Fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world, and one of the largest consumers of water. This might come as a surprising revelation to most, but the impact of what we put on our backs is monumental.
So we’ve put together a list of brands in fashion and beauty we most admire for pioneering sustainability. These brands encourage us all to think about how we shop, the methods of manufacture of our clothes, and the people involved in the chain. Bonus: They ensure that we look good while doing it!
Renee Lapino’s sustainable beauty favourites
‘Rainforest grown beauty’ says it all really. When working as an environmentalist, Fabian Lliguin learnt from tribal women, the benefits of the rainforest’s rahua oil for their long and lustrous locks. A hairstylist by trade, he brought the oil back to his NYC salon and its popularity snowballed from there. He uses the versatile oil in shampoo, conditioner and hair balm to transform damaged hair to be healthy and buoyant. The power of nature is proven with rahua oil. All Rahua products are made with Organic, Natural, Pure Plant Derived Ingredients, vegan, non-toxic and free of parabens, silicones and sulfates.
Herbivore believes in the power of nature to achieve beautiful skin. Makers of organic botanicals from polishes, potions, crèmes and lotions, Herbivore makes sure your skin will look its very best. What’s more, all of their formulas are original, created and tested by themselves, on real people — never on animals and always from scratch – and using ingredients that are good enough to eat. Every ingredient in the Herbivore products is an “active” ingredient, which results in pure, highly concentrated, and effective formulas that are a rarity in the skincare and cosmetics world today.
The products have an emphasis on organic, high quality, and food-grade ingredients ethically sourced from the finest raw natural materials the earth has to offer. With ingredients ranging from French pink clay to Brazilian gemstones, each product combines essential vitamins, minerals, and botanicals to restore skin to its optimum health and vitality.
3. Goldfaden MD
Developed to mimic the effects of coveted in-office dermatologist procedures, Goldfaden MD uses natural, plant based, clean ingredients. Inspired and created by Dr. Gary Goldfaden and his in-office experiences, these highly efficacious, non-prescription skincare solutions utilise state-of-the-art technologies with active plant cells and anti-oxidant rich botanicals. The range is cruelty free, and all packaging is created from recyclable materials.
Citizen Femme’s sustainable fashion favourite
Sandqvist might just be the most fabulous sustainable brand we’ve ever come across – the company uses only organic cotton, rejecting the use of chemicals and massively reducing the environmental impact of cotton production. All the cotton the company uses comes from Adilabad, India, and is produced on a small scale by self-sufficient farmers. Sandqvist buys directly from the farmers, meaning that nobody is snubbed within the supply chain.
Whats more, at Sandqvist’s Repair Shops in its Stockholm, Berlin and London stores, in-house tailors repair bags and redesign used materials for second hand sales. Bags beyond repair will be taken apart, providing spare parts and extending the life of products.
5. Veja Trainers
Vegan trainers? Sounds yummy right?! These stylish sneakers are what should be on everybody’s feet in 2019. Made using only fairly-traded and organic materials, Vela’s strict ethos makes sure that the company ‘infuses each stage of the production process with a positive impact’. Veja supports small producers and and social associations in Brazil where the trainers are manufactured, all the while being as chic as would be expected from the thoroughly Parisian brand.
6. Saltspin Jeans
The ultimate doyennes of denim, Saltspin London is leading the way that jeans should be produced in 2019 and beyond. Working exclusively with the Better Cotton Initiative, which teaches producers to use new agricultural techniques, farmers can reduce their inputs and increase their yields, ensuring that their products are made in a way that is beneficial to themselves and the environment. It helps too their their jeans are absolutely up-to-the-minute, style-wise.
7. Misha Nonoo
Born in Bahrain, raised in London and educated in Paris, Misha Nonoo’s multicultural upbringing has a clear influence on her designs.
Her line of irresistible, ready-to-wear pieces are made using innovative methods of production and distribution that eliminate unnecessary waste, working with a single factory to ensure ethical practices and the highest quality items.
‘The World’s Most Comfortable Shoes’ might appear to be a bold claim until you slip into their soles… Using superfine merino wool that is breathable, temperature-regulating, and incredibly cosy, Allbirds have created some seriously plush pumps.
Hailing from New Zealand, this brand works with leading organisations in the wool industry such as ZQ Merino to ensure their materials are held to the highest standards of farming, land management and animal welfare. And, with laces made from recycled bottles, insoles created from castor bean oil and packaged in boxes made exclusively from recycled cardboard, this is really an import that we can get behind!
At Aussie brand Kitx, they believe that there is no such thing as quality with out honesty and integrity. With a mission to lead the way for sustainably-sourced designer fashion, Kitx has two fundamental prerequisites: traceability – making sure their fair trade suppler adhere to globally recognised standards; and non-hazardous – using materials that don’t damage natural resources and safeguard farmers well-being.
At the absolute cutting-edge of boho-chic, Kitx truly provides the thunder from Down Under.
‘Carbon is Cancelled’ is the statement that hits you when you visit Reformation’s online shop. This seriously cool brand has, incredibly, been carbon neutral since 2015, proving their stringent commitment to sustainable fashion.
As well as this, by providing on-the-job training and opportunities for growth, Reformation also invests in the people who make this revolution possible. This ethos will leave you guilt-free as you peruse their gorgeous stock of clothing that accentuates effortless silhouettes, celebrating the feminine figure.
Amur believes that nature is the ultimate luxury, emphasising their commitment to producing sustainable fashion. This NYC-based brand oozes street cool and uses exclusively organic, natural or reclaimed fabrics – producing designs that strike the perfect balance between beauty and good intentions.
In fact, each item in their collection embodies a singular philosophy: that mindful living will always be in style. No doubt you’ll be totally #inamured by their stunning pieces.
12. Ninety Percent
Launched in 2018, the London-based company is taking the fashion scene by storm. Their designs are low maintenance while remaining feminine – heavily leaning on jersey and knit pieces with a design focus on ‘fit, fabric and finesse’. As well as their ethically sourced cotton, Ninety Percent also uses an almost unheard of material called Tencel in the majority of their products, which is made from renewable wood pulp.
And if that wasn’t enough, 90% of their disposable profits are shared between causes that they support and the people who make their collections happen.
13. Lark & Berry
These days the origins of diamonds are often unclear, or come from a sordid background. That’s something that founder Laura Chavez aims to tackle with Lark & Berry. A self-proclaimed ‘diamond disruptor’ Laura has innovated lab-grown diamonds to combat the dirty and environmentally damaging process of mining.
Cultured diamonds are not something to be sniffed at – Lark and Berry produces lab-grown diamonds that are pretty much identical to their mined counterparts. Both have the same chemical structure, brilliant sparkle and are graded in the same way, but Lark and Berry’s beautiful jewels mean that each product is guilt-free. Further to that ethos, the company also donates five trees for reforestation around the globe with every individual purchase.
Championing inclusivity and diversity, Tome is a fashion house to watch. Creators of simple yet sophisticated daywear, everything at Tome is natural, – from the fibres to the dyes there is absolutely no damage to the environment – and the company fully employs all artisans and workers.
“It’s such a nice way to work, it’s so caring” says co-founder Ryan Lobo of his game-changing brand that strongly advocates industry sustainability, and emphasises the business’s environmentally and socially conscious vision.
15. People Tree
For nearly 30 years, the People Tree is been producing beautiful designs using exclusively fair trade materials and clean processes, as would be expected from social entrepreneur and founder Safia Minney.
Every product is made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. Contemporary, versatile designs and playful, exclusive prints inspired by the V&A archives create stylish, innovative fashion while respecting people and the planet.
16. Simon Miller
Originally founded with a focus on the niche of men’s denim, Simon Miller USA quickly evolved into an all-encompassing fashion brand for men and women, selling bags, shoes and ready to wear basics in beautiful block colours.
Simon Miller works with independently run family mills and artisans in France and Japan. They also focus heavily on incorporating OZONE technology in their production, as well as employing ceramic stones in the denim wash processes.
17. Deakin & Blue
Proud to be a business which makes a positive environmental, social and ethical impact, all of Deakin & Blue’s swimwear is made from ECONYL® – a 100% regenerated nylon fibre made from post-consumer waste such as old fishing nets and industrial plastic.
As a thoroughly caring brand, they not only providing delightful swimspiration, but all of D&B’s pieces come with CoppaFeel! #BraHijack labels reminding you to check for signs of breast cancer.
18. TBC Eyewear
‘Inspired by the worst to create the best’ is an intriguing tagline to say the least, but quirky curators of eyewear made from recycled plastics (and made to be fully recyclable again) celebrate our individuality and imperfections.
TheBookClub’s designs are the perfect mixture of style and sustainability that will be loved by those who live life in full colour with no holds barred.