From sustainable food, to sustainable fashion. This is a follow up to the roundup I did last year for BELLA (Forever Fashion) where the focus was more everyday casual wear. This time, I decided to focus on dressier sustainable fashion. Normally, the holidays are a great time for parties and get-togethers but obviously that’s a little different this time around. Yet there is no reason you can’t have these brands in your back pocket for future functions:
I first got wind of this brand last year. Since that time, they have had a few collaborations running, including one with the Campaign for Wool’s 10th anniversary with Johnston’s of Elgin (I picked up a super soft scarf for myself before they were sold out!). Another great collaboration they are doing with Wool and the Gang is a DIY kit to create your own sweater. It’s the perfect lockdown holiday activity while watching those Netflix Christmas movies. Don’t be fooled, they not only sell knitwear though; check out their jumpsuit and dresses made from natural fibers and digital prints.
Last year, I also became aware of Ninety Percent, a London-based sustainable womenswear label. The label shares 90% of the profits between charitable causes and those that make the collection happen. As a consumer, you are able to vote for your chosen cause using the unique code found in your garment’s care label. Ninety Percent’s Tencel dresses and jumpsuits definitely work for both day-to-night. And who knew that organic cotton could look so chic in a one shoulder top?
Nihan Onat’s Fall/Winter 20/21 is a true East-meets-West collection. Giving a nod to both her roots in Istanbul and the allure of strong, and passionate women of old/new Hollywood, she has designed an exquisite line of women’s outwear. Taking her knowledge as a designing consultant on women’s leather and fur outerwear for brands like Burberry and Celine, Nihan realized that high-end outwear did not need to harm animals in the process. Moving to New York in 2014 to start her brand, N’ONAT mixes thoughtful design with certified eco-friendly textiles and finishes like fine metal zippers, snaps and buttons.
The PETA approved, Canadian company has several vegan furs, wool and leather styles that can dress up the even the most casual of outfits. Read: You can even wear them over NOIZE sweats and no one will notice! Dispelling the myth – even though these coats are vegan – they are still warm (the Vegan fur one can shield you from weather down to -15 C/5 F). Add on some NOIZE vegan boots and your good to enjoy the snow outside. Socially distanced, of course.
It took a bit of time to find a jewelry brand that could fit the sustainable model. I was so happy when I came across Octavia Elizabeth. Trained in London, each piece in Octavia’s line is produced start-to-finish in Los Angeles. This is a rarity in the fine jewelry world and it cuts down on the carbon emission of the final piece. Guaranteeing fair working conditions and legitimate living wages for employees, Octavia strives to be as transparent as the diamonds she sells. Her best sellers include the Whimsy, the Micro Chloe Hoops and my personal favorite, the Micro Gabby Hoops. More than just earrings, Octavia has rings, bracelets and necklaces to suit the most discerning of tastes.
Born as a response to Flint, Michigan’s clean water crisis which started in April 2014, Genusee has actively closed the loop on the city’s plastic water bottle consumption. The company produces sustainable eyewear using 15 single use water bottles for reading or sun, with or without prescription. Genusee, not only produces eyewear, like the staple Roeper style, but also have brought living wage jobs back to the city. Putting their money where their mouth is, Genusee donates partial proceeds to the Flint Promise & Child Health and Development Fund promoting children’s health in the city. Check out the collaboration with NY artist, Amber Vittoria and support this extraordinary company doing impactful work.
From eyewear to shoes, Vivaia takes 6 plastic water bottles and creates a collection of stylish boots and flats with a seamless zero waste 3D knitted design. The direct-to- consumer company offers the machine washable, breathable, natural latex eco-friendly footwear at a fraction of the cost. This holiday, I have my eye on the Loafers in a Denim Blue (It reminds me of Lanvin or Smythson) or Valencia flats in Ebony Ivory!
It’s easy to transform the look of an outfit by simply switching a practical accessory. Echo New York knows this well. Since 1923, Echo New York has taught their customers how to tie the perfect neck accessory, a scarf. Made from recycled polyester and available in a variety of colors, the Recycled Bubble Scarf and the Recycled Cable Scarf are a necessity to those cooler, crisp winter nights.
Wade Ross Skinner established the Cape Town-based leather atelier in 2011. Wolf + Maiden takes a unique stance on the intersection between fashion and tech. Offering this product line first on Kickstarter (and on their website in the new year), for the year MMXX (2020) there are three styles to choose from; the Leonardo Weekender, the Niccolò Overnighter, and the Galilei Expandable Tote. Each bag uses NFC chip technology to create digital memory captured on the Storyteller App which includes the weather, date and location. Looking at sustainability at a different angle, Wolf + Maiden sees it as buying a high-quality product that has the ability to be repaired and refurbished as needed. Using quality materials such as vegetable tanned Novonappa leathers to French linen thread – no detail is spared on your hand-sewn Wolf + Maiden bag, creating an heirloom for you and yours to enjoy for generations to come.