I have been planning this post for quite some time and finally, I’ve got round to doing it!! I really wanted to research into looking how we could all start shopping more sustainable without compromising on style… Many of you may have watched Stacey Dooleys report late last year, It was a real eye opener, but what I would have loved to have seen was a fashion lovers guide on how we could improve the situation, of course shopping less is one solution, but if we are going to shop then where should we shop? If we all play a part in trying to reduce, reuse and recycle + shop more consciously it will eventually make a huge impact, not only on the planet but the way we are marketed fashion and style. As I mentioned in previous posts, if we demand to see and shop differently, in a more transparent and sustainable way, bigger retailers will provide us with this…
I have selected a range of different womenswear retailers that for me tick the sustainable and ethically made boxes; from large brands to smaller independents to beautifully curated second hand online stores.
Happy Style absorbing x
Bite Studios are are a Luxury sustainable womenswear label founded in 2016 based in both London and Stockholm. Pieces are handcrafted and made out of 100% organic materials. If you are looking for a Celine vibe these guys are the ones to go to!
Founded in 2014 by designers Nicole Heim and Chelsea Healy, Cienne is made in New York and with each new collection, builds upon a foundation of refined shapes, considered details, and artisanal materials designed to maintain relevance over time. Their design mission is based on 3 core pillars; 1. Empowering people 2. Producing responsibly 3.Elevating and preserving craftsmanship
Fun yet sophisticated and super cool, the aim for Mara Hoffman is to design and manufacture clothes with greater care and to reduce their impact, generate awareness, and ask us – the customer, to join them in taking action and holding them accountable. They work to minimise the negative impacts associated with manufacturing and ensure that all people involved are treated fairly and respectfully in the process.
Independent Mid market
Isabelle Fox, designs with longevity in mind, beautifully created and ethically manufactured in London her clothes have a timeless yet super modern feel to them. End of line fabric is used on many styles, that would otherwise be disregarded by bigger retailers and sent to land fill. Isabelle bases her designs on classic icons from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s mixing in with current day trends. She works alongside her Grandmother, a couturier, to achieve the required look and luxurious feel to each carefully made piece in the small yet perfectly formed collection.
Also build on the notion of longevity, King & Tuckfield are heavily influenced by their family past specifically the more genderless uniform shapes of WWII mixed with more delicate ballet attire. The Italian selvedge denim they use is from the biggest denim manufacturer in Europe and one of the most sustainable businesses, within denim, worldwide. In the process of making their selvedge fabric, it is estimated that a material saving of 62% is achieved due to their loom technology with a 70% reduction in chemicals during the indigo dye process. They have recently introduced the ‘Hand me down’ incentive where you can return your pre-loved King & Tuckfield product and once inspected they offer a 15% discount towards your next online purchase of any one full price item. As they put it – ‘Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%. It also makes you happier knowing you invested in a lasting product that will continue it’s journey on someone else’s wardrobe with the net result of less consumption and better life for all’.
Designed by Norwegian editor and fashion influencer Celine Aagaard, Envelope1976 was born from an appreciation of the finer things – Think the Row; super clean with an elevated aesthetic and quality, but without compromising on the eco system or your wallet! The collection features draped and reversible dresses, comfy sweaters, and tailored pieces that are made of materials such as natural cupro and recycled alpaca wool. Each piece is designed so that its can be worn and styled in different ways and the vegan dyeing process gives the collection its beautiful and muted natural palette.
offers charismatic yet understated weekday staples made from reclaimed materials. Monday to Sunday dressing made from ethical beginnings and sustainable endings. Launched in Istanbul in 2015 by an Australian Canadian named Megan Mummery. _OhSevenDays Slow fashion and the power of circularity is key to their culture, garments are produced from materials that are sourced from ‘runoff’ fabric rolls. Textile factories often have unused fabric meterage that is typically doomed for landfill due to excess manufacturing or miscalculated consumptions. Being based in Istanbul, one of the textile manufacturing capitals of the world, they are lucky enough to have direct access to these factories and as they put it, their beloved forgotten leftovers!
Larger international retailers
For modern day classics you’ll wear forever… Filippa K‘s mission is to show that simplicity is the purest form of luxury, inspiring a movement of mindful consumption, They are keen to encourage customers to focus on long-lasting quality and design, so that they have fewer and better pieces in their wardrobes. Transparency is a key part of their journey and at every step they share with their customers. For many years they have worked on important issues such as decreasing production footprint, increasing their use of sustainable materials and addressing social issues in their value chains. Circular Fashion, a framework since 2014, provides a guide on how to move towards a circular economy, core to these values being the four Rs: Reduce, Repair, Reuse and Recycle. They state that making sustainable choices every day can be a hurdle but despite these barriers they are committed to challenging the status quo and finding new solutions and ways to innovate, their ultimate goal being a fully circular fashion cycle which respects the planet. Filippa K offer two ‘circular economy’ schemes – Leasing where you can rent anything you want for 4 days at 20% of the full price and Collect – Where you can return old Filippa K garments that you no longer use. These will either be sold in a Filippa K own second hand store or given to a selected humanitarian organisation.
H&M aim to use only 100% recycled or sustainably sourced materials by the year 2030. As it is today 59% of their cotton used is sustainably sourced, they aim for 100% by 2020 next year. The conscious collection is quite small in comparison to their main collections, but its exciting to know that such a massive retailer is taking steps to 100% sustainability.
Arket haven’t been around for that long, but already have set a president amongst the bigger high street retailers, primarily priding themselves on establishing styles that will endure. The result is a seasonless production flow, lower development costs, and the ability to refine over time, which helps achieve strong, long-term relationships with their suppliers. In an attempt to make products with a longer life, they state that, they invest time in their development. Their continuous focus on the long-lasting in design and production makes sustainability a primary consideration in developing the brand and it is naturally incorporated in all their processes, from the choice of suppliers and materials to informing customers about how to care for their products to prolong their lifespan.
Everlane for me we’re one of the first brands to bring to light what they call ‘radical transparency’, right from the sourcing of materials, through to the factories they use to the mark up of the end garment produced, they continually strive to create a collection of quality and ethically made pieces that are build to last and that are as sustainable as possible, whilst still remaining on trend and current.
Curated online second hand stores
I’ve pretty much been following Bonsergent Studio ever since I came across their account back in 2014, I fell in love with how they reinvented the way we see second hand and vintage on Instagram, they really have influenced a whole new way of shopping for pre loved.
Each item sold on Retold is handpicked and curated by owner Clare Lewis. Clare has an amazing eye and I have already purchased from her : ) I messaged Clare seeing if she could find me the perfect oversized blazer and she didn’t disappoint! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen the vintage Burberrys piece feature quite a few times!
I love how The Good Find Store rediscovers vintage pieces and styles them with a modern aesthetic, promoting a more socially aware approach to fashion. They encourage followers to look at second hand in a new way, to find one off pieces that literally don’t cost the earth, distinct from the disposability of ‘mass production’ fashion.
Make do and mend! I know it may sound old fashioned, but I do think this mentality is healthy in the current climate we live in. We really do need to get back to basics and start to think long term when purchasing, love and cherish each piece we buy and if it starts to get a little worn take to to somewhere like The Restory I feel like there will be more of these types of services popping up as our buying habits hopefully start to shift to a more conscious and mindful way of shopping. Its up to us to challenge the the status quo and start using our power as consumers to do something about it, starting right now!