The festive season is over and the first month of the year is a time of mindfulness and recuperation. Still, many Brits are spending valuable time on the web looking for new outfits to only wear them once.
The choices are endless when it comes to vegan and sustainable fashion. Whether you are looking for a cool slogan t-shirt, cruelty-free faux-leather shoes, or a stylish dress to leave everyone speechless at the next gala dinner there are plenty of fashion brands to choose from.
Ph. Ksenia Chernaya, Pexels
You can easily keep up with the latest fashion trends or find the one-of-a-kind garment made just for you thanks to all the sustainable and vegan fashion brands out there.
Nowadays sustainable fashion is not something new or rare, yet everyone seems to think it is very hard to find. The proof: here are some brands to have on your list for sustainable fashion.
More than just an ethical and sustainable fashion brand, Birdsong is a social enterprise. A brand that wishes to revolutionise the way we produce and consume fashion. The slogan 'dress in protest' is meant to raise awareness of the fast pace of the fashion industry and the desire to follow trends. Birdsong designs clothes for remarkable women, but are also designed by remarkable women. The fabrics used are either ethical, sustainable or reclaimed alongside the use of eco dyes. It is all about finding that unique garment that makes you feel empowered. Their collection is unlike anything you will find on the high street: "it’s about thoughtful clothes in bright colours, edgy silhouettes and original prints made from natural fabrics."
The brand is built on the foundation of ethics and sustainability. Their goal is to popularise circularity in the fashion industry and change the way people buy, wear and consume clothing. With upcycling at the heart of the label’s philosophy, the Fanfare team manages to transform vintage pieces into contemporary designs by repurposing existing materials through various textile cutting techniques. In addition to being entirely plastic-free, Fanfare is made from sustainable materials and is certified by OEKO-TEX and GOTS.
“Our hope for the future is that we can change the world around us and become a catalyst towards powerful social good and new models of consumption.”
Lucy & Yak
Source: Lucy & Yak
Lucy & Yak is an independent, ethical, and sustainably made brand, committed to preserving the environment and society. Every item, from boilersuits to colourful dungarees to cropped sweatshirts, is made with organic fabrics and manufactured in their factory in North India, where workers receive four times the minimum wage for the state. They use 100% recycled and biodegradable postage material and stationery to distribute their products. And if that was not enough to get you hooked on the brand let me tell you that they also have a Depop shop. To ensure all stock gets sold and demonstrate that sustainable clothing can be affordable, any flawed piece is advertised at a discounted price on Depop.
Source: Indigo Luna
A small family-run brand focused on producing good quality products created using eco-consciousness and sustainable manufacturing practices. A yoga and swimwear line, Indigo Luna is handmade in Bali by women-owned and operated factories. Using natural fabrics and natural dyeing techniques, the rich, earthy colours come from various plant materials such as indigo leaves, mango leaves, Indian almond leaves and Indian redwood bark. Be sure to keep yourself updated with the brands newest addition, because their collections are purposely created in small, sustainable runs so they can run out of stock and avoid wasting any materials.
Source: Ninety Percent
Can you guess where the name might come from? Ninety Percent is a London-based sustainable womenswear label that shares 90% of its profit between charitable causes. With the purchase of their products, the brand asks its customers to pick which charity they would like to support. The pioneering business model, Ninety Percent has created, strives to have a different approach to the fashion industry. Their collection includes a variety of luxury basics that elevate the everyday, such as well-cut organic cotton sweats, detailed jersey staples and comfortable tops made from soft TENCEL.
“We don’t believe in short-lived trends and hope that once you have finished with your Ninety Percent garment you’ll pass it on for somebody else to love, too”
Have you fallen in love with the world of sustainable fashion? There sure is a lot to fall in love with. From the colourful and bold garments to the minimalistic and sophisticated high street-like collections. They all share the same mission: to be good for you and good for the planet.
New year does not always mean new fashion trends. We are entering a time in fashion where micro-trends are going as fast as they have arrived, but some have lasted well over the past year and are expected to continue into 2022.
Courtesy of The-Cøded
Matching Co-ords Are Here To Stay
Throughout the pandemic, co-ordinates have been a popular fashion choice. During the lockdowns, loungewear co-ords were the way to go to feel comfortable and somewhat put together for the endless Zoom meeting from the kitchen table.
When restrictions eased, we were not ready to leave the cute matching two-piece aesthetic at home. So we changed the hoodie and jogger outfits for a more dressed up look. From matching monochromatic tops and skirts to slick blazers and trousers looks have been the go-to look for many.
Both loungewear and party wear co-ords continue to be a favourite in 2022, while we have this hybrid of working from home and socialising with friends. co-ordinates are now a wardrobe staple for all events and will continue to be for quite some time.
2000s Fashion Resurgence Continues
What goes around comes around, and for 2021 it was y2k fashion. It is common for fashion trends to repeat themselves every 20 years, and the 2000s is no exception. Some 2000s trends have stayed in the past like frosted tips, but many have had a modern-day revival.
Some of the firm favourites include the halter tops, baby tees and chunky trainers. In 2022, it is predicted that some more 2000 trends will be at the forefront of fashion. Controversially, this includes low rise jeans, which have already grown in popularity thanks to supermodels Bella Hadid and is predicted to be a hot choice for upcoming fashion weeks.
Sustainable Fashion At The Forefront
Ph. Artem Beliaikin, Unsplash
For many of us, the pandemic made us think more about where our clothes were made – and who really made them. This has changed the way many of us now shop, leading us to more sustainable and ethical shopping brands.
Many of us have also started to create capsule wardrobes, buying high-quality staple items that can be worn again and again.
Companies like THE-CØDED are doing their bit by working directly with clothing manufacturers around the world, ensuring that they receive a fair share of the profits. They also like to highlight their manufacturers and their forward-thinking initiatives for a completely transparent approach to online shopping. Thanks to transparent brands like THE-CØDED, finding information about who made your clothes has never been easier.
Oversized Shirts - A Wardrobe Must Have
Oversized shirts have been a fashion trend for years, and they are not going away anytime soon. Oversized shirts are such a versatile wardrobe piece, with many celebrities, including the Kardashians and Hailey Bieber, opting for the oversized look regularly in their pap shots.
Oversized shirts are a wardrobe staple that works all year round, and similar to 2000s fashion they are predicted to be a large part of runway shows during the upcoming fashion weeks.
Bye-bye Gendered Clothing
Courtesy of The-Cøded
Genderless clothing has been a growing trend on social media, with people wearing what they want regardless of who the clothing is advertised to. Many fashion houses are on board with this, as many runway shows are thought to have both male and female models wearing the same clothing during spring fashion week.
This has already been seen on the high street, with many brands now selling the same clothing in both womenswear and menswear sections – both in stores and online. This includes knitted “grandad” vests, oversized blazers and structured coats.
Overall, 2022 is set to be an interesting year for fashion as consumers are moving away from the constant trend cycle and sticking to wardrobe staples that work for them. We will certainly be thinking more about sustainably made fashion and timeless pieces this year.
What trends will you be getting on board with?
Walking through life like a breeze, leaving little or no sign on our way. Newly-launched sustainable womenswear brand Organique proposes a minimal and low-impact fashion for a life in constant motion.
C’RIBBE (read [ker-rib-be]) is the creation of James Douglas, the founder. The name is inspired by the Caribbean which is at the very core of the brand.
A cool breeze on bare skin in summer, a warm hug in winter. Linen is the fabric chosen by Marta Cernovskaja for her brand Lemuel MC with sustainability and transparency at its core.
We all want ethical fashion but we also wish to personalise our shopping experience. InFashion Technologies created Yours.Truly., an award-winning project.
Fast Fashion is so last season, meet Aqua & Rock a high-quality premium sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand.
Their motto ‘Where ethical meets aesthetic’ hits the spot. Too often people still associate sustainability with strong limitations and unsightliness. Aqua & Rock surely prove this to be a false prejudice.
If you think sustainable fashion must have a dated aesthetic and cannot possibly look stunning and modern without any compromise, then read on to get to know this brand and pay their new flagship store in Covent Garden a visit when your interest is sparked.
An interior collection consisting of lamps and vases uses naturally sourced materials. All items are one of a kind due to the variable key components of wood grain, natural sand, clay and alpine hay, which naturally do not appear uniform. Furthermore, they are carefully crafted by hand.
This store is unique, since every little detail, down to the lamps, hangers and even drinks is produced 100% sustainable and guilt-free, reflecting the genuine dedication and passion behind the brand. Aqua & Rock was established in 2019 and has been driving forward innovative concepts for ethical fashion ever since. Everybody is more than eager to put a ‘sustainable’ stamp on their clothes now with younger generations, especially Gen Z becoming ever more aware of shortcomings and accordingly concerned about our planet’s future. 'Green washing’ developed to become a huge issue. Customers are getting blatantly misinformed about the background of their goods and continue to shop with a false sense of righteousness. We all know those high street companies for instance, that suddenly hop on the bandwagon by realising an allegedly sustainable line when we honestly ask ourselves: who are they trying to fool? Huge fast-fashion retailers aim to transform their il repute, however, in the end, merely a minority can really state that their company meets the necessary regulations in all areas. Founder Dea Baker and her team instead showcase what true passion and competence in the industry can look like. That is why they also deservedly won the award for “Innovator” of the year at the Drapers Independent Awards 2021 this September.
The Blue Thetis Trench Coat pictured at the front is a centrepiece of the 2021 collection. It incorporates wooden buckles and is made from 100% organic cotton.
Each piece of the latest collection is designed to be ‘seasonless’, so it can be reworked according to season and mood. Not only can they be either composted, recycled or biodegraded, but also include the use of fertiliser to support organic farming. The main concept is based upon a bio-circular model with four components, them being: organic, natural, recycled, and upcycled. All the resources like wood, hay, leaves, cotton, hemp, and flowers are organically grown. Wood, aloe vera, cotton, hemp, wool, as well as the colouring are naturally sourced. Existing materials are updated and reinvented within the upcycling process.
The model is designed to avoid the use of chemicals during manufacturing. Aqua & Rock have even created their own sustainable fabric dubbed 'Aqua Triblend', which is inspired by the French riviera. Among organic cotton, it incorporates recycled plastic and upcycled clothing. With overwhelming numbers regarding beef consumption, the brand saves the by-product of the meat industry from organic farms. Thereby, waste that otherwise would hit the landfill sites is further minimised.
According to Baker this variant of recycled leather is even more sustainable than buying vegan leather, which many people would never assume.
And that is by far not all, since the leather is going through a 'Wet-White' process it is completely free of chrome and other harmful chemicals. So, it is not only better for mother nature, but also for our own bodies. Due to this way of production the Ecotan leather items can be sent to their organic fertiliser partners. After being turned into organic fertiliser it is then used to fertilise fields and plants on organic farms, resulting in the regrowth of organic harm-free vegetation. In being reverted back to nature the bio circle is closed, ending where we started, the animal, which can gaily graze on these natural fields again.
The collection has been designed and produced in the UK, no sweatshops or underpaid labour included in any form, that the customer can be certain of. All pieces of the 2021 collection come in muted colour tones like brown, mint, white, and crème, all easy on the eyes and extremely versatile, giving customers lots of room for creative combining.
British musician Elle L gave the attendees an exclusive glimpse into her new single 'Hoping'. She took on the role of first brand ambassador because she is personally very passionate about the subject in all areas of her life and wants to advocate for less waste. As a public figure, she feels like having a responsibility to inform and positively influence others to have an impact on a larger scale and act as a role model for younger people. She aims to actively contribute to 'leaving a legacy for future generations' by not only talking about it but committing to an accordingly lifestyle.
Fashions Finest thinks this store is a great addition to the Covent Garden area and will hopefully attract lots of new customers to join forces with for a better world. Supporting this goal by shopping for beautiful clothes does sound dreamy, right? Yes, it is actually that easy to partake and conduce a little bit. Maybe this shop will be a starting point for some people to become more immersed and engaged in sustainability in other areas of their everyday life as well. Aqua & Rock officially opened their doors on the 27th of September, a visit is not only highly recommended but a must for everyone interested in sustainability and all its facets. The power for real change lies in our consumer behaviour, supply and demand regulate the market after all and progressive brands like Aqua & Rock are successfully leading the way in a current turnover. The aim does not have to be a Utopia!
Gen Z is fashion-forward and makes a big slice of the global fashion customer base with its generous $200 billion (more than £147 billion) annual global spend power. A new study by UNiDAYS shed light on the decisional power of the 'zoomers' and their commitment to clean and ethical fashion.
A new report commissioned by UNiDAYS, the world’s largest student affinity network, looked into the approach of Gen Z toward fashion, trends, e-commerce, and more. The result: Gen Z demands ethical fashion out loud.
Nearly seven in ten (68%) of Gen Z members demand that their clothes are manufactured to the highest ethical standards and 57% feel brands championing sustainability, equality and diversity are getting it right. These figures come from the recent report run by UNiDAYS surveying a panel of more than 18k Gen Z students to explore Gen Z’ fashion trends and preferences, their attitudes to retailers, sustainability, pricing and more.
Ph. Rodnae Production, Pexels
UNiDAYS Gen Z Fashion Report – Clean Fashion And Gendered Clothing
UNiDAYS asked a panel of their 20m+ verified student members for their opinions on all things fashion, in a series of surveys and polls. Over 18k Gen Z students provided insights about their relationships with their devices, platforms, fashion favourites and retail habits. The polls revealed passionate feelings towards clean-washing, conversation commerce, brand intrusion, third gender marketing and lack of trust when shopping through new social media checkout features.
As the role of real-world fashion adapts, fluid and device-driven business models must emerge for the fashion industry to serve the world’s first, and largest, generation of digital natives.
With global digital ad spend on social platforms predicted to hit $517 billion by 2023 (more than £380 billion), insight into the world’s biggest consumer demographic will support the bricks-and-mortar survivors and define the establishment of new fashion brands rising through the metaverse, all with Gen Z at their core.
Meet Gen Z
Born between 1996–2012, Gen Z is the most hyper-informed, hyper-connected and demanding generation of consumers in history. At 40% of total consumers, 'zoomers' are the biggest generation globally with a $3 trillion indirect annual spending power.
Zoomers expect customised, personalised products and services plus value, across every device and every platform all with free delivery. Their real-world and digital existence are basically one and the same, with nuanced values that can seem contradictory on the surface: they love filters but resent retouching, they live and breathe social media, instant messaging, video games and live-streaming often all at the same time.
Gen Z' attention span is 8 seconds. Compared to 12 seconds for Millenials.
Their unwavering style, ethics and thrift make Gen Z the ultimate Apex Consumer. Brands must urgently connect with this high-potential, savvy, digital-native generation that is reshaping social commerce. Both start-ups and legacy brands could find this new world order daunting, but it represents great possibility.
- 2 BN direct annual global spending power
- 92% use discount codes
- 40% of total consumers in the UK, US, Europe & BRIC
- 90% say looking good is important to them
- 96% say fabulous clothes make them feel confident
- 93% love how great clothes make them feel
- 80% enjoy a mix of styles
- 87% say great clothes make them feel sexy
- 56% say they do not follow fashion trends
GEN Z members are full-on fashionistas, their style, habits and ethics drive and dominate the trends and patterns are seen through social media and the surrounding generations today. 87% of zoomers agree that great clothes make them feel sexy, 96% say fabulous clothes make them feel confident and 79% state sustainable fashion is important to them. But they never pay full price. For anything.
If Gen Z Is Not Your Core Consumer Now, They Soon Will Be...
Gen Z maintains its own personal brands physically and across their platforms, with defined standards and values that dictate the brands they associate with. The average Gen Z spends 10.6 hours a day online (Adobe), 93% love great clothes, and 85% of them research everything online before buying. Zoomers' appetite for social is huge and brands have been quick to embrace the fun and engagement that quality content generates. But with 75% of Gen Z stating they do not trust shopping on social media, there is a disconnect between entertainment and commerce which brands must fast address. Gen Z is consuming culture and marketing in a fundamentally different way than Millennials or Gen X (the over the forties).
Of those surveyed, 87% of Gen Z mostly communicate with their friends through instant messaging, just 13% call them direct, and only 14% would try a new fashion retailer based on seeing a TV ad. Fashion brands must get creative to establish and nurture these new relationships to ensure they stand the test of time.
Viviane Paxinos, global GM at UNiDAYS, states: 'We found that, for Gen Z, TikTok is the place to be on social, followed by Instagram. Given that fashion purchases made by 49% of those we spoke to were influenced by brands they saw on social media, platforms like TikTok and Instagram are a growth opportunity for fashion retail marketers looking to drive brand awareness and social commerce. Another important factor stems from TikTok's early guidance to marketers: don’t make ads. Make TikTok's.'
Good News For Fashions
- 76% are looking forward to partying again
- 64% expect to spend more on outfits for events now
- 78% plan to dress up party now that lockdown has eased
- 54% will spend more on beauty now social occasions are back
Despite 18 months in lockdown, 90% of Gen Z still value looking good. However, 65% expect their fashion purchases not only to be affordable but to be made to the highest ethical standards. Fashion, fast or otherwise, can no longer rely on value alone.
'Audiences go to the likes of TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube for exclusive moments, entertainment, advice, humour, and authenticity in content. Fashion brands need to create content that feels genuine for the environment, or Gen Z consumers will swipe to the next video. Fashion brands should also be looking at social commerce as part of their wider omnichannel retail strategy, driving consumers in-store for brands where bricks and mortar play an important role. 84% of Gen Z are looking forward to returning to shops, and it shouldn’t be underestimated how impactful a shareable, interactive store experience would be in driving positive online endorsement and sales.'
Viviane Paxinos, global GM at UNiDAYS
- 95% always keep an eye out for a bargain or offer
- 75% are used to buying clothes solely online due to lockdowns
- 53% say shopping is a social experience shared with friends
- 85% research online before committing to a purchase
- 82% are loyal to brands that offer regular discounts
- 66% intend to spend more on clothes when they go back to Uni
- 63% spent less on clothes during lockdown while 37% spent more
- 84% are looking forward to returning to shops
Trust And Confidence
- 49% do not mind advertising if it’s relevant to them
- 76% see too many ads on their feeds
- 83% want to cut their time spent on social media
- 75% do not trust shopping directly on social media
- 53% believe social media is bad for society
- 93% say social media promotes unrealistic life and body goals/ beauty standards
- 90% believe that unlabelled, retouched imagery should be illegal for influencers to use when endorsing brands/products
For the majority of Gen Z, online is its preferred way to shop; 85% research online first but 75% do not trust shopping directly on social media. Brands creating Instagram and TikTok content and those collaborating with influencers should be cautious, 90% of Gen Z believe it should be illegal for Influencers to use unlabelled and retouched images, while 93% believe social media promotes unrealistic life and body goals. Despite being the world’s first fully digital native consumer whose digital presence is as real as their physical one, they challenge everything they see.
Gen Z is conflicted: 59% of zoomers consider themselves woke, but one in four do not know where their clothes are manufactured.
Fast fashion serves zoomers' obsession for new and fresh, but grates against their ethical guilty conscience of quality not quantity. The rise of Depop and co. signifies a new dawn for wardrobe resale hacks that do not cost the earth, but where does that leave fast fashion brands? How deep does their culture of sustainability go?
Gen Z’s Earth-friendly attitudes and spending behaviours have triggered fashion to clean up their emissions and exploitation records, so a happy medium is emerging. Sustainability is finally being addressed by brands keen to be on the right side of history and stay relevant. Gen Z has zero tolerance for irresponsible brands, they are the sole demographic with the passion, power and platforms to take sustainability into the corporate boardrooms. Their digital and physical life are one of the same, which ensures their social media posts will continue to elevate those brands that champion change and shame those that blatantly do not.
Sad But True
It takes 3,781 litres of water and 33.4 Kg of carbon emissions to make one pair of jeans. Up to 175,000 tonnes of plastic microfibres are dumped into the ocean each year, equivalent to over 17bn plastic bottles, all from synthetic clothing. Microfibres cannot be easily extracted from water and pollute the marine wildlife food chain.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Gen Z on Clean Clothing
- 26% unsure where their clothes are manufactured
- 79% say sustainable fashion is important to them
- 68% want clothes manufactured to the highest ethical standards
- 59% consider themselves ‘woke’
- 23% feel peer pressure to shop more sustainably
- 39% would buy pre-loved because it is more sustainable
- 33% pick recycled items because they are cheaper
- 67% prefer fashion brands that appeal to their social conscience
- 33% feel that brands who champion sustainability do so in the right way
Gen Z On Clean Beauty
- 86% say clean beauty is important to them
- 33% always read the ingredients label before a purchase
- 88% prefer natural beauty and skincare products
- 78% have returned a product to the shelf because of the ingredient
Who does Gen Z think should be responsible for regulating the beauty industry to ensure they use sustainable and harmless ingredients in their products?
- 20% the government
- 47% the brands themselves
- 29% an independent industry regulator
Increased Desire For Gender Neutrality
'More than ever, mainstream consumers are being challenged to rethink accepted societal norms and structures driven solely by gen z’s passion for post-gender diversity and inclusion.'
Viviane Paxinos, global GM at UNiDAYS
Gen Z embraces gender-neutral products and marketing. Zoomers acceptance has generated a wave of opportunity for fashion and beauty brands to expand into non-binary clothing and product lines. Six years ago, at its height of popularity, Facebook added a third, customisable gender choice that offers 58 identity options such as androgyne, transmale, trans-person and more other brands soon followed.
The beauty industry saw campaigns for cosmetics start to include trans models and cis straight men. Global fashion brands including Farfetch, Missguided, ASOS and Boohoo have all recently launched high profile campaigns featuring diverse and empowering models to promote their inclusive collections.
Generation gender-neutral has the least concern over owning ‘gender appropriate’ clothing, preferring to shop by personal style of self-expression, rather than traditional labels.
- 43% believe that assigned gender does not play a role in choosing clothes
- 23% think gendered language in stores is outdated or offensive
- 79% are not put off buying clothes that are marketed to the opposite gender
- 64% have bought clothing for themselves that is marketed to the opposite gender
Luxury Brands Must Adapt...
'Be aware, brand equity that triggers gen x will not trigger Gen Z. 79% of young consumers agree that sustainable fashion is important to them and 68% want clothes manufactured to the highest ethical standards. Luxury brands must adapt their narrative to apply to the new apex consumer that is gen z. Generic claims of craftsmanship will not cut it with this demanding ethics driven group, they want specifics.' Josh Rathour, found and CEO of UNIDAYS
Luxury brands obviously find engaging with young consumers difficult as 71% of Gen Z feel designer brands are not relevant to them. But by over-focusing on Gen X (the over the forties) and not connecting with a younger audience, aspirational brands risk not only alienating their appeal to Millennials but their future core consumer too. Brands that underestimate Gen Z risk their relevance and label longevity. Gen Z is the most demanding, informed and least loyal consumers in history, if they find a brand irrelevant now, the likelihood is they will never buy into the brand at all. Affinity is seeded in youth. Luxury brands that do not emotionally engage with their future consumer will ultimately fail.
- 32% follow designers
- 47% buy luxury clothing as a treat
- 40% have an eye for limited-editions
- 27% buy luxury clothing for the quality
- 54% describe themselves as loyal to certain fashion brands
- 30% have bought 1-2 pieces of designer clothing this year
- 50% say they have bought more fashion in 2021 than previous years
- 47% name design as their top consideration when buying luxury fashion
- 64% name price as their top consideration when buying luxury fashion
- 54% do not love labels
- 27% believe designer clothes are of higher quality
- 77% say they cannot afford designer brands
- 54% have not bought any luxury fashion this year
- 71% do not feel designer brands are relevant to them
Do Not Survive, Thrive
If Gen Z is not your core consumer now, they soon will be.
Gen Z is defining which fashion brands survive and which brands thrive. Those labels comfortable with Gen X and Millennials must learn what triggers Gen Z and fast. Affinity is seeded in the young, fashion brands that do not bother engaging Gen Z will ultimately fail. But despite being the world’s first fully digital native consumer with defined personal brands, and whose digital presence is as real as their physical one, Gen Z’s relationship with the platforms they populate is guarded at best.
Brands must work hard to win trust in the social space. Gen Z' unwavering standards, ethics and thrift make Gen Z the ultimate Apex Consumer. Brands must urgently connect with this unfamiliar, contrary, digital-native generation who are reshaping social commerce. Fashion start-ups and legacy brands could find this new world order daunting, but it represents great possibility.
The journey towards inclusive fashion also passes through 'petites' and their underestimated necessities. Today, petite fashion sees more protagonists like LacunaFit which is ready for a denim-tinted launch.