Clothing styles in Switzerland are defined by their signature clean and simple styles, their unbeatable utility, and by incorporating environmentally friendly materials. Rather than using loud colors, flashy accessories, and wild designs, Swiss brands prefer a more subdued color palette, cutting out unnecessary frills and focusing instead on comfort and simplicity. Switzerland is one of the top spending countries on fair trade products.
Not satisfied with simply importing these products, Swiss brands have a reputation for seeking out materials that meet these ethical high standards, developing new methods for recycling and reusing materials that would have otherwise gone to waste, and by making themselves accountable for their impact on society and the natural environment.
Top Swiss Clothing Brands
1.Mammut – Best Outdoor Wear
Started in 1862 in Switzerland as a rope manufacturer, Mammut is one of the best recognized Swiss clothing brands in the world. Specializing in outdoor clothing and mountaineering supplies, the brand has earned a reputation for providing excellent clothing for mountain climbers, hikers, hunters, and anyone else who enjoys the outdoors, especially in winter weather.
Along with being highly functional in extreme settings, Mammut prides itself on making its products sustainable and cruelty free, and uses the Bluesign system to ensure substances that damage the environment aren’t included in their products and manufacturing.
The company offers t-shirts made from recycled climbing rope material to reduce waste. The merino wool used in their products are specifically sourced from shepherds who meet the company’s animal welfare standards, and don’t practice mulesing (the painful process of removing skin around the sheep’s backside in an attempt to prevent flystrike, a dangerous condition merino sheep are prone to when raised in warm climates). Similarly, down is sourced from farms that don’t practice force-feeding or live plucking.
For women, the Broad Peak IN Hooded jacket is Mammut’s premium winter jacket. Made from ultra-lightweight Pertex Quantum material and filled with down and feather filling, this jacket keeps moisture out and body warmth in. This well insulated jacket is designed to be compatible with camping backpacks and rock climbing harnesses, so no matter what activity brings you out in the snow, you’ll be dry and warm.
For midlayer options, the Aconcagua Light ML jacket is a popular item. This Jacket can be worn by itself in warmer conditions, or underneath an outer layer for a serious Alpine trek. Stretchy, warm, and fast-wicking, this jacket is similarly designed to be compatible with harnesses and other mountaineering gear. The brand also offers an assortment of shirts and pants, which can be worn under outer layers, or by themselves as casual wear.
For the coldest conditions, a base layer is the difference between a comfortable hike and shivering and chattering teeth. Mammut offers the Trift line of insulated tights made of a blend of merino wool and synthetic polyamide. The wool is a natural insulator, and inhibits unpleasant odors, while the polyamide increases its durability and helps the material dry out faster.
For men, the Photics Thermo Bomber jacket is a cutting edge waterproof down jacket made with Mammut’s Laser Fuse Technology, a trademarked technique that uses a laser light to join materials together to make completely waterproof sealed seams. With this jacket, there are no needle holes to let water in or down insulation out, so you can be totally sure that you’ll be warm and dry on your mountain adventure.
The Innominata Light ML is a popular midlayer option, as suitable for city life as it is for the hiking trail. This warm yet light fleece jacket is made of 100% recycled polyester, making it a good choice for the environmentally conscious hiker. The Aconcagua ML Tights combines two different fleece materials to make an optimal base layer. Using Polartec Power Stretch Pro and Pontetorto Tecnostrech, these insulating tights are warm, non-abrasive, and feature excellent moisture management.
2.Hanrou – Best Undergarment
At the opposite extreme from Mammut’s outerwear is Hanrou, a Swiss clothing brand specializing in undergarments. From briefs to lounge wear, Hanrou makes world famous undergarments known for long lasting comfort. All of Hanrou’s clothing is made from soft and luxurious fabrics that feel comfortable and cozy when worn against the skin. Layers are an important part of Swiss fashion, and Hanrou offers the best base layer that Switzerland has to offer. 80% of the textiles used by the brand are produced at their own textile production factory in Austria.
This factory is constantly upgrading to keep up with the latest technological advances for sustainable production. For example, these upgrades have reduced the amount of water consumed per kilo of fabric produced by over 50%. The factory is OEKO-TEX STeP certified to prove the brand’s dedication to protecting the environment, and is in compliance with G.O.T.S. (Global Organic Textile Standard) sustainability standards.
Hanrou offers exceptionally comfortable bras, briefs, boxers, lounge wear, dressing gowns, pajamas, and warmwear for both men and women. The women’s Long Sleeve Pajama offers a soft and sophisticated design, and is made of 95% viscose and 5% elasthane. The men’s Lenn Robe is woven from 100% double faced cotton with a houndstooth tweed pattern.
When paired with matching pants, this robe offers a sophisticated look. The women’s woolen silk turtleneck shirt is a brand icon that functions either as a stand alone sweater or as a warmwear layer beneath other layers. This shirt features seamless sides and a sleek profile, and is made of 70% merino wool and 30% silk to maintain ideal body temperature.
3.Akris – Best Women’s Brand
Akris was founded in 1922 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, by Alice Kriemler-Schoch, who began by selling stylish embroidered aprons using local fabrics. Generations later, the brand is still in business and in the family, who have grown the brand into an international symbol of luxury. Influenced by Parisian styles, Akris blends the best of French and Swiss fashion to make its own signature designs and the best women’s fashion in Switzerland.
Arkis offers a large catalog that covers everything that you need for a well stocked wardrobe. Blouses, pants, skirts, dresses, outerwear and more are all carried in fashionable designs and colors. New this year is the Silk Crepe Liquid Light Print Blouse, which features the brand’s new illuminating mimosa liquid light prints, whose blend of bright colors, 100% silk material, and artistic elegance make this blouse the height of luxury.
The Elize Cashmere Jersey Oversized Jacket is made of 100% cashmere for unparalleled warmth and softness, and whose natural colors and roomy design are uniquely Swiss. The Long Wool Rib Knit Cardigan is a dark slate 100% wool fitted silhouette design that accentuates the body’s natural curves, and can be combined with matching kit pants and tanks.
The Wool Mousseline Liquid Light Print Tunic Blouse features brighter colors than the norm for Swiss clothing, and makes a loud, dramatic statement, combined with a summery lightness from its high side slits.
4.Strellson – Best Men’s Brand
Strellson is Switzerland’s largest menswear manufacturer. Founded in 1984 by two fashion entrepreneurs, Uwe and Jochen Holy, this Kreuzlingen based brand specializes in clothing aimed at men ages 25-40. In a bid to showcase sustainably produced styles, Strellson launched the WEAR2Care label with their Fall/Winter 2021/22 season. Products with this label comply with at least one sustainability requirements.
This ranges from the use of recycled fibers and natural dying processes, to official certifications such as the Better Cotton initiative (BCI). This collection and dedication to sustainable design and development is a central value of the brand.
Strellson offers menswear ranging from suits, to t-shirts, to rugged outerwear. The Rick-Jans anthracite suit is an example of one of the brand’s more formal choices, and is made of extra fine Super 103’s new wool. Combining an elegant look with an easy to wear comfort, this suit features elements such as a notch lapel, arm cuffs, and stylish creases. On the more casual end, the Cashmix Cassim stand-up collar sweater offers an extra soft feel from its combination of wool and cashmere.
The Quilted coat SC Survival is a unique piece of outerwear, as functional as it is eye-catching. This winter coat has a slightly oversize design, diamond quilting, and a zip off teddy fur inlaid hood. This coat makes use of padding sourced from recycled fibers. Finally, the Flex-Cross Collection is designed to be functional and comfortable options equally suitable for working in the office or for when out traveling.
The Flex Cross Jacket SC Cloud (made of water repellent and stretchy nylon, and insulated with recycled fibers), the Flex Cross Pullover Tadeo (featuring a combination of knitwear and nylon inserts), and the Luc modular pants (made of Italian stretch cord quality cotton) are all featured in this collection.
5.Old Captain Co. – Best Casual Wear
Old Captain Co. was founded in 2016 by skateboarder, radio DJ and musician Yari Copt. Manufactured in a small factory in the south of Switzerland, the brand quickly rose in popularity for its shirts made for active people leading interesting lives. These shirts are meant to be worn out and about while traveling, working hard, and trying new things. Their shirts are made on demand, reducing waste and the need for excessive warehousing.
The brand also offers custom made shirts for men and women, offering one-of-a-kind shirts that fit and represent your unique style. Like many other Swiss brands, Old Captain Co. is dedicated to sustainability. All shirts are produced less than 1 km from the founder’s home and only on demand, so the environmental consequences of shipping clothing from counties on the other side of the planet can be avoided.
The brand employs local artisans and by doing so supports the community, as well as keeping the town’s traditions and expert craftsmanship going for future generations to enjoy. Textiles for the brand are woven at a textile weaving factory only 1 hour from where they will be fashioned into quality shirts, and makes use of water from local lakes, which is soft enough to drastically reduce the need for additive and chemicals in the dying and finishing process.
For men, Old Captain Co. offers a selection of on-demand hand cut button up shirts. Offered in sizes ranging from small to xx large and three different cuts (slim, classic, and Hawaiian), these button up shirts are made to be stylish while standing up to the wear and tear of a busy lifestyle. There are solid color options, as well as artistic and creative prints made by artists, such as the Space Food print by Salva di Marte.
For women, Old Captain Co. offers six distinct cuts, each with their own special look and coming in a variety of colors, prints, and sizes. The Boxy fit is a squared, short, and large take on classic women’s blouses. The Camicione fit is an over sized relaxed women’s shirt inspired by men’s tailoring, but still featuring a feminine look.
The Kimono cut is an internationally inspired popover shirt with a Korean collar and kimono sleeves. The Classic is a feminine take on Old Captain’s signature button-up shirt, great for either a business or casual setting. The Boyfriend fit is a super relaxed, oversize shirt, with a comfy and airy look. Finally, the Summer Dress fit takes Old Captain’s famous prints and fabrics, and uses them in a playful summer mini dress, with short sleeves, a V neck, and high set waist.
Swiss clothing brands can’t be beat for maintaining comfortable temperatures in harsh climates. Despite eschewing the wilder colors and styles popular in other countries, Swiss clothing perfects classic designs and holds its own in the fashion world. From warm and soft undergarments, to the toughest mountaineering jacket, Swiss brands blow away the competition with their unique combination of form and function.
Swiss brand’s dedication to sustainability and positive impacts on society and the environment add an extra layer of depth to their clothing, proving that you don’t need to sacrifice social or environmental benefits to look and feel great.
If you’re looking for the best hiking gear, the comfiest bath robe, custom made shirts, or environmentally responsible clothing, Swiss brands have everything that you’re looking for.