It’s a hot topic at the moment, and I don’t think that will be changing any time soon, so making wiser choices on the high street and shopping with sustainable fashion brands is more important than ever. Environmental issues are not a fad, they’re a serious problem that each and every one of us need to take responsibility for tackling. Fashion is my remit to have a real voice on, I work in the industry and have a fair knowledge on what actually goes on behind the scenes of a clothing brand. And that’s a lot more than meets the eye as a casual shopper let me tell you. I’ve written various posts about the little things ways we can alter our shopping habits to be more sustainable but I haven’t talked about any brands in particular yet. With that in mind, I thought I’d highlight a few of the brands that I’m happy shopping with nowadays, knowing what effort they are all putting in behind the scenes to do their bit and improve the fashion landscape on a sustainability front. And all without getting too ‘hippy’ on us! You don’t have to sacrifice style or trends to buy a more sustainable garment, and you don’t need to boycott all of your favourite high street names in aid of an indie Etsy store or go strictly-vintage. Those can be great options, but there are also household brands out there doing their bit.
As far as the big high street brands, H&M are by far the front runner in sustainable policy and activity. And as you can see I’ve noted the entire group, and said group is running some of my favourite brands in the UK right now, and the fact I know the ethical activity is on such an upward trajectory, is incredible. Let’s delve a little deeper in the increasingly sustainable fashion brands under this mammoth group…
Starting with a personal favourite of mine. I could literally write an entire Weekday appreciation post and dedicated wish list, but alas, that is not what this is about. Weekday are crystal clear on their website regarding their goals for their sustainability journey and they include using only organic or recycled cotton by 2020, using all recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030, and be climate positive by 2040. The brand have split their sustainability focus into 3 categories which I think works really well; Re-Think Production; Re-Think Society; Re Think Your Part. It’s really clear how each section needs to change, have a read of each section and let me know your thoughts.
The most aspirational brand on the list really. A shop that I hate going in because I just love everything and can’t afford it. Being part of the H&M group means the company is doing it’s fair share behind the scenes, but it’s also making it easy for customers to shop their most eco-friendly ranges here.
The most affordable arguably the most fun within the H&M group. Definitely the most colourful too. Their bold sustainability goals as a brand follow suit of the rest of the H&M group that have already been mentioned, but they also give a really good care guide to prolong product life cycle online here.
And of course there is actual H&M that we all know so well. It’s easy to spot their ‘conscious’ range swing tags in-store, and you can shop that range specifically online here. It includes goods made of recycled materials, using both pre and post consumer waste.
If the H&M group doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t worry! There are loads of brands outside of the H&M group to doing their bit too, so I better mention a few….
Arket are a really cool lifestyle brand, giving an all round experience, including a coffee shop, to your experience. They offer clothing for everyone, as well as homeware and some hand picked sustainable brands in store too, as well as their own brand stuff, which is pretty great.
They offer thorough care guides for all their clothing, helping you as the consumer prolong the life span of everything you purchase. They also have a super transparent approach to manufacture, including a detailed supplier mapping system which you can look into on their website, which not many brands are happy to do let me tell you. Arket are another brand to also offer recycling services for your old clothes, and also any Arket packaging you might have received with online orders etc. In exchange you get 10% off your next purchase. Win win on that front.
The trainers that I’ve been lusting over for the past year or so, but they come with a hefty price tag compared to my usual trainer choices. Veja produce classic footwear using ethically sourced rubber, leather, and cotton, and the team actively preserve large areas of the Amazon rainforest. They produce their sneakers in South America, which is also where the materials are sourced too, and they have openly shared the cost of one of their shoes in their socially responsible factory in Brazil compared to a Chinese factory (3x cheaper). Having everything happen in South America is also great for the carbon footprint of the finished product. Most clothing items you see on the high street will have components and manufacture processes dotted all over the place for the lowest cost, before they’ve even hit the brand warehouse, giving them a beast of a carbon footprint, before they’ve been shipped out to you as the end consumer. Veja are a very transparent company and it’s a really interesting one to learn more about which you can do so here.
I haven’t personally bought anything from this brand yet, but I’ve had a good read around them online and was super interested. They don’t let old prints and fabrics go to landfill, they make them up onto small runs for the next season which is fab. In a similar light, they don’t follow traditional buying/manufacturing seasons, they introduce new products on a much more regular, free flowing basis rather than locking into regimented seasonal calendar. This allows flexibility and less waste from production as a result of small regular drops with higher chances of selling out and reducing waste to landfill.
Shop My Look:
What are your favourite sustainable fashion brands at the moment? I’m always looking into what the high street is doing, and looking into what the fashion industry can do more of in general to move closer to that carbon neutral goal. If you shop at any other interesting brands let me know in the comments below.. things are changing all of the time in this industry so hopefully I’ll be back with another list of hot sustainable fashion brands sometime soon!