24Green is a great look—and I’m not just talking about the color. With sustainability becoming more and more of an ethical concern in the fashion industry, designer brands have begun rising to the activists’ calls for environmental awareness.
“Fast fashion,” or the clothes you score for five bucks at your local retail shop, is as cheaply made as it appears, and is it intended for short-term use—that’s the kind of unsustainable fashion many brands now take issue with. “Sustainable fashion” takes into account all aspects of the manufacturing process: the garment’s life cycle, its environmental footprint, and its impact on the people who create it. Below is a list of 10 well-known luxury brands getting behind the trend of sustainable fashion.
10 Stella McCartney
From its conception, sustainability has been a focus for Stella McCartney. This vegetarian-friendly brand is committed not only to producing luxury, but to producing luxury that does not sacrifice their moral code. They are pioneers in the world of sustainable fashion—never using leather or fur, utilizing cutting-edge technologies to reduce their environmental impact, and acknowledging the “human” element of a garment’s creation.
The brand recently partnered with PETA in sponsoring the Bio Design Challenge, calling on students from top universities to create an ethical, and viable, solution to natural wool. Such activity represents their conscious effort in sustainability, continuing to remind the industry that “luxury” need not interfere with environmental ethics.
9 Isabelle Fox
Isabelle Fox is a UK-based brand based that produces its garments in conscious support of the British fashion industry. In doing this, the company manufactures all of its clothing 100% in the UK.
They maintain an ethical eye on all parts of the production process—to keep their prices accessible for the consumer, Isabelle Fox doesn’t wholesale its collections. Instead, it remains direct-to-consumer, so customers avoid paying retailer mark-ups. This luxury designer abides by her moral code in both the creation and sale of her garments. Talk about a commitment to ethical practices!
Here’s a brand you’re sure to know: Levi’s. This widely-known denim company has had its eye on sustainability for quite some time. Their brand now embodies their ethical consciousness, initiating a number of lines that address environmental concerns.
One of these initiatives is their Water<Less Innovations line, which focuses on reducing the amount of water it takes to produce their denim. On average, it takes over 2,000 gallons of water to create one pair of jeans. Through innovative conservation techniques, the company reduces up to 96% of the water normally used in denim finishing. Blue jeans for a green world, we say!
7 Amara Tulum
Amara is a swimwear brand for the “conscious dreamer,” dedicated to producing sustainable, minimalist fashion. They use revolutionary, regenerated nylon called ECONYL for the milling of their fabric, sourced from “kinder” materials such as fishing nets recovered from the ocean. They also manufacture all of their products in a green facility, reducing pollution, preserving water, monitoring emissions.
Supporters of the minimalist lifestyle, they focus on creating with “less,” helping reduce their environmental impact without compromising luxury. All of their swimwear is mix and match and many pieces are convertible, allowing you to embrace multiple aesthetics with only one or two pieces of clothing. Conscious and luxurious—who says you can’t be both?
This Swedish brand has been reigning in the world of sustainable fashion for over 60 years. Their clothing for women delivers on three promises: to empower women, to respect the planet, and to ensure human rights.
Lindex argues that with a ruined environment, we can neither empower women nor ensure human rights. In approaching this concern, Lindex has set for itself a number of goals for sustainability: for example, by 2023, they plan to be climate neutral in their operations. By 2030, they plan to have reduced the CO2 emissions in their value chain by 30%. With an eye towards tomorrow, Lindex reminds women that you can look luxurious while not jeopardizing the environment.
5 Rêve en Vert
Rêve en Vert was created to address the issue of fast fashion—with the turnover cycle so rapid in the fashion industry, clothing being thrown so quickly from wardrobe to landfill, founders Cora Hilts and Natasha Tucker were determined to make a change.
And so, Rêve en Vert was conceived: a sustainable fashion platform dedicated to “honest luxury.” Over 30 brands are represented and sold by Rêve en Vert, all adhering to their motto: organic, remade, local, and fair. Through this space, consumers can sift through high-end designer clothing, accessories, skincare, and more—all luxurious, and all ethically created.
4 TOMS Shoes
This shoe brand was famously founded for its “One for One” initiative: for every pair of shoes purchased, a new pair would be donated to a child in need. As the company developed, more initiatives were launched, addressing both humanitarian as well as environmental issues.
In 2014, the company launched TOMS Roasting Co., helping provide over 335,000 weeks of safe wither in six countries. Through this project, with each purchase of the brand’s coffee, 140 liters of safe water are provided to a person in need. This, alongside other initiatives such as TOMS Eyewear and TOMS Bag Collection, represents a company dedicated to “giving”: giving quality to their customers, and giving back to the global community.
3 Von Holzhausen
Von Holzhausen’s luxury accessories are created around three core visions: design, sustainability, and freedom. Award-winning designer Vicki von Holzhausen launched this company in 2015, seeking to combine her technical expertise with an ethical approach to consumerism.
All of their materials are sustainably sourced using “technik-leather,” a 100% animal-free fiber, designed to maintain the look, feel, and durability of traditional leather. Their bags and accessories are made in the USA, ensuring that the artisans who create the products are properly cared for. Local sourcing also ensures superior quality and minimized environmental impact, delivering on luxury and sustainability both.
2 Ninety Percent
Another minimalist brand, Ninety Percent sells sustainable contemporary women’s wear with a unique ethical incentive. Reflecting its namesake, this company donates 90% of its profits to charity. Upon ordering a piece of clothing, the customer chooses between a number of organizations to which they may donate, all addressing social and environmental causes.
Ninety Percent’s minimalist clothing is designed to bring luxury into the everyday, elevating garments like cotton sweats and crafted knits. All of their materials are responsibly sourced and built to last. This luxury brand is a driver in the #DressBetter movement, encouraging their customers and other companies in the fashion industry to embrace a sustainable, forward-thinking mindset.
1 Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher is a brand well established in sustainable fashion, embracing a vision of an industry where human rights and sustainability exist at the core of any business run correctly. They take a full life cycle approach to their environmental efforts, ensuring that every part of the manufacturing process meets their ethical standards.
From the sourcing of their materials to the dyes which they use, Eileen Fisher keeps a conscious eye on their luxury clothing. They utilize the most sustainable fibers for their milling, and pledge to be 100% organic by 2020; they work alongside bluesign® technologies to address issues of hazardous chemicals in global dye houses; they invest in renewable energy, and do not rely on air shipping. All around, Eileen Fisher is an expert in sustainable fashion, the brand’s quality a testament for style and sustainability existing hand in hand.
NEXT: 10 Of The Biggest Celebrity Charity Donations