May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time when we celebrate the rich culture and contributions of AAPI communities. At Nubian Lane Hat Company, we want to honor the contributions of AAPIs within the fashion industry and their dedication to sustainability. By sharing the stories of their work, we hope to inspire shoppers to support conscious commerce and recognize the importance of diversity within the fashion world. Join us as we explore the incredible impact AAPIs have had on fashion and sustainability.
AAPI Designers Making Waves in the Industry
From Vera Wang and Phillip Lim to Jason Wu and Alexander Wang, AAPI fashion designers have made a name for themselves across the globe. These designers have not only brought new and innovative styles but also raised a voice for diversity in the industry. From Queer Eye’s Tan France’s wardrobe transformations to exploring identity in his collections, AAPI designers have brought fresh perspectives, advocating for more inclusivity and representation.
In addition to the representation, AAPI designers have advocated for sustainability and eco-friendliness. Alexander Wang has designed sustainable denim lines, while Phillip Lim's Summer 2021 collection was produced entirely using upcycled materials. These AAPI designers' contributions have set a new standard for fashion and an inspiration to change the fashion industry with awareness of the environment.
Ethical and Sustainable Brands by AAPIs
AAPIs have also been pioneers in launching sustainable brands and advocating for policies to promote ethical production. Beyond designs on the runway, brands that began with an ethos of conscious fashion include Avre, Reformation, and Pact. AVRE was born out of necessity to transform the industry with the inspiration to pursue a sustainable footwear brand for the empowered woman. AVRE does exactly that by using recycled plastics bottles on our quest to craft trendy and comfy footwear. Reformation produces eco‐friendly and sustainable clothes for the smart consumer, and Pact produces organic cotton products with Fair Trade practices and policies.
These AAPI designers have helped pave the way for sustainable brands, prioritizing the impact their products have on the environment and the society that makes them possible.
3. Sustainable Stylists
Sustainability is not limited to design and brand creation. AAPI stylists and creators active in the fashion industry have been instrumental in advocating for a more sustainable approach. Cindy Nguyen, CEO of recycling company Recycling Luxury, is dedicated to repurposing designer luxury items to reduce textile waste. Stylists such as Cho Park collaborate with eco-minded brands to create ethical fashion, while Cathy Zhang works as Fashion Director at The Helm, a platform dedicated exclusively to female-founded fashion brands.
Stylists and creators in the AAPI community have used their reach and influence to lead big changes in the industry. They work with brands, companies, and peers to tell the good stories and promote conscious consumption.
4. Sustainable Fashion Events by AAPIs
Finally, AAPI designers and entrepreneurs also organize sustainable fashion events, bringing together stakeholders from various parts of the fashion industry. Conscious Fashion Collective, founded by Sai De Silva, promotes sustainability, diversity, and inclusion in the fashion industry with its mission of promoting conscious production, consumption, and reporting. The Sustainable Fashion Forum, founded by Portland creative, Katie Molinari, promotes sustainable clothing brands.
These events encourage collaborations and shared learning opportunities among designers and industry stakeholders. The AAPI community attempts to convene industry players in a common mission towards sustainability. They serve as regular points generating awareness and action for sustainable and conscious fashion.
The AAPI community continues to influence the fashion industry towards sustainable practices, innovation, and inclusion. From launching sustainable brands and creating eco-friendly designs to advocating for fair production practices and leading sustainability events, these AAPI designers, stylists, and creators show the fashion industry's possibilities. As shoppers, let’s pledge to support not just the brands who prioritize sustainability but the individuals whose silent efforts keep conscious commerce moving forward. It's not too late to make a change as citizens of the earth.