At the opposite of fast fashion madness, a new wave of slow fashion brands is pushing the industry towards a more sustainable direction.
A change is needed as the fast-growing global population requires basic resources: food, clothing, transportation, and so on.
However, the accelerated growth has drastic consequences on the environment.
Some might say, the mother nature is struggling to keep up.
Our impact on nature is evident.
Raging wildfires ripped through California, Russia, Brazil, and Australia at the end of 2019.
Then, multiple ecological disasters hit us at the beginning of 2020.
But the worse one is our reckless consumption.
These issues led many conscious buyers to re-examine their behaviours.
Consumption habits, carbon footprints, waste management and so on.
United, we have the power!
Slowly, we’ve become more careful and mindful of the impact our decisions have on the environment.
As a consequence of this awakening, fast-fashion – with a disastrous impact on the environment – must rethink its approach.
Or, be left behind.
At the same time, a new wave of slow fashion brands and designers is emerging fast.
Leaders of the sustainable fashion movement, these conscious designers promote environmental and social responsibility.
Now, if you too are interested to support the sustainable fashion movement, here are ten slow fashion brands and designers you should know about right now!
1. Stella McCartney
London-born Stella McCartney has launched the slow fashion brand with the same name with one goal: give consumers sustainable and ethical luxury fashion.
Stella launched her high-end fashion house in 2001.
The designer has been a vegetarian for most of her life, and purposefully avoids fur and leather in her cruelty-free creations.
Moreover, Stella champions the use of eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, ethically sourced wool, and recycled textiles.
The slow fashion brand’s official website sums up:
“Stella McCartney’s commitment to sustainability is evident throughout all collections as part of the brand’s ethos of being a responsible, honest, and modern company,” Well done, Stella!
2. Eileen Fisher
Once an interior and graphic designer, Eileen Fisher is now one of the best sustainable fashion designers out there.
Passionate about upcycling, the designer takes old textiles and garments and turns them into luxurious pieces of sustainable fashion.
Inspiringly enough, not many of you know that Fisher has launched her brand with only $350 in her bank account.
Moreover, Eileen had no previous knowledge about sewing as well.
Eileen used her design knowledge to create beautiful but straightforward fashion outlooks.
Ever since, as one of the leading slow fashion brands, the founder has set a dedicated ‘social consciousness‘ department within the company.
The brand puts a particular focus on human rights, sustainability, and improving the lives of workers.
Finally, her slow-fashion brand has put together a four-step approach to sustainable fashion, in its attempts to create the change so much needed in the fashion industry:
- Waste no more.
- Women together.
- Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute.
3. Vivienne Westwood
From all the slow fashion brands we covered in this article, Vivienne Westwood stands apart.
The designer focuses on a different type of wasteful fashion trend; dressing up for Instagram selfies.
A trend that prompts consumers to buy clothes and accessories than they don’t need, for selfies, only to send back or discard later.
To Vivienne Westwood, that’s a sick mindset.
“Buy less, choose well, and make it last,” insists the British designer.
As the face of one of the last independent fashion houses in the world, Vivienne has initiated multiple anti-fast fashion protests and collections.
Seeking to secure a more sustainable fashion industry, Vivienne Westwood uses her collections, collaborations and catwalk shows as platforms for sustainable fashion.
In the designer’s own words:
“We capture your imagination with innovative designs while campaigning to protect the environment.“
The British designer is one of the few slow fashion brands championing for quality over quantity and a keen promoter of human rights in the fashion industry.
4. Misha Nonoo
Misha Nonoo is another slow fashion brand that targets waste from a digital angle.
The designer uses her multi-cultural background to create distinct collections for modern conscious fashion lovers.
Misha’s collections are presented solely on Instagram and Snapchat as a unique form of protest against the waste created by fashion shows.
This simple approach helps the brand to reduce the cost of products, promote sustainability, and engage in waste reduction.
5. Bethany Williams
The British designer Bethany Williams is an up and coming stylist much appreciated by fashion critics right now.
Bethany’s debut collection was ‘Women for Change’, and the second is ‘No Address Needed to Join’.
Her collections were in done collaboration with several parties, including The Quaker Mobile Library, British publishing house Hachette UK, Chris Carney Collections, and Wool and Gang.
As the designer champions repurposing waste materials, both collections launched to date are environmentally and socially friendly.
Moreover, Bethany Williams is one of the very few slow fashion brands that donates 20% of the profits, to help uplift local communities of artisans.
6. Mara Hoffman
Designer Mara Hoffman‘s slow fashion brand was launched quite recently in 2000.
A graduate of Parsons’ School of Design in New York City, Mara, is also a big part of the new wave of conscious fashion designers.
In 2015 the designer brand began questioning her impact on the environment.
As a result, she started implementing more sustainable materials and labour practices.
Mara’s slow fashion brand chooses with preponderance eco-friendly fabrics such as Repreve or Econyl.
Also, organic textiles such as hemp, natural linen, organic cotton, and other fibrous plant-based materials as green alternatives to traditional materials.
Overall, from all slow fashion brands here, Mara Hoffman leads the “mindful consumption” conversation and acts as a source of inspiration and female empowerment.
7. Kitx by Kit Willow
Following her love for nature and creating fashion, Kit Willow, who holds a degree in commerce with a major in psychology, has decided to develop her own slow fashion brand called Kitx.
According to the designer, Kitx brand epitomises kindness, integrity and transparency.
“I strongly believe we can design a better world without harming the environment,” says the designer.
Kit Willow slow fashion brand leads the way to sustainability and ethical production by sourcing fabrics only from environmentally friendly and socially conscious companies.
8. Marcus Wainwright
Marcus Wainwright’s slow fashion brands story starts from a personal angle.
His drive to create the perfect pair of jeans led him to launch his own luxury brand, Rag & Bone.
Shortly after, the brand has become renown for its keen focus on local production and sustainability.
Right now, the label is focused on several green initiatives.
In the latest one, Marcus has partnered with Cotton Inc’s Blue Jeans Go Green with the aim to launch a denim recycling program.
Their innovative project urges customers to bring in old jeans in exchange for a 20 per cent discount on the purchase of new jeans from the brand.
The old jeans are then recycled and made into insulation for homes and civic-minded buildings around America.
9. Dries Van Noten
Belgian fashion designer, Dries Van Noten has been a leading fashion figure for many years now.
In 2005, The New York Times named the designer as “one of fashion’s most cerebral designers”.
With a brand globally recognised and loved for its eccentric forms, the designer has always been conscientious about its choice of materials.
Since the early days, Dries has been firmly promoting sustainable materials.
According to him, “I draw inspiration from nature and give back to nature”.
10. Alice Early
Another London-based designer, Alice Early, is known for her slow-fashion creations of contemporary and sustainable nature.
After working in the fashion industry for more than ten years, Alice has decided (in 2018) to launch her own slow fashion brand.
The designer is dedicated to creating couture that is equally environmentally and socially-conscious.
Moreover, she aims to reduce her impact on the environment throughout the manufacturing process.
Finally, as one of the slow fashion brands leading the industry to a more conscious path, Alice Early brand boasts organic and sustainable materials and ships their creations only in recyclable packaging.
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