5 amazingly innovative sustainable fashion designers
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. It’s also completely unethical. From the 8,000 gallons of water it takes to make a single denim jean, to the abuse and financial burdens women textile workers face every day, the clothes we wear are more than just a harmless form of self-expression. Fortunately, there are designers out there who want to make the world greener, more ethical, and more fashionable.
We have rounded up five innovative sustainable fashion designers who regularly push the envelope in the making of garments. While you may not be able to purchase these designer pieces at your local mall, their methods and materials are proof that clothing can be friendlier to the world.
1. SS Daley
This British design masters the art of upcycling. In one (n interview with fashion, SS Daley said, “Working in lockdown gave me time to think about the materials and resources I had.” One of those resources is tablecloths, which he transforms into boxy shirts and wide-leg pants. There is a bit of imagination that goes with his designs. Each piece hints at the familiar (like the embroidered flowers on a tablecloth), but is then turned upside down and made modern and youthful, yet undeniably classic.
2. Alexandra Sipa
Romanian design Alexandra Sipa does incredible things with wires. She procures wires on the Facebook marketplace and then works her magic and turns them into lace. At first glance, you might think that the clothes are made of threads. The wires are woven so beautifully that you only recognize what you are seeing at a second or third glance. Her work is delicate, intricate, and cleverly uses color to add dimension. We could stare at their work for hours and appreciate the craftsmanship.
3. Katie Jones
This British designer is known for her exaggerated knitwear, full of colors and funky patterns. Katie Jones‘The latest collection is the Make-It-Yourself collection, which encourages consumers to try themselves out as part of their #sofasnotsweatshops mantra. The brand’s sustainable practices address how harmful excessive consumption is and that âmaking something beautiful out of nothingâ is the best way to do it.
4. Mara Hoffmann
The New York-based designer uses pre- and post-consumer waste and seamlessly merges with fashion. It’s easy to see clothing as cheap, disposable, and Hoffman tries to rework that relationship with pieces you want to wear every day. In contrast to the classic “basics”, however, their clothes are eye-catching and special. The designs paired with carefully selected textiles are breathtaking.
Mara Hoffmann uses compostable packaging, digital printing technology and offers its workers safe working conditions and fair wages through transparent relationships with suppliers and factories.
5. Emily Adams Bode
This American designer uses antique fabrics to create fabulous unique designs. Each piece is upcycled, waste-free, handcrafted and made in limited editions to minimize waste. Bode continued to hire craftsmen in India, Peru and New York during the pandemic. Her designs include beautifully tailored striped pants, bold prints, wonderfully ornate t-shirts that will make you laugh, and cute shorts that look like Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. Everything is dreamy and easy to carry.
How can you participate in the sustainable fashion revolution?
These five fashion designers are part of an important conversation about right and wrong ways to source and make clothes, but you don’t have to buy quality designer pieces to be sustainable. At the end of the day, shop less and wear what you already own to contribute to a sustainable fashion world. Upcycling, or recycling, clothes to ensure that clothes don’t end up in a landfill is a manageable but important way to reduce your own waste. Keep big companies that not Respect for the environment and its employees is also vital, as consumer guilt will only hold us back as a society if we try to heal the world from our destructive capitalist patterns.
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