Sustainability has never been more in the spotlight than now with brands taking more steps towards sustainable and ethical trade and so the quest to find the best sustainable fashion brands to shop from has increased.
From brands pledging to reduce their carbon footprint and water waste to consumers choosing to buy less and more consciously, it seems the move to a more sustainable future—one where we embrace sustainable living—has arrived.
And, wherever you are on your journey, whether you're looking for one of the best sustainable masks or are wondering what the difference between sustainable vs ethical is, the key is to start small but start now.
To help you make wiser fashion choices, we’ve rounded up and tested brands of different styles and price points that are committed to making fashion a better industry.
The My Imperfect Life edit of the best sustainable fashion brands
1. White Stuff
The best sustainable fashion brand for all your denim needs
Denim, a staple part of any capsule wardrobe, is one of the most democratic pieces of clothing you can own. There’s an option for all shapes, colors, sizes, and prices you can imagine, so It only makes sense that you can find great sustainable choices as well.
White Stuff is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative and has launched a green jeans range—made with 98% recycled water—that benefits from an air-dried system using heat from the factory floor to reduce its energy consumption.
They have several styles of denim, from straight, skinny, or boyfriend styles which suit everyone and are super flattering. Our pick is the dark straight-leg jeans that have a great fit and are so easy to wear making them our go-to pair. Team with an oversized white shirt and loafers, or with a ruffle blouse and heels.
2. Celtic & Co
Best sustainable fashion brand for cosy and high-quality jumpers
If you’re looking for soft jumpers to keep you warm when temperatures drop, Celtic & Co should be your go-to brand. Besides using natural fibres in most of its production, recycled packaging and compostable tags, the brand is slow fashion adept, producing timeless and high-quality pieces that can be worn over and over again. From loungewear to outerwear and footwear, Celtic & Co has you covered for more than just one cold season.
Cardi's are everywhere this season, and this one, with its lightweight breathable fabric, is the perfect transitional piece. Wear it over dresses or simple—but well-cut—basics or for the fashion-forward take it one size up for the slouchy effect and team with one of the best bralettes and jeans.
Best sustainable fashion brand for colorful loungewear
Pangaia brings minimalist loungewear in a range of colours: from earthy tones in their latest collection to bright orange and bold purple. It presents itself as a material science label rather than a fashion one, and it’s easy to understand why. Pangaia uses only organic or recycled cotton in a zero-waste circular system and develops new technologies and fabrics to help solve environmental problems. Some of them include seaweed fibres, bio-based plastic packaging, and botanical dyes. All styles come with a sort of outside ‘label’, listing its sustainable characteristics, one of the brand's signatures. If you’re looking for super soft and comfortable basics to wear on a lazy Sunday, or a cool sporty look for a park stroll, Pangaia is your best choice.
We love the trousers in Sand, because who doesn’t love basics in neutral colours?
Style tip: as it’s gender-free sizing, go for a smaller size than you usually buy if you prefer a slimmer fit or stay with your current sizing for comfort.
Read the full Pangaia review to find out why it is one of the best sustainable fashion brands out there.
Make Knitss your go-to sustainable fashion brand for impeccable knitwear
The knitwear obsessed will welcome Knitss into their world with open arms.
From summer essentials to winter coats, from tops to bottoms and accessories, the brand excels all-things knit. Think of different patterns and colors in all shapes. Knitss has its own factory and ensures it matches all ethical and social standards. 100% of the organic cotton they use is certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard); their viscose-based fibers are certified by FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and their chemicals are eco-friendly.
Our favorite piece is the Wool Khaki Knit skirt. The color is chic and elegant, and easy-to-wear. Dress it up with heels and a blouse or down with trainers and a T-shirt.
5. Ilk + Ernie
Best sustainable fashion brand for chic jumpsuits
Ilk + Ernie is one of the best sustainable fashion brands, based in Brighton in the UK, they produce all their clothing entirely from surplus fabric sold in Indian markets. Yes, that’s right: a clothing brand that doesn’t produce any fabric, and believe us, they do it well. All the production comes from just one Indian factory certified by Sedex, an ethical trade membership organization. For Ilk + Ernie, cool and modern designs go hand in hand with practicality and comfort. The clothes feature plenty of pockets, elasticated waistbands, and appropriate fittings (not too tight that compromises your moves but not too loose that’s shapeless).
It’s hard to point just one favorite but we love the Farah boilersuit, which has gotten summer's ubiquitous Gingham fashion trend treatment—it also comes in dusty pink and blue denim. A versatile piece, it'll fit into your wardrobe and take you seamlessly from season to season—you just need to style it up with different accessories and layers: zip it over a roll neck and pair it with boots in winter, or leave it a bit open and wear it with colorful sandals in summer.
5. HAREM London
Best sustainable fashion brand for casual pieces with a twist
British-Turkish brand HAREM London combines eastern and western influences in its contemporary designs and is easily one of the best sustainable fashion brands out there. Using primarily natural fabrics and recycling all scrap ones to be reused as details in different collections, the label brings its raw materials from Turkey to their studio in Dalston, where they have its small in-house production. HAREM focuses on comfortable and versatile pieces that will go from a work meeting to a casual dinner. Mixing different techniques and fabrics, the result is both beautiful and unique.
We’re in love with the tassel detailed waistcoat and can picture ourselves matching it with white jeans and layering it over a denim shirt.
6. Vestiaire Collective
The ultimate resale destination for luxury goods
Yes, we know that it isn't exactly a brand, but it is the perfect place for those looking to get into a more sustainable way of shopping. The luxury resale market is booming and Vestiaire Collective is leading the way. Expert-led, every product has to pass a strict vetting and quality control process to ensure that it's listed on the site giving you complete reassurance. It's also the perfect way to get in on designer action without shelling out full RRP's.
We love this Bottega Veneta chunky chain purse which we've been lusting after ever since we saw her sashaying down the runway.
There's currently a flash sale where you get £25 off when you spend £170 (ends 30th April).
How to make the right decision when choosing a sustainable fashion brand and not being greenwashed
Although there’s a huge number of companies declaring themselves eco-friendly, once you dig a bit deeper, it's easy to tell some of them are just trying to get good publicity while not doing the bare minimum. This practice is called greenwashing and it’s common nowadays. However, consumers aren’t taking it lightly as with all the information we have access today, it's simple to uncover the truth. Some tips to make sure you’re doing a conscious and ethical buy are to prefer organic and natural fibers; check the company’s sustainability section (look for details on what measures they’re taking and how they’re doing it), and look for third-party certificates.
Manuela is a Brazilian fashion & lifestyle stylist and writer, based in London since 2016. After working in different areas within the fashion business, both in the UK and in Brazil, she no works in fashion and media magazines in the UK. Passionate about all things culture-related, traveling and scuba diving.
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