When we think of sustainable fashion, a melange of terms come to mind with the likes of ‘ethical’, ‘upcycling’, ‘vegan’ and ‘organic’. What rarely comes is the term ‘luxury’ given the widely established burden that luxury fashion places upon the environment. However, as of recent times, there has been a shift and a really positive one at that.
With the fashion industry contributing up to an approximate 8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which is predicted to rise further, it is our responsibility to undo and alter the course. As more and more fashion labels switch paths towards sustainability, luxury fashion brands have embraced it as well – it is admittedly more complex for the latter.
Here are a few environmentally-conscious luxury brands to add to your wish list!
1. Stella McCartney
A trailblazer in ethical fashion for over two decades, this British fashion house does not shy away from pushing parameters and exploring new cutting-edge technologies to create sustainable and chic pieces. Pioneering a conscious luxury movement, Stella McCartney‘s values include ecosystem protection and measuring its environmental impact. Known for using sustainable materials such as re-engineered cashmere and silk, the brand very recently debuted the world’s first-ever luxury product collection fabricated from the plant-based and plastic-free MIRUM® and regenerative cotton. A label catering to all ages and covering an array from wearables to jewellery, Stella McCartney is a coveted gem championing a good cause.
2. Eileen Fisher
With a slogan that aptly reads ‘Sustainability is woven in’, designer Eileen Fisher’s namesake brand was founded in 1984. Inspired by gentle yet stunning attire like the kimono, Eileen devised a system of shapes that eased dressing. Essentially, Eileen’s ‘System’ approach covers a complete set of garments – from tanks to pants, from dresses to leggings – and upholds the thought that fewer pieces can in fact mean more possibilities. What’s better is that the System comes in an assortment of plain colours and can be fashioned in your style of choice.
The ‘Systems’ approach has since evolved, now including the whole life cycle of clothes, from its creation to its disposal. This circular concept is a crucial step away from the harmful take-make-waste manufacturing model and a stride towards one that consciously utilises the resources involved. If you’re one who adores timeless and versatile clothes, Eileen’s creations are meant for you.
3. Grassroot by Anita Dongre
Anita Dongre is no new name within the Indian luxury fashion scene, with her label flaunting luxurious designs that are equally adaptable to places and occasions. She elevated her eco-friendly initiatives through launching Grassroot by Anita Dongre, a new line that consists of only ethically made pieces. Think coords and dresses imbued with Indian style and motifs.
This line employs the original custodians of Indian creative crafts: the female artisans from villages. There’s zero compromise on quality, rather amplified with careful thread works, intricate embroidery, slow dyeing techniques. For its pieces, the house uses biodegradable and compostable fibres as well as soundly-sourced cotton. A testament to the idea that everyday luxury and mindfulness can go hand in hand, Anita Dongre is a minimalist dream.
4. Vivienne Westwood
An undisputed legend in the world of luxury, Vivienne Westwood champions the thought of ‘Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last’. Transforming her independent global fashion brand into a sustainable masterpiece is a mark of responsible artistry – in doing so, she has set a standard for all fashion brands alike.
Just how has this luxury powerhouse pulled this off? They see far beyond the aesthetic qualities of their materials, focusing rather on the ecological impacts. Till date, more than 90% of materials of the label’s Ready-to-Wear collections are created using environmentally-beneficial textile sources like ahimsa silk and linen. From sustainable packaging to creating awareness in catwalk events, Vivienne Westwood has Mother Earth’s best interests in mind. Their bold silhouettes and punk-inspired creations embody luxury and sustainability perfectly.
5. Maggie Marilyn
New Zealand based designer Maggie Marilyn designs her glamorous luxury pieces using only organic cottons and sustainably produced silks. As homegrown as it can get, the entire manufacturing process takes place in New Zealand itself. To bolster their commitment, the brand practice a sustainable strategy in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Maggie Marilyn proudly offers a collection of circular, traceable wardrobe must-haves – from bespoke blazers to comfortable sleepwear, you can find them all here (and of course, own them too!)
6. Teatum Jones
Rooted in London, Teatum Jones’ founders firmly believe in the power of fashion to present a positive message of inclusivity and constructive identity. The rising brand produces clothing that is both ethical and kind to animals, alongside supporting transparency and slow fashion techniques. Promoting the sentiment of body confidence into high fashion, the brand is determined to create ripples within luxury fashion. Striking, bold and beautiful – Teatum Jones is a master at its craft, transforming art into wearable pieces.