At it’s core ethical and sustainable fashion should be about buying less and buying second hand, but every once in a while it’s normal to want to treat yourself to a brand new piece. I’ve just started this journey, and from here onward I intend to only buy something new if I know that I’m going to keep it for a long time a get a lot of use out of it. However, at first glance it seems like the world of sustainable and ethical fashion brands is a little sparse and dull. I am a person who loves experimenting with different colours, patterns, and textures. Plain cotton t-shirts are great and certainly have their place in the world, but that place is not in my wardrobe. So I did a little digging beneath the surface, and voilà! I found a myriad fabulous, colourful, and exciting brands creating high quality, ethically, and sustainably made clothing. Here’s a list of eight of my favourites:
Lucy and Yak
Lucy and Yak specialise in corduroy and cotton dungarees and trousers, but have recently branched out into making jackets, dresses, and boiler-suits too. They use ethically and sustainably sourced materials to create high quality, durable pieces. They even have a jacket made out of recycled plastic bottles!
The Ragged Priest
This trendsetting independent British fashion brand has exploded in popularity over the last couple of years thanks to their ultra funky, trendy-yet-timeless designs. Their clothes are made in the UK and many consist of reworked vintage garments.
Hope and Ivy
Characterised by unique floral prints and stunning embroidery, Hope and Ivy is the ideal brand for anyone looking for a piece to wear at garden parties or weddings. Delicate and evoking an air of eternal summer, these dresses are hand-crafted and made from ethically sourced materials.
Dutch brand Miss Green is a extremely transparent about where they source and make their clothing. Founded in 2008 by Maaike Groen, this brand is a trailblazer for sustainable and ethical fashion in Europe.
Armed Angels are based in Cologne, Germany and use fairtrade and organic cotton to produce their clothing. They also use Tencel, a soft fabric derived from wood which doesn’t leave nasty micro-plastics in our waters.
Selling their own designs as well as other ethical brands, Studio JUX make gorgeous versatile pieces from a variety of fairtrade materials, including vegan silk!
Mayamiko clothing is made in Malawi by skilled and fairly paid pattern cutters, tailors, and seamstresses. They developed their brand alongside their sister charity, the Mayamiko Trust, which works to ensure that they meet or exceed the World Fair Trade Organisation Principles of Fair Trade. You’ll see a lot of African inspired prints as you browse through their website, as well as other unique pieces made by artisans from all over the globe.
Beyond Skin produces a huge range of fabulous and funky vegan footwear. Whether you’re looking for some new sturdy boots or some strappy heels, this website has everything. No leather or horse glue here, just wonderful, cruelty free designs.
Cover photo from lucyandyak.com