By Coral Brown
Are you a self-confessed hipster, a flowery bohemian, or a sophisticated woman? Of course, we are all unique snowflakes in our own way and couldn’t be reduced to one simple label, but we might still have a soft spot for a particular fashion tribe that speaks to us.
If you’re worried that your style is so niche that sustainable fashion won’t be able to help, then worry no more. Sustainability is spreading like wildfire, branching out into all of fashion’s subcultures. No matter what tribe you belong to, you can find a eco-friendly brand to suit you, sir.
Brands like these debunk the common stereotype of sustainable fashion consisting of only bland potato sack dresses and granola sandals. Thanks to these designers, you will never again have to choose between style and ethics.
Of course, the reigning Glamazon Queens are at Reformation. Featuring gorgeous limited-edition collections, all garments are produced by responsible manufacturing partners in the U.S. or abroad using sustainable methods and materials. Fabrics come from dead stock and vintage garments and are restructured to create slinky maxi-dresses, blouses and even bridal wear for cool girls who dare.
Bav Tailor is a high end designer fashion brand that just happens to embrace the values of sustainability. All collections are made exclusively by tailors in Italy, and in the true spirit of slow fashion, each piece within the Vishudda collection can be worn in at least two different ways, meaning you can add your own creative flare to each piece. Bav uses bamboo and organic cotton to create designs that can easily be described as the epitome of classic chic, defined by clean hues, including turquoise, nude, ivory and deep grey, and the finest materials in the market. One motif of her latest collection is artistically emphasised collars and hems, bringing an edge of modernity to these elegant designs.
Croissants, cafes and classic cuts – if you love all things French, then Amour Vert is the place to go. Translated from French, ‘Amour Vert’ means Green Love, so sustainability is clearly at the heart of this (ironically, American) brand. They use non-toxic dyes, beech-tree modal fabric, eco-linen and recycled polyester to create understated casual wear for the sustainably minded. This brand is characterised by its use of Breton stripes, often in nautical navy or pink. It’s not hard to imagine that once you’ve got one of Amour Vert’s Breton stripe dresses, soft, classic blouses or navy modal trousers, you’d be like a French woman, keeping these as foundation pieces in your wardrobe forever.
There’s nothing we love more than a lot of floaty, fabulous silk skimming the body on a hot day, and few make them better than Holland Street. Handmade in Britain using a sustainable minimal waste production method that was developed when the founder, Lauren Barfoot, studied textiles at the London’s Royal College of Art, these stunning kimonos, kaftans and jackets feature exclusive prints, dramatic shades and classic styles that suit any season.
Of course all girly girls love a bit of delicate lace, and Aiby Craft combines vintage 60s guipure lace designs with GOTS certified organic cotton linings and peace silk. The fabric is made in a Fair Trade community in India, and the garment in Spain. And it’s all just so gosh darn pretty! But lace isn’t the only thing Aiby does: they also upcycle silk and hemp based fabrics into delicate, feminine blouses, dresses and more.
If you’re inspired by the classic style of the 50s and 60s or fancy channeling Bardot on a summer holiday, head to Lowie. Retro-inspired eco-fashion is something of a speciality of theirs. Their fabrics range from sunny gingham to nautical waves to polka dots, with each design often appearing in more than one of these fabrics. All you need is a vibrant headscarf and a pair of cat eye sunglasses and you’ve practically time-travelled. Lowie uses organic and recycled cotton, and also offers a free repair service to prolong the life of your dresses should you need it.
If there’s one thing the hippy chick loves, it’s eco fashion, and so Matter will be at the top of their shopping list. The brand makes wonderfully printed jumpsuits, playsuits and trousers made from handloomed, hand printed artisanal cloth that’s naturally dyed. Their collections are always comfy and roomy – perfect for walking in the city heat, or on holiday in hippy havens like Goa and Bali.
Not all of behno’s clothes are androgynous, but designer Shivam Punjya does androgyny well, using classic menswear tailoring in her overcoats and blazers. The boxy lines, buttoned collars and straight-legged trousers work well together to create a considered genderless look. behno was born after the Rana Plaza factory collapse on April 24th 2013, to stop tragedies like these happening again. Punjya’s mission is to redefine what “Made in India” means by changing factory conditions in this country. The behno Standard implements fair wages and safe working conditions whilst creating luxury apparel.
Daniel Silverstein’s latest designs are as punky as Anarchy graffiti, except they’re infinitely more environmentally friendly. In fact, his latest collection is made from 100% pre-consumer cutting room waste, saving this material from a miserable existence in landfills. The pieces in his Zero Waste Daniel collection are a kaleidoscopic puzzle of offcuts arranged with artistic precision into pop icons and cats, creating a vibe of confident, outspoken energy. We also love his knitwear, which is reminiscent of the ripped sweaters worn by Johnny Rotten back in the day…and also suggest a bit of a bondage kink!
These very British designs from Antithesis are also all made in the UK. Their pieces are often multi-functional, allowing you to wear them in different ways by adding or subtracting various details. Will you wear their black multi-function piece as a skirt, or a top, shown below? Will you sport their sarong as a skirt, or a dress? The choice is yours, making this the perfect label for those who value uniqueness and a bit of eccentricity above all. Antithesis are one of the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Ten Pioneers, chosen for their commitment to their slow fashion principles. They previously released a capsule collection intended for working professionals, designed to be worn throughout the seasons.
Love working out but don’t fancy walking around in a shell suit or sloppy track botties? We’ve got you covered. Vyayama (Pronounced “vaiahmah”) was founded with the intention of providing an alternative to synthetic yoga wear. Balancing style and sustainability, their debut collection comprises apparel that is made to furnish an active, creative and spirited lifestyle. Heavily focused on botanically sourced fabrics, the brand has innovated a custom Tencel—KalablakTM—the ‘blackestblack’ matte, high performance fabric that is gentle to skin and nontoxic. This gear is too gorgeous to confine to the gym!