Waste Not, Want Not: Local sustainable living with a global impact

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April 22, 2022

Photograph by Alexander Cifuentes,  article by Natalie Mazhindu

Everyone can try to live more sustainably, even if it’s just changing the way we shop. Check out our round-up of Swiss sustainable brands making us think twice about what we can reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Earth Day is held on April 22nd every year to mark the anniversary of the first event in 1970. These days, when we turn on the news it can be overwhelming to see another forest burning, a flood destroying a community, or hear tales of microplastics decimating marine ecosystems. Earth Day’s mission is to educate and activate the environmental movement by highlighting creative and innovative solutions. It also shines a light on our power as consumers, voters, and community members, and suggests the small steps we can take to make a change.

We can all contribute, even if it’s just changing the way we shop. Check out our round-up of Swiss sustainable brands making us think twice about what we can reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Sustainable Clothing

Unless you’re willing to parade around in the most sustainable of outerwear like Hans Christian Andersen’s eponymous Emperor, it’s important to give a thought to the clothing we wear:

Seidenkinder: adult and children’s clothing made from natural materials, as well as home goods, Montessori-inspired wooden toys, and a variety of preloved items.

Appareal: clothing made with 100% recycled fabrics from solar-powered fabric suppliers. Items include eco-friendly fur and leather variants, and they’re dedicated to CO2 neutral shipping.

Nikin: a fashion label that plants a tree for every product sold – over 1.5 million trees to date! If you feel like getting your hands dirty to help the cause, sign up for a Tree Planting Day.

Sustainable Scents

It can be easy to forget the impact of cosmetics and scents on the environment. Luckily, these products have it covered:

196 olfactory: a range of solid perfumes, handmade in Lausanne. The scents replicate the founders’ childhood memories, created from a base of jojoba oil and soy wax.

Sapocycle: a non-profit that collects discarded soaps from hotels, which are recycled and redistributed to people in need. They employ people with disabilities to process the soaps, providing stable employment. Click here to support.

Lanxel Candles: made from locally sourced rapeseed wax for a clean and eco-friendly burn. They also run candle-making workshops in Geneva.

Sustainable Luxury

For those who appreciate the finer things in life, some luxury brands are using materials that are kinder to the planet:

Allure Sauvage: reconciling fashion and ecology, their bags are designed in Lausanne and made using Piñatex, a cruelty-free alternative to animal leather made from pineapple leaf fibers.

ID Genève: award-winning watches made from recycled steel melted in a solar furnace, vegan straps made with green waste, and boxed in compostable mushroom packaging. Their carbon footprint is 165 times lower than the industry average.

Sustainable Accessories

When you need to add something extra to your ensemble, try accessories that are recycled or pre-loved:

Cura Jewellery: eco-conscious statement jewelry made with recycled plastics. The designer handcrafts colorful earrings and necklaces using recycled HDPE plastic (think bottle caps and detergent containers) and each piece is unique.

Atelier FH: battling the stereotype that second-hand shoes are worn-out and smelly, they work with local shoemakers to restore pre-loved designer footwear, to give them new life.

Qwstion: this brand has the ‘answer’ to combining impeccable design and functionality. Some products are made with Bananatex – a biodegradable, durable, and waterproof fabric made from banana plants – for a low environmental footprint.

Sustainable Sportswear

There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. These sportswear brands are both practical and eco-conscious:

Earlybird skis: it’s evident that climate change is changing our beloved winter season. This eco ski brand works hard to reduce its carbon footprint, manufacturing recyclable products using sustainable materials.

Mover: 99% of traditional sportswear is made from plastic. This Lausanne-based brand specializes in making plastic free clothing whilst maintaining its protective, functional qualities.

On: born in the Swiss Alps, these running shoes are phasing out the use of virgin materials, replacing them with ethically sourced recycled or bio-based materials to reduce harm.

Kaio Swim: summer is right around the corner so if you’re on the lookout for practical and elegant swimwear, check out this brand committed to slow fashion and respectful production.

Turning Trash into Treasure

TLG recently featured Lausanne’s upcycling queen, Diana Rikasari, who has brought her bold and quirky style to Lausanne – and we are all the better for it. Her cool and colorful Instagram feed is full of creative projects that may inspire you to try it yourself. And she is not alone…

A couple of other local Instagram accounts have caught our eye:

Kati Gora: Kati hails from Hungary and is a self-styled wizard of sewing and upcycling. She is happiest when whizzing around a thrift store and re-making the treasures she finds there. Her aim is to share her passion for ethical fashion. Check out her feed for sewing experiments, repurposed jewelry, inventive reels that demonstrate the creative process, and even a top made from recycled beer bottle caps!

La Lampe BOKAL: For authentic, functional, and durable lighting, check out Adrien’s innovative, industrial-style lighting, made from various jars, glasses, copper pipes, and fabric cables. He comes from Fribourg and recycling and sustainability are at the heart of his work. The accent lamps he creates are minimalist by design and would enhance any interior with their unique shapes. Wherever you place them, they are sure to spark a conversation!

Lausanne's Upcycling Queen: Diana Rikasari

Her style is eccentric and sparks curiosity.
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