Topitoibottom: Vivien Spearmint by Nancy Dee, Lilly Poppies by Nancy Dee, Vashty Pink by Nancy Dee, Phillipa Red Chillies by Palava, Louise Shop Local by Palava. Main photo: Vera Grapefruit by Palava.
Turn heads in stylish slow fashion
Ethical clothing can be as funky and fabulous as it is sustainable thanks to eco fashion brands like Nancy Dee and Palava, whose playful, bright clothes are sure to get you noticed.
Not sure what ethical fashion is? It’s clothing that is made using sustainable materials and methods by firms that give their staff fair pay and conditions. Ethical fashion is positive for everyone involved in the production process as well as being kinder to the planet.
In contrast, fast fashion contributes to the global waste problem and 350,000 tonnes of clothing end up in landfill every year, which is around £140 million worth of clothes. It causes poverty too because more than 90% of fashion brands don’t pay a living wage.
Sustainable slow fashion can seem pricey but you’ll get more wears out of it because it’s designed to last. There’s some truth in the old adage, you get what you pay for. Here’s my pick of the best ethical clothing brands, which all create bright and beautiful pieces that make a real style statement.
I love Nancy Dee’s fabulous designs, especially the colourful and pretty print dresses, and they are made right here in Britain. Most of their ethical clothes are made from renewable sources, such as organic cotton and bamboo, and they pride themselves on working with small factories so they know workers are getting a fair deal. They reuse or dye their offcuts to avoid wastage and they source all their sustainable packaging from local businesses. I love the bright Vasthy tea dress in pink, the poppies-print Lilly dress and the retro Vivien Spearmint dress. Nancy Dee will be relaunching soon with a timeless yet playful look that is centred around capsule wardrobe staples. I can’t wait to see it! In the meantime, there are some super stylish bargains to be found in the Super Sale.
If you like eye-catching prints, you’ll love Palava Their patterned skirts and dresses are made in a family-run factory in London and their knitwear is produced in Europe. Palava aim for zero waste, so they avoid plastic packaging and use off-cuts to make accessories. They produce small amounts of each design to avoid waste too, which means your look will be unique – no more turning up to the party in the same outfit as your friends! Palava make their clothes from organic, hemp and linen cotton blends, pure linen and Tencel, which is made from sustainably sourced wood pulp. I love the Louise dress in Shop Local, the Vera Blue Grapefruit cardigan and the Phillipa Red Chillies dress. They do an adorable children’s range too and a collection called Mummy & Me for matching mum-and-daughter outfits.
With their colourful kaftans and floral frocks, a Gundren Sjoden outfit is sure to brighten up your wardrobe. Their timeless tunics, cardigans and jackets suit all ages and come in a range of colours and patterns. Most of their sustainable clothing is organic and they’ve had a code of conduct in place for suppliers since 2001, including a commitment to fair pay and working hours and no child labour. The Swedish brand believe in making clothes that are made to last a long time, giving you good value for money and helping you to cut back on waste. I love the Wheat longline cardigan and the bright Sunflower dress. The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine and all proceeds from the sale of this dress will go to the UNHCR to help their work in Ukraine.
Lucy and Yak
You’ll turn heads in Lucy and Yak’s geometric, floral and Seventies-inspired prints. Their ethical fashion range includes dungarees, dresses, shirts and tees in a range of patterns and block colours. All of their suppliers pay fair wages and some are partially solar powered. Lucy and Yak use organic cotton that is certified Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), polyester made from recycled plastic bottles and biodegradable closed loop fabric made from seaweed and wood pulp. The closed loop process ensures that any chemicals used in the manufacturing process are reused and never released as waste. I love the Mini Pini Anaya pinafore dress and LE Penny dungarees.
With their vibrant graphic prints, Miss Pompom’s ethical clothes are fun and unique. The collection includes playsuits, jumpsuits, jackets and dresses adorned with geometric patterns in eye-catching hues. Miss Pompom is based in Brixton, London and their sustainable clothing is made at a factory in Jaipur, India that puts the planet and the wellbeing of its workers first. The knitwear is made by a family-run factory in Turkey and they use vegan yarns and GOTS-certified organic cotton fabrics. I love the Green Delta cropped swing jacket, Diamond Dreams jumpsuit and Pink Scribble playsuit.