Fashion Meets Social Responsibility: milo+nicki
“Sustainable” has become a catch-all term to describe a better way of producing the clothes that we buy and wear. It’s the antithesis of fast-fashion and that habit of buying a new, cheap top for every night out, which may well fall apart after a couple of washes anyway.
Sustainable processes are kinder to the environment – after oil, the fashion industry is the second largest polluter – and to the people involved in the production process.
Fashion holds a mirror up to society, showing what’s going on in economic, cultural, social and environmental terms. It is also implicated in some of the biggest environmental and social challenges that we face globally including climate change and modern slavery.
So what does the future look like? Well, designers and retailers should ask themselves “how does the design, process, and consumption of my product impact the world around me?”
Luckily, there is a slew of new independent sustainable fashion brands leading the charge and there's one we love in particular: milo+nicki.
milo+nicki is a cruelty-free, ethically-designed sustainable womenswear from Texas; inspired by the enlightening health-scare journey Nicki Patel and her dog Milo went through.
"In our pursuit to grow stronger and healthier, we turned to our roots. Family, love, and faith became our medicine. It is here I began to understand the delicate relationship between our bodies, the environment, and our health. Plus, I begin to realize the impacts of societal pressures and life changes females face on a day-to-day."
Full transparency is also at the heart of the milo+nicki brand. Their fabric is handwoven in India through a distributor who provides certification to confirm authenticity, sustainability metrics, and fair trade measures.
It doesn't stop there. To provide the most economical product without compromising brand ethics and values, milo+nicki partnered with manufacturers in New York who share the same commitment toward social and environmental responsibility. To avoid excessive waste and overproduction, they produce local in small batches.
milo+nicki designs and styles are seasonless, classic, and versatile with a bohemian and free feel, and Zambian and Indian in spirit.
The brand has found a unique way to tackle pollution while simultaneously supporting sustainable fashion. milo+nicki is the only brand in the world to custom weave their fabric from the stalk and stem of the banana tree; rendering them completely carbon neutral as well as zero-waste.
Banana-fibre is not only a useful and sustainable material, it’s a commonly wasted in the production of the fruit. Banana farmers waste over one billion tonnes of banana stem each year, which ends up in landfill producing more carbon to add to global warming.
Banana-fibre is surprisingly one of the oldest known natural clothing materials, which completely went out of fashion once cotton and synthetic materials dominated the market. It’s also one of the world’s strongest natural materials, soft, biodegradable, breathable and incredibly durable.
"Just like the untold stories we carry, what we wear is something more than a piece of cloth.
It has history, meaning, roots, sweat, and tears. The sacrifice in each piece of cloth is an untold story, but with milo+nicki, I hope to bring these hidden truths to the surface and build an awareness that drives the ethical and sustainable fashion movement."