Organic, recycled, responsible, vegan or made in France for the domestic market – ethically-sound fashion is not the least bit austere. It’s fun, sexy, chic, impertinent and militant. Here’s the proof with 10 irresistible, environmentally-responsible brands. Which one will steal your heart?
As you’ll be aware, fashion is the world’s second most polluting industry. While standard clothing manufacturers strive to meet Clean Fashion requirements, young ethically-sound fashion companies go with transparency right from their inception. They use environmentally-responsible fabrics, i.e. those whose environmental impact is slight. Their manufacturing processes are virtuous, and the working conditions created reflect respect for workers. That’s something to embrace, without delay…
“Parisienne et alors” – responsible style
We like this brand created by former Miss France winner Laury Thilleman, which only uses either natural fabrics or recycled polyester. The garments, made in France, are produced in Parisian studios in conjunction with Oeko-Tex-certified factories – (fabric checked at every stage in its processing and free from chemicals that are harmful to human health). To avoid waste, the collections (turned over every two months) comprise a maximum of 25 designs, and are produced as and when stocks run out. The brand donates some of its profit to Reforest’action, a reforestation program.
“We are jolies” – pretty organic underwear
Initially called “Jolies Culottes”, the brand changed its name to “We are jolies” when broadening its underwear offering. We like it because it’s organic, affordable, true to size, entirely uninhibited and inclusive.
The garments, made in Portugal from organic cotton, bear the Oeko-Tex label and meet the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). This super-transparent brand goes as far as disclosing its profit margin and all the detail behind its retail prices. Plus, you can send your old underwear back and it will be recycled into environmentally-responsible house bricks. The We are jolies brand is also very principled when it comes to women’s rights, and fosters a spirit of sisterhood!
© Photo We are jolies
“Les Récupérables” - upcycled fashion
This brand goes all-out clean by embracing the principles of textile re-use: upcycling. It puts out four collections per year, 100% made in France, made from fabric salvaged from French producers. The garments, produced in limited production runs, are therefore considerate of the environment. They are assembled in studios that help disadvantaged people into employment. This young company also organises runway shows in secret venues.
© Photo Les Récupérables
“People Tree” – both fairtrade and vegan
This English brand is a pioneer of fairtrade fashion, and certified accordingly. It is on a self-directed mission to afford textile industry workers financial independence whilst protecting the environment, with the vast majority of its fabrics being organic cotton, or wool from sheep farms certified under the Animal Welfare Act. We like its principled stance and timeless style.
© Photo People Tree
“Thinking Mu” – fun recycling
This Spanish brand, which is environmentally responsible and fairtrade, works with recycled fabrics, cotton and GOTS-certified organic fibres. The brand still produces its garments in the same Indian production facilities used since its inception. Its young, quirky and peppy style stands out for us.
“Dedicated” – eco-friendly streetwear
This stand-out brand, created in Sweden in 2006, aims to be close to nature, fair and responsible. It works with GOTS-certified and fairtrade cotton, recycled GRS polyester and recycled fibres like Tencel Lyocell. Some of its garments are made from fibres derived from plastic. Dedicated works with artists from all over the world to showcase its bold, unique and diverse style.
“Rezine” – slow-paced fashion
The Rezine brand, created in 2019 by a young couple, puts out four limited-time, responsible collections per year. The garments are produced in Paris, from natural fibres. Limited editions are available for pre-order, to produce only as and when needed, at the fairest price. We like the brand’s statement pieces, and its principled stance in favour of quality that’s built to last, with lovely trim styling.
© Photo Rezine
“Patine” – feelgood essentials
This brand promises comfortable garments that are easy to wear and go against the idea of disposable fashion. All of the garments are made from natural fabrics (organic GOTS cotton, linen, hemp) with a small environmental footprint, or from artificial fabrics made out of natural materials. They are only available on site, to cut out middlemen and make sure that items can be affordably priced. Plus, Patine supports Cravate Solidaire, an association that fights hiring discrimination by collecting garments to make job interview clothing available to disadvantaged jobseekers.
© Photo Patine
“Nénés Paris” – 100% recycled underwear
Hats off to this brand that uses remnants and offcuts from the textile industry and used plastic bottles to make skimpy knickers and other underwear garments. Once ground down, washed and melted down, these materials are then used to reconstitute fibres that are used to make new garments. The figures on this 100%-recycled underwear are edifying: each bra represents a CO2 saving of 80% and a water saving equivalent to the contents of 7 bathtubs! Plus, the designs are attractive and sexy… What more do you want?
« Reformation », durable et accessible
For starters, we love the slogan of this brand created in California in 2009: ”Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2″. Its aim is to design its own garments to bring sustainable fashion to everyone, with limited-edition pieces made from recycled items. It’s a roaring success, and has been right from the beginning.
© Photo Thereformation
”Veja” – eco-friendly, fairtrade trainers
It would be remiss of us to leave eco-friendly, fairtrade trainers out of this pick of ethically-sound brands. Veja is a French brand created in 2004. Its trainers, with very on-trend designs, are made from raw materials produced via organic and eco-friendly farming, without chemicals or polluting processes. They are produced in Brazil using organic fairtrade cotton paired with natural rubber soles. The brand, created by two French nationals, supports several associations in Brazil and in France. We’ve got to get behind that!
© Photo VEJA