It’s true that eco-friendly and stylish haven’t always been natural bedfellows, but with more and more brands considering their impact on the planet, that’s all changing.
To be honest, even though we’re immersed in the world of fashion, we’re still learning what it means to be truly sustainable. Perhaps because there are so many different ways for a brand to minimise their (negative) impact on the planet. Some brands are all about using recycled materials; others focus on social enterprise, supporting the communities who make their clothes and accessories with fair practices; others look at the beginning of the production process, going so far as to farm their own fabrics and textiles. Here are a handful of designers on our radar for producing stylish clothes and accessories, underpinned by sustainable initiatives. Start voting with your wallet.
MOTHER OF PEARL
For her SS19 show, designer Amy Powney filled a deconstructed church in Fitzrovia with plastic balls, drawing attention to the problem the fashion industry has with micro-plastics in synthetic fibres – every time you wash them, they release plastic into our oceans (which is why Mother of Pearl uses natural fibres). There’s also ‘No Frills’, a fully sustainable line of core classics for everyday wear. And loads of transparency: when you visit motherofpearl.co.uk, there’s an online filter that tags each garment with its sustainable attributes.
One of the things Laura admired about Otiumberg when she met founders (and sisters) Christie and Rosanna Wollenberg was their commitment to the ethical sourcing of high-quality materials and planet-friendly packaging. They want their customers to be able to treat themselves with true peace of mind. That means small batches (so less waste), recycled gold where possible, and packaging made without oil-based plastic materials or foam. Instead, pieces come in cotton pouches (that you can recycle).
We were thrilled to learn the sustainable story behind some of our favourite woven bags. Siblings Belinda and James Wu launched Wicker Wings as a kind of homage to their grandmother, after learning she used to hand-weave bags for a living. And they’ve made it completely sustainable too. Using rattan grown from a single seed and vegetable-tanned leather from Tuscany, each bag is ethically made in England using traditional handwoven methods.
Every time a cosmetic runs out, we feel a pang of guilt throwing the empty package in the bin. That’s just one reason why we love Kjaer Weis’s sturdy, metallic packaging, which you buy once, and then refill when you run out. The formulas are densely pigmented and made with organic botanicals, which means they feel great going on and look good too. We’re huge fans of her red lipstick collab with Caroline Issa – Sucré is a make-up bag essential.
Readers with eco-conscious parents may have grown up with Dr. Bronner’s. Perhaps best known for its cult product, Magic Soap, a natural, oil-based cleanser that’s gentle enough to used on the face, but also doubles as a laundry detergent, household cleaner and shampoo, this brand is the real deal. The main ingredients are both organic and fair trade, the brand’s commitment to social justice has been present since Dr. Bronner’s launched in 1948, and the company dedicates a third of its profits to environmentally friendly causes. Side note: Laura uses the toothpaste at home.