MELAWEAR is a sustainable organic fashion brand that produces T-shirts, hoodies, backpacks and shoes within fair and ecological circumstances. Their collections include several colours and styles where everyone can find the perfect eco-conscious pieces.
The brand was founded by Henning Siedentopp, who had never believed that there is a future for eco-consciousness in the fashion industry. Although, after he travelled to India in 2013 and saw the disappointing working conditions of the textile industry, he changed his mind and created a sustainable fashion brand in Germany.
The name Mela means “acting together” in Hindi, which refers to the brand’s mission to change the way the textile industry works by producing ecologically in India near fair working conditions. The main focus of MELAWEAR is transparency both in the production and quality, in order to provide sophisticated and straightforward assortment.
MELAWEAR pieces are timeless alternatives to fast fashion that releases collections at an excessively fast pace. The brand’s vision is to produce sustainable textiles not only for a niche, but to make them accessible for everyone and in this way promote sustainable fashion to become a mass market.
Besides the good look, the journey of textiles is also an important issue for MELAWEAR. Instead of following the conventional production conditions, they come up with sustainable and fair ways to produce alternatives. Thanks to this, all their materials remain usable so products can be integrated into the circular economy in the future for a wasteless world.
Additionally, the production of textiles happens with the highest sustainability standards, certified by Fairtrade and GOTS. The brand applies a holistic approach to sustainability for its complete product range, starting from the cultivation of cotton, through the production and dying of fabrics to the packaging.
MELAWEAR also has social and transparent partnerships that are selected on-site, with the condition of being certified and regularly inspected by Fairtrade and GOTS.
MELAWEAR sustainable fashion at UPTOSTYLE
At UPTOSTYLE, we have a special obsession with sustainability besides Scandinavian minimalism. This is the reason why we immediately fell in love with MELAWEAR and decided to take action towards selling their MELA II backpacks in our shop which are now available to order.
The MELAWEAR concept is to provide customers with the possibility of a wardrobe that is sustainable, timeless and affordable at the same time. For this reason, all their products are made of organic cotton which, besides being reusable, requires less water than conventional cotton and using genetically modified plants is strictly prohibited.
In order to provide the health of both workers and nature, MELAWEAR works solely with materials produced with environmentally friendly manners. They use organically grown cotton from natural seeds, using only natural fertilizers, without any pesticides. In such a way, erosion is decreased and the valuable humus content is increased in the soil.
The brand uses only organic cotton that is harvested by hand in India and is certified by Fairtrade Cotton Standard. This ensures that cotton farmers are paid fixed purchase price with an additional premium.
Beyond using sustainable material from reliable sources, all MELAWEAR pieces are made from organic cotton in a sustainable and fair way, realizing high quality, sustainability, and affordable prices in one product.
Besides their Fairtrade and GOTS certifications, MELAWEAR’s 2017 T-shirt collection got a Cradle to Cradle Gold Standard certification too. It includes dyestuffs for dying fabrics and biodegradable sewing threads which makes it possible to industrially compost the textile after getting worn away.
The brand’s biggest milestone was creating the world’s most sustainable sneaker, the first shoes to be certified by both Fairtrade Cotton Standard and GOTS. The robust organic cotton canvas makes all shoes breathable, while the natural rubber soles are responsible for the soft, flexible yet comfortable fit.
Besides combining modern design and high quality, a 360° seam and water-based, GOTS-certified adhesives are used to provide durability.
The brand’s most iconic products are the ansvar bags, the first rucksacks and backpacks that have got the Fairtrade Cotton Standard and GOTS certifications. The name “ansvar” means responsibility in Scandinavia, which represents the sustainability and Scandinavian design of the bags.
They are all made exclusively from sustainable materials, like organic cotton canvas and vegetable-tanned leather which make each item more durable. Thanks to the several shapes and colours, ansvar collections are suitable for several purposes of daily use.
UPTOSTLE’s favourite, the MELA II got a sophisticated, yet playful design that perfectly combines minimal shapes and 90’s trends in one piece. Thanks to the square shape and refine style, these items are ideal to take to university classes or workdays alike.
This collection is made from naturally dyed and water-resistant organic cotton canvas and is free from chrome, nickel and any animal origin parts, hence vegan. Despite the minimal shape, the wide colour range makes MELA II suitable for everyone.
Take a look at UPTOSTYLE’s MELA II selection, choose your favourite colour and enjoy the world’s most sustainable bag which is also vegan!
Frequently asked questions about MELAWEAR
Where are MELAWEAR textiles produced?
In India, at Purecotz, who share MELAWEAR’s high ecological goal of persuing conventional customers to switch to ecological and sustainable production and also create a pleasant working environment for workers.
What makes Purecotz’s textile production sustainable and fair?
Purecotz gets all the raw materials from certified organic farming and prepares their own water for the farm. They also have 24kw solar systems to supply them with electricity and they plant trees regularly to reduce their greenhouse gas emission.
Since 2016, MELAWEAR has been voluntarily paying 10% of the purchase price for all textiles in order to promote better living conditions for the workers of the textile industry. Besides this, workers can participate in the workshops of the Fairtrade Textile Program, where they get informed in crucial topics like occupational safety or environmental management.
The aim of these actions is to convince more and more fashion companies to join this approach and if living wages become paid nationwide in the future, the entire textile industry can be sustainably improved in the long run.
What is GOTS?
The Global Organic Textile Standard is the number one standard for the processing of textiles made from organically grown natural fibres in the world.
It has ecological criteria for the entire textile supply chain including extraction of raw textile fibres, environmentally friendly and socially responsible production and distribution, controlled through independent audits. This standard only allows biodegradable additives and prohibits toxic components, thus offers complete product safety for customers.
All MELAWEAR products are certified by GOTS, along with using 100% Indian organic cotton and water-based colours for textile prints.
What is Fairtrade Textile Standard?
Fairtrade Textile Standard implements social standards throughout the whole textile supply chain. It ensures factory workers to get wages, work in a more social environment and get improved right of codetermination. According to the latest standard, living wages are paid beyond minimum wages to improve workers’ life.
In light of this, workers get trained in environmental management, occupational safety and get informed about their rights to gain a holistic understanding of the textile standard.
How are MELAWEAR’s logistics and delivery?
While MELAWEAR contributes to improving living conditions in India by GOTS and Fairtrade, HiPsy gemeinnützige GmbH is responsible for their logistics in Germany. The company has been employing people with mental illnesses in Buchholz near Hamburg since 2003 with the goal to have these people participate in social life.
For delivery, MELAWEAR works together with DHL Go Green which offsets the emission that courier services cause, by supporting climate protection projects.
How to wash MELAWEAR bags?
In order to preserve their condition as long as possible, MELAWEAR bags are highly recommended to be washed only by hand. Using a GOTS-certified impregnation spray is also suggested to refresh and improve the water repellency of the bags.
Due to the characteristics of organic cotton, all products are water-resistant, dry fast and as a result of different impacts and ageing of the fabric, unique features will appear on the material over time.