Sustainability is this decade’s buzzword. Thanks to social media, we now know how certain widespread practices in the fashion industry have caused an incredible amount of pollution and damage to the environment. With topics like fast fashion and inhumane working conditions on everyone’s lips, the fashion industry has been put on trial for its crimes against the environment.
Now, most people are pivoting their closets and adopting a greener approach when shopping. If you’re looking for a new sustainable brand to add to your wardrobe, allow me to let you in on a collection that will spice up your style while keeping you environmentally responsible.
Introducing: Wildlife Sanctuary, a collaboration between Mandai Wildlife Group and the Singapore Fashion Council.
Its aim? To design fashion and lifestyle accessories in partnership with local brands that share a passion for nature. When you’re using an item from this collection, you’re not just supporting their cause – you’re a part of it! By adorning their pieces, you’re helping Wildlife Sanctuary by initiating conversations and practising conscious consumption and sustainable shopping habits.
Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a cumulative catalogue of more than 50 items across five unique brands, all of which are committed to promoting sustainability in their unique way. From conceptualisation to birth, these brands have factored in sustainability at every point. Let me walk you through all five brands, as we immerse ourselves into the wildly creative world of this collaboration!
Singapore’s weather is truly unforgiving, and while it brings discomfort, it also limits our ability to express ourselves through fashion – how many times have you seen an outfit you wanted to wear only to be deterred by the heat? junglesuit understands that struggle all too well and has made it their mission to create fashion-forward pieces that allow women to thrive in the heat!
One of their contributions to the collaboration is the Just Add Water Rain Hoodie adorned with gold accents and stamped with the collaboration’s signature logo. The hood was specifically made bigger and broader, making it reminiscent of the iconic 60s Grace Kelly scarf style. It’ll have you feeling like a Hollywood starlet cruising down the road in your convertible with the wind blowing through your hair!
If you’re anything like me and often find yourself debating whether to lug that sweater out of the house on the off chance you might get cold, this hoodie will solve all our problems. It was designed to seamlessly go from shielding us from the heat to protecting us from the cold. We can finally say goodbye to hauling cumbersome sweaters throughout our day with this single hoodie!
The hoodie is made out of Tencel, a popular material in sustainable fashion, given that it’s a soft and lightweight material. Tencel is also biodegradable and uses less energy and water to produce than cotton – adding to the list of reasons why this eco-friendly material was chosen to create this gorgeous hoodie.
Catherine Cheung, one of the Co-founders of junglesuit, expressed the brand’s motivations for this collection: “Sustainability is very important to us not just as a business, but as individuals. And what drives us most personally, is our families – we (Catherine and co-founder Andrea Fiquet-Szederkenyi) are both mothers of young children, and we want our children to inherit an even healthier, more verdant and thriving natural world than the one we currently live in.”
She added, “We are a small business, so we don’t have infinite choice or power to change the industry, but wherever we can use our buying power and influence, we do it.”
To learn more about junglesuit, check out their official website here!
For this collaboration, La Tierra presents The White Tiger, which draws inspiration from its namesake’s immense power and inherent beauty! This collaboration brings forth a unique collection unlike others – breathing new life into dying crafts like block printing and natural dyeing by incorporating them into chic and sustainable fashion.
The first thing that will catch your attention is the beautiful muted neon green naturally dyed across the collection. The green incorporates itself exquisitely into the whole safari theme – especially matching the print of the trees, black hornbills and white tigers on the t-shirt and dress. Did I mention, ladies, that this dress has pockets? I’m talking about deep pockets for your keys, wallet, and even your phone! How amazing is that? It’s equal parts functional with its pockets and gorgeous with its unique print. Consider me obsessed!
Speaking of print, for this entire collection, La Tierra relied on the art of block printing to create the stunning pattern you see! Block printing is one of the oldest and slowest means of textile printing. While it is very time-consuming, the results, as you can tell, are outstanding!
Natural dyeing and block printing are popular methods used in the slow fashion industry. Unlike chemical dyes, natural dyes are non-toxic and biodegradable, making them easy on the eyes and the environment! Block printing is an artisanal craft that has been practised for centuries. Because of the block’s reusability and the craft’s low water and energy consumption, block printing is one of the most sustainable patternmaking techniques in existence.
If all this talk about block printing has piqued your interest, you’re in luck! As part of this collaboration, La Tierra sells the block prints in the same pattern as the ones used on their products! The printing set includes:
- Three printing blocks in the pattern of a tiger, a hornbill and the leaves
- Green and Black ink
- A tote bag
Go crazy stamping these patterns on anything you wish – the beauty of block printing comes from its versatility! Lulu Suresh, the founder and creative director of La Tierra, shared that “It’s more than just printing on a tote; you can actually print it on an old t-shirt or tablecloth if you want to add more colour to it! Even children can learn the craft!”
She also passionately explained the concept behind the collection: “White tigers and black hornbills are rare species found in nature; the design of ‘WhiteTiger’ depicts a unique idea of power and beauty that’s a powerful illustration of biodiversity and fine balance of our ecosystem.”
She continued by adding: “Marrying these rare beauties of nature with this ancient craft like handblock printing to me epitomise conservation of nature and preserving fading crafts and something which can be passed down to generations.”
As if all those efforts weren’t remarkable enough, La Tierra is also a social enterprise that has dedicated a portion of its proceeds to Babes – a foundation in Singapore dedicated to supporting pregnant teens!
To explore the world of La Tierra further, be sure to visit their official website!
Pearly Lustre is the only jewellery-exclusive brand in the Wildlife Sanctuary collaboration, and they certainly did not disappoint! The brand is the epitome of elegance, with an array of jewellery that’ll leave even the Queen of England jealous.
The collection was meticulously produced using recyclable and hypoallergenic materials like Sterling Silver 925 and 18k Gold Plating! Just a little fun fact for you readers: gold can actually be recycled and doesn’t depreciate in value! Traditional gold mining does a lot of damage to the ecosystem and degrades the water quality in the region, resulting in loss of vegetation. This is why the jewellery industry has shifted its sights to recyclable gold that can be found in items like televisions and mobile phones.
The star of this collection is the wildly illustrious Malayan Tiger. Why this animal, you might ask? Well, the Malayan Tiger is classified as a Critically Endangered species by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Pearly Lustre showcases their dedication to sustainability through the message they wish to convey, which is to protect such endangered species from extinction.
Pearly Lustre shared their own pearls of wisdom regarding the impact they wish to see this collaboration having: “The luxurious jewellery, inspired by this majestic creature, serves as an elegant statement piece, while also raising awareness about the plight of endangered species. By highlighting the captivating wildlife animal print, the collection offers a fresh perspective on the importance of sustainable practices and encourages wearers to embrace conscious consumption habits.”
When I say this collection is nothing short of magnificent – I mean it. Staring into the glass case that shielded the items, I felt like I was in Ocean’s 8, excluding the elaborate jewellery heist scheme, of course. Everything about this collection exudes elegance!
Take a deep dive into the brand by visiting Pearly Lustre’s official website!
Shifting our sights from jewellery to lifestyle pieces now with Photo Phactory! Founded by Valley Arora, Photo Phactory aims to infuse a touch of elegant wildlife into everyone’s home. From fashion accessories to homeware like wood trays and cushion covers, the brand is definitely not short on range!
All nine products launched in this collaboration are sustainably sourced from conceptualisation to their end result. Take their mango wood trays, for example. The mango wood tree stops bearing fruits after 20 years, leaving behind the high-quality wood that the brand has taken and reborn into trays and coasters! Products made with mango wood are also extremely durable, leaving you with an aesthetically pleasing addition to your home that you can be rest assured will last you decades.
The prints on their items are also digitally printed on organic materials from factories that they sourced out. Digital printing uses less water and energy than traditional printing methods – it also doesn’t involve harsh chemicals and is easier to recycle!
One thing that stood out to me about this collection was the range of animals that they included. There was an abundance of animals in Photo Phactory’s collection that I had not seen in the others. But what was initially a bunch of random animals hid a rather wholesome background story. According to founder Valley Arora, the idea behind the collection was inspired by her daughter, who would make scrapbooks of exotic animals that she was fascinated by, which added an amazing personal touch to her products.
“The inspiration behind our collection is a heart-warming journey down my memory lane. Fond reminiscences of delightful moments spent at various Mandai parks with my children sparked a creative spark,” shared Valley.
Valley expressed her hopes for the collection, saying, “Being fervently dedicated to both the environment and animal welfare, our brand is driven by a profound desire to amplify the remarkable efforts undertaken by the Mandai Reserve. From wildlife conservation initiatives to habitat restoration projects across its breath-taking parks, their impact resonates island-wide.”
Last on the list from Wildlife Sanctuary is Reckless Ericka, whose collection aims to bring back childlike wonder to anyone who adorns their products. The brand’s collection offers a total of 20 apparel products for both children and adults alike, which is very fitting for their aim. The collection boasts five different prints, each spotlighting different animals residing in their respective themed parks at Mandai.
Their Cuban shirts and scarves are crafted using OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 Linen, which is manufactured using environmentally friendly resources, while their tees are made from SUPIMA cotton, which is sustainable, renewable and biodegradable. They’ve put their products to the test, going so far as to ensure that every single thread, button and accessory is tested for any harmful substances.
This was another collection that had me scratching my head and wondering why they included such a wide range of animals. Afton Chen, co-founder and lead designer at Reckless Ericka, enlightened me by explaining, “My son grew up loving the animals and the beautiful parks, and because I am biassed, I have selected his favourite animals to be featured on the designs.”
Much like Photo Phactory, this collection finds inspiration in the innocence and curiosity of a child. Afton found that her son was often enamoured by many things that flew under her radar — taken by this epiphany, she hopes that this line will remind consumers to appreciate the little things in life.
Afton went on to share, “As the fashion industry continues to contribute largely to the effects of climate change, we want to do our part in aiding sustainable efforts and taking a step towards a greener future. At Reckless Ericka, we believe that we have a responsibility to not only our customers but also our planet. We take careful considerations when selecting the materials that we use in our productions to ensure that we are providing an alternative to fast fashion.”
To immerse yourself into the world of Reckless Ericka, visit their official website here!
And there you have it, that’s Wildlife Sanctuary in a nutshell! Seeing these products made me realise the role that manufacturers play in safeguarding our environment and our responsibilities as consumers. Wildlife Sanctuary serves as a reminder to both consumers and manufacturers alike that fashion and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. We can serve looks while also remaining kind to Mother Nature.
So, if you’re an environmental warrior who wants to find items that are good for the environment, the heart and the soul, Wildlife Sanctuary is something you cannot miss!
Here are some of the places you can visit and shop this fantastic collaboration at:
- Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Wonders and Bird Paradise (from 20 November 2023)
- Design-Orchard (Till 31 December 2023)
- Mandai Wildlife Group’s Lazada and Shopee e-shops (from 20 November 2023)
Now, run, don’t walk to these locations and see for yourself why Wildlife Sanctuary is a collection worth trying!
Visuals courtesy of Mandai Wildlife Group.