Sustainable fashion has become a hot topic over the past few years. Some say it started when vegan fashion designer Stella McCartney (daughter of Sir Paul) snatched Great Britain’s coveted Designer of the Year award without using leather. Not bad considering buyers of luxury fashion tend to be fixated on the material.
Brands of all sizes, niche and mass market, are paying attention to the ecological impact in their production, and consumers are responding positively. But choosing the right brand is immensely complicated, and making eco-friendly choices can be a distressing task. Below you’ll find five eco-minded designers, brands and clothing stores that are leading the charge in sustainable fashion.
Stella must be mentioned here not only because of her award winning designs, but because of the awareness she raised about the environment and the economic impact felt by the industry because of her designs. Her line is 100% vegan and cruelty free, she also pioneered a first: sustainable fabric technology. Case in point, last year she introduced a line of faux-gator heels with biodegradable soles. It doesn’t get any more earth friendly than that!
From heels and boots to clogs and flats, Coclico has you covered when it comes to stylish footwear. The NYC-based shoe company began leaving eco-friendly footprints all over the runway about ten years ago. Producing contemporary styles in a small, family owned factory in Spain, each component of Coclico’s footwear is carefully considered for its elegance, utility and the environmental footprint it leaves (pun intended). For instance, their shoe wedges are made from recycled cork, and the leather used, if any, comes from environmentally conscious tanneries.
Just as the name suggests, sisters Carolina and Melissa Cantor design and produce ethically minded handbags–these may wreak havoc on your bank account but they are to dye for (yes, another pun intended). Their eco-conscious dyes are sourced from small, local manufacturers and come in an array of stunning colors. They are also located in a LEED-certified green building, which pretty much ices the cake. Huzzah!
Melissa Joy Manning
If jewelry and shiny things are what you see, Melissa has you covered. She was recently appointed Co-Chair of the CFDA Sustainability Committee, and she obviously knows her stuff when it comes to sustainable jewelry design. Her designs are handmade with 100% conflict-free materials, recycled gold and silver, and forged using traditional smithing techniques.
“I want every single item, literally!” These words best sum up what customers have been saying about Clare V. Located in Louisiana, Vivier produces an array of eco-friendly products, from T-shirts to handbags and sunglasses; yes, sustainable sunglasses. Not only do they protect your eyes, but wearers of these glasses are helping to protect the environment!
Clothing stores all over the U.S., Canada and Great Britain are beginning to carry the aforementioned brands in response to consumer demands for more sustainable products. If you’re looking for more earth-friendly ways to spend a little money, look no further than your local clothing stores and retailers.