Words: Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
With the cost-of-living crisis keeping many more people at home, warm and comfy clothing has never been more necessary. Unless you are one of those rare, near-mythical beings who can relax around the house in jeans; loungewear, pyjamas and anything with a fluffy lining is sure to be calling your name.
Thanks to online shopping being able to connect you with an infinite number of brands across the globe without so much as having to put on underwear and leave the house, there are a lot of loungewear options to choose from. Whether you are looking for a tracksuit suitable for both on and off the couch, the softest and most fuzzy cardigan you can dream of, or something more akin to sleepwear, here at The Guide, we have rounded up a selection of some of the best up and coming loungewear brands. Not only that, as well as keeping you warm, comfy and looking effortlessly chic, our round up will allow you to support independent business as they too struggle through the cost-of-living crisis.
Richer Poorer Lounge Wear
Photo: Richer Poorer
Inspired by their sunny Californian surroundings, the team at Richer Poorer create perfectly casual clothing that encapsulates the laid back lifestyle of those living for the ocean breeze. Their clothes are not complicated, their images not photoshopped but the brand’s aesthetic still screams perfection, or at least announces it in a laid back tone.
As well as looking good, their clothing also does good. In 2019, Richer Poorer transitioned all virgin polyester fleece to recycled polyester fleece and a year later they introduced the ‘Weighted Tee’ made of 100% Organic Cotton. Still determined to reduce their impact on the environment, 2021 saw the introduction of the ‘Vintage Rib’ line made of Lyocell, an eco-friendly semi-synthetic fibre made of wood cellulose. The changes have not only been good for the environment but for business, with all the eco-friendly lines fast becoming best-sellers.
The design of Richer Poorer’s loungewear will take you from inside to outside with nearly no effort with the modern, streamlined silhouettes being both functional and stylish. With a range of muted, earth-tones to choose from, sizes ranging from XS - XL for women and S - XXL for men, there is a style for everyone to fall in love with whether it is the thermal sweatpants or a spa-ready robe you are after.
Dascha Wave Towelling Hoodie from Damson Madder
Photo: Damson Madder
The London based team at Damson Madder are incredibly passionate about sustainability, using organic cotton, recycled and repurposed fabrics in all of their garments. Everything used in their production is ethically sourced, with a focus on transparency, circular design and innovative fabric and washing techniques ensuring that their stylish loungewear does not cost the earth.
With styles ranging from relaxed fit trousers covered in bold, fruit-centric prints, to comfy crocheted co-ords that are sure to brighten up the day, there is a vast array of options to pick and choose from. A stand out product is the unisex Happy Day Jogger set, whose oversized style features a patchwork borg design, contrast ties and embroidery detailing upon a fleece material that is bound to keep you snug in the colder months. The mixed yarn balaclavas, each of which are made from four recycled plastic bottles, the pull on hoods with ties which are each made using six recycled plastic bottles, as well as the crochet balaclavas are more favourites made by the brand. As well as being super functional pieces, the headwear is adorably kitsch and will aid in turning less winter friendly fits into cold-weather-ready styles.
Dubbed by The Guardian as ‘The brand who made sleepwear cool,’ Sleeper have taken the loungewear scene by storm since their launch in 2014. Based in the city of Kyiv, Ukraine where every garment is hand-made, Sleeper’s zero waste production line begins with responsible suppliers, ends with eco-packaging and, sandwiched in between, works with natural materials. While they are perhaps best known for their Party Pyjamas, aptly named due to their fur trims and bright, bold colour ways, Sleeper deliver a vast array of loungewear options from matching silk sets to shearling slippers - cornering the ultra-chic staying-at-home fashion market with relative ease.
The brand’s manifesto is a dream list of morals and ethics that, if every fashion brand could follow, would near-end the detrimental impact of clothing production on the planet. As well as sharing their sustainability and employee safety efforts, Sleeper’s approach to clothing and their understanding of the way it can make people feel is shared in the brand’s unbelievably heartwarming manifesto.
Of their nine aims, two stand out; number seven, “We [Sleeper] think that beautiful loungewear, a hearty meal, fresh bedding, garden picked flowers, and friends around the dinner table can make any place a home,” and number eight, “We truly believe that beautiful things can only be made through an abundance of love to life, our planet, and our loved ones.”
They support this abundance of love to our planet by using 100% natural fibres
across approximately 90% of their garments and are embracing the circular economy not just through recycling their waste but by bringing the concept of reducing waste to the beginning of the design process.
Donni’s story began in 2009, when the brand’s founder, Alyssa Wasko, made herself a comforting scarf to help her cope with the death of her father Donald. Soon after, her friends began asking for scarves of their own and before long orders were arriving from around the country simply through word of mouth. What began as a personal creative outlet, grew into Donni, and scarves grew into a whole host of clothing, all of which are still designed by Alyssa.
The ideas of comfort and ease are at the forefront of all Donni’s designs whether they are creating neck warmers, bralettes or trousers. Subsequently, all these elevated essentials are made from the softest fabrics you will ever wear with the aim to, in the brands own words, ‘make you feel entirely comfortable in your own skin.’
Another plus, over three quarters of Donnis’ vendors, so their factories, cutting houses, dye houses, knitting mills, marker/graders, pattern makers and sample makers, are either women-run or women-owned business. Each season, they partner with a different non-profit to donate a portion of their sales.
Goose & Gander
The Goose and Gander Hoodies
Photo: Goose and Gander
The independent unisex clothing brand, Goose & Gander, was created in 2013 by founders Maz and Olly, who between them at the time had no experience in fashion. Not that you would be able to tell. After learning about printing, embroidery and the fashion trade as a whole through, in their own words, ‘a lot of trial and error and many google searches,’ the brand now designs, decorates and ships every made-to-order garment in-house from their UK based HQ.
The simple designs branded with the ‘Goose & Gander’ name, or with nothing but an embroidered goose cartoon, herald back to the golden age of Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch. Bringing a fresher and more relevant take on name-branded apparel, the Goose & Gander brand still feels somewhat more preppy than other loungewear companies. The designs clearly take inspiration from the ever-so-popular university and college branded hoodies, but by replacing the names of unattended institutions with the catchy and kitsch ‘Goose & Gander’ name, the style feels more universal, more modern, more fun.
For all the well-thought up and witty designs printed onto their hoodies, t-shirts, sweats and fleeces, the stores stand out item is by far their Unisex Goose Hood. The plain hoodie, designed to give a relaxed and comfy fit, features nothing but the brand’s signature simple goose embroidery on the left hand side of the chest - simple, but very effective.