Sustainable Clothing Brand A.C.F Founder Promotes Waste-less Fashion
If sustainability is important in deciding what you don on a daily basis, Hong Kong-based brand A.C.F Clothing is the ethical label you need to know about. On the surface, there is nothing about the line’s stylish pieces that screams basic or eco-friendly. Their bold silhouettes and minimalistic details are on trend, but make no mistake – every single component of A.C.F has been purposely crafted to be as ethically-minded as possible. Green Queen spoke to founder and designer, Alexandra Foster, who gave us an intimate look into starting your own business without sacrificing your morals.
A contemporary streetwear brand with an eco, ethical and eleemosynary ethos, A.C.F is rooted in transparency and sustainability. Horrified by the massive fashion industry waste, Foster was determined not to tread the same path. “I always wanted to have my own fashion label,” says the Melbourne native. “After working for a number of small, independent fashion labels, all the waste I saw was a huge issue and defining moment for me that I wanted to address. That really planted the seed in creating A.C.F.” Fulfilling the ethical tenets of her company meant building special relationships with manufacturing partners that understood her standards and would ensure that the ethical side of things would be carried through on their end. “I was working for some brands that would have their products made in China but they had never gone to see their production or manufacturing partners; everything was done over email, which I think will make your company suffer because who really knows what the manufacturers are doing,” questions Foster. “Maybe they’re sending out to third party manufacturers or using unethical practices that some factories do. That was not an option for me.”
With production factories located in Southern China a stone’s throw away, Asia’s World City provided the best recourse to launch Foster’s concept. Dream in tow, she packed her bags and moved to Hong Kong in March 2016 despite ever living overseas before. “It’s actually funny because I didn’t know a single soul,” recalls the fashion veteran. “It was very much a young woman leaving to live her dream and when I got here, I was like, ‘Oh it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.” But she forged on and her capsule collection debuted six months later.
Combining unisex, gender-neutral pieces that are both utilitarian and functional, A.C.F is designed for both men and women. Founded on the belief in equality and the environment, their sensible pieces proves that style and sustainability can happily co-exist. “I wear my boyfriend’s clothes all the time so why wouldn’t we just put a little more extra thought into each piece to make sure it is gender neutral,” Foster says thoughtfully of her latest collection. “That doesn’t mean that it has to be baggy or anything like that. Why can’t a man or a woman wear the same denim jacket? I think it’s wasteful to design two separate things that are basically the same thing.” Right on!
Driven to promote a zero-waste philosophy and sustainable practices, the company mostly uses deadstock fabric in their collections, which means end of roll fabrics that other brands have purchased and are about to throw out. As they don’t produce any of their own fabrics, A.C.F does not add to the the fabric dye process, which has a huge effect on water waste all over the world. Establishing an e-commerce brand was also an intentional step for the Aussie as e-shops are paperless and consumes 30 percent less energy compared to traditional retail. Offering online shopping online and temporary pop-up shops, A.C.F consciously avoids the need for any plastic; the clothes you buy come delivered/bagged in a cute reusable calico tote.
Mindful about the materials they use and in the way they produce, the company goes to great strides to ensure they do not have a negative effect on animals and humans. “We don’t use any leather or feathers, no animal products in our fabrics,” states Foster firmly. “I don’t believe animals having to suffer for fashion. It’s so passé these days to wear a fur coat and not think about the pain that you’ve caused.” Closing the gap of a circular economy in the company’s sphere, scrap fabrics from their production factory floors are transformed into doggy beds that are then donated to local animal welfare charity, the SPCA.
A new kind of sustainable fashion label, A.C.F is on track to elevate a relevant social movement toward responsible consumption our environment desperately needs. Shop online for their latest capsule collection or check them out at their upcoming events:
A.C.F. is committed to promotiong a sustainable consumption ethos with Conscious Collective, a 10-day conscious fashion, beauty & lifestyle brand showcase happening at Lightstage in Sheung Wan (G/F, 118 Hollywood Road) Friday April 27th through Sunday May 6th 2018. Click here for more information.
Join our co-hosted Green Queen events below:
Contact A.C.F. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All images courtesy of A.C.F Clothing