I always recommend to people who struggle with shopping on platforms like eBay or don’t feel that confident riffling through the rails of charity shops is to to go the other sustainable route. Buy less but invest in sustainable and ethically conscious brands which create clothes and accessories that will last. I understand that secondhand shopping isn't for everyone and although through my blog I like to encourage and change people’s perception of buying preloved clothing, not everyone is going to feel the same rush as I do when finding an absolute gem whilst thrifting. In the last few years, with the rising concern of climate change and push for fashion brands to become more transparent, there has been a rise of new brands thats main focus is to be both stylish and sustainable. There was this gap in the market that was ready for new progressive ethically focused brands that were at the same time creating cutting edge stylish design.
Lucy & Yak
(Left; 'Trio' Camden Trousers by Meg Thomas Limited Edition in Pink, right; 'Camden' High Waisted Trousers in Vulva Print) Photos courtesy of Lucy & Yak
This is a brand that I only recently discovered while I was in Brighton a couple of weeks ago. They have there only shop there and it was such a hub of creativity and positivity. They are most known for their dungarees but personally I am more a fan of the trousers. The trousers pictured on the right are part of the vulva capsule collection designed in collaboration with artist Sanna Suvi. Every purchase made from this collection, a pack of period products is donated to charity. I love how they use print and colour to elevate your basic pieces and really transform an outfit. Lucy & Yak started out when a couple decided to quit their job and search for a manufacturer to make their designs. They wanted to find a family to work and support. This journey took them many places and led them to India and to a man named Ismail. Together they created the first lot of dungarees and sold them on Depop. After such success they launched a website and now a flagship shop!
Good News Shoes
This is a brand that had been taking social media by storm and has been featured by the likes of bloggers such as Lucy Williams. Their take on the old school plimsoll is a fresh breath of air and is a soon to be a summer classic. Good News philosophy is that if you choose to buy well, it will last. Their shoes encapsulate everything that means to be ethical and sustainable. The trainers are made up of recycled rubber soles, organic cotton and weave uppers and a recycled eco footbed. Their main goal is to decrease their carbon, chemical and water footprint. This for me is a brand that showcases that you can make a sustainable product that is also fashion forward.
House of Sunny
My love for House of Sunny started about a year ago and I haven't looked back since. They are my go to brand for that item that is a little bit different. If I ever wear something from them its guaranteed to make a statement. There philosophy - "carefully crafted to become a wardrobe staple with an artisan twist". It captures the London aesthetic in an effortlessly cool way. And whilst at first glance you may not realise that they are a sustainable conscious brand, on more of a deep dive you will start to understand that sustainability it is of the upmost importance and they want to convey that to their customers. For me I believe that brands like House of Sunny are paving the way for how more fashion brands will change in a bid to be more sustainable in the (hopefully!) near future. They only produce two runs of collections pushing back against the detrimental effects of fast fashion. This is quite a new concept in fashion and a slightly different approach to sustainability. This what people want a lot more fast fashion retailers to start doing. We produce too much and its effects on the planet are detrimental. If we all started to buy less and brands produced less too, we could see a real difference.
I first heard about this brand when I bought one of their bags secondhand on Depop. I have a vibrant purple across body bag and its details are so intricate that I just had to learn more about what this brand was doing. Through a collaboration with British brand Mulberry, Bottletop became a popular success. Their iconic signature recycled ring pulls are a true statement and show a real innovative approach to sustainability. Who knew what we open cans with could make such beautiful bags? These bags are around the £200 mark but when you think about all the people who spend a lot more on some designer bags, this doesn't seem outrageous and if you want something a little different and a bag for life this is brand you should definitely take a look at.
As their tagline reads "The sustainable womenswear label sharing 90% of their profits", this brand wants to share empowerment with what they describe it a "revolutionary caring spirit". Their "Planet comes first" ethos is truly inspiring and shows that a brand really can focus on sustainability and the people who work for them before the profit. Ninety Percent has become a huge success with their tie dye numbers being a real fan favourite. I love how they have taken your classic basics and made them edgy yet functional and pieces that will stand the test of time in your wardrobe. What makes this brand even better is that it invites you the buyer to vote for the chosen cause that the profits will contribute to. Can it get much better than this, I think not!
French fashion brand Veja is a very well known trainer brand, being sold in numerous shops and seen on many celebrities. I think that trainers is such a great entry way for someone to make a sustainable choice in their wardrobe. It's something we all wear and share in common and the price point they offer is one that is attainable for quite a lot of people. The co-founders refer to trainers as "symbol of their generation" and they want to make sure their trainers are made as sustainably as possible without giving up on style and comfort. The brand wants to achieve high social and environmental standards and call their process "commercial disobedience" as they go against the normal business models most brands follow and will pay more for materials as to not compromise on worker's pay and rights. This is a business model that I can stand behind and I think it really does help customers when they know what their money is paying for.
Inspired by colourful expressionist Mexican Art, Zocalo Chic is an ethical and sustainable brand thats perfect for summertime. I first came across this brand on the website Label/Mix and fell in love with distinctive designs and simple aesthetic. Its the epitome of practical meets fun. Why should a tote bag or shopper be boring and more so lets make it ethical and sustainable. For the founder Corinne Boursetty, it was important that her brand was in fact ethical. The bags are designed in London and then hand made using recycled plastic that is woven by loom in a family home in Oaxaca. Creating these bags is an additional source of income for the families whilst at the same time encouraging the traditional technique of weaving.
This is my most recent discovery thanks to @thelondonchatter and I immediately fell in love with their simple yet bold styles. Their main idea is to create jewellery using discarded resources and materials such as up cycled glass. They want to use 'waste resourcefully' and I love the aesthetic of this brand. They aim to keep and reusing materials in everything they do to keep the cycle going and prevent waste. The price point is around the £100 point mark and I think that this is very reasonable for the unique sustainable pieces they are producing.
I really hoped you enjoyed this post and found it useful for your future shopping endeavours. Its so important that we start to think about who is making our clothes and making small changes like looking to brands like these really can contribute to a huge change.