by Raphy Magne.

Sustainable brands deserve more recognition. At the moment, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, a figure projected to surge massively in the following years. In this current climate, where fast fashion brands and consumerism are contributing to immense wastage, it is important to take a step back and consider eco-conscious options for your wardrobe.

Slow fashion champions thoughtfulness – encourages thinking before action. It is about taking stock of where the raw materials come from, how the materials are used, how much the workers get paid, how the waste from manufacturing process is treated, how the clothes are transported, how the consumers wear them and eventually how fast those clothes are discarded. The slow fashion movement embraces fairness in manufacturing and sustainability for the environment. 

These brands choose a more conscientious path to bring clothes to the market.


1. Hope Macaulay

In comparison to some of the others on this list, Hope Macaulay is already very established. Her colourful chunky knits are becoming increasingly recognisable, as seen on multiple celebrities and featured in the likes of Vogue and Vanity Fair. Handmade in Northern Ireland by a small team of knitters and seamstresses, the brand supports local women in different communities across the country. All items are made to order from 100% jumbo merino wool. This is a high quality, biodegradable, natural and sustainable material.


 2. Alohas

This shoe brand is sustainable designed and produced locally in Spain. Local production lowers the carbon footprint of Alohas and allows for regular visits to build relationships with its artisans. The founder, Alejandro Porras, uses on-demand production to combat overproduction, one of the leading wastage in the fashion industry. With pre-order in place, it allows the brand to accurately estimate demand to avoid oversupply.


3. Josie & Jean

This boutique is Devon-based and features retro and vintage inspired clothes. The prints are fun, cute and timeless, designed to be worn for years to come. Every item is made-to-order and they are all handmade.


4. Cro-Che

Founded by Tacita Brown, with a strict focus on sustainability, these crocheted goods are a must-know! Crochet is special as there is minimal wastage in the production process, as one only uses the material needed. The ‘crocheters’ come from developing countries all around the world and the garments are all handmade by women, who are able to work from home instead of going into factories with poor working conditions. 


5. Chalsie Joan

These gorgeous feminine blouses and dresses are all handmade to order. An interesting price breakdown shows the true value behind a sustainable good.


6. Nimiiny

Nimiiny is a fashion forward apparel collection, produced by Georgina Kendall in London. Every single item is made-to-order by the founder herself using all-natural fabrics. These are all sourced locally, within a walking or biking distance, and there is zero waste as any leftovers are turned into accessories. Hand painted items are extra special and offered in limited edition, as no two are ever the same.


7. Florohde

Two words to describe this brand would be ‘conscious womenswear’. The materials come from a mixture of deadstock, sustainable and organic fabrics. Additionally, everything is handmade and ready to order!


8. Monika The Label

To appropriately use the founder, Monika Young’s words, the brand is a “love affair between Cali cool and East London grunge”. All collections are limited, in order to avoid wastage and any excess is donated to charity or made into headbands. Monika the Label’s productions are entirely UK-based using eco-friendly fabrics and non-toxic dyes.


9. Unselfish Lover

This label produces designs that capture a touch of vintage reminiscence. Although the company is UK-based, the products are handmade in Brazil in a very small and ethical seamstress company.


Buying only from slow fashion brands would mean a huge shift in habits. The brands listed above may have higher price tags compared to the fast fashion prices many are now used to, but unfortunately that is the price of sustainability and a greener world. Items of clothing should be seen as investments (think longevity) and not disposables. With this in mind, there are other sustainable shopping options. Online vintage and secondhand clothing platforms are a great way of recycling unwanted clothes, moreover, a visit to your local charity shops can also result in cheaper and eco-conscious options.

What’s your take on fashion? Comment below, voice your opinions and let us know what other topics you would be interested in reading about.


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