We all want to take steps to become more eco-conscious, and with the dangers of fast fashion becoming more talked about, buying environmentally friendly clothing is something we can all get behind. Here at ELLISS, we’re proud of what we’ve created and our unique style, and we think it’s important to shout about other brands that are making a positive change. Read on for our top 20 sustainable fashion brands that you need to know about.
Baserange was founded in 2012. They create quality basics with beautiful art direction and imagery. They works closely with their european factories and use both natural and recycled fibres.
2. Epoque Evolution
Epoque Evolution began from a single backpack when founders Nancy and Hannah were travelling together and Nancy noticed that Hannah could fit all the clothing she needed in one bag. This led to travel-suitable clothing that was inspired by low-maintenance and carefully thought-out design. The simplicity of Epoque Evolution isn’t the only thing that makes it great, all of the garments are made from sustainable, organic, upcycled, deadstock and/or waste recycled fibres which adds to its appeal. All the materials that are used do not require dry-cleaning or any chemical treatment, meaning they can stay eco-friendly throughout their entire life cycle.
3. House of Sunny
One of the main causes of fast fashion is the speed at which trends come and go. Some fast fashion brands continually bring out new lines of clothing, making shoppers feel as though they must make lots of new purchases without getting the full wear out of their existing wardrobe. Ethical brand, House of Sunny goes against this concept by only creating small runs of each of their collections. They curate only two seasonal collections each year and spend the rest of their time sourcing sustainable fabrics and finding the best manufacturing methods for the planet. They manage their waste well too, using leftover fabrics to create cute accessories, labels and swing tags. The styles are all ready-to-wear garments, designed for an everyday wardrobe which is wearable throughout the seasons.
Everlane pride themselves on the transparency of their brand, the quality of their materials and the ethical factories that they use to manufacture the garments. Their current focus is on eliminating all virgin plastic from their supply chain by 2021 and eventually looking into the circularity of their products (their ability to be recycled). The collections are all on-trend too, take their funky glove boot for example, or their figure-hugging jeans with a stylish flared cut.
5. Alternative Apparel
Alternative Apparel creates clothing for men and women in soft and wearable eco-fabrics. Specialising in sustainable loungewear, they also design their own cool graphics which are printed on retro-style staple pieces. The brand produces 80% of its clothing with sustainable materials such as organic and recycled fibres. Their manufacturing process also uses 60% less water on average and non-toxic dyes, contributing to the responsibility of the brand.
6. Alice Early
Designer Alice Early is based in London and creates contemporary smart-casual pieces for women. Her eponymous brand is made up of pieces that are made from 100% organic cotton and other sustainably sourced materials such as Corozo buttons. All of her garments are designed, cut and produced in London to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint, and all of her cotton carries the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification so you know it’s a brand that you can trust.
7. Eileen Fisher
Available online and in high-end stores, the Eileen Fisher brand is a responsible fashion company that you can’t ignore. All materials are sourced sustainably, with a focus on wool, organic cotton and recycled fibres. Eileen Fisher understands that organic fibres aren’t all that is required to make a responsible garment, that’s why their clothing is given its vibrant colours by natural dyes. These dyes don’t use any hazardous chemicals and use less water and energy in their production – creating clothing that everyone can be proud to wear. They also take a unique approach with their buy-back program which has collected more than one million garments in 10 years which go on to be upcycled into new products. Collections include petite, plus size, shoes and accessories – meaning there’s a piece suitable for every woman.
Bottletop began in 2002 as a collaboration with Mulberry but is now a successful business in its own right. The company creates luxury bags from upcycled materials such as bottle tops from Kenya and pull rings from Brazil. They also have a flagship show on Regent Street, London, which was created using high tech 3D printers and plastic waste – impressive! The bags are popular in the luxury industry and are a great example of high-end, sustainable fashion.
For many shoppers, Kotn has become the go-to brand for basic and sustainable items which are great quality. It was created after the founder noticed the lack of ethical everyday items in the luxury market, and realised it was a gap in the industry that could be filled. Their philosophy revolves around the people that make their clothes and caring for them, they take the time to get to know the cotton farmers and have even built schools in their villages to support local education.
10. Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney was the first luxury brand to be anti-leather and fur, in many people’s opinions she paved the way for eco-fashion in the industry. Her style stands out from the rest too, it’s effortless chic combined with high-quality luxe. Her collections cover a range of categories including accessories, kidswear and menswear, all of which are designed with responsible fashion in mind.
Another luxury womenswear brand that you should make yourself aware of is BITE. The brand is responsible and sustainable, it’s even in their name (By Independent Thinkers for Environmental Progress). BITE prides itself on the thought, time and effort that goes into each handcrafted piece. To make sure that the garments are created with the environmental impact in mind, the founders carry out extensive research to discover the finest quality organic fibres and recycled fabrics that they can use to create their garments.
Founded in 2014 by Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, TOME is a clean-cut brand epitomized by the launch of the company which was the White Shirt Project in 2014. The owners of the fashion company value both social and environmental sustainability as they curate their pieces from sustainable fabrics and continually monitor their supply chains. They take full responsibility for the production of their garments and value the commitment of running an eco-conscious brand.
For a company that was founded in 1891, Tretorn is surprisingly refreshing, innovative and responsible. Their main mission is focused around finding new ways to create rainwear to ensure that it is eco-friendly. Part of this involves finding new ways to manage their waste and discovering new materials that are long-lasting and recyclable. Although they have a big mission, their commitment is clear and it shines through in their high-quality and fashionable garments.
14. People Tree
Founded by social entrepreneur, Safia Minney, People Tree was started in 1991 and their sustainable goals have remained the same ever since. Think playful designs with a contemporary twist, People Tree brings a fun factor to the eco-friendly fashion scene. Most of her collections feature organic cotton and sustainable wool and some pieces are handmade, adding a unique edge to all of the garments and providing employment to those in rural areas.
Thought focuses on easy-to-wear, natural clothing. They pride themselves on using many natural fabrics such as bamboo, hemp and organic cotton – all of which are used to make stylish womenswear, menswear and accessories. The pieces are carefully created with colourful fabrics and contemporary designs, bringing together a chic and wearable collection for many people to enjoy. Thought are huge advocates of natural fabrics which help create their long-lasting pieces.
16. Good News
It can be difficult for sustainable footwear brands to breakthrough, as finding innovative and long-lasting materials in this sector can be challenging. However, Good News has got it covered with recycled rubber soles, organic cotton and weave uppers and a recycled eco-lite footbed. They actively try to decrease their use of carbon, chemicals and water to ensure that their brand is as responsible as it can be. The collections are stand-out pieces, complete with funky patterns and on-trend styles – they’re a brand that’s not to be missed.
17. The Cotton Story
The Cotton Story was founded to fill the gap in the market for designer quality basics at affordable prices. There are no hidden costs or unfair mark ups, making this brand transparent and trustworthy throughout its operations. Their main focus is on the manufacturing of their products, they take time to ensure that the factories that they partner with are ethically and sustainably ran, and they’ve created some pretty cool products with their business model.
18. Know the Origin
“Style with nothing to hide”. That is Know the Origin’s slogan, and we love what they’re all about! Similar to other brands in the sustainable fashion sector, Know the Origin prides itself on the transparency of their business. Compared to the secret supply chains and operations of many mass clothing firms, staying true and transparent is an important part of being sustainable in this day and age. From quirky tees to cute jumpsuits and lingerie, Know the Origin has all the staples for an eco-friendly wardrobe.
19. Hide the Label
The philosophy of Hide the Label is to “create effortless silhouettes that fit well, last longer and can be worn by every woman, every season for every occasion”. It’s a great concept and they certainly deliver. They focus on creating consciously designed pieces, all crafted with excellent quality and ‘wearability’ in mind. During the creation process, they use include natural fabrics, reclaimed fibres and printing techniques that use minimal water usage to minimise wastage. If you’re shopping for unique prints and easy-to-wear dresses, Hide the Label is your go-to brand.
Since its very inception, sustainability has been an integral part of the ELLISS brand — Our team are passionate making beautiful, interesting clothes that don’t harm the planet. After working in the world of mainstream fashion, our founder, Elliss Solomon, knew that she wouldn’t be able to create her own label without putting sustainability at the heart. If you would like to learn more please read our article on our sustainable fashion practices here.
All the players in the fashion sector must work together to create more of a responsible industry, that’s why we love shouting about other brands that are making a difference. Which brands will become your eco-favourites?