From a sustainability standpoint I feel the need to clarify that the majority of the brands detailed below are based outside of Europe. The long-distance shipping that purchasing from these brands would require to get to our quaint, Scottish home should be considered in this sense. However, given our sizeable international (especially American) student population, we decided not to withhold these great brands from you.
We’re working on getting something closer-to-home to you soon.
The term ‘sustainable brand’ is used very loosely these days, as brands seek to capitalize on the slow fashion movement by enticing consumers with so-called sustainable practices; even H&M has their own ‘conscious’ line. Fortunately for you, the Concrete reader, Maddie and Lauren have rounded up their own list of brands who are actively fighting the fast-fashion mentality with provable ethical and sustainable practices.
Girlfriend Collective lets you take the world of sustainable fashion to the gym with you. Their mix-and-match-able leggings, sports bras, and shorts are made from recycled water bottles and fishing nets, and will still cost you less than a similar set from LuluLemon. The sustainability section on their website also walks you through their entire production process, from material sourcing to fabric dyeing to manufacturing. even getting into the nitty gritty of their labor policies, so you as the consumer are fully aware of the ethicality of your purchase. Top it off with their celebratory body positivity, and you have yourself your new go-to workout gear.
Lisa Says Gah!
LA-based brand Lisa Says Gah! incorporates fun pops of color, subtle detailing, and flared femininity into their totally unique line of pieces that aspire to be more than just impulse purchases. Additionally, they feature other independent female designers with similar values, and strive to inspire the informed woman consumer through their online community—their blog is well-worth scrolling through if you’re in serious need of some new Insta inspiration.
Christy Dawn is a brand to inspire you to twirl barefoot in a field, your hair loose and a bouquet of freshly-plucked wildflowers bunched in your fist. All of their dreamy, bohemian pieces are made exclusively from deadstock fabrics—the leftovers from other manufacturers—and ethically sewn by skilled seamstresses in Los Angeles. Each one exudes a certain natural femininity, all while simultaneously honoring our planet.
Personal pick: Mara Trouser in nutmeg stripe
Undies are some of the hardest items to find sustainable alternatives to. You don’t want to buy them secondhand, and affordable options seem scarce. Fortunately, California-based Pansy Co produces dreamy, minimalistic underwear, bras, and loungewear, all made from comfy US-grown organic cotton. Their products do tend to run a little pricier, but still won’t cost you much more than what you would drop at Victoria’s Secret. The aesthetics of the brand are nicely encapsulated in their adorable coloring book (made with recycled paper, of course).
Parisian influencer Anne-Laure Mais created this feminine flirty brand with natural materials only. She recycles fabrics from previous collections, so that nothing is ever completely destroyed or thrown away, and all designs are hand made in the Paris ateliers. Founded in 2018, this brand is a must watch for your new favorite essentials.
Personal picks: boots aline and any of the cardigans
Gaining firm popularity after Meghan Markle became an avid shopper, Outland Denim uses 100% organic cotton (which uses 91% less blue water than traditional cotton) farmed with zero agrochemicals. Not only are they minimizing environmental impact, but they ensure suppliers share in their mission.
Personal pick: Ava Patchwork jacket
Shopping new at a sustainable level is really about doing what our great-grandmothers did: choosing to invest in well-made, quality pieces you really truly love, and that will remain in your closet for decades, rather than a season.
Lauren Kammerdiener & Madison Brito