Whether it's renting, upcycling, shopping secondhand or buying from conscious companies, these days there is a myriad of ways we can all become more sustainably minded-consumers. However, with so much information and so many ethically-conscious brands around, often it can be hard to know where to begin. A simple Google search for sustainable fashion brands yields about 255 million results, and while that is in no way a negative thing, it can all feel a little mind-boggling at times. But don't worry—that's where we come in.
If we were to examine brands that are more considered in terms of their fabrications, manufacturing process and supply chain, at times the word "sustainable" can also equate to "expensive." That is why, this week, I made it my mission to track down some sustainably-minded dress brands that also happen to be a little more affordable. I set out with a rough price point of £100 in mind but was pleasantly surprised to find so many labels with gorgeous collections available way below that figure.
From Omnes, the London-based label founded just last year, to Nobody's Child (the celebrity favourite worn by the likes of Sienna Miller and Holly Willoughby), there are so many chic labels around that are prioritising the planet.
So whether they focus on showing customers a transparent supply chain, ensuring they are using the most environmentally friendly fabrics or combating fast fashion with made-to-order garments, keep scrolling for seven sustainable and affordable dress brands I think deserve a spot on your radar.
Omnes's goal is to make fashion that doesn't cost the earth. The brand is focused on minimising waste and uses both recycled and recyclable fabrics where possible. Many of the label's garments are made using FSC (The Forest Stewardship Council) certified Viscose, which is a renewable plant-source material that will eventually biodegrade. It also makes its labels from recycled plastic bottles.
Heralding itself as an eco-conscious fashion brand, Nobody's Child has a focus on mindful manufacturing. The brand has partnered with ethical factories and chooses to use eco-fabrics, including Lenzing EcoVero, a sustainable alternative to traditional viscose (which uses 50% less water) and Repreve, a polyester alternative that is made using recycled plastic bottles.
Ninety Percent has always had sustainability as a part of its ethos, prioritising the use of ethical factories and sustainable fabrics. The brand also shares 90% of its distributed profits between charitable causes and those who make the collection happen, hence the name Ninety Percent.
Before July's founder, Elisa Jaycott, created the ethical label in an effort to promote slow fashion. Each item is made-to-order (meaning there is no risk of over-supply), and Joycott creates each garment herself. The brand's most recent collection included deadstock fabric as well as dresses that can be customised based on hem length.
Founded in 2019, Nu-In was created with the idea of making beautiful garments that have a lower impact on the environment. The label uses a myriad of eco-fabrics including Seaqual, which is made from recycled plastic bottles and Ecotec cotton, which is made from upcycled yarn waste and used clothes.
By Megan Crosby
By Megan Crosby is another brand with a focus on slow fashion. Each item available is made-to-order, which means the brand has very little waste. Customers are able to submit their measurements on-site, so dresses can be tailored specifically for them. How's that for custom clothing?
Thinking Mu's focus on sustainable fashion comes down to traceability. Each garment is labelled with a QR code which allows customers to see the complete story behind the clothing, tracing the garment's impact. The brand uses sustainable fabrics (like Lenzing Ecovero outlined above) and even has a "Trash" collection, which sees new clothes made from recycled post-consumer materials.