Fashion / Fashion Feature

30+ sustainable fashion brands to have on your radar

sustainable fashion brands

As we become more aware of the significant and deeply consequential impacts the fashion industry is having on our environment, a change in our consumerist-driven ways is well overdue. While the facts may be hard to digest, it's now more important than ever that we listen. Here, in Australia, 6000 kilograms of textile waste is deposited into landfill every 10 minutes. That statistic alone should be enough to inspire us all to start shopping smarter. If you're uncertain about where to begin, we've rounded up 30 of our favourite sustainable fashion brands to help guide you in the right direction.

Reformation

 

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Cult Los Angeles brand Reformation set a precedent that ‘cool-girl’ fashion can actually be sustainable. Known for their cool, covetable and sustainable styles, Reformation is a favourite of sartorial trailblazers the likes of Kaia Gerber and Emily Ratajkowksi. Reformation is committed to minimising its environmental impact and achieving fair, safe and healthy working conditions throughout its supply chain.

Levi's

 

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Iconic denim brand Levi's have had a long-standing relationship with sustainability. In 2011, the brand launched Water<Less, an innovation that proposed to use less water in the denim-finishing process. Since then, Levi's have saved more than 3.5 billion litres of water and recycled 5 billion more. The brand has now also switched to using Cottonised Hemp rather than pure cotton, which grows faster, uses less water and leaves behind healthier, cleaner soil.

Bogdar

 

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Founded by Teodora and Pavel Lozanov in 2015, Bogdar is an independent fashion label, that creates contemporary sustainable pieces. Its sustainable practice lies in using organic, sustainable and recycled fabrics, with its custom prints being digital to reduce water waste and ink usage. Bogdar also partners with family-owned, socially responsible suppliers that are certified in sustainability.

Working Title

 

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As shared on their website, Working Title believes "that aesthetics and sustainability should go hand in hand and a beautiful garment should not destroy our planet." The brand aims to minimise its ecological footprint by only producing what's required; in turn, avoiding over-production. Working Title's made-to-order garments are also entirely biodegradable.

ESSĒN the Label

 

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In honour of its sustainable practices, ESSĒN the label has moved away from the fast-fashion cycle of traditional seasons and trends. Each of the pieces are produced in small batches within the brand's factories and are always created in timeless colour palettes for longevity. Much of ESSĒN's collections are via pre-order to minimise waste and overproduction.

Brother Vellies

 

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A brand to watch in 2021, designer Aurora James launched Brother Vellies in 2013, with the intent of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive through her luxury footwear label. The brand's commitment to sustainability involves 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.

Bassike

 

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Australian born and bred, Bassike has been committed to sustainability since its inception. Their iconic cotton jersey is produced locally in a solar-powered garment factory. The brand also donates past season samples to an Australian company that turns them into cleaning rags and has partnered with local universities to donate excess fashion fabric for students to use.

Nobody Denim

 

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Committed to producing all of their garments locally in Melbourne, Nobody Denim works in tandem with Sustainability Victoria as well as energy and materials efficiency assessors to identify ways to reduce their environmental footprint. Since 2017, the brand has reduced water use by 50% in its stone washing and bleaching processes and continues to make changes such as investing in more efficient technology to reduce energy usage.

Maggie Marilyn

New Zealand designer Maggie Marilyn believes that transparency and sustainability go hand in hand. The brand has always been extremely vocal about their commitment to the planet. Every piece from the latest Somewhere collection released last year, has the ability to be either recycled or composted at the end of their life – made of organic cotton, NZ merino and regenerated nylon.

Boyish Jeans

 

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Founded by Jordan Nodarse, the ex-denim director at Reformation, Boyish Jeans is his own eco-friendly denim filled with a number of equally covetable styles. The brand uses sustainable fabrics and ethical practices to create vintage-inspired styles, including using plant-based dyes and being committed to recycling their water.

House of Sunny

 

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A brand you have definitely come across when scrolling on Instagram, House of Sunny only produces small runs of each collection in a bid to act against fast fashion. The brand has also committed to just two seasonal collections a year to allow the design team to spend more time researching and sourcing sustainable fabrics and manufacturing methods. House of Sunny also chooses not to use fur, leather, skins or silk – and only wool from producers with good animal husbandry.

Bite

 

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It's all in the name. Stockholm-born label, Bite (an acronym for By Independent Thinkers for Environmental Progress), was formed through a collective passion for sustainability. The minimalist label uses certified organic fabrics, and its collections comprise of only 20 fixed styles which are updated seasonally, promoting the idea of timeless clothes that are made to last.

CAES

 

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Launched in 2019, founder Helen de Kluiver debuted her brand with sustainability front of mind and the belief that "fashion does not have to be fast or seasonal." Released in 'editions' rather than seasons, de Kluiver's slow approach to fashion ensures that every piece receives the high attention to detail it deserves – with consideration to fabric, quality and durability and fit.

Stella McCartney

 

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Known as one of the pioneers in ethical and sustainable design, Stella McCartney has become synonymous with slow fashion that is still high fashion. The designer refuses to use products such as leather of fur as a way of helping the environment by protecting endangered species.

Gabriela Hearst

 

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One of New York's most influential designers, Gabriela Hearst has become known for her elegant collections that focus on sustainability. Last September, the brand staged the first carbon-neutral fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Hearst also says around 25 per cent of her collections are made from dead stock; using materials that would have previously ended up in landfill.

Ninety Percent

 

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Sustainability and comfort collide with Ninety Percent, a brand which offers relaxed daywear in dreamy fabrics. In addition to using sustainable materials to create their products, Ninety Percent also believes that sustainability extends to the brand's profits. Ninety Percet shares 90 per cent of its distributed profits between charitable causes and those who make their collections happen – with shoppers able to select their given charity.

Veja

 

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Covetable sneaker brand Veja uses raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture to create its environmentally friendly footwear. This involves using organic, agroecological and fair-trade cotton to make the sneakers canvas, rubber grown in the Amazon rainforest for the soles and recycled plastic bottles to create a mesh.

Kitx

 

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Another Australian sustainability warrior, kitx's mantra is built on the simple principle of wanting to make women feel good, without harming our planet. The brand is based on three pillars of sustainable sourcing – natural, upcycle and artisan. As part of the brand's 'love longer' approach, kitx is devoted to creating modern and seductive designs that outlive the disposable fashion cycle.

Re/Done

 

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We were first introduced to Re/Done in 2014, founded by industry veterans Sean Barron and Jamie Mazur. The concept behind the brand repurposes old Levis jeans into unique and modern styles and is committed "to utilising the newest technologies to achieve the most sustainable results possible."

Olivia Rose The Label

 

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Founded back in 2017, pieces from Olivia Rose the Label are all designed and handmade to order by founder and designer Olivia Rose Havelock in her studio in Edinburgh. By offering made-to-measure pieces, the brand has found a foolproof way of both being size-inclusive and reducing waste.

Léa the Label

 

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Eco-conscious swimwear brand Léa the Label prides itself on using the highest luxury and eco-friendly Italian fabrics in collaboration with ECONYL® for its products. The ECONYL® yarn originates from discarded fishing nets, fluff, industrial plastic waste and yarn discards and is then transformed into raw nylon material.

Theory

 

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Known for its high-quality wardrobe staples, New York-based Theory has been committed to sustainability since the launch of its Good Initiative in 2017. With a focus on wool, sourced responsibly in Tasmania and South America, and linen, considerately crafted in Italy, the brand has now added Good Cotton to its sustainable credentials.

Nico Underwear

 

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Based in Brisbane, Australia, Nico Underwear produces socks, bras and underwear made from recycled and organic cotton and nylon, as well as Lenzing Model – a super high-quality, botanic fibre made from sustainably sourced beechwood trees.

Marine Serre

One of the most covetable designers of the moment, Marine Serre has championed sustainability in its process from inception. The designer has built her brand on the basis of upcycling, with about 5o per cent of every collection comprising of upcycled materials.

HEREU

 

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A key player in Net-A-Porter's Net Sustain initiative, HEREU is an accessory and footwear brand crafted in Spain. The brand's bags and shoes are all handmade by local Spanish artisans in an effort to keep the supply chain short and support local craftsmanship.

S/W/F Boutique

 

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Sustainability has always been at the forefront of S/W/F brand ethos and champions everything the brand does. Each piece is carefully hand made to order, to ensure no excess stock or minimal waste is created. The brand also manages the manufacturing process using the seven parameters of Green Strategy and all the garments are made from plant-based natural fibres and use non-toxic dyes.

Roop

 

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Roop is an environmentally conscious accessories brand that uses vintage, leftover, damaged or deadstock fabrics to create each design. Because of this, no two designs are exactly the same, promoting a unique and one-of-a-kind fashion offering.

Mother of Pearl

 

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Founded by British designer Amy Powney, Mother of Pearl became an early poster-child of the sustainable fashion movement. The brand is committed to ethical activism and continues its push in driving the conversation forward. Naturally, Mother of Pearl's slogan is; 'We create without compromise.'

Gaâla

 

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The brainchild of husband and wife duo, Kelly de Gaalon and Alexander Zhalezka, Gaâla focuses on creating pieces that will last the test of time. The brand's sustainably crafted designs are made from cotton, viscose, silk and wool fabrics leftover by Italian fashion houses and procure deadstock linen in Belarus.

Szâde

Melbourne-based sustainable sunglass brand, Szâde, has been slowly paving the way in the recycled sunglass space. After a long journey of research, development, and design, Szâde has created a revolutionary recycling process unlike any other in the world – using old glasses to create new ones.

SOKOH Collective

 

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Streetwear and loungewear brand SOKOH Collective is the brainchild of Rosie – a fashion industry veteran – and Pedro – who has built his career in renewable energy and sustainable design. The brand works only with GOTS certified organic fabrics and uses a natural dyeing process to create their stylish and sustainable pieces.

LERET LERET

 

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Focusing on just one product – the classic crewneck cashmere sweater – sibling duo Edouard and Andrea Leret have worked hard to create a piece that not only fits well, but is sustainable too. LERET LERET sustainably sources its high-quality yarn in Mongolia, producing a limited run of only 300 items per design which assists in minimising the risk of waste.

dk active

 

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Established in 2017 by Danielle Kay, dk active was born from a desire to bring an ethical and inclusive energy to the activewear industry. Australian made; the brand is ethically and sustainably run from head office, to manufacturing. dk active's garments are made from regenerated nylon, organic cotton, bamboo and modal, which all have a lower environmental impact. In addition to their commitment to sustainability, dk active also celebrates and champions body inclusivity in its products and marketing.

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