These plus size sustainable fashion brands are big on style, but low on environmental impact!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Shopping for sustainable fashion can be tough enough itself – not all high street or department stores carry a wide variety of brands, but when you do find a shop that’s offering ethical fashion, for many of us, it’s disappointing to discover that it may not fit your taste – or body.
Because margins are so tight with most sustainable labels (since they normally don’t produce on the same scale as fast fashion brands, and because their customer base is smaller), they tend to create three basic sizes: S, M and L. Whilst there are some great ‘regular’ plus sized labels out there, like Ashleigh Plus Size, finding sustainable fashion that’s big on size – and style – can be a challenge.
Slowly, this is changing – no longer are larger women stuck with tent dressed and track bottoms!
Here, I’ve found some great examples of chic, tailored plus size sustainable fashion brands I think you’ll love.
Plus Size Sustainable Fashion Brands Big On Style
Thanks to their collaboration with curvy model Ali Tate Cutler, Reformation’s Ali Tate Cutler Collection (pictured above) runs from sizes 0 to 22 and XS to 3XL. The collection features a variety of pieces, from off-the-shoulder gingham dresses to frilly tops, two-piece sets, bodysuits and more – but there are plenty of other plus size sustainable fashion options from the label, too, including everything from tops and denim to those famous Reformation maxi wrap dresses we all love!
And of course, the creation of all items abides by the conscious standards like reduced water usage, upcycling materials and the use of ethical work practices that have always distinguished the LA based brand.
Whether it’s their jeans, dresses, jumpers or even shoes, Everlane has two goals: to make plus sized sustainable fashion from ethical materials. Whilst not specialising in plus sizes, their collections do go up to XL, and the best part? These are quality garments at reasonable prices.
This highly respected sustainable fashion designer uses a circular system that starts with ethical working practices, organic and natural fibres and ends by recycling old clothes through an in house take-back programme. Curvaceous women will be pleased to find XL cardigans, dresses, jackets, jumpers and more from this label – all crafted from sensual, high quality materials.
4. Warp & Weft
Jeans can be one of the hardest items to buy for plus sized peeps, so thank heavens for Warp & Weft! The sustainable brand is a family owned company that uses an eco-friendly mill to create high quality denim that’s good for your health, the environment, and your bank account.
A traditional pair of jeans consumes 1,500 gallons of H2O, but a pair of Warps requires less than 10 gallons, and they recycle and treat 98% of the water they use. Instead of bleach, they use Dry Ozone technology on their denims, and the brand is also committed to ethical practices, expressed through fair wages, reasonable hours and positive working conditions.
Sizing here is amongst the most inclusive we know of: it goes from 00 up to 24.
This is a brand that prides itself on body positivity and inclusivity. Their sizes range from 00 all the way up to 40! Although the brand isn’t particularly focused on sustainability, they do have a system called Fit Liberty, whereby any piece of used clothing returned to them is donated to organizations like Dress for Success and First Step, which empower women to achieve economic independence.
What we love most about this brand, though, is the fact that they offer a comprehensive range of clothing: here, you’ll find everything you need, from jackets and underwear to shoes and basics like sweaters and jeans.
Proudly Made in America, Hackwith Design House’s sustainable plus size fashion comes only in limited editions, with no more than 25 pieces made for each style. Women whose sizes run from 14 to 28 will find a large variety of flattering tops, pants, dresses and jumpsuits created by this ethical company, which is dedicated to supporting local industry and reducing waste by producing less than most brands do.
Kowtow is an exceptionally ethical brand in terms of using organic cottons used and natural dyes, as well as Fair Trade employment practices and sustainable packaging. The crisp, minimalist forms that represent the brand’s aesthetics are loose fitting and generously proportioned, accommodating larger sizes with ease.
8. Daniel Silverstein
One of Eluxe’s favourite designers, Daniel Silverstein uses zero-waste techniques to create chicly urban handmade garments that come up to XXL sizes. The young New York based designer firmly believes that body image acceptance should be taught in schools. He says: “It’s something we need to be thinking of at the educational level to make true industry reform.”
He prides himself on zero waste design, meaning no scrap of fabric goes unused in his studio, and he ensures that his design patterns are cut with minimal waste.
9. Christy Dawn
After learning that America sends over 11 million tons of textiles to landfills each year, fashion designer Christy Dawn was determined to create a sustainable and ethical fashion line that would minimize her environmental footprint.
All of her dresses are made from deadstock fabric in downtown Los Angeles by the best dress makers in the world, and of course, each seamstress is paid a fair living wage. She’s proud of the positive environmental and social impact her company is making – she doesn’t just want you to look good in her dresses, she wants you to feel good about what you’re wearing too, no matter what your size – and that’s why most of her styles go up to XL.
10. Moona Star
Show off your curves with Moona Star’s sustainable styles that flatter the feminine form, no matter what the size. Sustainable and deadstock materials are sewn by fair-paid artisans in LA to create modern bohemian clothing that runs up to XL sizes (though you’d never know it from the models they use….!)
The Moona Star woman is: “A mystic, an artist, a traveler, a woman with her heart on her sleeve. She is walking the path of mindfulness. In gratitude to mother earth, the sun, the moon and the universe that makes the magic happen. Always in wonder of miracles, what is beyond and finding beauty in everything.” And above all, he is confident in who she is, conscious of loving her own mind and body.
Malaysia isn’t yet known for its ethical fashion; let alone inclusive ethical fashion. But one brand is about to change all that. Sayang is an eco-friendly fashion line that creates midi dresses, wrapped blazers and pants in sizes from XS to XL.
Sayang’s founder Dianna Yong has very much at heart fair practices, using eco-friendly materials such as linens, cupro, and cotton. Every garment is kind both to nature and to the silhouette it enhances, bringing out femininity with effortless style. We love their sassy pantsuits, puffed shoulders and slinky low cuts, which flatter every type of figure.
12. Megan Reilley
Plus sized can also refer to height, as designer Megan Reilley knows well. Her collections of North American-made, high-quality, classic minimalist garments are aimed at women of all sizes who are from 5’9” to 6’8″. Through her work, Megan hopes to start a conversation about the struggles tall women face, and to push the industry forward both in embracing the diversity of women’s bodies and in the ethical production of clothing.
From bodycon dresses and sweet camisoles to everyday trackies, Megan Reilley offers beautiful wardrobe staples for the larger woman.
Main image: Universal Standard
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