Is this the moment where everyone suddenly starts to take sustainability seriously? For a website dedicated to trends and shopping, you'd think we'd happily shy away from the idea, but the team at WWW UK is always on hand to tell you how to build a capsule wardrobe, find your personal style, buy things that last and give you great cost per wear, show you the way to confidently wear secondhand clothes and locate the well-edited vintage stores that take the hard graft out of things. We also do our best to highlight cool, conscious brands you can afford or invest in.
We know we have a great deal to still learn (all thoughts welcome—please DM us on Instagram), but in the wake of Stacey Dooley's BBC investigation into fashion consumption, it's time we all started shouting a little louder and trying much harder. So to reconcile our desire for fashionability along with the need for more considered purchasing habits, let's start with this: a gallery chock-full of more sustainable, ethical and conscious items you can buy today and keep forever. Remember, there are different levels of sustainability (and we know fabric compositions, production and manufacturing, packaging and so on can become very complex), but if you can at least start aiming to buy less but better, that's a great beginning.
It's the sneaker brand everyone loves—Veja. Made from recycled plastic bottles and wild rubber, these eco-friendly sneaks have shot to the top of many a fashion editor's shopping list. The brand also works with cooperatives in Brazil—its home country—and sources fair-trade materials like cotton. You can investigate Veja's misson for yourself here.
Arela is a new premium sustainable knitwear brand. Its cashmere and cotton pieces are made from best natural fibresm which are super durable (meaning you can keep wearing your pieces for longer) and are produced by skilled professionals in Nepal, Finland, Latvia and China. You can read more on the brand's "For Good" concept here.
One of the easiest ways to update your look is with jewellery, but you'll get even more points for buying vintage or second-hand. Susan Caplan has long specialised in this area and has a back catalogue of incredible pieces you should invest in.
H&M's Conscious range spans everything from super-basic items like this classic blazer to more detailed ones. H&M has even created wedding dresses within the collection before. The conscious elements are predominantly within more sensible, eco-friendly fabric choices (these slingbacks are also made from recycled polyester).
Mashu is a new Greek brand we've recently found. Using premium vegan materials (which are 100% recyclable at the end of their life) and ethically producing from within Greece via local artisans, these unusual little bags have quite the story to tell. You can read up on more of Mashu's best practices here.
Anna Foster, the fashion stylist who founded E.L.V., sources vintage denim pieces to rework into new, sophisticated styles. Each pair is made and finished in East London, minimising the production chain as well as waste and impact on the environment.
London-based brand Mother of Pearl has recently focused a great deal of effort and time into becoming more sustainable. Its No Frills line represents the fact that you can buy beautiful runway-worthy items that have traceable production lines with a low carbon footprint. The brand also minimizes its waste and uses organic, eco-friendly fabrics.
Noa Vee is a new online sustainable fashion hub where you can pick up unique, trend-hitting items while absorbing interesting content. One of the brands it sells, Edas, is a New York City–based brand that offers up kooky jewellery and bags that uses refurbished elements and sustainable fabrics.
One surefire way to know you're not contributing to the problem is to just buy secondhand or vintage. We always head to Vestiaire Collective to buy what's trending without feeling guilty. On the top of our wish lists right now? A Fendi Baguette bag.
Mango's Committed line really centres around better fabric choices such as recycled wool and organic cotton. The line also tends to use Tencel, a fabric made from responsibly sourced wood (it also happens to be more eco-friendly than other fibres).
31 Chapel Lane by Damien and Joi Hannigan is all about upgraded versions of everyday staples. The Limerick City–based brand is considered to be environmentally and socially aware and makes everything in Ireland and with fabrics such as pure Irish linen. The brand's aim to make classics piece you'll hold onto forever (and we definitely would).
Using high-grade materials and a more sustainable manufacturing process, Giuliva Heritage Collection—founded in Italy by Gerardo Cavaliere and Margherita Cardelli—is all about top-quality wardrobe staples you'll wear for life. It's a new brand on the scene with a particular knack for stylish outerwear.
Ethically sourced stones and gold are the backbone of this influencer-loved jewellery brand founded by London-based sisters Christie and Rosanna Wollenberg. Recycled packaging is another nice point, but you can read up further on its stance here.
"Luxury with a conscience" is New York–based Gabriela's raison d'être (that explains the price tags). Everything in her collection is crafted to the highest standards in the finest materials. The brand uses sensible, slow processes and has a limited supply chain.
New Zealander Maggie Marilyn is all about finding the most sustainable and ethical ways to make her cute clothes come into this world. For example, she works to find certified organic textile mills and works with local manufacturers, many of which had been struggling under the weight of mass production being taken to other parts of the globe. You can read more about Maggie's efforts here.
Australian-designed, Bulgarian-made shoe brand By Far has a more sustainable offshoot, which the online e-commerce platform Antibad has picked up. This means all of the pieces are created out of leather that has been wasted in another production line. There are also some vegan-leather options in the mix too.
The Acey stocks cool, minimalist staples for your every day capsule wardrobe. Not only do they create pieces that are designed to last, but they also only use single fibre, natural fabrics with no blends or synthetics.
This London-based label distributes 90% of its profits to charities, causes and those who build the collection. But you can also get involved and vote for who you'd like to see these contributions go towards. The brand hopes to be as sustainable and organic as possible with its fabric choices and will continue to research alternatives for the future.
Using deadstock garments (the ones that get thrown out of designer factories for being even the teeniest bit wrong) and thousands of upcycled beads, these ethically crafted jeans from a new Paris label every fashion editor is talking about. You can read more about Kevin Germanier's work thanks to the fact Matchesfashion.com is now stocking his line.
Allbirds—an American brand that will soon launch in the UK—can lay claim to creating the most comfortable shoes in the world. The brand's shoes are also made from super-fine merino wool (far more sustainable than most fabrics), recycled laces and have a low carbon footprint. Even the sheep used for the wool have been guaranteed a good life. See more of the work behind its conscious practices here.
Cited as one of Emma Watson's favourite sustainable brands, Simon Miller has fast become a go-to for the nation's fashion-lovers. The brand produces the entire collection in the United States using organic mills to reduce impact, and works with independent mills in France and Japan.
Rakha is a sustainable womenswear brand with a collection based around understated, contemporary garments. The brands approach to sustainability focuses on creating garments made from bio-degradable or recycled natural materials, "aiming to achieve a closed loop system, where everything is either a technical or a biological nutrition."
Offering a range of ready-to-wear and accessories, EDUN’s mission is to "source sustainable production and encourage trade in Africa by mixing its creative vision with the richness and positivity of this fast-growing continent." We love the brand's offering of beaded bags, which are perfect for spring.
Spotted on everyone from Kate Hudson to Rita Ora, Asceno's luxury swim, sleep and loungewear eco-friendly credentials come thanks to manufacturing and social compliance certificates from all of its factories.
Travelling to different destinations across the globe, Mochi specialises in intricate, artisanal handiwork in bright colours and modern shapes. Every collection is handcrafted by local talent using traditional methods of embroidery to create their distinctive pieces.
Another Watson favourite, Tada & Toy is the London-based demi-fine jewellery offering that's all about fun twists on classic staples. "Quality and detail are our focuses, each new design goes through a rigorous testing process before making it into the shop," they say. "We're committed to the ethical sourcing of our products and work closely with suppliers to ensure that they're aligned to our beliefs."
Proud Mary partners with global artisans to design modern good using age-old techniques, such as looms and raffia weaving. Working with cooperatives, family-owned workshops, and individual artisans, the brand is passionate about supporting local business. See their mission statement here.