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By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
After a long, hot summer, let’s face it: we need a wardrobe change. Surely I’m not the only one that feels there’s only so much you can do with a sundress and pair of sandals? Autumn is arguably the best season for fashionistas: not only is it the time for all the major fashion weeks to begin, but it’s also the season of layering. Fall’s unpredictable weather means we can pair light linen trousers with a sweater; a summer blouse with a cardigan, or a sleeveless top with a fabulous scarf, and still feel super comfortable.
We’ve found a few sustainable fashion labels that provide not only great ethics behind their brands, but also fantastic fashion finds for fall that are perfectly suited to this most fickle of seasons.
Inspired by the Native cultures of Santa Fe in New Mexico, sustainably minded designer Gudrun Sjoden has created a remarkable collection for this season.
She’s incorporated all the vibrancy and craftsmanship seen in southwestern First Nations clothing, and reinterpreted it with a hippy chic aesthetic blended with a Scandinavian touch. So popular are Sjoden’s casually stylish clothes that her label has grown from a small family business into a group of companies with over 350 employees spread over 52 countries. But despite such growth, Sjoden ensures her label stays true to its green ethics and chic aesthetics – which now carries over to her home range, too.
This brand new ethical label from London launched this September, but it’s already making waves in the sustainable fashion community. Polosophia stands out by the way it intertwines fashion with literature: the concept behind the brand is very poetic; all garments are based on an original story, and each collection corresponds to a chapter of the Polosophia Chronicles, which you can read online. The label’s designer, Poline, has created a sophisticated capsule wardrobe of fluid, timeless staples made from natural and organic materials. Our pick? The Moor coat is a warm, versatile investment piece that you’ll have for decades.
If you’re in the mood for stories with a darker twist, you’ll be awestruck by Henrica Langh. Her label combines her two passions, which she defines as: “mortal fashion and immortal art.” Her ready-to-wear collections are designed to be “mortal,” so that once a garment reaches the end of its life cycle it is easy to take apart and dispose of with minimal harm to the environment. But at the same time, their sculptural traits makes them an immortal work of art.
Of course, all collections are created with full respect for Mother Nature, using fabrics that are comprised of 100% natural fibres and components that are recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable. The conscious consumer will be fascinated by Henrica Langh’s ethical, and unique style.
M.Luna represents Switzerland perfectly, with its no-nonsense, minimalist designs, and respect for nature. Designer Julia Weber uses predominantly organic cotton and organic silk for her high quality collections, which have a sense of classic timelessness. Her latest collection, “Primera Nieve” embodies the experience of someone seeing snow for the first time, and the fabric of each piece is intended to camouflage with the shadows and trees of a snow-covered landscape.
Autumn comes in all kinds of colours and weathers – unless you’re based in sunny California, that is! For that reason, you won’t find YSTR creating any heavy coats, jumpers or rainproof footwear – but you will find feminine, casual clothing founded out of concern for the environment.
Realising that fashion has become the second largest polluter on earth after the oil industry, with 80 billion pieces of clothes consumed every year, YSTR was created with a cut-to-order technology system that limits how much fabric is cut, sewn and formed into finished pieces based on what is ordered on the brand’s website. The minimalistic style of the collection allows each piece to be versatile and appropriate for both day and night.
Designer Sue Stemp used to work with Alexander McQueen, Tocca and Daryl K before creating her own label (with her husband Paud St. Roche) – and it shows. Her meticulous draping and tailoring are exactly what you would expect from a high fashion label, but the difference is that St Roche is focused on sustainability as well as style.
The LA based brand is fully committed to developing collections that feature organically grown and locally woven cottons, biodegradable Tencel and sustainably-produced knitwear. Their gorgeous A/W collection gives a nod to London: it was inspired by Liberty prints and Portobello Market finds, and a further British touch is on the way. This will be through the brand’s collaboration with renowned British artist and illustrator Hugo Guinness. We’re looking forward to see what they come up with!
This brand pretty much embodies Danish minimalism at its best. They feature clean, honest casual wear with a distinctively European flavour. All fabrics are sourced with sustainability in mind, and garments are handmade and shipped directly from their ethical studios in Denmark.