The ethical wardrobe updates to make
Pictured top: Gung Ho
We all know the terrible toll that fashion can have on people and the planet, and many of us are looking for ‘slow fashion’ brands that are encompassing a whole host of measures to offer us sustainable and ethical style. This runs from using greener materials and production methods to looking after the workforce and offering clothes that will last and are only made to order.
We are also looking at how to create a circular economy by taking care of what we have, shopping vintage, recycling and swapping! Check out the website surreyfrills.co.uk which showcases a number of local pre- loved boutiques and repair cafes. Look for schemes such as John Lewis’ FashionCycle where members can get £5 off purchases by donating five items of pre-loved clothing. Sustainable style even extends to the ski slopes – check out WhoSki.com, a marketplace where you can buy and sell pre-loved winter sports gear.
Here are 10 British labels for when you need new…
With its mission only to partner with ethical suppliers, use the best sustainable materials and design pieces that are intended to last, Aspiga has B Corp Certification for meeting the highest standards of social and environmental impact. We love its contemporary pieces that you know you will wear time and again for years to come.
Set up by a businesswoman who could not get comfortable work clothing, Dai aims to empower women with confidence-inspiring and easy-to-wear clothes. Sustainability is key and the company has achieved Certified B Corporation status.
Conceived during lockdown by three fashion industry veterans who wanted to do things differently, Albaray cares for people and planet, working with trusted suppliers that it has built relationships with over the years. The brand, which is stocked in Elys Wimbledon and John Lewis, uses a range of eco-friendly materials including EcoveroTM viscose, which is made from wood and pulp from certified and sustainably controlled renewable sources, organic cotton and recycled polyester.
4. Edeline Lee
Spotted on the likes of Dame Helen Mirren, Taylor Swift and Cynthia Nixon, Edeline Lee designs sophisticated structured styles for powerful, talented and celebrated women. Its aims is to create products that last with timeless styles and top craftsmanship and design. And its studio and factory are run on 100% renewable electricity sourced from sun, wind and water, and 100% carbon offset gas.
5. Gung Ho
With products made to order, therefore eliminating waste, Gung Ho collaborates with local makers on its Bespoke collection. Choose from one of its six best- selling styles, choose the fabric, and also a print that means something to you (from Precious Insects, Plastic Oceans and Food For Thought to Climate Changeor Displacement). 10% of the profits will go back to charities that work with the issue you are wearing.
This top pioneer looks at every aspect of responsible practices, from the environment to social implications. And it labels its products accordingly so you can make an informed decision on what you buy – this extends to symbols such as ‘upcycled’ for garments using leftover fabric to vegan and low water use in creating the product.
8. Fanfare Label
With upcycling at its core, Fanfare Label transforms vintage pieces into unique contemporary designs, with its line made in ethical factories and handcrafted by artisans in London.
9. Beaumont Organic
For floaty, linen pieces, look no further than Beaumont Organic. The brand sources natural materials such as organic cotton, linen, bamboo and deadstock fabrics for its collections and also offers transparency about its manufacturing practices and ensures fair wages.
10. E.L.V Denim
East London Vintage Denim makes its products from unwanted post-consumer waste denim, and produces locally. To produce a typical pair of new jeans, you’ll need 10,000 litres of water. E.L.V uses just seven litres.
11. Isabella Oliver maternity wear
Sister brand to Baukjen, this maternity line offers a pre-loved collection and a take-back scheme when you are finished with the items (50% of net proceeds from pre-loved sales are donated to Oxfam).
12. Ninety Percent
A fashion insider favourite for good reason. The London brand shares 90% of its profits between a range of charitable causes and pioneers the use of innovative sustainable materials. Its current collection features the likes of SeaCell (biodegradable, made from seaweed), and Rib Crepe Lenzing (derived from sustainable wood and pulp).
13. Horny Pants
Surrey’s Horny Pants offers eco-friendly bamboo underwear, including gorgeous cami tops and briefs, with a percentage from every sale donated to protecting the rhino and other endangered species.
14. Seasalt Cornwall
A great high street option, Seasalt Cornwall offers organic and eco-conscious items for high street prices. It is piloting a clothing take-back scheme called Seasalt ReLoved in 10 of its UK shops, and the brand also supports various non-profits and community initiatives. The range covers simple, every day wear along with practical pieces (like rain coats) and some more bohemian, floaty items.
15. P.i.C Style
Traceability is everything for this London label, which sources local sustainable fabrics and produces in its factory around the corner. Its designs are never mass produced and its collection is rotatable and interchangeable – you can create over 50 looks from just eight pieces.