As consumers become more aware of the damaging effect that the fashion industry has on the world, eco-friendly and ethical fashion labels continue to grow. No longer is there a stigma that environmentally and socially conscious collections only feature “hippy styles” or are always made from hemp. Today’s sustainable designs are as chic as any other fashion label and can be found both on the high street and the runways.
Whether they focus on fair trade, sustainable fabrics, transparent supply chains, avoiding hazardous dyes, recycling, zero waste or partnering with developing nations, these are the ten best eco-friendly, ethical fashion labels to watch in 2016. Each brand is doing exciting things and continuously innovating their designs and practices to create the best products in the best way. Check out their gorgeous and guilt-free designs.
Bhalo is an Australian ethical label which produces limited edition women’s clothing in rural Bangladesh. The brand’s quirky designs are made from ethically hand woven cotton fabrics which are created with an almost zero CO2 footprint. As well as being eco-friendly, Bhalo also focuses on social responsibility through its commitment to honorable working conditions and community development. The label works only with fair trade producers in rural communities and uses chemical-free dyes to avoid toxic runoff into local water supplies.
Kowtow is a minimalistic New Zealand label which was launched in 2007. Since that time, Kowtow has firmly established itself as a leader amongst ethical fashion labels. Proving that eco-friendly and fashion-forward designs are possible, this impressive label uses only 100% fair trade and organic certified cotton. Providing a transparent supply chain also helps Kowtow maintain its philosophy of clothing which is ethically and sustainability made from seed to garment. Manufactured in Kolkata, India, Kowtow makes sure that the factory workers who create its garments are paid a living wage and are not exposed to hazardous dyes. The brand’s latest collections reflect these ideals and feature quality basics and fashion pieces with a focus on proportion and silhouette.
3. People Tree
People Tree is a pioneer in Slow Fashion creating hand crafted garments using traditional techniques. The brand partners with artisans and farmers in developing nations to produce stylish designs that you can feel good about wearing. Opposing fast fashion and its damaging effect on the environment and the people who make it, People Tree focuses on Fair Trade and producing environmentally sustainable clothing. The label’s latest collections of chic, modern designs can be purchased via ASOS.
4. Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney is undisputedly the queen of luxury sustainable fashion. A lifelong vegetarian, Stella refuses to use any leather or fur in her designs and is committed to company policies of responsible sourcing and ethical trade. Wiping out any old stigmas of “green fashion”, Stella’s designs are impeccably chic and marry sharp tailoring with sexy femininity. The brand’s philosophy revolves around key principles of honesty, responsibility and consideration for the future.
5. H&M Conscious
Sustainable fashion doesn’t always have to be expensive. Retail giant, H&M has created its own Conscious collection with a focus on ethical production. The collection has been around for a little while now but continues to grow thanks to a broadening consumer interest in sustainable fashion. The powerhouse, High Street brand even recently added a beauty range to its Conscious line. The line stays true to the H&M aesthetics whilst leaning toward basic design. It is made from sustainable fabrics including lyocell, which is made from wood pulp, and organic cotton. And once you are done wearing your garment H&M offers a garment collecting program which allows customers to bring in unwanted clothes to be re-purposed or recycled.