The Guilt-Free Fashion Brands We're Prioritising in Our Wardrobes

Whether we like it or not, the world of sustainable fashion is one that is riddled with inconsistencies and misinformation. What does sustainable actually mean? What should we be looking out for when we shop? Even as a shopping editor who is keen to champion a more conscious approach to consumption, I often struggle to separate meaningful action from dreaded greenwashing. All I can say is thank goodness for Good on You, a sustainability rating platform I use on a regular basis to help to break down this knotty subject into more digestible chunks. 

good-on-you-fashion-brands

Photo:

Cult Thread

"Our individual choices play a central role in driving the kind of systemic changes that the fashion industry urgently needs. But with frequent greenwashing and the lack of transparency across supply chains, it's often too time-consuming for one person to do all of this research for themselves. That's why we've built the leading and most comprehensive sustainability platform in fashion," explains Good on You co-founder Sandra Capponi. "Today, millions of shoppers all around the world use Good on You to check more than 3000 brand ratings. Our robust ratings methodology scores brands based on their impact across three key areas: planet, people and animals. As well as pushing more brands to be transparent and accountable, we also celebrate the designers and retailers who are doing good."

good-on-you-fashion-brands

Photo:

Nu-In

Of course, any rating system in this area is never perfect, but it's certainly a starting point for consumers to educate themselves and, hopefully, a motivating factor for brands to take steps in the right direction. For me, it also acts as an invaluable online tool for finding new brands that are offering up innovative fashion solutions: everything from eco-friendly fabrics to shorter production runs. It's essentially demystifying the sector and making our decision-making as consumers so much easier.

"Sustainability issues are inherently complex, that's why we consider more than 500 data points in scoring brands. But for consumers, these ratings also have to be clear and actionable, which is why we provide a simple five-point scale ranging from 'We Avoid' on the low end to 'Good' and 'Great.' And we provide plenty of resources and guides for those who want to dig deeper into the issues behind those scores," says Capponi.

In the spirit of actionable change, I joined forces with Good on You to put together a shopping edit of WWW-approved brands that the site rates as either Good or Great. So whether you're a dress fanatic or denim devotee, I've got a label for you. Also, note that some of the brands are U.S.-based, and where possible, we encourage readers to shop locally, but we wanted to take a moment to celebrate brands across the globe that are leading the way in this area. Ready? Scroll down to see and shop our edit. 

For Dress Devotees

Offering elevated basics with a trend-led twist, Another Tomorrow's dress offering extends from knitted styles to dramatic puff-sleeve numbers. 

From colourful minis to minimalist maxis, Birdsong really does cover all the bases with its eclectic and size-inclusive offering. 

Rated as Good by Good on You, Kowtow has perfected the art of the clean-lined dress. I have my eye on this pinafore-style monochrome number. 

Using both deadstock and organic fabrics, Christy Dawn is the vintage-inspired brand that loves a good printed fabric. Expect florals aplenty. 

For Denim Lovers

Rated Great by Good on You, Armedangels' mission is to create circular denim by using textile waste and organic cotton.

Boyish is a sustainable denim line focused on quality, fit and authentic washes with a laid-back California feel. I own a pair of the Ziggy jeans, which I swear by. 

Offering high-quality sustainable jeans for both men and women, Mud Jeans stocks an eclectic range of fits, from skinny to straight and everything in between. 

Nudie Jeans is the Swedish brand that has been recognised for its work with sustainability, using a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton.

Best for Basics

Based in Denmark, Organic Basics is an underwear, activewear and essentials brand that uses eco-friendly materials to limit the number of chemicals and amount of water and wastewater used in production.

Rated as Great, The Classic T-Shirt Co makes its collections out of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton and manufactures all products locally to reduce its carbon footprint.

Proclaim is an L.A.-based brand that creates inclusive lingerie out of eco-friendly materials including recycled fabrics.

For everyday essentials with an eco-conscious heart, we recommend you check out Boody, your new go-to for soft sweaters, T-shirts and trackies. 

Size-Inclusive Styles

I see someone wearing Lucy & Yak at least once a day in London. The brand is fun, size-inclusive and stylish. Its denim dungarees are a particular highlight. 

From trend-led silhouettes to clean-lined basics, Nu-In covers all the bases, and this season we're loving the brand's belted knitted dress offering.

Based in the U.S., Chnge is a sustainable fashion brand with statement-making designs made out of 100% organic materials. A must-see for tie-dye lovers. 

Located just outside of Toronto—where its clothing is cut and sewn—Franc makes wearable basics that will stand the test of time. 

For Outwear Fanatics

Outerknown's environment rating is Great. It uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including GOTS cotton and low-impact nontoxic dyes in most of its products.

Cult Thread offers stylish and wearable jackets and accessories made from vegan and deadstock materials. I love the Ladbroke jacket, with its fab animal-print pockets.

With leather products made from rescued deadstock skins, repurposed vintage clothing and upcycled post-production waste, Deadwood Studios is a must-see for cool coats and jackets. 

One of the better-known brands on the list, Patagonia was one of the first labels to commit to more sustainable practices. While it specialises in hiking and sportswear, there are plenty of wearable coats and jackets to be found. 

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