From Stella McCartney to Mother of Pearl, these designer labels prove high-end fashion can be sustainable.
Delicate silks, intricate patterns and lots of lace, Amur’s feminine designs are focused on environmental good: they use organic and natural fabrics and reclaimed fibres or trims made by artisan collectives in the developing world.
Arela’s cashmere knits and cotton basics are sustainably sourced from northern China and Turkey. The company offers an alterations service and works with a factory in Nepal that employs students to help pay for their education.
Raeburn is known for his innovation and utilitarian take on fashion. He graduated from London’s Royal College of Art in 2006 with a collection made from original military items. His business decisions are all underpinned by three R’s: remade, reduced and recycled.
Dagny uses responsibly sourced Tencel, Modal and Viscose fabrics to produce its of-the-moment ruffle dresses and blouses. The brand is partnered with an ethical, women-owned factory in Romania.
Known for its luxurious minimal separates, Eileen Fisher’s 2020 programme aims to make the brand completely sustainable in two years, from the materials to the factories. It also offers free repairs.
Besides using sustainable materials, this minimal Scandi brand allows you to rent any piece for up to four days for 20% of the sale price. You can also return old clothes for a discount.
Hearst launched her brand in 2015 producing an instant It-bag with the Nina, and tailoring that editors couldn’t wait to invest in. The brand is committed to a slower, more ethical creative process, by using dead stock materials and Tipacompostable bags.
Gucci has pledged to commit to sustainability and transparency with the launch of its Equilibrium initiative and Scrap-Less programme. It has set a target to guarantee that 95% of its raw materials are traceable and 1% of each staff member’s work time is dedicated to volunteering.
Chic woven bags, dainty cardigans and pleated skirts; Hesperios’ products are made from raw materials like baby alpaca and pima cotton and are produced in a family-owned Peruvian factory.
Known for his sculptural designs and East-meets-West aesthetic, Miyake’s clothing is crafted using materials such as recycled PET thread, which drastically reduces the brand’s impact on the environment.
Its crisp white shirts are made from RPet satin fabric, composed of 100% recycled postconsumer water bottles. Everything is 100% toxic-free, too.
With colourful ribbed knits and dark selvedge denim, Kowtow uses only sustainably sourced materials; nickel-free denim tacks and sliders, and certified Fairtrade cotton.
Now in its fourth season, Mandhkai’s elegant longline cashmere separates encourage shopping quality over quantity. The brand oversees everything from the free-roaming Mongolian goats used for their wool to the dyeing and designing.
Leading resortwear label Mara Hoffman’s gingham dresses, jeans and swimwear use mostly natural, recycled and renewable materials and digital printing to reduce water waste.
Mother of Pearl
LFW favourite Mother of Pearl journeys to find the best factories, suppliers and farmers who care about the planet as much as founder Amy Powney does. Even its studio is a plastic-bottle-free zone.
Stella McCartney’s tailoring and androgynous collections are always winning over the fashion world but the label also leads the way in sustainability and innovation within the industry. The brand’s new store on Old Bond Street, a collaboration with Airlabs, is the first indoor public space in London with clean air.
Kick-starting its journey as a finalist in the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund in 2013, Tome’s founders Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin created understated resortwear that combines a social conscience with style. They use locally sourced and renewable materials in everything they make.
As an outspoken eco-activist, Queen of Punk Vivienne Westwood’s mantra has long been: “Buy less, choose better, and make it last.” In 2011, she partnered with the Ethical Fashion Initiative and has produced a series of upcycled collections.
To see more from Stylist’s sustainable fashion directory – including the world’s best ethical luxury labels and the eco-friendly brands making affordable style staples – click here.
Images: Stella McCartney / Getty Images