket is recycling materials from cotton to cashmere to save the world
Who are they? We began with Asket; we end with Arket. Another Swedish brand, this sustainable style house first opened in 2017 — and has committed to using 100% sustainably sourced materials by 2030. ‘Arket’, if you’re wondering, means ‘paper’ in Swedish, and is a nod to the archived vintage patterns that inspire the brand’s designs.
How do they recycle? Currently, 76% of Arket’s materials are sustainably sourced, with 11% of every stitch being spun using recycled fabrics. That means a lot of recycled cotton, nylon, polyester, wool, cashmere and down. The brand even uses Econyl — the regenerated nylon made entirely from ocean and landfill waste.
What should I buy? So many options; from slippers to sweatshirts, Parkas to puffers, duffles to denims. We’d have to stick with the basics, however — the brand’s simplest jumper, woven from 72% recycled cashmere.