Reduce your impact by supporting sustainable brands
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important. More and more people are trying to reduce their impact on the planet. As a result, a growing number of ethical and sustainable fashion brands are arising to meet the demand and help change the fashion industry. But what makes an ethical brand? And which clothing brands are ethical?
What makes an ethical brand?
An ethical brand leaves behind a legacy of values, strategies, and actions perceived as morally right and ethical. An ethical brand doesn't harm people, animals or the environment, and it contributes to society responsibly, positively, and sustainably.
An ethical brand ensures its workers are treated fairly across the supply chain. This includes policies and practices on child labour, forced labour, worker safety, the right to join a union, and payment of a living wage.
An ethical brand is also conscious about its use of energy and resources, reducing its carbon emissions, its impact on our waterways, and using and disposing of chemicals safely. Moreover, an ethical brand will use sustainable packaging materials (e.g., recyclable or biodegradable packaging) and ensure that they can sustainably dispose of materials used in the production of its products at the end of their lifecycle.
Finally, an ethical brand uses no or very few animal products, like wool, leather, fur, angora, down feathers, shearling, karakul, and exotic animal skin and hair. Ideally, the brand is 100% vegan.
Being aware of what makes a brand ethical can help you to determine whether a brand is ethical or not.
Which brands are championing sustainability?
We’re all aware of the detrimental effects of the fashion industry. Although many brands do not prioritise sustainability, there are now increasing numbers of brands adapting their businesses to create change and acknowledge sustainability issues.
Every year, thousands of tonnes of clothes are thrown away with household waste, and as much as 95% of those clothes could be recycled. Buying new materials doesn't make business sense when a brand could reuse what they have already.
What are our favourite sustainable brands right now?
1. BEEN London
BEEN London is a London-based brand turning waste into timeless accessories you’d want to use every day. All their products are made of materials that have been something else in a previous life, including recycled leather offcuts and plastic bottles.
We love their versatile ‘Cecilia’ crossbody bag, which was handcrafted in London from luxury full-grain recycled leather.
Discover our range of sustainable handbags
Beaumont Organic is a sustainable fashion brand from Britain with clothing made from eco-friendly materials such as linen, organic cotton, bamboo, and wool. The label has women’s dresses, tops, bottoms, jackets, knits, and accessories.
We love 'The Francesca' Tencel Blouse in floral print featuring a v-neckline with a tie-up collar and beautiful balloon sleeves.
Every piece in Franks limited-run, made-to-order collections are made using upcycled fabrics, bettering the environment and reducing unnecessary waste. Each of Frank’s care labels detail which made the item and the fabric composition. With plenty of beautiful dresses made to last, this is certainly one brand to take note of. They also offer a rental service, which can really help you to reduce your environmental impact.
We’re obsessed with ‘The Gracie Dress’, which has been designed and made responsibly in London using upcycled crepe which has a perfect drape. With this piece, production is kept small with a made to order service to allow a kinder process for the environment by reducing waste.
Discover our range of sustainable dresses
Mother of Pearl is a luxury sustainable womenswear brand that celebrates individuality, authenticity, and sustainability. Mother of Pearl achieves transparency by setting up its website so that you can see the sustainable attributes of each piece, allowing you to see what they have achieved garment-by-garment. It’s an ongoing project for you to see their progress, and you can even filter by what is important to you.
We love their 'Samantha Undyed Sweatshirt', which has a raglan sleeve for a relaxed fit. This sweatshirt is cut from a super soft fleeced back organic cotton, so you can be sure you’re making a sustainable choice when you purchase it.
Discover our range of sustainable sweatshirts
5. Ryley Studio
Founded to make conscious consumerism the norm, you definitely can’t go wrong with Ryley Studio if you're looking to purchase responsibly. As a result of their partnerships with a network of innovative mills and manufacturers worldwide, Ryley Studio is building a core wardrobe of gender-free essentials with a positive impact, made from organic and waste materials. Plus, all items come with a lifetime repair guarantee to ensure that no Riley Studio garment ever becomes waste.
This pioneering recycled jacket combines innovative recycled fabrics with natural food waste dyes to create a warm piece of technical outerwear with a positive impact. The gender-free design features an internal drawstring waist, so the jacket can be worn oversized or cinched at the waist.
VEJA produce environmentally friendly sneakers made with raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture, without chemicals or pollution. VEJA use organic, agroecological and fair-trade cotton to make the sneakers canvas, rubber grown in the Amazon rainforest for the soles and recycled plastic bottles to create a mesh.
We love their 'Esplar Trainers' featuring sturdy white leather uppers and panels, logo V made of rubber (stitched), lace-up fastening, and a rubber sole.
Photo credits: veja.com
Discover our range of sustainable shoes
7. People Tree
Founded in 1991, People Tree’s core mission has stayed the same over the past three decades. Made with contemporary, versatile designs and playful, exclusive prints, create stylish, innovative, and affordable fashion while respecting people and the planet. They make every product to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish.
We love people Tree’s ‘Jennifer Jumpsuit’ in black made with 95% Organic Certified Cotton and 5% Elastane- the perfect spring staple.
Pico designs beautifully soft organic and fair-trade cotton underwear for both men and women, which can be traced back to the source. The British brand is entirely vegan, and all its products are Fairtrade International - Small Producers Organisations certified.
Pico’s women’s and men’s underwear pieces are made from sustainable, high-quality materials. When you purchase from Pico, you can be sure you are making a sustainable choice.
Discover our range of sustainable underwear
House of Baukjen is a womenswear company established in London that focuses on environmental, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Baukjen also operates transparently, utilising sustainable apparel coalition tools to calculate how much CO2 is emitted by each item as it travels through the supply chain. The company was named Carbon Neutral Leader in the United Nations 2021 Global Climate Action Awards.
We love Baukjen's 'The Organic Boyfriend Jean, which has a flattering and feminine fit that hugs the hips and features a cropped, subtly tapered leg shape. These jeans are proudly made from eco-conscious organic cotton and come in various washes, so you can be sure to find the perfect pair!
Discover our range of sustainable jeans
10. Yes Friends
"Yes Friends" sells low-cost basics for men and women by utilising large-scale production and direct-to-consumer margins to provide an accessible price for sustainable and ethical clothing using Fairtrade and GOTS certified cotton. "Yes Friends" ensures all factor workers manufacturing their clothing get paid the living wage, thus helping to ensure worker welfare.
We love Yes friends’ 'Mom Mid Wash Organic Jeans', made from organic cotton in a factory, paying living wages.