9 eco-friendly clothing brands making great basics
Head to these labels for the best sustainable fashion staples that will form the backbone of your wardrobe for years to come. From an ultra-soft sustainable hoodie to a timeless watch made from pineapple leather, these chic pieces are as eco-conscious as they are endlessly stylish.
Though they might lack the glamour of a silky slip dress or the excitement of a statement-making suit, there is no denying that great personal style starts with luxurious basics. Your failsafe pair of jeans suddenly feel fresh when worn with the perfect fitting white t-shirt. Add a timeless tan trench and in an instant you have a polished outfit that looks impeccably put together, even if you threw it on in seconds.
From snug sweaters to the hibernation hoodies, just because we wear these staples in our everyday lives doesn’t mean we should pay them any less consideration than more stylish going-out pieces. In fact, it’s precisely because we wear these basics so much that they deserve our special occasion. After all, doesn’t it make more sense to invest in ultra-luxe pieces that will make us feel effortlessly chic on a daily basis, than the stand-out dress that we might wear once or twice?
Buying less starts with buying better, and as we consider how to reduce our impact on the environment we’re saying ‘no’ to the bargain jumpers and t-shirts that lose their shape after the first wash. Instead, we’re spending a little more on the premium pieces that will last for years to come, thanks to their classic cuts and timeless styles.
Best of all, not only are these style staples designed to stand the test of time, but they’re manufactured using sustainable processes. From innovative denim fabrication techniques that use up to 90% less water to a sustainably-forested alternative to cotton, these pieces use the latest eco-conscious technologies to ensure that they are as planet friendly as they are endlessly stylish.
Whether you’re looking for an ultra-comfortable bra that won’t ruin in the wash or a classic cashmere sweater to upgrade your stay at home style, these are the best eco-friendly basics to add to your capsule wardrobe now.
Votch – The cruelty-free watch
Whether seen peaking out from under a blazer sleeve or worn off-duty with a colourful knit, a timeless watch is the accessory that adds polish to every outfit. If you’re searching for an alternative to leather, cruelty-free vegan watch brand Votch will leave you spoilt for choice. Though they might look as luxe as animal leather, their watch straps are made from Pinatex, a conscious vegan alternative that is produced from pineapple skin, a sustainable by-product of the pineapple harvest.
Shop Votch rose gold & pink watch, £120
Reformation – The wear-everywhere summer dress
Known for its flippy dresses and air of casual Californian cool, Reformation was founded in 2009 with sustainability at its core. Creating the wear-forever summer dresses that you’ve seen all over Instagram, it comes as a surprise to many to learn that their covetable pieces are made from materials including rescued dead stock fabric, repurposed vintage clothing and wood-based fibres such as Tencel. Case in point? This chic floral midi is the dress that summer nights were made for, and it’s manufactured entirely from viscose, a fibre made from wood pulp, sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Shop Reformation Nikita dress, £265
People Tree – The sustainable denim jacket
A pioneer of ethical clothing, People Tree has been waging a war on fast fashion for three decades, one staple piece at a time. It puts farmers and artisan makers at the forefront, and in 2013 it became the first fashion brand to receive the Fairtrade mark. Their wear-forever denim jacket is 100 certified organic cotton and is manufactured using a process that requires up to 90% less water to produce than conventional denim production.
Shop People Tree denim jacket, £105
Isabelle Fox – The co-conscious clutch bag
Female-led label Isabella Fox is rooted in sustainable, trend-defying style that you’ll want to wear for years to come. Supporting the British fashion industry, every garment is ethically made in the UK, using traditional couture techniques with the highest quality fabrics. Consider the Greta pouch bag; an ultra-chic silk wristlet that’s constructed entirely from waste material discarded from other factories, but looks (and feels) completely luxurious.
Shop Isabelle Fox Greta silk and feather bag, £95
Bleusalt – The super-soft hoodie
The fabric in all Bleusalt’s cosy hoodies and T-shirts is made from beechwood, a sustainable botanic fibre. Not only is one of the softest fibres on earth, but it’s derived from a tree which self-propagates, meaning forests that produce this silky-soft fabric are 100% sustainable. Available in four neutral shades, this cosy piece is one you’ll never want to part with.
Shop Bleusalt waffle skater hoodie, £117
Kow Two – The classic crew sweater
A neutral-toned jumper is the piece that takes us from autumn through to spring and, if we’re honest, through most of the Great British Summer too. When you consider how much air-time this failsafe knit gets, its worth investing a style that makes you feel polished every time you slip it on. Individually knitted to eliminate yarn waste, this chic caramel crew neck is made from organic cotton that is free from chemical sprays, and dyed with Global Organic Textile Standard approved inks, which are free from chlorine bleach and other skin irritants.
Shop Kow Tow crew jumper in caramel, £159
Lavender Hill Clothing – The perfect-fit t-shirt
When building a capsule wardrobe, who better to take inspiration from than Meghan Markle. The sustainable brand seen on the Duchess herself, Lavender Hill Clothing makes the perfectly fitted t-shirts that we’ve always dreamed of owning. Designed in a rainbow of colours (including this spring-ready pastel shade), all their t-shirts and vests are made in England from sustainable & biodegradable fabrics.
Shop Lavender Hill Clothing sccop neck t-shirt, £36
Orwell + Austen – The love-forever cashmere jumper
A timeless cashmere jumper is a wardrobe essential, and this ultra-luxurious piece has impeccable sustainable credentials. Handwoven in Nepal from 100% recycled cashmere, this playful striped jumper is proof that eco-conscious design can look (and feel) blissfully indulgent. This playful rainbow striped style will add interest to even your most laidback of outfits, while the natural fibres are toasty enough for cool winter mornings but lightweight enough for sunny spring days.
Shop Orwell + Austen recycled cashmere sweater, £195
Woron – The ultra-comfortable bra
Make ill-fitting underwear a thing of the past with this endlessly wearable bra from Woron. A vegan, cruelty-free, slow fashion brand making chic, modern underwear, loungewear and basics, Woron creates bras that are designed for your most natural fit, not to uncomfortably contort your body to fit the bra. What’s more, each bra is sewn from the sustainably sourced Lenzing Modal: a fine fibre made from beechwood.
Shop Woron lace trimmed soft bra, £50
The Canyon dress by Reformation, £152
Images: Reformation and courtesy of brands,
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