At the other pole of fast fashion madness, a new wave of slow fashion brands is pushing the industry toward a sustainable direction.
Compared to industrial-scale fast fashion enterprises, slow fashion brands make high-quality clothes from sustainable materials.
Hand-made by local artisans from sustainably sourced raw materials, these high-quality clothes last a lifetime and are a pleasure to wear.
Moreover, slow fashion brands remove the need for middle parties and wasteful supply chains.
If you’re looking to start building your slow fashion wardrobe, see 10 of my favorite slow fashion labels below:
1. Stella McCartney
London-born Stella McCartney has launched the slow fashion brand with the same name with one goal: to give consumers sustainable and ethical luxury fashion.
Since the beginning, the British designer aimed to create eco-friendly fashion and sustainable wardrobe alternatives.
The designer has been a vegetarian for most of her life and purposefully avoids fur and leather in her cruelty-free creations.
Moreover, Stella champions using sustainable materials such as organic cotton, ethically sourced wool, and recycled textiles.
The slow fashion brand’s official website sums up the following:
“Stella McCartney’s commitment to sustainability is evident throughout all collections as part of the brand’s ethos of being a responsible, honest, and modern company.“
The label’s timeless creations are conspiring silhouettes of pure sensuality, urban sophistication, and modern ethical motifs of conscious luxury.
2. Eileen Fisher
Once an interior and graphic designer, Eileen Fisher is now a fashion designer passionate about upcycling old textiles and garments and turning them into luxurious and sustainable fashion.
Fisher’s official website reveals that the designer has launched the brand with only $350 in her bank account.
Moreover, Eileen had no previous knowledge of sewing or sales.
Eileen used her design knowledge to create beautiful but straightforward fashion outlooks.
Nowadays, one of the most popular slow fashion brands, the label has a dedicated ‘social consciousness’ department.
3. Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood stands apart from all the slow fashion brands we cover in this article as the designer focuses on a different wasteful fashion trend.
Dressing up for Instagram selfies and buying clothes and accessories only to send them back.
To Vivienne Westwood, that’s a sick mindset.
“Buy less, choose well, and make it last,” said the British designer.
As the face of one of the last independent fashion houses in the world, Vivienne has initiated multiple anti-fast fashion protests and collections.
Seeking to secure a more sustainable fashion industry, Vivienne Westwood uses collections, collaborations, and catwalk shows as platforms for sustainable fashion.
In the designer’s words:
“We capture your imagination with innovative designs while campaigning to protect the environment.“
The British designer is one of the few slow fashion brands championing quality over quantity and a keen promoter of human rights in the fashion industry.
4. Misha Nonoo
Misha Nonoo is another slow fashion brand that targets waste from a digital angle.
The designer uses her multicultural background to create distinct collections for modern-conscious fashion lovers.
Misha’s collections are presented solely on Instagram and Snapchat as a unique form of protest against the waste created by fashion shows.
This simple approach helps the brand to reduce the cost of products, promote sustainability, and engage in waste reduction.
5. Bethany Williams
The British designer Bethany Williams is an up-and-coming stylist much appreciated by fashion critics.
Bethany’s debut collection was “Women for Change”; the second is “No Address Needed to Join.”
Both collections are environmentally and socially friendly, as the designer champions repurposing waste materials.
Moreover, this is one of the few slow fashion brands that donates 20% of the profits to help uplift local communities of artisans.
6. Mara Hoffman
Mara Hoffman’s slow fashion brand was launched in 2000.
A graduate of Parsons’ School of Design in New York City, Mara, is part of the new wave of conscious fashion designers.
In 2015 the designer brand began questioning her impact on the environment.
As a result, she started implementing more sustainable materials and labor practices.
Mara’s slow fashion brand chooses a preponderance of eco-friendly fabrics such as Repreve or Econyl.
Also, organic textiles such as hemp, natural linen, organic cotton, and other fibrous plant-based materials as green alternatives to traditional materials.
Overall, from all slow fashion brands here, Mara Hoffman leads the “mindful consumption” conversation and is a source of inspiration and female empowerment.
Mara Hoffman’s creations are crafted from sustainable and eco-friendly materials by close-knit expert artisans in New York City.
7. Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher started her slow fashion journey as an interior and graphic designer.
Fisher’s official website reveals that the designer has launched the brand with only $350 in her bank account.
Her label is one of the leading slow fashion brands, upcycling old textiles and garments and turning them into luxurious and sustainable fashion.
8. Kitx by Kit Willow
Following her love for nature and fashion, Kit Willow has decided to develop her slow fashion brand, Kitx.
According to the designer, the Kitx brand epitomizes kindness, integrity, and transparency.
“I strongly believe we can design a better world without harming the environment,” says the designer.
Kit Willow’s slow fashion brand leads the way to sustainability and ethical production by sourcing fabrics only from environmentally friendly and socially conscious companies.
9. Marcus Wainwright
Marcus Wainwright’s slow fashion brands story starts from a personal angle.
His drive to create the perfect pair of jeans led him to launch his luxury brand, Rag & Bone.
Shortly after, the brand became renowned for its keen focus on local production and sustainability.
Right now, the label is focused on several green initiatives.
In the latest one, Marcus has partnered with Cotton Inc’s Blue Jeans Go Green intending to launch a denim recycling program.
Their innovative project urges customers to bring in old jeans for a 20 percent discount on purchasing new jeans from the brand.
The old jeans are then recycled and made into insulation for homes and civic-minded buildings around America.
10. Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten is a Belgian fashion figure that continues gaining worldwide recognition.
In 2005, The New York Times named Dries “one of fashion’s most cerebral designers.”
The brand is loved for its eccentric styles and forms, and the designer is very vocal about the sustainable materials he uses in his creations.
11. Alice Early
Another London-based designer, Alice Early, is known for her slow-fashion creations of sustainable nature.
After working in the fashion industry for over ten years, Alice launched her slow fashion brand in 2018.
The designer is obsessed with creating environmentally and socially-conscious couture.
Alice uses only organic and sustainable materials and ships her creations in recyclable packaging.
12. Alabama Chanin
Alabama Chanin is originating from Florence, Alabama, United States.
Alabama is a city of rare heritage and extraordinary craftsmanship.
The label’s slow fashion pieces are hand-made from natural fabrics by the city’s local artisans.
Also, the brand is using upcycling to revive the stories of intricate forms and twists inspired by the artworks of local artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Egidio Costantini.
13. Ovna Ovich
Ovna Ovich is founded in 2012 by Marina Davis in Auckland, New Zealand.
The label is famous for pushing the boundaries of femininity.
In its collection, Ovna Ovich beautifully combines the masculinity drawn from its rich Russian heritage with the compassionate and earth-loving nature of New Zealand.
This combination is also portrayed in the label’s name, Ovna Ovich, meaning feminine masculine.
Moreover, Ovna Ovich follows the slow fashion philosophy.
The label carefully chooses natural fabrics and blends them with the rare craft of local artisans in Auckland.
14. Helder Antwerp
Helder Antwerp is a Belgium-based ethical fashion label of Romanian heritage.
The label is known for its excellent compositions and plays of contemporary feminine sensuality, beautifully built on one’s desire to showcase its strength and independence.
Helder Antwerp’s slow fashion ethos is portrayed through the brand’s conscious choice of responsible manufacturing techniques, sustainable materials, and innovative and future-proof fabrics.
14. Gaia & Dubos
Gaia & Dubos is a modern designer label with strong ethical values.
The label blends mythological divinity tones with flavors of 20th-century environmentalist attitudes.
Gaia & Dubos’ creations are designed and hand-crafted by a team of highly-skilled artisans in Quebec, Canada.
16. Sanah Sharma
Sanah Sharma is a conceptual designer label of Indian origin, focused on making intelligently engineered couture with sustainability in mind,
The label has a zero-waste design approach with a great focus on upcycling.
Also, Sanah Sharma has drawn inspiration from topology, quantum physics, material behavior, and design multi-dimensionality.
As such, the label’s creations are the epitome of perfect human kinetics and an augmentation of the human experience.
17. Catalina J
Hailing from Belgium, Catalina J is a modern designer label aiming to redefine the classic feminine silhouette.
Catalina J’s comfortable silhouettes are empowered with the timeless opulence of artisanal crafts
A symbiotic mix of geometric cuts and pure abstract lines of the urban lifestyle inspires the brand designs.
Sanikai is a Swiss-based designer clothing label founded in 2015 based on responsibility for our only planet and the love of nature.
The label blends timeless fashion design, exceptional quality, and sustainability ethos.
Sanikai is known for using natural fabrics and recycled materials fused with Swiss perfectionism with a positive attitude towards a conscious lifestyle that embraces life and awakens dormant senses.
The label fosters young talents and their creativity and craft to preserve the rare art of tailoring.
With raging wildfires ripping through California, Russia, Brazil, and Australia, our impact on nature is evident,
Even worse is our reckless consumption, carbon footprint, lack of waste management, etc.
Luckily, a new wave of slow fashion brands has emerged, hailed by conscious designers that promote environmental and social responsibility.
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Ana Alves is a fashion and beauty writer with a keen interest in sustainability and veganism. Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil but living in London, UK, Ana has been writing about sustainable and vegan fashion for over 10 years. Actively curating for Saatchi, Ana’s engaging prices have been presented in Forbes, Wired, Vanity Fair, The London Economic, Digital Trends, and The VOU.