Ethically Made Summer Hats
Image: Monrowe NYC
Looking to add a little flare to your look? Take your style to the next level this summer with our selection of beautiful, wearable and ethically made hats.
Hats are severly underatted and so are the skills used to make them. Miliners and weavers guard precious but dying craftsmanship techniques. They are being helped to survive however by a few intrepid hat brands. Whether you’re looking for some stylish sun protection or to add a sartorial edge to your look (or maybe both!), a simple summer hat will perfectly complete your look. From beach casual straw hats, sleek Panama hat and practical cotton baseball caps you can choose from these ethically made options. We have listed some of our latest crushes: something for all tastes and for all price ranges.
Monrowe creates stunning hats inspired by the story of a free-spirited jazz musician from the American south. A man who played saxophone in speakeasies with no formal training, improvising his own unique style. He unapologetically weaved a creative life centred on freedom and self-expression. Monrowe was created by his granddaughter, model-turned-milliner Dani Evans, who was inspired by his legacy. The label’s aesthetic is built around strong, structured silhouettes and nostalgic tones inherent in expert craftsmanship. The unisex line of ready-to-wear hats are made in the USA. Each piece is a true investment, with timeless design sensibilities.
At Cuyana, each product is made with integrity in Ecuador, from the highest-quality materials. Their hats are woven by women in their own homes, using heritage techniques which have been recognised by UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The hats are made of toquilla straw, a renewable resource made from young Toquilla palm fronds, harvested without harming the main tree. We love their Wide-Brim Hat, designed to provide ample shade with oodles of style. Wear it with the ribbon hanging or tied, or remove the ribbon and wear the hat on its own. The brand was founded by Karla Gallardo, who grew up in Ecuador. She has blended her business background together with her love for sustainable fashion.
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Topiku is proud to have created “The World’s Most Sustainable Hats”. Made in Cigondewah, Indonesia, they work together with local pemulung (trash-pickers) to salvage HDPE plastic buckets (among other plastic items) from landfills. Virgin (new) HDPE is typically made from petroleum, a popular fossil fuel, which is easily recycled. By using recycled HDPE, they can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of their hat brims. They source GOTS-certified organic cotton and work together with a manufacturer in Solo, Central Java, to collect their deadstock inventory (aka verified old, leftover, or over-ordered fabrics). Instead of going to landfill, Topiku uses them to make their hats. Even the hardware is created using recycled aluminium soda cans.
Jennifer Moray, is a daughter with an Ecuadorian mother, and the founder of Ninakuru. The brand crafts bespoke collections of Ecuadorian handmade sustainable Panama hats, with the purpose of investing in people. Ninakuru was developed to help preserve the livelihood of artisans in developing countries who rely on their trade to support their families. Jennifer notes that few artisans are able to obtain the financial resources to purchase materials needed to produce a higher quality product. Not only would this secure a better profit margin for their goods but also elevate the value of their craft. She strives to create contemporary items preserving traditional expertise and designs, together with strictly sustainable practices.
The Conscious Citizen was born from a conversation between friends Maria and Yulia. Both felt overwhelmed and at the same time, excluded from the real conversations around sustainability. They founded Conscious Citizen as a way to help others feel empowered through their choices. Their easy to wear lounge sets and baseball caps are conversation starters. The caps are made from organic cotton with a cool washed out vintage feel. Conscious Citizen pieces are designed to be loved for years in your wardrobe and become a staple you reach for time and again.
Pachacuti is the pioneering Fair Trade business combining Panama hats with responsible consumption. The historical exploitation of underpaid weavers by unscrupulous middlemen means that this timeless skill is under threat. As a result, younger generations have been searching for alternative ways to make a living. The community that Pachacuti work with in Ecuador has some of the highest rates of migration in the country. Pachacuti pays a fair price and provides ongoing training and investment, not just in design development and skills, but in self-esteem, human relations, costing of products and overheads, and health and safety. In 2009 they became the first company in the world to be Fair Trade Certified under the Sustainable Fair Trade Management System and piloted the Fair Trade Guarantee System in 2011, becoming the first fashion brand in the world to receive the new label!
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Disclaimer: The people and models in the images featured are not associated with The Vendeur and do not endorse it or the products shown. This post may contain affiliate links. Prices correct at time of publishing.