By Alexandria Beyer
Consider this: on average, more than 20,000 litres of fresh water are used to produce one kilogram of cotton, and one kilogram of cotton will make only a single T-shirt and a pair of jeans. That is one thirsty outfit!
Though most people associate it with sustainable fashion, cotton actually represents a pretty heavy burden on the planet. It represents nearly half of the most sought after fibers in the textile industry worldwide, but as a result, our ecosystems and global communities feel the brunt of this crop’s popularity: major irrigation, soil depletion, pesticide use, and pressures on farmers to convert to nasty GMO varieties – which are, sadly, increasingly grown.
Synthetic fibers are a close second as the next most sought after material in the global industry with their own unique consequences, one example being the tiny bits of toxic microfibres that pollute our oceans every time synthetic articles go through the washing machine. These wee particles are too small for waste treatment plants to catch and so eventually end up in our fish and drinking water. So what can we do to support more sustainable practices in the textile industry?
Meet Nicki and her dog, Milo. After becoming ill, Nicki chose to reevaluate her life and was inspired to live and create for a purpose with health and happiness as a priority. She wanted this not only for herself, but also for the planet. Nicki decided to pick up her sketchbook, and so began the creation of Milo + Nicki, whose motto is: “We believe in designing clothes that last, and are made without compromising people or the planet.”
Zambian & Indian cultural roots contribute to the beauty and soul of Milo + Nicki’s banana fibre sustainable fashion designs, and every aspect of the product, from design to dress, is intentional and is founded in environmental and social responsibility. Check out the 6>1 maxi skirt that can be worn a full six ways or more, offering perfect versatility for travel and creative wardrobes.
Beyond creative design, what we love most about this sustainable fashion brand is the materials chosen for the garments: banana fibres! At least a billion tons of banana peels are wasted each year, and 37kg of those already grown and discarded peels can produce a fill kilogram of fibre. The banana fibre, whose texture and durability is akin to hemp and bamboo, makes a highly sumptuous, luxurious fabric. And of course, the fibre is biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free, fair trade, and is nearly carbon neutral to produce.
Milo + Nicki currently offers their Bandhani Collection, which is made almost entirely from banana peels and created employing the oldest fabric tying and dyeing methods, which are still in practice in India. In addition to using banana fibers, Milo + Nicki also use vintage and organic, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) cotton, Ahimsa ‘Peace’ silk, and all eco-friendly dyeing methods – this is one of our new fave brands, and we’re sure it will soon be one of yours, too!
Our Top Picks of the Milo + Nicki Collections