Another Now | Sustainable, Ethical and Inclusive Fashion for EveryBODY

Another Now is an online shopping platform dedicated to Sustainable and Ethical clothing for EveryBODY. We speak with the platform founder and curator Sam Willoughby about what it means to be truly inclusive and sustainable in the fashion industry today. Accompanied by an exclusive shoot with Zebedee Talent, a model agency championing diversity, we also catch up with curated ethical brand owners featured on Another Now. Read on to learn about the ethical brand ethos’ and striving to make a positive impact with founders Victoria Jenkins of Unhidden, Franny Collingham of Wild Clouds, Sharon Finch of Hexed and Danny Tudor Jones of Walter Denim.

As founder of Another now, your ethos is, Another Way, Another Solution, Another Time. In your opinion, what does this mean for the fashion industry?

Well, that is a way of us trying to convey the attitude of Another Now. For so long now, collectively we have either been ignorant to, or have averted our eyes from the negative aspects of the fashion industry, i.e. environmental impact; waste & overconsumption; exploitation of workers; child labour, & animal cruelty. It feels like there is a new wave of consciousness, & many of us are starting to ‘wake up’ and see things differently, ask questions and make different buying choices. We don’t want to come across as judgemental and we aren’t saying we have all the answers, but we are here to say that there is Another way, a better way, we want to be part of the change and the time is Now!

Antony wears Organic cotton woven shirt by Komodo -S/S 24 collection. (vintage vegan Adidas Samba trainers stylist’s own) Havin wears Long Line Lyocell Shirt Dress by Unhidden and Recycled Loungewear Knit Bottoms by Will’s Vegan Store (trainers and socks Havin’s own)

Your vision is to change the way we consume, and focus on the environmental impact of fashion, can you explain why these practices are important?

We already know that things like water contamination, air pollution, & microplastic pollution are contributing to climate change and the fashion industry is a major contributor to all of these rising temperatures, sea level rise, soil degradation, harm to ecosystems, reduction of biodiversity, extreme weather events, ocean acidification, food and water insecurity, health risks, displacement and migration are all either happening or are predicted to happen if climate change is not adequately addressed. We really need to shift our attitudes towards our consumption and buying choices, because existing and future generations are going to be dramatically affected by our decisions. It’s that simple.

Why is it important to know who makes our clothes and how they are made?

When people, including children, are being forced to work in conditions which are toxic & dangerous and are quite literally dying in accidents like the Rana Plaza tragedy, yet we continue to buy from brands who produce garments in an extremely unethical way, do we not have to question our humanity? If we connect to the craftsmanship and respect for the people who made our clothes, then it’s going to have a knock-on effect on how we feel about ourselves. I think we can all agree that putting on a piece of clothing we truly love makes us feel great… but how can we love a piece that has meant another human being has suffered in some way? We have to be realistic, & I’m not saying everyone can afford to, or should go around wearing expensive handmade pieces, but maybe we can all try our best within our own means to make more conscious choices… for example; buy 1 top you will enjoy wearing over and over, instead of 5 cheap ones made unethically; buy from a small brand who knows their suppliers and manufacturers by name and knows how they treat their workers; buy second hand from charity shops or vintage. Our buying habits can make a big difference. We can quite literally ‘vote with our money’ for the kinds of businesses we want in the world, and these everyday decisions can have a real and lasting impact. 

LEFT: Elena wears Chiffon Long Line,Shirt Dress by Unhidden. (dress Elena’s own) Tia wears Elena wears L.E. Original Dungaree Bodhi Print (Standing) by Unhidden from the Unhidden x Lucy and Yak collection, and ‘access denied’ Organic T-shirt by Unhidden.
RIGHT:
Havin wears Organic Cotton & Linen Indigo Clouds Tank Top and Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. (Fila trainers, and socks Havin’s own).

In your eyes, what is sustainable fashion? 

This is a good question. It’s a term that we have become so familiar with in recent years, which is a good thing, but if we ask ourselves what it really means, then it can be confusing and feel like a minefield of information to decipher. If you boil it down, it’s clothing or fashion that doesn’t take any more from the planet’s resources than it ‘cost’ the planet in its production, has a circular or regenerative nature, and won’t negatively impact existing and future generations. This is how I look at it….If the yarn or cotton for a garment has been grown in a way that hasn’t depleted the earth by overconsumption of chemicals, water or overfarming and then goes on to be worn for many years and is eventually capable of biodegrading and ‘returning’ to the earth then I guess we can say this is a sustainable piece of clothing. If we take another garment that has been made with virgin fossil fuels, using lots of toxic chemicals and is only worn a handful of times before being put into landfill, where it will take hundreds of years to degrade and then won’t provide any nourishment for the earth, then this can’t be classed as sustainable, because it’s taken too much from the earth’s resources than it has given back. Think of it as a quid pro quo with the planet!

LEFT: John wears Pink & Red Organic Cotton & Linen Reversible Quilted Vest and Black & White Balloon Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. White Organic branded T-shirt by Unhidden.
RIGHT:
Daniel wears striped short sleeved T-shirt by Komodo SS 24 collection. Elena wears L.E. Original Dungaree Bodhi Print (Standing) by Unhidden from the Unhidden x Lucy and Yak collection, and Pink Logo Organic Unisex Tee by Hexed. John wears Black & White Organic Cotton & Linen Reversible Quilted Vest and matching Balloon Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. White Organic branded T-shirt by Unhidden.

How have you curated which brands to stock, what were the important factors in your decision-making process?

In addition to doing our own research, we use the Australian website Good On You website for extra guidance. (future plans are to partner with them)Good on You rate brands based on their People, Planet and Animals practices and give them a rating from 1-5. We would only approach brands who are rated in their top 2 ratings of ‘Great’ or ‘Good’. If Good on You haven’t rated a brand that we are interested in then we use their rating system as a guide to assess them ourselves. Only after we have researched the brand and its policies & ethos would we feel confident to approach them and speak to them further.

Some of the fundamental factors are:

  • They adhere to the international labour standards. (ILO)
  • Fabrics are eco-conscious. We only sell deadstock, recycled or natural fabrics & all the cotton we sell is either deadstock or organic.
  • We only stock vegan products. Whilst we don’t require our brands to only sell vegan pieces themselves, we will research our brands to ensure that they do not engage in practices such as mulesing, or use feathers/fur/exotic skins.

We are also focused on seeking out brands that align with our inclusive ethos. It’s difficult for small brands to be everything to everyone, but if in addition to their sustainable and ethical policies, they cover one of the areas that are important to us, for example; inclusive sizes; adaptive clothing for disabled customers; embrace models and customers of all ages; are black-owned or celebrate ethnic diversity; design for a Modest or multi-faith audience; design gender neutral clothing, then this is also an important additional factor for us. 

LEFT: Elena wears L.E. Original Dungaree Bodhi Print (Standing) by Unhidden from the Unhidden x Lucy and Yak collection,
and Pink Logo Organic Unisex Tee by Hexed.

RIGHT:
John wears Organic Cotton & Linen Green Clouds Shirt and matching Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. (boots and jewellery John’s own)

Can you tell us some ways in which fashion can be more sustainable, and what companies can do to protect the future of the planet?

Brands can do a lot to be more sustainable and protect the future of the planet. For example; consider the end life and circularity of their products; offer return/repair/recycling/resell services; pledge to use non-virgin polyester: and also make their products with care and make them to last.If they are brands with big profits they can support their manufacturers to do things like; use renewable energy, reduce consumption of, or reuse their water, and minimise or find alternatives to the use of toxic chemicals. I recognise that it’s hard for big brands because they are ‘big ships to turn’ and they need to keep coming up with new designs to sell to us, to keep their top line going. However, maybe if they slowly re-address their business model and how it can still be profitable in the future, whilst making incremental changes, which will trickle down to the industry as a whole, then I think that’s one of the most powerful things they can do.

EJohn wears ‘not your inspiration porn’ Organic T-shirt by Unhidden, and Super Relax Jean -Light Wash by Walter. (jewellery John’s own) Tia wears striped organic cotton woven Top by Komodo- SS 24 collection, and Dead Straight Jean – Mid Wash Indigo by Walter.

On your site you have a gender neutral section. Why is it important to you to be inclusive as a brand, and retailer?

Well, It’s important to us because Another Now was born from a place of love and acceptance for all. In my career in fashion, I have been privileged enough to work on projects focused around inclusivity, some of which have opened my eyes to underrepresented communities, and I now have a fire in my belly about how vitally important representation is.I also think we need to shake things up. For example, I reject the way ‘youthfulness’ is marketed, especially to Women. I’m appalled at the lack of choices for disabled customers, and also the lack of inclusive sizing, and I’m interested in how gender identity is being explored and questioned. The gender neutral section is really just an extension of our ‘for EveryBODY’ mission.It’s as important to us to be a platform for customers who choose to shop and dress in a more traditional gendered way, as it is to provide for customers who choose to dress in a gender neutral way. Or maybe you just want to mix it up! The only thing I would say is that currently ‘gender neutral’ seems to have replaced the older ‘unisex’ term.. which does, on the whole, tend to lean more towards a sporty/casual look ie ‘girls wearing boys clothes’, but that is changing, and we want to be part of that ongoing conversation. We celebrate and embrace our differences, so whoever you are, whatever your body shape is, however you choose to dress or identify then we want you to be able to come to Another Now and shop in a way that is kind to Planet, People and Animals.

What are your goals for this year with your platform?

We are only just getting started but we have lots of plans for the future. The main goal for 2024 is to continue to get the brand message out there. To tell our story, build our community, and probably most key right now is to welcome even more aligned brands to our platform so that we can unite our customers and audience with the brands that they are seeking. Sustainable and Ethical fashion can have a reputation for being a bit drab. We reject this. We want to celebrate fashion and style, and we believe it’s possible to do that whilst being planet and ethics-conscious. Ultimately we want to be THE destination for Sustainability and Ethical fashion for EveryBODY. We have a way to go before we feel we can call ourselves fully inclusive, so we will be thoughtfully and stealthily continuing with that mission. 

FOUNDER OF UNHIDDEN – VICTORIA JENKINS

What motivated you to start your brand?

When I learned about how great the need was and how the community wasn’t being served in terms of adaptive design back in 2016, I decided perhaps this is where I could use all I had learned working in the industry for a better purpose. It took time to be confident and to share what I was doing and I am still terrified for sticking my head above the parapet but I am fiercely proud to be one of the adaptive designers who are working in this space around the world.

What three words describe your brand?

Ethical, transparent, considered

LEFT: Antony wears T-shirt with Wrap Sleeve and Seated Wrap Twill Trousers, both by Unhidden. (vintage vegan Adidas Samba
trainers stylist’s own)

RIGHT:
Antony wears logo Unisex Cotton Shirt and Seated Wrap Twill Trousers, both by Unhidden.

What challenges do you come across in making Sustainable and Ethical choices as a brand?

It tends to be more expensive in many ways as I am buying less fabric and paying higher wages; to this end we tried to make made to order work and it was very difficult to manage so we moved to low stock orders which has resolved a lot of issues whilst creating others; consumers are so much more discerning now so the volume of queries we get can be hard to manage with such a small team too.

Antony wears T-shirt with Wrap Sleeve and Seated Wrap Twill Trousers, both by Unhidden. (vintage vegan Adidas Samba
Antony wears Organic cotton woven shirt by Komodo -S/S 24 collection. (vintage vegan Adidas Samba trainers stylist’s own) Havin wears Long Line Lyocell Shirt Dress by Unhidden and Recycled Loungewear Knit Bottoms by Will’s Vegan Store. (trainers and socks Havin’s own)

There are changing attitudes towards Diversity, Inclusivity, Equity and Representation in fashion. Is there a particular area that you would like to see more change, more quickly?

I think the representation front and back of house needs a drastic increase in inclusion; from runways to digital content to fashion campaigns, we need to see greater disability inclusion to truly shift the dial towards normalising disability. In particular the intersections within disability too- from age, size, ethnicity and gender as well as different types of disability, so much more needs to be done. And then we have to look to education and the routes to a fashion career and how we can make these accessible too.

Elena wears L.E. Original Dungaree Bodhi Print (Standing) by Unhidden from the Unhidden x Lucy and Yak collection,
and Pink Logo Organic Unisex Tee by Hexed.

Can you tell us something about your products that we might not easily know without seeing them?

The amount of care that goes in to their construction and how we have achieved some of the access. We take no shortcuts on methods that will make the garments last longer, we use finishing methods that are not just longevity based but also comfort and aesthetic decisions.

Are there any plans for the future of your brand?

There are many plans- to get real stock in to stores on the high-street is very much part of our plan for 2024, as well as expanding the lines and categories we offer. We have kids wear on the horizon which is so exciting and we hope to partner with existing brands to help them get adaptive fashion to market quicker. We’re already planning our September runway show and we’re going bigger and better than ever!

Antony wears black shirt and Seated Wrap Twrill Trousers, both by Unhidden

FOUNDER OF WILD CLOUDS – FRANNY COLLINGHAM

What motivated you to start your brand?

When I couldn’t find a pair of pyjamas which matched my sustainability standards and design preference I thought I’d give it a go myself. Having worked in fashion and retail supply chain for over 15 years I knew just enough to get me started.

What three words describe your brand?

Playful, accessible, slow

Havin wears Organic Cotton & Linen Indigo Clouds Tank Top and Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. (Fila trainers, and socks Havin’s own).

What challenges do you come across in making Sustainable and Ethical choices as a brand?

The biggest challenge is finding a balance between sourcing super sustainable raw materials and keeping prices accessible for our customers, take organic cotton and natural rubber elastic, this costs 10x more than conventional polyester elastic, but it’s really important our clothes are made plastic free and not from fossil fuels and also are compostable at the end of their life.

There are changing attitudes towards Diversity, Inclusivity, Equity and Representation in fashion. Is there a particular area that you would like to see more change, more quickly?

I think that fashion brands should be making public commitments to gender inclusivity and size/fit diversity, both in the products they design but also in the content they produce.

LEFT: Havin wears Organic Cotton & Linen Indigo Clouds Tank Top and Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. (Fila trainers, and socks Havin’s own).
RIGHT:
Tia wears Organic Cotton & Linen Reversible Quilted Vest & Balloon Trousers, both by Wild Clouds.

Can you tell us something about your products that we might not easily know without seeing them?

Our signature fabric is an organic cotton and linen fabric, it washes really well, is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, doesn’t crease that much and gets better with age!
 

Are there any plans for the future of your brand?

We want to work on our sizing offer, and of course some new prints and fits. Wild Clouds strives to be as accessible as we can, and we are constantly learning and growing. We love hearing from current or potential new customers as to what they want, this influences our decisions when working on new prints and designs which is great.

John wears Organic Cotton & Linen Green Clouds Shirt and matching Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. (boots and jewellery John’s own)

FOUNDER OF HEXED – SHARON FINCH

What motivated you to start your brand?

Having worked in the fashion industry for more than 20 years both for UK retailers and global brands I saw first-hand the level of over consumption and mass off-shore production. I wanted to create a stylish alternative of unisex, inclusive of wardrobe essentials with a low carbon footprint and a zero-waste ethos.

LEFT: Tia wears ‘access denied’ Organic Cotton T-shirt by Unhidden and Stone Super Relax Jean by Walter. (boots Tia’s own) Antony wears logo Hoody and matching Joggers, both by Hexed. (vintage vegan Adidas Samba trainers stylist’s own)
RIGHT:
Antony wears logo Hoody and matching Joggers, both by Hexed. (vintage vegan Adidas Samba trainers stylist’s own) Havin wears Earth Wash Organic Tee by Hexed and Kia Trousers Avery Print (Seated) by Unhidden from the Unhidden x Lucy and Yak collaboration

What three words describe your brand?

Unisex, sustainable, loungewear

What challenges do you come across in making Sustainable and Ethical choices as a brand?

Pricing is probably the biggest challenge . Manufacturing in the UK is expensive and I’ve chosen to work on lower profit margins to make the brand accessible but its difficult balancing both.

Tia wears Pink & Red Organic Cotton & Linen Reversible Quilted Vest & matching Balloon Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. Daniel wears Pink Logo Organic Unisex Tee by Hexed and Black Dead Straight Jeans by Walter. (trainers and boots models own)

There are changing attitudes towards Diversity, Inclusivity, Equity and Representation in fashion. Is there a particular area that you would like to see more change, more quickly?

I think progress is being made in these areas – but probably much slower than is needed. We have some great champions of diverse and inclusive brands these out there flying the flag but it’s definitely something that I think that should be on all brands agendas, as it’s gaining more importance and relevance.

Can you tell us something about your products that we might not easily know without seeing them?

The lounge sweat pieces are made for one of the lowest impact yarns – the care label informs customers that the fibres have been recycled from post consumer cotton waste and recycled PET plastic bottles – saving both from landfil and made in the UK. As well as this the fabric is warm and cozy and people always comment on how comfortable they are to wear.

Tia wears Pink & Red Organic Cotton & Linen Reversible Quilted Vest & matching Balloon Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. Daniel wears Pink Logo Organic Unisex Tee by Hexed and Black Dead Straight Jeans by Walter. (trainers and boots models own)

Are there any plans for the future of your brand?

Big plans but I can’t get ahead of myself!  This year the focus is on growing brand awareness’ – both through online social channels and by being stocked in more independent retailers as well as some new small batch product releases.

FOUNDER OF WALTER DENIM- DANNY TUDOR JONES

What motivated you to start your brand?

Having been a fast fashion buyer in the 00s and 10s I wanted to continue my passion for creating product ranges, but without the relentless wastefulness of high volume/low price seasonal production. I believe that many premium denim products in the market are overpriced at £150+ to allow for marketing and markdown costs. Drawing on my experience in developing fashion-forward products that are a higher quality than the RRP suggests, I felt compelled to bring a disruptive denim offer to the market.

What three words describe your brand?

Considered, progressive, effortless

John wears Black denim Revere Jacket and Uptight Jeans, both by Walter and ‘not your inspiration porn’ Organic T-shirt by Unhidden. (boots and jewellery John’s own)

What challenges do you come across in making Sustainable and Ethical choices as a brand?

Making these responsible choices invariably needs more time to gain full visibility about the production facilities, raw material sources and workers. Building trust with your manufacturing and logistics partners is essential if you are going to give full transparency to your customer, and to ensure you capture the right data and accreditations to back up your sustainable claims. Greenwashing is rife, and things like forged organic cotton certificates can really damage trust in your brand. Fortunately we work with major denim mills to buy up their existing deadstock fabrics, so we’re not currently bogged down with the challenges of new ‘sustainable’ fabric production. But if and when we do start ordering new fabric it will be made in the best possible yarns and fibre types for the planet.

There are changing attitudes towards Diversity, Inclusivity, Equity and Representation in fashion. Is there a particular area that you would like to see more change, more quickly?

I feel like fashion is more diverse and inclusive than many other industries (apart from the male-centric luxury brand creative directors), and I’ve been lucky to work in large businesses with a decent level of diversity and inclusion up to senior management level. However, the C-suites were invariably white males! I would like to see more diversity and inclusion in sourcing regions, opting for manufacturing countries like Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Portugal which have a strong gender balance at all levels of the business including leadership roles, and a good level of living wage, working hours and worker representation.

LEFT: Daniel wears striped short sleeved T-shirt by Komodo- SS 24 collection and Super Relax Jean in Light Wash by Walter. (trainers Daniel’s own)
RIGHT:
Daniel wears Stone denim Revere Jacket and Stone Super Relax jeans both by Walter. (trainers Daniel’s own)

Can you tell us something about your products that we might not easily know without seeing them?

They are designed for easy recycling with removable trims and minimal metalwork. The jean waistband is adjustable for fine-tuning the fit without the need for a belt (Walter doesn’t like to belt)

 Are there any plans for the future of your brand?

I would love to build out a unisex and ladies offer, add youth/kids sizes (premium, low volume denim for kids is limited), and diversify the collection with non-denim pieces. Maintaining the level of quality and fit is essential so these range extensions will only appear if Walter’s standards can be maintained. I would like to add an alteration service, and work on a ‘demand-led’ washing programme whereby ‘dry’ (unwashed) garments would come into the UK, then being washed here according to customer reaction. This would increase stock efficiency and minimises range failure.

John wears Black denim Revere Jacket and Uptight Jeans, both by Walter and ‘not your inspiration porn’ Organic T-shirt by Unhidden. (boots and jewellery John’s own)


 www.another-now.com
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Havin wears Organic Cotton & Linen Indigo Clouds Tank Top and Trousers, both by Wild Clouds. (Fila trainers, and socks Havin’s own).

Huge thanks to the team at Another Now, and Zebedee Models.

Photography: Leoni Blue
Styling: Sam Willoughby
Models: Tia, Antony, John, Elena, Daniel , Havin.

Brands Worn: @ unhidden.uk, @wildclouds.co, @hexed.fashion@walter_denim, @komodofashion, @willsveganstore.