In 2018, it's no longer a valid excuse to feign ignorance of the consequences of our purchases and the damaging effects of fast fashion. It is common knowledge that fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world and that our overconsumption of clothing has made a devastating impact on the environment as well as the lives of garment workers all around the globe.
Recognising how urgently we need to change the way we consume fashion, Ninety Percent, cofounded by Shafiq Hassan and Para Hamilton, is a London-based premium womenswear brand that’s trying something new. Bringing together ethics and aesthetics, without compromising on style, Ninety Percent offers women the option to #DressBetter in a brand that prioritises product and people over profits. Based on a pioneering, positive business model, the brand will share 90% of distributed profits between a diverse range of charitable causes and those who make the collection happen.
Customers will influence where the money goes – each purchase comes with the option to vote for a cause. The launch collection is feminine but low maintenance, and prices range from just £30-£350. Relaxed silhouettes are at the brand's core, alongside close-fit jersey staples and sumptuous knits. Materials and manufacturing have been chosen carefully and sourced only from industry best-practice suppliers in Bangladesh, China, Italy, Japan, India and Turkey.
The common misconception that sustainable and ethical fashion can't be trend-focused and cool was the starting point for Ninety Percent. "We wanted the designs to be thoroughly modern and to show that a brand with ethics at its core doesn’t need to compromise on quality and design," creative director Ben Matthews asserts. "Our collection stands proudly on its own – the pioneering business model should never speak louder than the product and an ethical stance should be at the foundation of all brands, it's the future."
"People are starting to wake up when it comes to environmental, consumer and political movements and not just within the fashion industry," Matthews continues. "It’s great and it’s so important that people are becoming more mindful about the world we live in today."
"We are inclusive at Ninety Percent and we are very conscious that the collection should talk to as many women as possible. We’d like to think the Ninety Percent customers are women who care about looking modern, feminine, with an appreciation for good design and considered details. They also care about where their clothes are made; no one should pay a price for someone else to look good." You can't argue with that.