In 2018, it's no longer a valid excuse to feign ignorance of the consequences of our purchases and the damaging effects of fast-fashion. It's common knowledge that fashion is one of the largest contributors to pollution in the world, and that our overconsumption of clothing has a devastating impact on not just the environment, but the lives of garment workers around the globe.
Recognizing how urgently we need to change the way we consume fashion, Ninety Percent, co-founded by Shafiq Hassan and Para Hamilton, is a London-based womenswear brand that’s trying something new. Bringing together ethics and aesthetics, the newly launched label offers women the option to #DressBetter, with pieces that prioritize product and people over profits. Based on a pioneering business model, the company will share 90% of its distributed profits between a diverse range of charitable causes and those who make the collection happen. Plus, customers will have influence over where the money goes — each purchase comes with the option to vote for a cause.
The launch collection is simple and wearable, with prices ranging from £30 - £350 (about $42 - $490). Relaxed silhouettes are at the offering's core, alongside close-fit jersey staples and knits. Materials and manufacturing have both been chosen carefully and are sourced only from industry best-practice suppliers in Bangladesh, China, Italy, Japan, India, and Turkey.
The common misconception that sustainable and ethical fashion can't be trend-focused was the starting point for Ninety Percent. "We wanted the designs to be thoroughly modern and to show that a brand with ethics at its core doesn’t need to compromise on quality and design," creative director Ben Matthews says. "Our collection stands proudly on its own — the pioneering business model should never speak louder than the product and an ethical stance should be at the foundation of all brands, it's the future."
"People are starting to wake up when it comes to environmental, consumer and political movements and not just within the fashion industry," Matthews continues. "It’s great and it’s so important that people are becoming more mindful about the world we live in today. We are inclusive at Ninety Percent and we are very conscious that the collection should talk to as many women as possible. We’d like to think the Ninety Percent customers are women who care about looking modern, feminine, with an appreciation for good design and considered details. They also care about where their clothes are made; no one should pay a price for someone else to look good." And hey, you can't argue with that.