Photo by Tamara Bellis. Unsplash
Fast fashion is easy for consumers because it’s just that: fast and inexpensive. But in case you didn’t get the memo, our planet is breaking and while the words of ‘sustainable fashion’ may not appeal to the majority, it is actually an important answer to a very real problem. As Megan Markle put it when she spoke at the British Fashion Awards, "2019 is the year where it is ‘cool to be kind’".
Here’s a list of brands that make shopping an ethical and affordable experience as well as it making you look and feel good.
How Sustainable Are Fashion Brands?
There are many different ways a brand can comply with sustainability. The sustainable fashion movement works together to tackle issues such as:
-protecting animal rights
-defending fair pay and working conditions to adhere to workers’ rights
-cutting down on water waste
-counteracting the effects of cheap and fast fashion consumption
-addressing the use of toxic and harmful pesticides and working to develop eco-friendly and recycled materials and fabrics.
With more brands becoming focused on providing a sustainability, there are now more choices for fashion consumers, both online and on the high street.
Since launching her label in 2001, Stella McCartney has proved that it is possible to create ethical, sustainable and fashion-forward collections without damaging our planet. The company is always looking for new ways to be more sustainable as it feels responsible for the resources it uses and the impact its activities has on our planet. All Stella McCartney stores, offices and studios in the UK are powered by wind energy and abroad, they use renewable energy. Recycling is one of the key points of this brands philosophy.
Among the McCartney eco-friendly products, we can find a sustainable eyewear collection made from over 50% natural and renewable resources and raw materials from natural origins such as castor-oil seeds and critic acid. These are just a small portion of all the activities and initiatives undertaken by Stella McCartney.
Thanks to its distinctive and style ‘V’, you have probably already come across this brand which specialises in trainers to die for. Since 2005, Veja has been making fashionable trainers like no other brand, infusing each stage of production with a positive impact. Yes, every single component of Veja footwear has a story.
The cotton originates from an organic farm in Brazil where workers don’t have to worry about the harmful pesticides poisoning their villages, while the rubber is natural and sustainable, tapped by people in the Amazon using traditional techniques. One out of four trainers that Veja make are 100% vegan and they have even created a mesh fabric made entirely out of recycled polyester.
Sports and athletic wear are at the forefront of fashion thanks to the likes of Instagram. However, sportswear may not be at the forefront of your mind when you think of sustainable fashion.
Originating from Sydney, Australia, Horizon Athletic is the brainchild of professional athlete Marlena Gabriel who was in search of the perfect sports garments. Horizons ethics reflect their respect for the surrounding environment, and they hope to raise awareness of the amount of plastic waste which is currently polluting our beautiful oceans.
To make their active-wear and sporty swimsuits, Horizon use a material called Econyl, which is a recycled fibre made from consumer waste and abandoned fishing nets. This fabric is 5 time more durable than other leading fabrics when exposed to UV rays, salt water, chlorine and sun cream.
In 2018, Adidas took a huge step towards a sustainable future. Teaming up with a non-profit organisation, Parley, Adidas sold more than one million pairs of shoes made from recycled ocean plastic last year, with each shoe preventing around eleven plastic bottles from entering our oceans. Following on from this success, the brand has pledged to be more sustainable promising to only use recycled plastic by 2024. The brand has also promised to become more sustainable in its offices, warehouses, retail outlets and distribution centres with the goal to save an estimated 40 tonnes of plastic per year in total.
After launching their first product in 2003, Finisterre has worked tirelessly to create a collection of clothing which is stylish and built to last. Their recycled insulation jackets were pioneering development in fashion and led the way to create more sustainable practices.
Finisterre has developed their own blend of Merino wool, which took years to perfect and has many benefits. As well as it being sustainable and 100% biodegradable, Merino wool is antibacterial, moisture wicking, soft, breathable and warm; making it the perfect winter knit. Each batch of wool can be traced back to their farms which are found across New Zealand and must comply with Finisterre welfare rules to provide animals with freedom. Each animal must be free from hunger and thirst, have access to shelter and comfort in all weather conditions and they must be able to display their natural behavioural patterns.
Hope Macaulay is an exciting and bold new luxury womenswear brand by an emerging Northern Irish designer.
Hope creates large expressive collaged paintings and transforms them into prints, combined with detailed beadings and knit to create her garments. She also creates her own embellishments, inspired by her passion for ceramic making, using Fimo clay and various fabrics and beads combined together. Hope's graduate collection, A Surreal Rome, featured at Graduate Fashion Week in London, is not a representation of reality but a world in which you may find in your dreams, inspired by the history, myths and art of Rome. She created her own mythical beings in a hallucinatory world through large expressive paintings and distorted, collage photographs. These have been combined into colourful busy prints, detailed beadings and chunky knits to create a powerful visual of A Surreal Rome within the garments.
Hope Macaulay garments are busy, bold and colourful experiences, each telling a surreal story.
Velica’s inspiration comes from traveling abroad to a few fashion capitals around the world. The “je ne sais quoi” of Paris, the refinement of an afternoon tea in London, a walk along the Mediterranean in Barcelona, and most recently Dubai has inspired her to take her creativity as far as her imagination will allow. She is inspired most by unconventional colour combinations and rhythmic textiles that tell a story.
The thoughtfulness that goes into combining various textiles that will engage the senses is paramount to the design process. It’s the intricate details of every design that sets a garment apart from the rest.
As a designer, she allows her creativity to be uninhibited with regard to how she envisions the final piece. The world consists of many beautiful textiles, places, and experiences. And through them, she purposes her ideas and dreams into becoming wearable art. Velica and Managing Partner, Charles Dunn recently breathed the brand’s fashion aesthetic into its first unisex fragrance, Forever. Indeed, an extension of the brand’s commitment to luxury and unique style.
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This summer, I was working on my third collection, Fantasia by KV. A lot of hard work and passion went into every part of it, and I'm glad I can share it with the FF readers!
Fantasia by KV is my first collection away from my afri-western signature mix. I explore the different ways to add exotic and artistic patterns to every day wear. There’s something for everyone.
It's the perfect style balance. Fantasia encompasses the Woman's idealistic sillouette: stylish, practical, comfortable and romantic. This collection boasts of trendy and flattering cuts; for every occasion; with comfort fit and a feminine and exotic touch on the fabric. Every touch, every stride in a Fantasia piece is magnificent, bold and adventurous.
You can view the full collection on the Keji Victoria website - kejivictoria.com.
Check out a few pieces below...
LOLO Jumpsuit with the HONEY Blazer, long length, fitted, with padded shoulders, sleeveless jumpsuit, comfort fit.
The Fantasia Dress, peplum midi dress with print details.
The SUBY Dress, full length A Line dress, cap sleeves.
What are your thoughts on the latest collection?
The Erdem x H&M collection is on trend and very wearable old English style with jacquard and frills, feminine dresses decorated flowers and Victorian white blouses and so much more.
Shop the collection soon on H&M
VIMPELOVA is a high-end slow fashion label for both women and men, based in London, UK. Our primary focus is on creating contemporary garments, which combine impeccable workmanship with ethical and environmental sustainability. Each and every one of our designs is handcrafted, displaying not only a flawless finish but different techniques which make a piece truly unique to the wearer. Our garments are made to be kept and treasured for a lifetime.
The brand is grounded in sustainable practice, driving fashion forward through complete production transparency with every item that we produce. The story of each garment begins with the sourcing of organic fabrics of natural fibers and continues through a design process entrenched in history and tradition. The clean modernity of our one-of-a-kind couture is tempered by a Czech heritage rooted in bespoke craftsmanship. These contrasting elements work seamlessly together, evoking echoes of a distant past wrapped in elegant, minimalistic beauty.
The essence of Koyawo's design is bold, innovative, edgy but modern and cool.
All of their collections are luxury handmade, timeless style at its heart and designed for stylish women and their garments are suitable for all occasions and a perfect addition to the modern's woman's wardrobe.
ByVarga is a London based womenswear label established by Fanni Varga in 2016. She graduated from London College of Fashion and her graduate collection was featured in Vogue UK, Dazed and Confused and her designs were also selected for the Italian Vogue Talent edition in 2015.
ByVarga is a new, exciting fashion brand established by Fanni Varga in 2016.Her designs are characterized by sassy femininity with and edgy twist. Mix matching different types of materials and layering plays an important role in her designs. The core values of ByVarga are the constancy of quality with a sharp attention to details. Characterized by a delicate femininity that is elegant but cool and contemporary at the same time, designed for strong personalities and art lovers alike. Fascinated by the combination of different textures, layering and identity a ByVarga muse is a witty, spirited woman whose distinctive style is an expression of their individuality.