If you have resolved to create a more sustainable fashion wardrobe, the time is right. In the past, it was much more challenging and limiting to find ethical fashion. Today, however, sustainability is more than a buzz word. It has become a way of life and a way of doing business for many in the industry. Here are some of the top ethical fashion trends and how to wear them.
Using sustainably sourced materials is one easy way that designers and brands can minimize their environmental footprint. Recycling, reusing, and making with fairly sourced items creates less waste.
Monique Pean is a jewelry brand that has received acclaim for its ethical fashion work. The brand is a member of the No Dirty Gold campaign. They exclusively use recycled 18-karat gold and recycled platinum in all of their pieces. The recycled gold and platinum are identical in appearance and quality to newly mined gold and platinum. Monique Pean also only utilizes repurposed antique diamonds or new diamonds sourced from ethical, environmentally conscious mines. This stunning bracelet from Monique Pean’s Solcin collection is an exquisite piece with 18-karat recycled white gold. Fossilized dinosaur bone, tremolite, and white diamond baguettes and paves show how you can rock a sustainably sourced look.
Vegan leather is a textile that is not made from animal skin. Instead, it uses polyurethane, which can be customized in multiple ways by creative designers. Shiny or matte, textured or patterned, the options with vegan leather are seemingly infinite. Stella McCartney has long been a leader in the world of ethical fashion trends. The Falabella Small Continental Wallet is made with non-leather materials as part of their cruelty-free ethos. Stylish and well made, you will hardly notice that it is vegan leather.
Fur No More
Fur is so last century says many retailers and fashion industry giants that are in the know when it comes to ethical fashion trends. Two major retailers that have banned fur from their inventory are Net-a-Porter and Selfridges. Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein, and Vivienne Westwood all banished fur from their collections years ago, and more designers are joining their ranks. Gucci, Michael Kors, Armani, and Jimmy Choo will no longer have fur products in their collections. As Gucci shows us with this fabulous faux fur coat, you can look glamorous and wear cruelty-free clothing without sacrificing an ounce of style.
Empowering Women and Communities
The increasing scrutiny and customer awareness of conditions in overseas “sweatshops” have pushed the movement for fair trade to the forefront. Designers are opting to set up shop in countries that protect workers, be it their wages or their working conditions. Many brands have turned entire communities around in struggling countries by training local women to become artisans and managers in their shops. Improving these women’s lives, in turn, improves their family’s well being and uplifts entire communities.
EDUN is one example of a brand that has uplifting communities as part of their mission. EDUN works in Africa to build “long-term growth opportunities by working with artisans, manufacturers, and community-based initiatives to develop high-end designer products that celebrate and challenge ethical and sustainable fashion.” This jumpsuit is one example from their lookbook which shows how sophisticated and luxurious their collections are.
It is easy to do the right thing and look great while doing so. These ethical fashion trends are growing in popularity and soon, likely, most designers and fashion houses will adopt these ideas as their own. To learn more about sustainable fashion, see our article about the eco-luxury fashion lines that support fair trade.