Now more than ever, people are increasingly conscious of fast fashion brands – mass produced, affordable clothing, designed to be worn only a handful of times with detrimental effects on the environment. Made with cheap and unsustainable materials, not only do they have a short life, but they usually end up in a landfill.
While we tend to associate this with everyday clothing, athletic wear can be just as guilty of unsustainable production methods as trendy one-time outfits are. But activewear brand HAVAH is trying to change this by setting itself apart as an activewear brand with sustainability at the heart of their business. The brand, designed specifically for dancers, only uses water-based and chemical-free inks, which prevents the release of toxins into water supplies.
You’ve also probably never heard of a lifetime warranty for athletic apparel. HAVAH is the world’s first brand that provides this, which encourages clothes to be returned and recycled rather than discarded. We’re also all probably guilty of snipping out those itchy labels that are sewn into the seams of our athletic wear. But have you ever thought about what actually happens to them? Most people won’t recycle these labels, which are often made up of polyester – an unnecessary and unsustainable addition to our clothing. HAVAH decided to get rid of this and instead print the logo directly inside.
The brand also promotes fair labor rights, with everything being handmade to order in Europe and North America. 92 million tons of textiles go to waste each year, but unlike retail giants, HAVAH doesn’t produce in bulk, only using what is needed. HAVAH’s carbon footprint is also much lower than big brands because they eliminate the need to move bulk orders around the world.
The lightbulb moment for the brand’s creator Dharmesh was after he watched the documentary “The True Cost”, which shows people around the world who make clothes for fast fashion brands. After witnessing the suffering of people who make the world’s cheapest clothing, he made it his mission to create sustainable clothing that would challenge the world’s biggest brands. “My focus changed from making money through Facebook ads to making a better world through sustainable fashion,” he says. Their personal alternative to fast fashion trends are their very own “sustainable fast trends” – three new trends added to the collection every month.
While the brand is suitable for other activities like yoga, dancers, in particular, will reap the benefits of the stretchy materials. “Forget diamonds,” Dharmesh says. “HAVAH is a girl’s best friend.” It’s not good enough anymore for new brands to launch businesses without sustainability in mind. HAVAH is leading a new revolution of sustainable activewear.