Writing a blog about affordable fashion doesn’t always sit well with me.
Obviously my site is about finding the best items on the High Street, but the nature of ‘fast’ fashion is not always sustainable. I try my best in promoting the resale of clothes and I never throw anything away…but the very nature of constantly needing new items is a problem which isn’t shifting.
Which is why you’ll rarely see a post where I wear everything new all the time. I try and re-use my wardrobe and get the most wear out of my clothes but still, I work in fashion and love fashion and always swayed by the ‘new’.
I’ve been thinking of doing a post on ‘Eco’ brands for a while, but also feel the pressure of responsibility that comes with it. To talk sensibly on this subject, you need to know your stuff.
And, let’s face it, Eco brands are often more expensive (although everyone would argue you get what you pay for). It’s all very well seeing Livia Firth and Emma Watson donning eco brands on their ‘Green Carpet’ which are custom made exclusively for them, and good on them, but I’m pretty sure their Carbon footprint isn’t exactly minimal.
It’s a world full of hypocrisies and even I, who promotes buying ‘stuff’ am guilty. SO, instead of preaching at you to shop slower, shop sustainably and be ‘Eco’, I’ll just highlight a few brands that are doing their bit, in a cool modern way.
I always love Yael from Reformation’s approach: “The prevailing sustainable platform—‘Buy less, use less’—isn’t a scalable strategy. You buy clothes because you really want them. The sustainability part is for us to figure out” (in an article for US Vogue here).
This is one of the brands which started my thoughts on this post. I was emailed from a brand which I loved on first look, and then found out it was eco. Back in my early days on fashion, you knew which brands were Eco, and it wasn’t a good thing. This brand seems to have bridged the gap between eco and cool (they don’t have to be mutually exclusive, these days). All of their clothing is manufactured in the UK from sustainable and reclaimed fabric and you can read more about the brand (and their ethics) here.
There is very little about the brand Eileen Fisher that I don’t respect: its core values, ideas concerning sustainability and of course, good clothes. You can get a basic overview here, but basically they pay fairtrade wages in their factories, they use organic and sustainable fibres in their clothing (and recycled fibres where they can), and everything is dyed without using hazardous chemicals.
Clean Beauty’s debut product – the Babe Balm – is my go-to product that I’m rarely without on my desk at home. A multi-use balm which serves as a moisturiser, highlighter, lip balm and cleanser – it smells like holiday and is, of course, also 100% natural.
I came across this brand recently and thought I’d share. They don’t usually ship to the UK but when I contacted them they let me know that from the 10th April 2017 they are offering International Shipping (from the US) for one week. Exciting! Everlane sells amazing, quality basics with a philosophy of ‘Radical Transparency’ so their customer knows the markups and where their clothes are made. They have personal relationships with all their factories and want the consumer to care about where their clothes are made as much as they care about where their food comes from. Expect big things…
5. REVE EN VERT
The High-end online store who only stock brands who care about ‘people and the planet’ – from brands such as Christopher Raeburn (who recycles British military fabrics) to The Grown Alchemist (a beautiful natural skincare brand). The curation is also heavily thought about, so you are buying something that will last for years.
Founded by husband and wife duo Alex and Julia’s Seattle kitchen, this is a PETA approved, non toxic, safe and natural beauty brand with active ingredients. It also helps that Herbivore products look amazing, too (I’m a packaging freak, after all), all carefully considered – but once you try the Coco Rose body scrub you’ll understand it’s so much more than that.
Self proclaimed as ‘making killer clothes that don’t kill the environment’, Reformation, for me, was one of the first brands where finding out it was environmentally aware was a happy coincidence, not their USP. The clothes are cool in their own right and loved by cool girls the world over (Lucy Williams from and Pandora Sykes are both fans). The brand makes their clothes in their own factories using sustainable fabrics and methods. We all stopped off in their Howard Street store in New York, and they’ve just opened stores in Miami and San Francisco, as well as stocking on Net A Porter in the UK.
This is obviously a quick and concise round-up, other brands doing sustainable ‘well’ (in my opinion) include:
I think the conversation about sustainable brands is a lot more open than it used to be and even major High Street brands are addressing these issues. Instead of asking you to boycott these chain stores, I would rather try and change things from within – always asking about their ethics and code of conduct in meetings etc. And think more about my spending habits.
Do you have any brands that you recommend/ respect for their brand ethos and sustainability? It’s definitely something I’m learning about as I go…