Scotch & Soda is a privately owned Dutch company that offers modern and creative ladies, mens and children’s apparel and accessories. The brand is inspired by the liberal and diverse outlook of its home city Amsterdam, championing individuality and the power of self-expression.
The handwriting of Scotch & Soda items is unique. To my eye, the brand does Sporty Chic like no other. Items are formally relaxed and casually dressy in a clever way. Good quality is of paramount importance, so items last, are comfortable, and can endure the robustness of life. Colour, pattern, texture and shine are at the forefront of their designs, as are the classics that are contrasted with very contemporary detailing. Items almost always have some sort of unexpected twist, which keeps their vibe fresh and interesting. And best of all, designs are grounded by practicality because in the Netherlands, the bicycle is the number one mode of transport. And the idea is that if you can’t bike in a wardrobe item, there is no point in wearing it.
Fits are fluid and forgiving and items are seldom tight. Sizes range from XS to XL, and run quite roomy. Bottoms range from a US size 24 to 32 and can have three inseam options ranging from short to tall. Since the Dutch are tall people, the availability of 34 inch inseams is not uncommon for ladies bottoms. Unfortunately, the brand is not size-inclusive, which is disappointing. I’d love to see it extend its sizing range in both directions so that more people can wear their gorgeous items.
The collection shows a good assortment of the brand’s offerings for ladieswear. I believe there is the option to rent items too.
Scotch & Soda is committed to being a sustainable and ethical manufacturer.
“Designing beautiful clothes that feel good is one thing. But we also imagine a world where we are doing good. One of our top priorities is to run our business with greater sensitivity to our planet by making more responsible choices every day that reduce our environmental impact.”
Making fashion more sustainable is a tall order, and Scotch & Soda’s social responsibility policies are a big step in the right direction. For example, their stores and head office operate 100% on renewable energy. They closely monitor their transport network to reduce CO2 emissions, AND have a zero waste-to-landfill policy. They also reduce, recycle and reuse water in the manufacturing process.
Scotch & Soda takes their ethical material sourcing seriously too. They are a fur-free brand with a strong animal welfare policy. When producing denim, the brand deliberately avoids sandblasting the fabric because it produces silica dust that can be detrimental to workers’ health if performed without suitable protective wear. Instead, they use ozone and laser treatments to make the denim look worn, both of which substantially reduce water and chemical use. And like sustainable and ethical G-Star RAW, Scotch & Soda likes to make items out of raw denim, which bypasses the chemical washing and rinsing processes altogether.
Their factories are in Turkey, China and Tunisia, and comply with Scotch & Soda’s list of ethical and sustainable standards. Some factories have established child care and education for employees’ children, and organize sports and other ways for employees to relax.
Cotton is an important fibre in Scotch & Soda garments. Although it’s a natural fibre, it’s not without environmental consequences. Regular cotton crops require an extreme amount of water and pesticide usage, whereas organic cotton uses 95% less water consumption and is pesticide-free. So the brand’s cotton is purchased from the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and other organic sources to ensure a more sustainable fibre choice for its customers.
You can purchase Scotch & Soda from their worldwide stand-alone stores, online from their site, or from Nordstrom and Shopbop. Prices are not cheap, but are more affordable than boutiques, and they have excellent end-of-season sales.
I have grown to LOVE Scotch & Soda apparel because it’s different, colour-rich, practical, beautifully made, robust, and there’s a lot of luxe and refinement in their casual look. There are two brick-and-mortar stores in Seattle, but my favourite one is in Arnhem in the Netherlands, which I frequent with Inge whenever I visit my Dad. I have a good amount of Scotch & Soda in my wardrobe, and will happily add more. Because the fits are roomy, I have to have the bottoms altered to fit, which I’m happy to in order to have a superior and sustainably made product. I’m proud that this is yet another contemporary and hip Dutch brand that is taking its impact on the planet very seriously.