We’ve tracked down 10 cool and emerging brands working hard to bring sustainable fashion into the mainstream.
At Solo Living, we value living sustainably – rethinking our way of living and being intentional about what we consume and how it may affect the environment. The rise of ‘fast fashion’ means the fashion industry is now one of the biggest dangers to our environment. Discarded clothing affects climate change more than air and sea travel. Of course, we can change this by making an effort to adopt a ‘slow’ approach to fashion. But if we really want to make a difference, we should buy our clothes from sustainable fashion brands only.
image credit: Kristoffer Schwetje for Bleed Clothing (feature image + above)
Sustainable fashion is produced in a way that minimises its effect on the environment and is becoming increasingly popular within the industry. Headed up by brands such as Patagonia and Stella McCartney, the movement has even trickled down to the high street: H&M now has a sustainable line named ‘Conscious’, and Zara one named ‘Join Life’. But it can feel difficult to find sustainable fashion to your taste: eco-friendly brands still have a negative reputation for being unfashionable. So we’ve picked some of our favourite sustainable fashion brands that you may not have heard of!
Created in 2017 by Agatha Lintott, Antibad’s ethos is to ‘have fun with fashion without damaging anything else’. This brand offers a curated collection of sustainable pieces, from ethical essentials to luxury handbags and vintage dresses.
Organic Basics was founded in Copenhagen with the aim of creating sustainable clothing for every day. They offer the wardrobe staples you depend on, like socks and underwear, for both men and women in stylish clean-cut, colour-block styles.
Mud’s mission is to create jeans, another key everyday basic, in a sustainable fashion. They focus on a ‘circular design’, producing their jeans using recycled denims blended with virgin cotton. They also offer a ‘leasing system’ – once your jeans are worn out, simply return them and Mud will upcycle them and sell them as unique vintage styles. They even name these styles after their former owner!
P.i.C Style aims to help people buy less – to achieve the functional ‘capsule wardrobe’ we so often hear about from celebrity stylists. From a P.i.C’s collection of 8 interchangeable pieces, you can create over 50 looks. All of their pieces are created in a London factory and made from locally sourced, sustainable or organic fabrics.
Dick Moby is an eyewear brand dedicated to producing sunglasses from good quality, bio-degradable materials. With their mantra of ‘Quality is key, sustainability is king’, they aim to reduce plastic pollution by making sustainable eyewear from plastic. They use 97% recycled acetate for all of their frames, recycled PET for the lens cloths, and recycled leather for their glasses cases. All in quirky, eye-catching styles that will pull any summer look together.
You may have already heard of the of-the-moment brand Veja, but you might not have known about its sustainable ethos. Veja is dedicated to ‘infusing each stage of production with a positive impact’. Their trainers are trendy but simple, and all manufactured sustainably and ethically. In fact, one out of four of Veja’s shoes from their range is totally vegan.
Starting out in 1991, People Tree are pioneers in sustainable fashion. Their clothing is fashionable with a relaxed, everyday feel, and they’ve collaborated with style icons such as Emma Watson and designers like Orla Kiely. People Tree produce their clothes using sustainable fabrics, and support farmers, producers and artisans in the developing world as part of their membership of the World Fair Trade Organisation.
Based in Helmbrechts, Bavarian brand Bleed was created by skateboarder Michael Spitzbarth, who believes ‘nature has bled enough’ at the hands of the fashion industry. All Bleed products are reasonably priced and 100% vegan and they are amazingly innovative. Their unconventional use of materials includes using cork as a sustainable alternative for leather.
Looking for a smart pair of shoes? Nisolo produces beautiful leather shoes of quality while maintaining sustainable and ethical production practices. They follow a circular fashion model, encouraging customers to partake in their Shoe Reclamation programme. Customers send their old, worn shoes to Nisolo who then collaborate with Soles4Souls to give the shoes to shoemakers in developing countries, for them to repair and resell.
Based in London, Thought produces their pieces from organic, natural and recycled materials, including hemp, organic cotton, and recycled PET. They embrace the slow fashion concept, creating collections that are not only sustainable but also timeless in their designs. Check out Thought for reasonably priced collections for both men and women.
As these brands show, it really is easy to shop sustainably while maintaining your love of fashion! Next time you’re on the hunt for a new outfit, why not swap your favourite, familiar brand for one of these up-and-coming sustainable options.