If you are a fashionista and shopaholic in today’s world, you might have to put aside any moral and ethical principles, because some of our absolutely favorite brands and designers simply don’t make ethical clothing. Whether it’s the type of labor they are utilizing to produce it or the dangerous chemicals and unsustainably sourced materials, we are all in a moral dilemma about how to get good clothing without ruining the planet in the process. Luckily, there are some amazing luxury brands that are rejecting this notion and setting an example for everyone that sustainable, ethical fashion is not only possible – it’s the future. Here are the favorites:
If you ever wanted to walk into one store and just buy every single basic essential that will go with anything – Eileen Fisher is the place. It’s the modern woman’s heaven of simplicity and good design, with neutral colors that will go with anything and pieces that will effortlessly merge with one another into fashionable outfits. Best of all – it is completely responsible. All the fabrics and dyes are organic and natural and their signature silk fabric is a real winner. Not only that, but the brand collaborates with environmental initiatives and works on empowering women.
Now to hop onto another side of the ethical aisle, let’s talk about this great online boutique. It’s run by women who make luxurious garments that celebrate women of the past and each of their vintage pieces has a very distinct story to tell. Nearly all of their clothing is stitched together domestically, and if they are made overseas, the manufacturers are very carefully selected to ensure fair pay and working conditions. Women’s rights are the real passion here, so many of their partners are female-owned factories and they donate annually to Room to Read.
This is for those who want to step outside of the mold and really put their fashionable foot forward. With bold fabrics and even bolder designs, one of the best Melbourne fashion labels is also very much sustainable. With a strong focus on sustainability, they have a small team in Bengaluru with excellent working facilities and resources, which is hard to spot these days. All of their clothing is hand-made with great attention to detail, and the craftsmanship is taught from one generation to the next, ensuring work for generations to come.
Rag & Bone
If you want to be the hip and urban NYC native, you need this brand in your life. Their clothing is the perfect mix of fashion-forward and street urban which is so popular today. They can dress you up from head to toe now, but they started off as a jeans brand. So, when they turned to the sustainable side of fashion, it’s really no surprise that they committed themselves to jean recycling – not just any recycling, but turning it into insulation for homes. Now that’s urban!
You really can’t find a list where this label isn’t mentioned. And it’s not by accident: The luxury, ready-to-wear brand is a favorite of many who like the fast fashion aesthetic without the downsides. However, the good design isn’t where the line is drawn. The brand is everything you can wish for: they promote the longevity of clothing, environmental sustainability and social equality. Their suppliers are small artisanal shops in Europe and there isn’t a leather or fur piece in sight, making the brand completely cruelty-free.
So if you want to shop great clothing without the burden of potential sweatshops, rainforests cut down and water bodies polluted, give these brands a go and make sure that your style, as well as your clothing, is sustainable: wear your clothes to their very end, care for them to make them last longer and repurpose them once you’re done.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com