The popular buzzword #sustainablefashion has taken over the fashion industry, and how! However, there is a lot of confusion around which brands are truly sustainable, how to identify them and what their sources are. But thankfully, a growing number of slow fashion brands and sustainable fashion designers are entering the market and prioritizing the planet.
But what exactly are these designers doing to help the sustainable fashion industry? Read on to find out. But first, let’s define what ‘sustainable fashion’ means.
What is sustainable fashion?
In its broadest sense, sustainable fashion refers to clothing and accessories that are designed, manufactured, distributed, and accessed in an eco-friendly manner.
However, despite the heavy efforts of sustainable marketing campaigns, the phrase ‘access’ does not specifically refer to buying our way to sustainability. In actuality, sustainable fashion means avoiding the need to purchase brand-new items. Instead, it includes having a capsule wardrobe, loving what you already own, buying secondhand, swapping, or thrifting, and opting for slow fashion brands or reading the labels.
Best sustainable fashion designers in the slow fashion industry
Here are the top ten sustainable fashion designers working day in and out trying to do their bit for the planet with their amazing eco-friendly collection.
1. Felisha Noel
Felisha Noel, one of the first and best on the list of sustainable fashion designers, is inspired by her Grenadian heritage. With a passion for tropical colors, bold prints, and stunning styles, the fashion designer entered the industry at the age of 19. Fe Noel is her womenswear sustainable clothing brand based in Brooklyn, NY. It is a one-stop shop for everything beautiful, including pants and tops for the beach and the runway.
Noel is heavily influenced by her Caribbean heritage and her large, close-knit family. Beginning with the opening of a brick-and-mortar boutique for vintage lovers and trendsetters in Brooklyn, the boutique is now a catalyst for today’s namesake clothes. In addition, the brand further stimulates Noel’s desire to help women embrace their femininity. We believe this is exactly what sustainable fashion designers should be like!
When discussing ethical fashion, Stella McCartney is a name that must be mentioned. One of today’s best fashion designers, she has been in the industry since 2001, when she launched her own fashion house. She has proudly aced the sustainable fashion game with her cruelty-free, inclusive, eco-friendly, and ethical fashion clothing. McCartney uses ethically sourced wool, organic cotton, regenerated cashmere, and no fur or leather in her clothing line.
The designer is constantly researching and experimenting with the sustainable fashion industry and new technologies. She has been a vegetarian all her life and has never used leather, feather, skin, or fur in any of her designs, which was and still is, a revolutionary stance!
3. Christy Dawn
Christy Dawn, one of the best sustainable fashion designers in the industry, has a great love for boho-chic, ethical, and classic dresses made only from upcycled fabrics. We adore her work as she designs each collection for her brand with longevity and versatility in mind, making them perfect for petite to extended sizes.
Dawn has a unique collection of vintage-inspired designs that are ethically created in Los Angeles to create simple, easy-to-wear pieces. Her ethical fashion collection will be wardrobe basics that you will appreciate for a lifetime.
4. Mara Hoffman
The journey toward sustainability for this high-end fashion designer started in 2015. After much introspection and observation, Mara Hoffman discarded some clothing pieces, urging consumers to evaluate their relationship with clothes. Hoffman, one of the most luxurious sustainable fashion designers today, focuses on color and sustainability and is inspired by women.
Hoffman hopes to encourage responsible consumption by using sustainable fabrics in her luxurious designs, including organic cotton and other plant-based materials. This NY-based sustainable clothing designer has some amazing women’s wear. It includes trendy swimwear you can pick from that is made from pre and post-consumer waste.
can we even discuss sustainable fashion designers if Eileen Fisher isn’t mentioned? The ethical fashion designer is so committed to her brand that she creates sustainable clothing from organic materials, natural dyes, and recycled textiles.
Fisher’s brand had an ambitious vision, including a set of public commitments: a 100% sustainable business model; 100% organic cotton and linen; and carbon positivity. Today, the brand is available throughout the US and the UK.
Daniel Silverstein is the proud founder of the sustainable clothing brand Zero Waste Daniel. It is a sustainable, eco-friendly, handmade, and ethical fashion brand based in Brooklyn by the zero-waste pioneer himself. For someone who believes in genderless clothing and accessories, his brand is based on the same. He uses pre-consumer waste typically disposed of in landfills by designers and costume departments in NYC or by the city’s garment industry.
His sustainable clothing collection features basics, knitwear, and swimwear. Creating state-of-the-art ethical clothing pieces, Silverstein had to be included in this list of sustainable fashion designers.
Gabriela Hearst launched in 2015 with a sheer commitment to sustainability. The idea was to build a brand in the sustainable fashion industry that would make owners of the clothing never want to throw them away. “I wanted to create a brand that had that feeling of things that are well made and long-lasting,” says Hearst.
To eliminate virgin materials, the sustainable fashion designer made the brand entirely plastic-free in 2019. In addition, the piqué and twill suits in Hearst’s line are made from the wool of her family’s six-generation merino sheep farm in Uruguay.
8. Jessica Rey
In 2009, an American actress and one of the best fashion designers launched her sustainable swimwear brand. Jessica Rey’s ethical fashion brand was launched after she got her MBA in LA and could not find the bikinis she wanted to wear. Drawing inspiration from timeless, feminine figures like Audrey Hepburn, Rey designs ultra-cute vintage and modest swimsuits!
Rey uses only the highest quality materials and skilled artisans to create sustainable fashion pieces designed to last. So, hit the pool with the brand’s one-pieces, bikinis, and swim dresses, all sewn in LA.
One of the best fashion designers and Argentinian musicians, Carolina Kleinman, is the woman behind Carolina K, a brand based in Miami. Kleinman’s luxury lifestyle brand features hand-embroidered details made authentically by artists from the regions of India, Peru, and Mexico.
Kleinman is one of the best in the sustainable fashion industry today in terms of her dedication to preserving artisanal traditions. Her sustainable clothing pieces are the pinnacle of how she uses sustainable fabrics in her collection, like linen and fabric scraps.
10. Hillary Taymour
Hillary Taymour is the creative director of Collina Strada, one of the best brands in the sustainable fashion industry. The brand’s association with New York’s trends and seasons surely make it one of the most talked-about labels.
She started crafting handmade accessories such as leather and quartz harnesses right after graduating. But today, the ethical brand aligns with its commitment to environmentally conscious designs. Hillary’s gorgeous collection is made up primarily of deadstock and leftover fabrics. But despite Hillary’s refusal to refer to her brand as sustainable, Collina Strada is doing everything it can to be environmentally friendly.
Let us know which one of these sustainable fashion designers have inspired you with their environmental goals and ambitions. If you know of any more sustainable clothing designers, we’d love to feature them on our page as well.