It's never been more important for brands and consumers to embrace sustainability. Thankfully, many players in the fashion industry are listening to the needs of our planet and making greener choices as a result. Yet, with more and more now striving to become sustainable – or, in some cases, to appear as though they are – things can become increasingly confusing.
You'd be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed when it comes to knowing what is worth spending your money on. With endless buzzwords to understand and issues around greenwashing, it can be difficult to know exactly where to look for truly eco-friendly and ethically made clothing. Below, we round up some of our favourite sustainable fashion brands that produce high-quality, eco-friendly collections – and which don't sacrifice on style – so that you can enjoy shopping with a clear conscience.
Of course, being more sustainable with fashion goes further than the labels you choose to buy from. Whether it's shopping at sustainable shopping destinations, occasionally embracing the rental market , or opting for secondhand over buying new, there are many steps you can take toward becoming greener when it comes to shopping.
But, if you are shopping new, then there are sustainable ways to do so. Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age (a company that certifies brands for their sustainability) began the #30Wears campaign to encourage us to only buy an item if we really know that we'll wear it repeatedly. She told us: "The biggest message is every time you buy something, always think, 'Will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?' If the answer is yes, then buy it. But you'd be surprised how many times you say no."
Caring for your purchases properly is also key to making sure they last as long as possible and don't end up getting thrown away. Read our 10-step guide on how to be more sustainable for further advice on being more conscious.
Whether your New Year's resolution is to shop more mindfully or you're wanting to discover greener brands during Veganuary, we've rounded up 50 of our favourite sustainable labels to know below.
Danish brand Brøgger is fast becoming an industry favourite. The label focuses on the idea that longevity is key for a greener wardrobe. Brøgger is committed to low-impact production and its founder Julie Brøgger believes that quality is key when it comes to creating more sustainable clothing, as longevity is vital for consuming fashion in a greener way.
"Sustainability is not an objective subject and creating products - adding more things to the world - will never be 100 per cent sustainable," she previously explained to Bazaar. "My focus is first and foremost longevity. I only produce clothing that is of a quality that allows it to be worn and cherished across seasons. We need to get back to the habit of investing in pieces that we will wear more and mend and care for."
New York-based designer Chelsea Claridge created her sustainably produced label CAALO as a collection of trans-seasonal pieces made from innovative fabrics and thoughtful design. It's a future-focused luxury brand that's non-gender specific - the wearer can get multiple uses out of the outwear with some of the pieces transforming into a different style due to clever zipping and design.
The brand only partners with sustainable factories that are environmentally and socially responsible, as well as using recycled fabrics from Italy, Japan and Korea (that are OEKO-TEX Class 1 certified and all of our Down is RDS certified).
Asket focuses on giving its customer the perfect fit - which, as we know, is key to any capsule wardrobe. If you're purchasing the right size with good quality, you won't need to keep replacing, therefore taking a greener approach to your wardrobe. With 50 sizes available, there's truly something for everyone with Asket.
"When it comes to the word sustainable, we err on the side of caution and you won’t find it anywhere on our website. The reality is that there is no such thing as sustainable fashion; everything a company produces and every purchasing decision a consumer makes has a lasting impact on the planet and people. There’s only more or less moderate consumption," founders Dworsky and Bard Bringéus previously told us.
Damson Madder puts transparency at the center of everything. The label works to ensure that each garment it creates is as consciously made as possible, whilst remaining open about the origin of its production and the fabrics used.
The brand uses 100 per cent recycled polyester, natural dyes and cotton from organic farms, ensuring that the brand is doing its bit to look after the planet and allow its customers to make greener choices with their wardrobes. Damson Madder’s factory is Sedex approved (the world’s leading ethical trade organisation) and ensures that its workers are paid fairly and work in a safe and respectful environment.
Parisian brand Sézane has a simple aim - to create high-quality, perfectly-cut pieces designed to be worn forever. The brand is the first-ever French label to obtain a B CORP certification, showing its commitment to sustainable fashion. Sézane focuses on limited-quantity items, operating with an alternative model that is equal parts creative, innovative and eco-friendly, from the choice of production methods, raw materials used and working conditions.
Founder Morgane Sézalory explains: “ It means that we are a little closer to becoming the brand we desire to be at our essence. We’re surrounded by noise and pressure to do things a certain way, yet Sézane has always been a means through which we could celebrate 'la liberté Française'. Create, undo, challenge and improve. B -Corp is a stringent, independent validation of what we stand for." You can read more about the brand's sustainable commitments here.
You've most likely seen Stefania Vaidani's playful designs all over Instagram. The label takes a contemporary approach to feminity within its affordable designs that are made to last, with sustainable fabrics hand-designed each season. Vegan leather, organic cotton and other recycled fabrics make up 99 per cent of collections and every season the brand collaborates with a non-profit worldwide organisation to offer in-kind support to people in need.
"I always ask myself, how do I want to see the world? What can I change to manifest that and help our planet? These questions drive my team and me to constantly find new techniques and ways to become a more responsible fashion brand," Vaidani explained to Bazaar.
Founder Nynne Kunde is both passionate about making her customer feel good and doing the same for our planet. The label does this by focusing on eight key areas of sustainability which it aims to implement throughout its operation; materials, production, proximity, avoiding deadstock, consciousness, durability, packaging, and its own 'Diana' concept. The brand's signature piece, the 'Diana' dress, represents Nynne's way of designing - pieces that are versatile, stylish and timeless.
Nynne represents a culture of buying less but buying better. "Sustainability is not black and white, in my opinion. Brands have very different approaches to sustainable practice, but if the brand cares and is making efforts in several areas of their business, I see them as a sustainable brand," she previously told us.
Swedish label House of Dagmar captures the very essence of Scandinavian culture - a contemporary yet playful aesthetic that never goes out of style. Founded in 2005 by three sisters, Karin Söderlind, Kristina Tjäder and Sofia Wallenstam, House of Dagmar was created to carry on the legacy of their late grandmother Dagmar, who was a tailor and model.
The label is loved by stylish celebrities such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and is recognised for its sustainable efforts by the industry, having been awarded for its practices with a partnership with Zalando during Copenhagen Fashion Week earlier this year (the first awardee with the online retailer). When we asked what makes a sustainable business, the brand told us: "You need to set up a vision and goals and let your consumers know what those goals are. Let them hold you accountable to reach them. Always work hard and stay true to your vision."
Omnes challenges the idea that shopping sustainably has to be expensive. Despite 2020 being a difficult year for many brands due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Omnes launched with the mission to make sustainable fashion accessible to any budget. From the fabrics used to the factories the brand works with, every process is researched and carefully monitored to ensure that each piece is made to the highest environmental standards.
Lead designer Freya Rabe previously told us how she thinks the industry needs to change: "We have to move to a circular fashion system. It’s not enough to be designing beautiful products with no thought about the end of life."
The team behind womenswear label Yasmina Q "believe in supporting our world and enjoying the journey and the community of people we work with". The brand develops each piece with consideration of the environmental impact, through using deadstock fabrics or sustainably sourced materials such as recycled polyesters and organic cottons. Yasmina Q produces its thoughtfully curated collections through community-based workshops across the UK, Indonesia and Hong Kong, that support and empower women and ensure workers' rights are protected.
Founders set up Sheep Inc. to demonstrate that there can be a new way of producing fashion and where clothes are part of the solution, rather than the problem. Sheep Inc. puts its customers back in touch with nature to ensure that its knitwear not only feels good, it does good, too.
When you buy your jumper, you're allocated a real-life sheep from the same New Zealand farm your jumper's wool comes from. Each sweater has a digital NFC tag in the hem and you'll also be sent regular email updates on how your sheep is doing. . All Sheep Inc.'s farms comply with the stringent animal welfare standards set by the label and ZQ Merino.
Designer Aurora James launched Brother Vellies in 2013, with the aim of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive through her luxury footwear label. Artisans from across the globe create the collections, including South Africa, Kenya, Mexico Morocco, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Italy, Haiti and New York.
The brand strives to lessen its impact on the planet, through using vegetable-tanned leathers, soling from recycled tires, hand-carved wood, floral-dyed feathers and other by-product materials that have been sourced from farmers all over the world. The Brooklyn-based label is loved by some of the world's most stylish women, including Solange Knowles and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
Navygrey is a must in any little black book of sustainable brands. Famed for its curated collection of classic knits, the British label was founded by Rachel Carvell-Spedding who - after years of trying to find a replacement for her mother's perfect navy jumper - decided to launch her own knitwear company. If you're looking for timeless jumpers and cardigans that will never lose their allure, Navygrey is a good place to start.
The brand is committed to sustainability, paying a premium for traceable raw natural materials. The company works with some of Europe's best-practice manufacturers to create a supply chain that is transparent, traceable and more sustainable. Each style is produced in limited quantities to avoid excess waste, certified recycled paper are used as packaging and, as much as possible, Navygrey aims to ship the majority of stock by road and boat.
Essén The Label was launched as a response to the fast-fashion industry and the brand quickly learnt that, in order to produce stylish shoes with a low environmental impact, it needed to step away from the traditional format of seasons and continually changing trends. All of Essén's pieces are produced in small batches within its factories (read more here) in timeless colour palettes that never go out of style, often via pre-order to minimise waste and overproduction.
Gaâla fuses two worlds - French-inspired designs with the finest Belarusian craftsmanship. Founded by husband and wife duo, Kelly de Gaalon and Alexander Zhalezka, the label focuses on creating pieces that stand the test of time. Its sustainably crafted designs are made from cotton, viscose, silk and wool fabrics leftover by Italian fashion houses and deadstock linen from Belarus. Gaâla’s mantra is to “create for the needs of today while enabling the needs of future generations.”
Founded by Teodora and Pavel Lozanov in 2015, Bogdar is an independent fashion label that creates contemporary, sustainable pieces. The label builds on its family’s legacy in Bulgaria, with all of its pieces being produced in its family-owned facility in Vidin, with a team of just 16 members. It uses organic, sustainable and recycled fabrics, with its custom prints produced digitally to reduce water waste and ink usage. The brand works with family-owned, socially responsible suppliers that are certified in sustainability (read more here) to create made-to-order pieces to avoid overproduction.
“Our clothes are not made to hide, but to bring out the woman under them, to make her shine,” the brand states. Expect bold and wonderful party-ready pieces in neon greens, crushed velvets and sheer prints, as well as staple items more for every day, such as vegan leather trousers, tailored suits and flattering skirts.
Ex denim director at cult sustainable label Reformation, Jordan Nodarse, has launched his own eco-friendly denim brand, and, unsurprisingly given his credentials, has created a number of highly covetable collections. Boyish uses sustainable fabrics and ethical practices to create its vintage-inspired styles that come in classic colourways, and he's even mastered the perfect white wide-leg.
East London-based label Ren London is a go-to destination for sustainable linen. A staunch believer in slow fashion, Ren Valuzyte offers just two collections a year and ensures that every piece is designed to last. Materials are thoughtfully sourced, either recycled or end of roll fabrics. Linens are produced in Europe while the naturally dyed organic cotton comes from India. Manufacturing is based on the origin of the fabric, and split between London and Bangalore, at an all women factory providing lower income families with opportunity for dual income. Ren’s beautiful collections are characterised by soft muted colours, fluid, loose silhouettes and quietly romantic designs. We love the dresses perfect for summer evenings, but also the feminine blouses, which we'd pair with jeans and Converse.
Family-run business Bird was launched in 2017 by three brothers with the aim of creating sustainable and ethical eyewear. The label is the first and only B Corp Certified eyewear brand in the UK, meaning it reaches the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, as well as public transparency. Every pair of Bird glasses sold gives back through its successful, long-term ‘Share Your Sun’ partnership with SolarAid, helping to distribute solar light to African communities.
Not only are the brand's products made using mindful materials, but Bird sunglasses and glasses are also stylish and fit well. Its virtual and home try-on services enable you to find a pair that truly work with your face shape. Even the packaging is carefully considered, comprising reusable, recyclable and biodegradable boxes and cases with no plastic in sight.
Founder and designer, Lyndie Benson was inspired by her surroundings of the natural beauty of Malibu for label Bleusalt. She wanted to create a brand that left a minimal impact on the ocean and planet she cares so deeply about. Bleusalt's fabric embodies all of the beauty of cashmere but is breathable, machine washable and eco-friendly. The company has a mission to make the highest quality sustainable luxury clothing a little bit more accessible for everyone, as each piece is vegan, cruelty-free, and antimicrobial (kills microorganisms). Models are big fans of Bleusalt, with Kaia Gerber and Gigi Hadid wearing its styles, as it is not only sustainable, it also doesn't sacrifice comfort. Bleusalt is now stocked at Selfridges as part of its sustainability initiative.
Stella McCartney writes on her website that 'eco' shouldn't be a word "that immediately conjures up images of oatmeal-coloured fashion or garments that are oversized or lacking in any sort of luxury or beauty, detailing or desirability". McCartney is known as one of the pioneers in designing ethically and challenges that stereotype, from never using leather or fur to helping the environment by protecting endangered forests.
The Odder Side is the brainchild of two best friends who were united by a dream of creating beautiful yet comfortable clothes. Ever since the brand's launch in 2015, upholding strong eco credentials has been a key focus, only producing long-lasting, timeless pieces. The Odder Side uses only certified sustainable fabrics such as Oeko-Tex, GOTS and Lenzing; it keeps its supply chain short and ensures all packaging is recyclable. What's more, the label plans on improving its sustainability efforts in the years to come.
Working Title is every minimalist's dream. "We believe that aesthetics and sustainability should go hand in hand and a beautiful garment should not destroy our planet," reads the brand's website. Working Title strives to minimise its ecological footprint by avoiding overproduction and by producing only what's required - meaning its garments are made-to-order only. Each piece is also fully biodegradable.
Since starting her label in 2011, Phoebe English has spent most of her career rejecting mass-made and fast fashion. English strives to run her business as sustainably as possible, with the physical journey from sketch to garment about 10-15 mile radius and by keeping her production chain small.
“Once you know that information and start learning about the impact of the fashion industry and the chain, you can’t unlearn it,” she told us, explaining how she chose to slow down her brand after learning about fashion’s impact on the world.
From parkas made using recycled bottles and jackets created from discarded fishing nets to eco-friendly trainers constructed with locally sourced canvas, heritage Scandi brand Tretorn is serious about making sustainable, functional pieces with longevity. The company's eco essentials initiative aims to create environmentally-friendly contemporary rainwear designed to last.
Ernest Leoty takes inspiration from its roots in 19th century Paris, where Ernest Leoty himself was a renowned corset maker. The brand has taken this history and given it a modern twist for today's woman, resulting in clean lines, effortless silhouettes and a classic colour palette. The brand only uses European factories, keeping manufacturing close to home, and the finest craftsmanship - to ensure the product quality can withstand the test of time. The label also uses considered textiles to reduce its environmental impact, such as Q-Nova recycled polyamide, an environmentally sustainable fibre obtained from regenerated raw materials.
As its name might suggest, Save The Duck's USP is quilted outerwear that avoids cruelty-free sourcing or processes. The brand has replaced goose-down with Plumtech®, a cutting-edge technology in which down fibre is made from recycling plastic, saving more than 18,000,000 ducks since 2015. For warm, breathable jackets and coats that are 100 per cent animal-free, look no further.
Reformation creates effortless feminine silhouettes from sustainable fabrics, such as rescued old stock materials and repurposed vintage clothing. Its designs have something of an A-list following with the likes of Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Bieber and Kaia Gerber all turning to the label time and time again.
Olivia Rose the Label began back in 2017 - with every single piece being designed and handmade to order by founder and designer Olivia Rose Havelock from her studio in Edinburgh. She offers made-to-measure pieces, which helps to reduce waste of materials and means she can cater to any size. Havelock sources and purchases all fabrics locally in the UK for her slow-fashion label, which is also stocked at Selfridges.
Havelock's grandmother was her biggest inspiration for starting her own label; she was the first person to introduce her to a sewing machine when she was just six years old, and she's been making clothes ever since, with some of her first designs for her brand being made using the sewing machine her grandmother left for her.
“I think it’s becoming increasingly important to know who is making our clothes,” designer Maggie Hewitt from Maggie Marilyn previously told us. “Those people are as much a part of our lives as we are theirs.”
Transparency is key when it comes to sustainability, a policy the label lives by. The designer is always vocal about who makes her collections, where materials are sourced and what the supply chain looks like.
Mother of Pearl has perfected the art of designing with a conscience by producing contemporary, wearable pieces. Creative director Amy Powney advises consumers to question a company's credentials before investing.
“If you can, I would opt for organic, natural fabrics where possible and ask the brand where the piece has been produced and if they pay their garment workers a living wage,” she told us.
Bethany Williams was the deserving winner of the 2019 Queen Elizabeth II Prize for Design, thanks to her work with food banks, women's rehab centres and refuges to create original streetwear that has a strong social conscience and top level sustainability credentials. She is reinventing the typical production process by turning it into a virtuous cycle and the fashion world has taken note with cult stockists including The Library and 50m in London, Odd 92 in New York, Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Nid in Tokyo and Rare Market in Seoul.
Bite (an acronym for By Independent Thinkers for Environmental Progress) was born in Stockholm by four co-founders with a combined passion for sustainability. The minimalist label, made using certified organic fabrics, comprises 20 fixed styles which are updated seasonally, promoting the idea of timeless clothes that are made to last. The results are elegant, well-cut pieces in shades of navy, oatmeal and grey with pops of orange thrown in for good measure.
The brand have launched its new sustainable denim capsule collection of three wardrobe staple styles - a slim fit, a wide-leg fit and straight leg fit - exclusively on Net-A-Porter.
House of Sunny only produces small runs of each collection in a bid to act against fast fashion. Producing just two seasonal collections a year allows the design team to spend more time researching and sourcing sustainable fabrics and manufacturing methods. The label frequently visits their production partners overseas to ensure that the process is always ethical and the label also chooses not to use fur, leather, skins or silk – and only wool from producers with good animal husbandry. As well as selecting only the most sustainable materials, those that are left over are reused to create accessorises, care labels and swing tags to reduce wastage.
Kit Willow's brand Kitx, which works with artisans in India, is built on a belief of ethical, sustainable fashion. One of Emma Watson's edgiest red-carpet looks of recent times came courtesy of Kitx. The brand holds the simple mantra of wanting to make women feel good, without harming our planet.
Misha Nonoo started her eponymous line to stop the stress of dressing, so the modern women can spend more time pursuing her passions. Her best-selling 'Easy 8' collection shows just that, with eight pieces that come together to create 22 different looks. Sustainability is at the core everything she does; her clothes have a long and valuable life, as she uses innovative production and distribution to avoid unnecessary waste and only works with one seasoned factory for ethical practices.
Copenhagen-based label Stine Goya is known for its playful, colourfully printed dresses and separates. Goya is committed to sustainable practices and reducing waste.
"We are in no way perfect and will never claim to be, but aim to be transparent and hold ourselves accountable to you, our stakeholders and customers, well beyond surpassing our goals," reads its website.
If you're searching for sustainably-made swimwear at a reasonable price, then turn to Away That Day. The label creates its collections using ocean-found plastic and fishing nets as the key material with the aim of cleaning the sea of litter. The resulting fabric Econyl is soft, flattering and durable, but also eco-friendly. Packaging is made from compostable mailing bags and recycled tissues.
Tome, a label which launched five years ago, continually delivers striking ready-to-wear. Not only do its designs keep evolving, the label is always working to improve the company, from reducing waste to looking after its female-focused workforce. Its pieces are a hit with celebrities too, having been worn by everyone from Kate Bosworth and Amber Heard to Solange Knowles.
Gabriela Hearst is one of New York’s most influential designers, known for her elegant collections that focus on sustainability which is at the core of the brand. Last September, Hearst staged the first carbon-neutral fashion show during New York Fashion Week, minimising its carbon footprint through working with EcoAct and making a sizeable equivalent donation to the Hifadhi-Livelihoods Project in Kenya. The designer says around 25 per cent of her collections are made from dead stock – materials that would have previously ended up in landfill – and she works with 600 women across Uruguay who make her designs by hand.
"With sustainability, it’s not about talking; it’s about the doing. I also think if you put restrictions on someone’s creativity, it gives them more focus," Hearst previously us.
Simon Miller is a big name in the world of sustainability and its bags are frequently spotted on the arm of the most fashionable influencers. The brand reduces impact and conserves water by using organic mills and ozone technology in its production, and we're big fans of its colourful bucket styles.
Ninety Percent , a brand which offers relaxed daywear in dreamy fabrics, works upon a unique premise. It shares 90 per cent of its distributed profits between charitable causes and those who make their collections happen. Shoppers are also given the choice of which charity they would most like the proceeds to go towards.
"By using fewer resources wherever possible, we aim to be a burden to our planet no longer," explain designers Helle Hestehave and Rikke Baumgarten. Founded in Copenhagen in 1999, Baum und Pferdgarten is one of the leading Danish fashion houses and a firm favourite among the fashion crowd. The label pledges that over the next five years, it will work towards decreasing its footprint, benefitting people, the planet and animals.
Bottletop is a sustainable brand that has luxury fashion at its core. It was launched in 2002 by Cameron Saul, along with his father, Mulberry founder Roger Saul. Its store, situated in a prime location on Regent Street alongside fashion greats like Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger, proves that sustainable accessories are well and truly desirable.
This vegan leather shoe brand was founded on a simple thought; there is no need to kill animals to wear beautiful shoes. Since starting in 2014, the luxury label has always followed traditional processes that the Italian shoe industry is famous for, resulting in a classic but cruelty-free product.
Veja was established in 2004, counts impeccable attention to detail as a signature and is known for using sustainable replacements. Veja also partners with Atelier Sans Frontières, an organisation that helps people who have been incarcerated or are otherwise struggling to find work, to employ workers to prepare orders.
Founded in 2018 by Beth Noy, Plastic Freedom is less a brand and more a sprawling destination for plastic-free products, from beauty and clothing to office essentials and homewares. 27-year-old entrepreneur Noy wants to make living without plastic easy and straight-forward, introducing alternatives to incorporate seamlessly into your everyday. To compound the company's environmentally conscious ethos, it plants a tree with every purchase made.
Sustainable footwear brand Allbirds has sold over a million trainers in the US and UK, with its successful Covent Garden store. Not only are the label's shoes known for their comfort, but the brand also puts understated style at the forefront; if you want fuss-free, versatile trainers that you can style with just about everything, Allbirds is your new go-to. And the brand is serious about its sustainable ethos – its soles are made from sugarcane and its upper fabrics from either eucalyptus trees or naturally-made merino wool.
Allbirds also launched its first running shoe, the 'Tree Dasher', as well as its first capsule collection of long-lasting apparel. The introductory collection includes four pieces for men and women, including puffer jackets and jumpers. Each piece derives from regenerative natural materials like Merino wool and Eucalyptus tree fibre, which, unlike petroleum-based plastics, have the potential to actually help the planet.
Having worked at Paul Smith, Sophie Hulme and Preen, London-based designer Alice Early knows what women really want to wear. Her work is characterised by minimalist utilitarianism – these are clothes that will work hard for you season after season. Sustainable design is a key focus; all her cotton is Global Organic Textile Standard Certified, which means it is grown without the use of synthetic fertilisers or toxic pesticides and means that it also meets the social criteria based on the International Labor Organisation, so working conditions are above par. All buttons are made using Corozo, which is derived from the nut of the Tagua Palm found in the Ecuadorian rainforest, a sustainable alternative to polyester.
Few would argue against the allure of diamonds, but sourcing these precious stones are blighted with ethical issues - from environmental devastation to the exploitation of workers. Lark & Berry offers sustainably-sourced, cultured diamonds, which are grown using lab technology. They're of the same quality as mined diamonds, but with the added bonus of sustainable credentials.