If you're in any doubt of fashion label Ninety Percent’s principles, you only need remember that they named the entire brand after the exact amount they have promised to give back. Yep, an impressive 90 per cent of proﬁts have been allocated between charitable causes and those who actually make the pieces happen at grass-roots level. The company’s mantra? Prioritise people and product over proﬁt.
Each piece comes with its own care label – not the washing instructions, but a unique code, empowering you to vote for and support a cause you believe in. These range from the Children’s Hope Organisation that educates underprivileged children living in the slums of Dhaka, to War Child UK, a specialist charity for children affected by conﬂict across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, to animal charities such as WildAid, or Big Life, protecting East Africa’s endangered wildlife.
The dream team and triangle of inﬂuence behind this sustainable fashion movement is ethical factory owner, Shaﬁq Hassan, alongside Co-Founder Para Hamilton and Creative Director Ben Matthews, previously Buying Manager at Net-a-Porter. Shaﬁq explains, “We want to create a movement, we really want to be different and to rethink how businesses are run.”
It appears to be working. Even though the brand only launched last week, the #DressBetter hashtag has already amassed over six thousand mentions on Instagram, and the ethical-dressing movement is gaining momentum. Notably because the connotations of hemp hippiedom of yesteryear have been replaced by some seriously stylish, covetable pieces. This was crucial for Ben, who reveals, “We spent a lot of time honing ﬁt and fabric to ensure the collection is modern without being austere, but also feminine without being overly girly. Ninety Percent is a thoroughly modern brand, and we want to transform the relationship women have with their clothes.”
Expect to see high-end basics, with the perfect organic T-shirt (with internal seams edged in grosgrain), oversized, cashmere-blend jumpers that are super-soft to the touch, and cover-up cardies in scarlet, nude and grey. Plus there’s plenty of pastel sweatshirt-inspired pieces to satisfy the pickiest of athleisure aﬁcionados.
Naturally, there are no signs of a sweatshop either. All fabrics are sourced from reputable suppliers using sustainable ﬁbres like organic cotton, and the majority of the collection is made in a factory that is considered the greenest in Bangladesh. They take safety and eco-practices very seriously, as well as providing free healthcare, cooked meals and childcare for under-ﬁves. They also nurture their workforce of over 7,000 people – most of whom are women – encouraging them to slow the manufacturing process down and take pride in their work.
Refreshing, no? It’s the absolute antithesis to fast (landﬁll-destined) fashion, and one that we hope marks a real sea-change in how we consume clothing, and what we demand from our brands.