Sustainability is — rightly so — becoming more and more talked about within in the fashion industry. Many consumers (innocently) aren’t aware of the damage that the production and consumption of fashion has on the environment as well as workers, but McKinsey estimates that the fashion industry accounts for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing waste and CO2 emissions, as well as making sure that workers are treated and paid fairly, is vital for fashion brands to take into consideration.
A key factor of living a more sustainable lifestyle is to buy less but to a higher quality, so that it can (hopefully) stay with you for a lifetime. Whether this is investing in pieces from sustainable designer brands or looking to second-hand and vintage shops for pre-loved clothing, responsibly sourced pieces are more accessible than ever before.
With regard to workers being paid and treated fairly, it’s important to always ask ‘Who made my clothes?’. Look to brands that proudly share information about wage policies and how their factories operate.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve collated a selection of our very own sustainable designer brands, all of which are passionate about designing, producing and distributing fashion in an environmentally friendly way. Use this guide to get inspired and invest in stylish pieces that won’t cost the earth.
And remember, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.
Stine Goya focus on three aspects in their aim to be as socially and environmentally friendly as possible; ‘Product, Plant and People’.
Each season, sustainable designer brand Stine Goya thrive on exploring and experimenting with new material processes to reduce the impact their clothing has on the environment.
As well as constantly thinking about the environment during their production journey, Stine Goya are always looking to improve their working conditions. The Copenhagen based brand is a family run business and therefore knows how important it is for their employees, external partners and stakeholders to feel safe and happy every day in the workplace.
GANNI are on a mission to make their brand as responsible as possible, socially and environmentally. Focusing on ‘People, Planet, Product and Prosperity’ GANNI set themselves 44 impactful goals (only 14 left to achieve) to be complete by 2023, with the aim of becoming more and more sustainable each day.
In GANNI’s 2021 collection, at least 50% of the clothing was crafted using certified recycled, lower-impact, or organic fabrics. This is something that the Copenhagen brand is continuously working on and improving, each season.
GANNI are passionate about diversity and inclusivity within the brand and took action in 2020 by launching a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. This was both for the benefit of the workers and the consumers.
ALOHAS are passionate about tackling one of the biggest environmental issues in the fashion world; overproduction. With a pre-order operation in place, each season ALOHAS allow their consumers to pre-order pieces from the upcoming season at a discount, therefore only producing shoes that will be sold.
Each ALOHAS collection is produced locally, meaning that the carbon footprint is lowered. As well as this, frequent visits to the manufacturing factories ensure that the working conditions are always up to standard, alongside the craftsmanship.
Working with the Leather Working Group ensures that each pair of shoes from ALOHAS has been expertly crafted from sustainable leather, using a low impact dying process causing less pollution.
London based brand Self-Portrait are making impressive efforts to increase their contribution to the circular economy and becoming a more environmentally friendly brand.
By introducing GOTS certified organic cotton and GRS certified recycled polyester to their collections in 2019, this is just the beginning for Self-Portrait.
As well as using more responsible fabrics, the luxurious brand make bi-annual visits to the suppliers to ensure the workplace is safe and fair. All products arrive in FSC certified paper and any unwanted fabrics are donated to First Mile to be reused and recycled, lowering their impact on the environment and carbon footprint.
Mother and Son ran business, Lurdes Bergada hold sustainability at the heart of their brand. Through small scale local production and the use of high quality fabrics and natural fibres, Lurdes Bergada continuously aims to contribute to more environmentally-friendly fashion.
Keep your eyes peeled for new arrivals from Lurdes Bergada each season. Expect to find quirky pieces that boast an asymmetrical design whilst being expertly crafted from recycled materials.
Luxury swimwear brand Banana Moon have been on a mission since 2019 to incorporate sustainable and recycled fabrics into their products. The whole journey of each piece is carried out in house, from the start of the design process all the way to the cutting out of the fabrics.
The brand is also partnered with GREENBEE, with the aim of contributing to zero waste fashion. Multiple times a year, Banana Moon release collections that consist of pieces that have been crafted from unused rolls of fabric, upcycling them and giving them a new and stylish life.