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, 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 sized sustainable fashion brands I think you’ll love.
Thanks to the collaboration with curvy model Ali Tate Cutler, Reformation’s Ali Tate Cutler Collection runs from sizes 0 to 22 and XS to 3XL. It features a variety of pieces, from off-the-shoulder gingham dresses to frilly tops, two-piece sets, bodysuits and more – all perfect for the warmer weather. 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 label.
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, quality materials.
Hackwith House Design create limited editions of all their designs, with no more than 25 pieces made for each style. Women whose sizes run from 14 to 28 can therefore invest in an exclusive, ethically made garment by a company determined to support local industry and reduce waste.
Kowtow is an exceptionally ethical brand in terms of using organic cottons used and natural dyes, as well as FairTrade 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.
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.”
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 in downtown Los Angeles by the best dress makers in the world, and of course, each seamstress is paid a fair living wage. She is 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.
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. 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.
Main image: Moona Star
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