We often find ourselves getting asked about sustainable fashion. What makes something sustainable? Is it vegan? Is it made from ethically derived materials? Is it fair-trade? Is it circular fashion? Is it simply getting genuine love and wear out of the things you buy? Well, it’s all of these things. However, we think the most important takeaway is the fact that questions about sustainability are being asked more frequently. This is proof that it’s very much at the forefront of the fashion discussion. A discussion which we are very proud to be a part of.
Most of us are trying to do our own small part to make the clothes we wear more sustainable, and influencers are certainly part of that movement, too. Today, we’re seeing a new wave of influencers championing vintage and secondhand pieces over new, as well as brands that operate with transparency when it comes to production lines and materials used.
We don’t know about you, but we welcome more women like this on our feeds, which is why we set about rounding up sustainable fashion influencers we think you should follow. From those who have the ability to sniff out the perfect dress in a flea market to those who are on the frontline protesting climate change, we bring you 24 fashion influencers who inspire us in different ways to be more sustainable.
Emma is a sustainable force to be reckoned with. With a background spanning retail, branding and marketing, she’s best known for her work within the charity retail sector. That, as well as her amazing, conscious-focused events and for founding Charity Fashion Live—a movement that re-creates London Fashion Week looks in real-time using only things found in a single charity shop.
Venetia is a woman on a “slow fashion mission,” and she certainly lives up to that claim. An active campaigner, you’re most likely to find Venetia on the front line at rallies imploring companies to change their policies. To quote, many brands have “hundreds of ‘new in’ items on their website every single day” and are “currently encouraging users to split their payments into four parts so they can buy more product.” Oh, and the Ghost dress she’s wearing above? She rented it.
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Wow 30,000! Lots of new faces around here. So let’s do a reintroduction post! Hi I’m Aja! I live in London but I’m from Virginia. I write about #fashion, #feminism, #race, #intersectionality, #culture and #trends. I write about the fashion industry first and foremost because I think it’s the one industry where I feel that it’s truly ridiculous how big the carbon footprint is and it’s all linked to ... greed and colonization. Many of us buy too much because we’re trained to. We’ve become a society which treats our possessions like they’re disposible. Imagine how mortified we’ll all be in our graves when an alien race visits us and finds traces of fast fashion non biodegradable shit and deduces that we shopped ourselves to death? You can’t even eat clothes (unlike food). But these conversations all have a load of #intersections and any conversation without intersectionality is unhelpful (to me). I shop mostly second hand and champion independent designers. I also push indie designers to be more inclusive (plus sizes ... for every brand), I speak about designers on Patreon but usually not in this space ... though if you watch my stories you can catch snippets (because when I find cool stuff I share it, I just won’t do it on demand, for free). I still have fast fashion in my wardrobe and I still wear it because it’s super wasteful to chuck things out because you’ve had a change of heart ... but I’ll never EVER EVER SELL FAST FASHION TO YOU. The oldest things in my wardrobe are +10. As this space is largely unsponsored, if you’d like to support my work I’d ask that you sign up for Patreon where you can find out about cool brands regularly and shoot the shit with me. Running out of space so I’ll continue in the comments. [Image description: Aja is standing in front of colored paper rolls in a photo studio in East London. She’s wearing a @sycamorearchive reclaimed fabric jacket which was #gifted ... she’s supposed to say #ad too but she doesn’t take money from fashion brands unless her name is on the product and she’s seen the production from start to finish. She’s also wearing a sample dress from a friend.]
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Aja was born in America but now resides in London, and she’s proving to be an integral part of the sustainable fashion movement here in the UK. Fighting for inclusivity and intersectional feminism, she’s a voice you should listen to.
The co-founder of Stories Behind Things, a platform that celebrates sustainable and mindful consumption, Jemma practises what she preaches by wearing garments created ethically, sustainably and which don’t compromise on style.
Much of the imagery on Minne’s Instagram feed remains frustratingly untagged. That’s not because she doesn’t want you to know where her outfit’s from—it’s because it likely comes from a vintage stall, a thrift store or has been passed onto her.
Sartorially blessed and poignantly vocal in equal measure, Bianca Valle has spoken at length about the industry’s need to shut down harmful production loops. “If all brands used non-toxic dye, biodegradable fabrics and scraps to make new clothes, we could make a big impact. But this is just the surface.”
Vanessa’s Instagram is a visual journal of all the secondhand pieces she discovers, as well as the occasional “newbies” she also invests in. Definitely someone to follow for actionable advice on how to enhance the lifespan of your clothing.
An art director, stylist, author and illustrator—is there no end to Zeena’s talents? Apparently not, as she always manages to unearth the greater vintage finds, as well as spotlighting the brands doing good in the retail world.
Emi began educating others on sustainable fashion years ago, and through social media, she’s able to reach more people than ever before. She also founded and continues to co-moderate @buyfrombipoc, which, in her words, “celebrates black, indigenous and other people of colour who are creators and innovators in the sustainable, slow, and ethical fashion communities.”
A journalist in her own right, Daisy also moonlights as a vintage seller on Instagram. If you like puff sleeves and buying with a conscience, we suggest you follow her, stat.
As her handle alludes, I Got It From the Charity Shop focuses her energy on profiling the pieces she buys from charity shops with her near-daily outfit snaps. In particular, we’re big fans of her Stories “How I Slowed Down My Shopping Habit,” which you’ll find archived in her Instagram highlights.
Clothed in Abundance not only advocates minimalist outfits but also implores us to look at minimalising our wardrobes by paring back, buying less and wearing what we already own more.
Having only started her blog in 2018, Nati has certainly achieved great things in the last two years. Having “broken up” with fast-fashion at the same time her blog launched, she has since appeared on ITV News, been shortlisted for a UK Blog Award, and collaborated with leading sustainable brands. Does she sleep? We seriously doubt it.
Livia Firth is co-founder and creative director of Eco-Age, a sustainability and communications consultancy, and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, an initiative which encourages the wearing of ethical and sustainable brands on the red carpet and at high-profile events.
Having penned articles on sustainability for the likes of The Cut, Céline’s beautifully eloquent words on social and environmental issues never fail to impress us. She’s also the CEO of @theslowfactory, which is currently raising awareness on recycling and the things that work their way into our landfills.
Aditi uses her blog to rebuttal arguments made and the blame culture often brandished by fast-fashion giants, providing us with insightful commentary on the current events landscape.
At just 19, Tolly Dolly Posh is an integral part of the young activist movement for sustainability, but as she brilliantly put it: “To all the leaders; to all the politicians; to all the CEOs, stop feeling proud of youth activists. Start looking at us and feeling a sense of shame.” She’s not afraid to speak her mind, and thank goodness for that.
Giving a voice to the mid-sized women the world-over, Chicago-based Shanny describes herself her Instagram as an exploration of “ethical clothing as a not-quite-plus-size person.” We regularly consult her squares for new sustainable brands to consider and for her excellent off-duty style inspiration.
No big deal, but Carry is only the founder of @Fash_Rev, the world’s largest fashion activism movement, which calls for greater transparency in the fashion industry. Earlier this year, she also announced that, out of 10,000 women who applied, she had been selected to take part in eXXpedition Round the World, a “two-year circumnavigation of the globe to raise awareness of the devastating environmental and health impacts of single-use plastics and toxins in the oceans and explore actions and solutions.” This is a woman who is literally devoting her life to saving the planet.
Alice is a sustainable style consultant who has also launched ER Boycott Fashion, an initiative that calls for its followers to boycott buying anything new for a full year—which it called the 52-week challenge—in a desperate attempt to dramatically reduce the effects the fashion industry is having on our global environment.
Ex-dentist Christina Dean founded Redress, a non-profit organisation that works tirelessly to cut waste out of the fashion industry, and has done since 2007. A regular on panel talks, seminars, and documentaries, Christina believe that sustainability is “not just the future of fashion but the future way of living.” We couldn’t agree more.
Whitney has moulded herself a career as an attorney, “specialising in intellectual property and other legal issues affecting creative industries, such as fashion, film, art, and music.” She is also a pioneer in Fashion Law (isn’t that the coolest thing?), currently serving as chairwoman of Fashion Law Week, a week-long symposium dedicated to educating communities about legal issues impacting the fashion industry.
Bea’s skills include, but are certainly not limited to, water researching and surfing, as well as modelling, sustainability blogging, making up a third of the aforementioned @buyfrombipoc, and styling pieces handed down to her by her mother that are as old as she is. Someone give this girl a medal.