For many, the idea of ethical fashion and sustainable clothing unfortunately still conjures up images of hemp and incense. However, over the past few years there has been a significant shift in the image of conscious fashion, with the birth of brands committed to producing clothing that is both ethically made and beautifully designed.
Slowly but surely, fashion brands are being held responsible for their impact on human life and the environment. This is thanks, in part, to international designers like committed vegan Stella McCartney – whose fabric innovation, sleek designs, and collaborations with brands like adidas have reinvented the concept of cruelty-free fashion – as well as the influence of the internet in spreading activism and raising awareness around our consumer habits faster than ever before.
While shopping ethically can be problematic (when prices are higher due to better production, and people morally judge you for shopping on the high street, it becomes a class issue), there’s a growing number of small, independent brands that stay true to creating clothes you’ll want to wear while implementing fairness every step of the way. And while fast fashion brands have a long, long way to go to overhaul the damaging and dangerous practices they currently employ, more are making positive changes.
So say goodbye to the idea that ethical equals beige calico maxi dresses, and hello to suede Chelsea boots, statement sleeves and box fresh trainers. From feminist and Photoshop-free platforms to brands working with global artisans to keep traditional craft alive, here’s our roundup of where to go to make your wardrobe more conscious.