As I explained in the post couple weeks back, I intend to live even more sustainably in 2020 than I did in 2019. And the part of my lifestyle, that has one of the biggest environmental impacts, is my style and the sustainable fashion brands that I intend to shop from now on.
I’ve said it many times before but I’ll say it again, fashion industry is one of the worst threats to our environment and climate as it is right now. One fashion show by a major brand creates an insane amount of waste, including the tens of thousands of outfits that never make it to the stage and the amount of shit (= plastic) used on the staging.
That is why it’s more important than ever that we ALL started being more aware of what sort of fashion we consume. The Stockholm Fashion Week already closed their doors until they are be able to come up with a more sustainable way to showcase new trends. Little did they know that this idea has already been had and brought to reality.
There is a country, way up North in Europe where sustainable innovations are created left, right and center: they didn’t only invent a sustainable technology to recycle plastic, but Sulapac created a fully biodegradable alternative to plastic. And that’s not all! Ioncell with Aalto University is creating clothing fabric from wood!
These innovations are exactly what the world right now needs and they EXIST! All that needs to happen now is for everyone to embrace these innovations in their everyday lives. And they can’t do that if they don’t know about them.
So, don’t be surprised if most of the sustainable fashion brands I present here are Finnish. Few brands look to the future with as wide a perspective.
The problem with sustainable fashion brands at the moment is that there are very few of them and they‘re so small that most don’t have proper stores. They only sell online. But since more and more people shop fashion online (right now it’s 50/50 between online shops vs. high street) this shouldn’t be a problem when moving to a more sustainable direction.
So, here are my TOP 5 favourite sustainable fashion brands:
The Best Sustainable Fashion Brands to Shop NOW
*this post includes affiliate links, please read the disclaimer here.
I became aware of this wonderful British brand through my British friends who are as into sustainable fashion as I am. I mean, this is the way many sustainable brands gain popularity; through word of mouth.
People Tree is in fact not as new a name as most sustainable fashion brands tend to be: it was founded in 1991 by a social entrepreneur Safia Minney. The brand prides itself on its ecologically sourced materials, and the use of traditional artisan skills, such as hand weaving and hand embroidery. Everything must be done with respect to the environment and the people.
People Tree’s sustainability is guaranteed by many global ecological organizations, like Fair Trade and PETA. In addition to precise information on the fabrics used, you can see where your desired garment was made and by whom, with instructions on how to make the garment last for years and years.
What I particularly love about People Tree are their unapologetic prints and colours. This brand has something for everyone, and it already is a big contender in the fashion industry of the future.
Voglia is one of the most interesting sustainable fashion brands from Finland. It was recently passed from father to daughter but Voglia’s mission remains: to produce timeless and trendy clothes with such high quality people and material, that their value is visible. Everything is done with sustainability at the center.
I particularly love the futuristic way Voglia design their collections: they use a 3D design program, with which they are able to minimize waste and save in logistics because people can see the designs on their laptop screens hundreds of kilometers away instead of traveling to the office.
Another aspect, that makes this brand particularly interesting, is the fact that they came up with a solution for the reason why Stockholm Fashion Week was closed: Voglia’s fashion shows are sustainable!
The main issue now is that fashion brands make tens of thousands of garments for one show, many of which are so wonky that no-one will ever wear them, and of which only 100 end up on the runway. The amount of waste one fashion show creates in regards to just the amount of clothes being tossed straight in the landfill is beyond anyone’s understanding.
Voglia has solved this by making a collection for the runway, and just the clothes for that collection. At their fashion show you have a card that you can fill in with the items that you’d be interested in including to your closet in the near future. Voglia collects these cards and makes as many pieces as have been requested.
There’s no obligation to buy the piece in the end, but by doing this they are able to reduce the amount of waste created by close to 90%. Why this system isn’t yet widely in use doesn’t make any sense to me.
The dress in these photos was gifted to me by Voglia. The belt is not part of the dress.
I came across this amazing sustainable fashion brand through their impressive hashtag:
Love it! Another thing that pulled me towards this brand was the fact that it is run by a mother-daughter team in BRIGHTON. (I am completely biased towards anything to do with the artsy beach town on the Southern coast of England.)
A former Jimmy Choo designer Emily Evans had access to the Chinese factories used by the fashion industry, and she was astounded by how horrid the working conditions there are. So, she decided to start her own brand with complete focus on being sustainable in regards to materials, people, and the environment.
Just like most sustainable fashion brands, Zola Amour also concentrates on creating seasonless clothes that look trendy regardless of the current trends. 80% of Zola Amour’s garments are manufactured in the UK and the garments are stitched with organic cotton thread to ensure that they return to the ground after being finished with.
Their big mission is ambitious and necessary, to make everyone to
Buy less, buy better!
I was meant to visit Zola Amour’s pop-up shop in Brighton when I was there, but time was against me in the end. And now they’ve moved back to only selling online.
As a Brand Ambassador I, of course, can’t leave out this amazing accessory brand. PIHKA collection is extremely particular about where and how their leather gets to them. Thus they have earned the Key Flag certificate, which is rewarded to products and services created in Finland by Finns. This is a strong indicator of the products’ level of sustainability.
PIHKA collection uses surplus leather from cattle farms in Germany and Sweden, and all their leather is either chrome-tanned or veggie tanned. All bags are produced by hand in Finland, and their design is timeless and effortlessly chic.
They’ve also added a sustainable element to their bags by designing them in the way that they can be taken apart, fixed, and treated so that you can keep on wearing them forever.
I have multiple PIHKA bags, and they are my most worn accessory. Why? Because leather is the strongest and the most beautiful material, PIHKA’s colour selections are delicious, and the bags are so practical and classic in design that they go perfectly together with any outfit.
The bag in these photos is PIHKA collection’s small Armi in ‘wine’ shade. You can get one of these beauties with a 10% discount if you use TERESA10 at the checkout in PIHKA’s store!
Halla x Halla
This is another super-brand from the promised land of sustainable fashion brands, Finland.
What makes Halla x Halla a particularly important contender in the industry is the fact that bikinis are made out of polyester. And polyester is not a fabric that exists, it must me manufactured. And manufacturing polyester takes 70 BILLION barrels of oil per year.
You can probably imagine how long it takes for such material to break down in nature. 200 years, but despite breaking up, it’ll never disappear from this planet.
The way Halla x Halla is tackling this massive problem is by producing bikinis from discarded polyester waste: fishing nets, carpet flooring and plastic gathered from our oceans. How appropriate for a bikini brand, eh?
I was gifted a colourful pair of bikinis by Halla x Halla last Spring. I fell in love with the brand initially because their prints are so bold and colourful. Not something you’d expect from a Finnish brand. And having learned about their story and mission I want to shout out about them to as many people as I can.
And there you have them, my TOP 5 favourite sustainable fashion brands. Did you know some of them before? I’d love to hear what you think of these brands, did any of them peak your interest?
Stay tuned for more sustainable fashion posts: in couple of weeks I will cover how you can recognize a sustainable fashion brand from fraudsters and the likes of H&M and Zara who settle for greenwashing. Until then ♥
Follow me on Instagram and use #styleoutlandish to showcase your style! I’m always on the lookout for outfit inspiration.