I’ve noticed a change in my approach towards fast-fashion over the last couple of years, I tend to err on the side of caution these days. I don’t know whether this feeling was brought to the surface because of a deeper understanding of the industry, switching to a vegetarian diet, or (dare I say it) come with age! It’s most likely an amalgamation of all three, ultimately I have found myself more aware when it comes to purchasing styles for my own wardrobe and those of my clients. I want to know the journey of my clothes, where they’re come from, what they’re made of, and whether they’ve had an in-humane impact on animal welfare or human rights.
I’ve wondered for a while now whether green will become the new black. But, despite the growth of sustainable fashion brands and their heightened popularity – can they compete with the cheaper price-points of global fashion giants such as Zara, Topshop and H&M? And the trend-making high-end brands promoting real fur as ‘fashionable’ such as Canada Goose and Fendi? The good thing is that we have a lot of options now, gone are the dowdy hemp styles that scratched your skin and gave you a silhouette resembling not much more than that of a rubbish sack. They’ve been replaced by newer, sleeker brands, ones that focus as much on sustainability and animal welfare as they do style.
I’ve put together six of my favourite eco-friendly fashion brands (all with different price points £) for those of you interested in building a stylish and eco-friendly wardrobe. I’ve also created a ‘Green Pinterest Board’ for all my readers, and for the more savvy of you, a list of recommended books on eco-style at the bottom of this post.
NO.1 – THE REFORMATION
The Reformation is one of my favourite go-to brands for both sustainable and stylish pieces. The brand pride themselves on being 100% sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly – to the extent where you can actually track the environmental footprint of your chosen style before purchasing it by using the brands #Refscale tag. It’s got technical, sustainable and current-fashion qualities all under one roof, as the brand says; ‘The Earth be like, Thank you!’ If you are interested in reading up on the brands eco-friendly system, use #Jointhereformation over on Twitter and Instagram. (££)
NO.2 – FREEDOM OF ANIMALS
The Freedom of Animals is a New York City based brand that was born from the founders love of animals. Vegan approved, this sustainable and cruelty-free luxury handbag line is made from the highest quality of eco-friendly products. The designs are sleek, versatile and sophisticated. The Freedom of Animals marry function with style and in doing so have created affordable luxury with sustainability at the core. A touching reflection of the brands love towards animals can be found in the names of the bags themselves, each bag has been named after orphaned elephants that were brought to The Sheldrick Foundation after losing their mothers to poaching. (£££)
NO.3 – ELIZABETH SUZANN
Elizabeth Suzann is a brand that creates thoughtful, well-designed and long-lasting garments. By focussing on seasonless pieces that can be worn in a myriad of ways, the brands aim is to discourage the disposable view of clothing all-together, instead seeking classic silhouettes that can build a functional working wardrobe. I particularly love Elizabeth Suzann’s classic trouser designs, they are perfect for any working wardrobe. (££)
NO.4 – ASOS ECO EDIT
It might be hard to believe that the fast fashion giant ASOS would have a ‘green room’, but they do. The ASOS Eco Edit houses a range of ethically conscious brands and up-cycled vintage. Shopping for sustainable styles has never been so easy, make sure you check out the edit here. (£)
NO.5 – RAFA
RAFA is the perfect way to incorporate a pop of colour into your winter wardrobe – by way of its bright shoes! The brands colourful vegan footwear is enough to inspire even the most avid of all-black devotees among us (guilty as charged)! Pair RAFA’s lace up go-go boots with a black skinny jean; Slip into RAFA’s mary-janes with a slim-fit workwear trouser; or team RAFA’s block coloured strappy sandal with your favourite LBD. Whichever style is most you, this brand will be sure to put a pep in your step!
NO.6 – STELLA MCCARTNEY
Stella McCartney has to be one of my favourite designers period. Leading by example, Stella is one of the few leading fashion houses that commits to 100% eco-friendly and sustainable fashion. Centred at the forefront of the industry, Stella is known for her beautiful tailoring, forward-thinking silhouettes and wearable designs. The brand is living proof that you can have it all, sustainability and style all wrapped up under one very stylish power house. (£££)
“Wear No Evil” by Greta Eagan – I read this book after having a long skype call with Greta to talk about sustainable style after she published her book. I would highly recommend this read if you are looking for advice on how to build a sustainable and eco-friendly wardrobe from scratch. Also check out Greta’s blog “Fashion Me Green” here. (Book, £12 Amazon)
“To Die For, Is Fashion Wearing Out The World?” by Lucy Siegle – I read this book behind the till of a boutique fashion store I used to work part-time in after university. I was truly gripped by it. Lucy speaks factually about the fashion industry, from it’s cotton farming, dye farms, wool, leather, exotic animal skins and the devastating waste of water caused by denim. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in gaining an in-depth knowledge about the full fashion cycle. (Book, £12 Amazon)
I hope you found this post useful, if you have any questions about building a sustainable wardrobe or investigating into which brands are eco-friendly, chime into the comment section below, I’d be happy to answer any questions!