This article was originally published on a UK-based women’s lifestyle site called Six Hot Chicks, which has unfortunately shun down.
Sustainable fashion, like the trend for living a plastic-free lifestyle, is something you probably want to be doing. You’re aware of fast fashion’s impact on the people all along its supply chain, on the environment. You’re tired of buying clothes that fall apart after one wash and you’re ready to invest more for better quality. But where to start?
It’s not like there’s a sustainable fashion shop on the average UK high street, next to the fast fashion basics. Until those companies recognise the human and environmental need for sustainable fashion the internet is full of ethical brands!
So, let’s review some of the UK’s sustainable fashion brands suitable for every style and budget:
If you’re looking for versatile basics in good-quality fabrics Thought Clothing is a great resource, so named for the thought they put in at every level of the production process. Their sizes range from 8 – 18 and a pair of flattering paperbag waist trousers goes for £55. And with a well-stocked sale section you can find everything from bamboo tights to printed dresses for under £30.
For bold prints in affordable organic cotton People Tree is your brand. They’ve been producing sustainable fashion in the UK since 2001, been acknowledged for their ethical supply chain, and collaborated with Emma Watson. Their organic cotton and Tencel clothing comes in sizes 8 – 16 and ranges from £20 to £120 depending on the item. The sale page often has amazing pieces like this on-trend midi dress for less than half the original price.
Our next brand up for review offers high-quality pieces in fun prints meant to last in a range of clothing for women and children, but what Palava does best are their dresses. Charming prints in classic cuts that are always in style and universally flattering. These dresses are investment pieces in the £130 range, meant to be a wardrobe highlight for years. And bonus, they come from a brand with a zero waste fabric policy (among other ethical practices) and very inclusive size range: 8 – 28.
Aside from Stella McCartney where else could one find high-end sustainable fashion? Kitty Ferreira is a slow fashion brand that uses upcycled fabric for their shows at fashion week and produces its clothing exclusively in the UK. This is a true designer brand with designer prices but with a non-designer inclusive size range of 6 – 26. The clothing is modern/classic and comes in one-of-a-kind prints, like this silk dress dyed with pomegranate and onion skins.
These four brands are an example of the diverse range of sustainable fashion companies in the UK. Popular opinion is that the high street is dying and no wonder, when we can find better quality clothing that doesn’t harm other humans or the environment from the comfort of our sofas.
If you’re interested in exploring a sustainable lifestyle ethicalconsumer.org has directory of companies for not just fashion but health, beauty and even appliances. And if you want your favourite fast fashion brand to embrace ethical practices fashionrevolution.org has a fill-in form on their site for you to send to a brand asking ‘who made my clothes?’