It’s hard to move through the world these days without encountering pleas and pledges for sustainability. That’s a good thing, though. Without them, there might not be any world left to move through at all. From what we eat to where we travel, so much of what we adore is not sustainable in its traditional format. Fashion, however, is particularly damaging to the environment. 10% of carbons emissions globally come from the fashion industry. But there are many clothing brands in existence that are trying – and succeeding – to be as sustainable as possible. So, with Earth Day and Fashion Revolution Week approaching, here are the best sustainable clothing brands. Maybe one of the most ethical things you could do in 2021 is to swap to them.
If there’s a brand that will have you searching for your passport – vaccine, or OG – in a frenzy as soon as foreign travel is allowed, it’s Gimaguas. Honestly, we don’t think it would be possible to have a disappointing holiday in these clothes. In terms of sustainability, Gimaguas produce each collection in partnership with artisans based everywhere from Mexico to Madagascar. In Senegal and Nepal, they support the organisations that exist to keep local craftsmanship alive (as well as other social projects).
House of Sunny makes us feel, well, sunny. if you have an aversion to print and colour, though, it might not be the brand for you. But we defy you not to be converted by the sheer charm of its pieces. As well as being completely vegan, House of Sunny also only produce two seasonal collections a year and release them in limited drops. Then, there's also the fact that their manufacturing process avoids print placement so that fabric is not wasted by engineering the print to the garment’s shape. Miraculously, this is all accomplished without sacrificing affordability.
If your ideal wardrobe would be filled with vintage Laura Ashley (and some Ganni for good measure), then Back by Sundown is the sustainable brand for you. These are handmade dresses released in limited drops that are fit for frolicking in fields and fantasising about playing a fundamental role in the plot of Little Women.
At this point, we have become certain that these brands are mocking us. Imagine how wonderful you'd look in this ensemble on the continent. Alas, it is not to be – yet. Besides, Faithfull the Brand make clothes that look wonderful wherever you have the opportunity to wear them. And if that's on Staycation in Kent, so be it! Anyway, Faithfull's commitment to sustainability is also something to be admired. All production is based in Bali, only involving mutually beneficial partnerships with local artisans.
If you're ever itching to buy something but are keen – as you always should be – for it to be sustainable, visit the ethical e-commerce platform Lårs Labels. That's how you might find a brand like Asime. As amazing aesthetically as it is in terms of sustainability, all production at Asime takes place in Aunty's Fashion Home, a female-owned and family-run business in Ghana. Here, staff are paid five times the Ghanaian minimum wage. Finally, 20% of annual profits are donated to Dream Big Ghana, a community-led NGO that focuses on health and education.
Nanushka is already a darling of the fashion industry, and when the clothes are this delightful, who can be surprised. Its sustainable practices are based on three concepts: craftsmanship, experimentation and progressivism. Together, this approach has resulted in the best vegan leather pieces in the business.
Imagine the aforementioned Little Women fantasist, only slightly more grounded. That's the seventy+mochi woman. Always striving to reach their sustainability and circularity goals, the brand's latest success is that the amount of recycled denim in their jeans has now surpassed the global recycled standard.
Leather doesn't have to be vegan to be sustainable, you know – at least when SKIIM is involved. This Parisian label is our recommendation for sumptuous leather pieces that wouldn't look amiss on Bella Hadid. All leather used is a byproduct of the meat industry and hardware is made from recycled materials.
Founded two decades ago, People Tree is perhaps the original sustainable clothing brand. Every piece you can buy from them is made to the highest ethical and environmental standard at each stage of the production process. The result of this is effortless but essential clothes that will assimilate with the rest of your wardrobe no bother.
Gosh, what is it about sustainable clothing brands and splendid summer dresses? We're looking at you, Innika Choo. Everything available to buy here is made to be regarded as a keepsake. And rightly so. That said, there are several Innika Choo pieces available to rent on HURR, which would be even more sustainable.