5 Sustainable & Affordable Brands You Should Have on Your Radar

Fashion with a conscience

sustainable affordable fashion brands

Words by Nicole Thomsen
January 17th, 2019

Sustainability and affordability rarely come hand in hand — one often negates the other. However, there are a handful of fashion-forward brands out there making the seemingly impossible possible.

As the earth’s temperature rises, so too is sustainable fashion. In the last two years alone, sustainable, or sustainably sourced, apparel is up 139% according to data collated by Edited in 2018. As one of the major polluting industries in the world, consumers are seeking more accountability from big fashion brands in an effort to slow down global warming, demanding fashion with a conscience, though preferably without the hefty price tag.

Thankfully, there are designers and brands out there that listen. Mid-range brands such as Veja, Reformation and Arket have committed themselves to making products that are both sustainably made yet still beautiful to look at and wear, meaning sustainable fashion is, slowly, becoming accessible and more affordable to all.

Of course, it needs to be said that affordable doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. Sustainable fashion comes at a cost, though not to the environment at least. While you won’t find a dress at Topshop prices, you don’t have to fork out a month’s wages for an environmentally-friendly wardrobe. So, if you’re concerned about the impact of your favourite jeans or cotton tee, discover our top five brands making sustainable fashion affordable below.

VEJA

You know you’re onto a good thing when not one but two people come into the maven46 office wearing the exact same sneakers. Veja — meaning ‘look’ in Brazilian Portuguese — is the ethically sustainable footwear brand on the soles of your favourite bloggers, Instagrammers, and this author. Even Emma Watson and Meghan Markle are fans. The French company has been making environmentally-friendly shoes since 2005, using raw materials sourced from organic farming and ecological agriculture, without chemicals or polluting processes; to create the soles of the trainers, Veja purchases natural rubber directly from seringueiros — rubber tappers — in the Amazon, while fertiliser-free organic cotton is bought from cotton growers in Brazil for a fair price before being woven into canvas uppers.

With a vast array of cool and retro styles to choose from, you can walk comfortable in the knowledge that your trainers won’t leave a footprint on the earth.

 

 

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Reformation

Being naked is the number one most sustainable option. Reformation is number two. Or so goes the LA-based brand’s tagline. Reformation places sustainability at the core of everything it does and sells, even down to the packaging used for online orders which is plastic-free and made from 100% recycled paper products. Though it’s not the cheapest brand on this list, it’s a favourite of maven46 thanks to its insouciantly cool designs that are made to flatter and last far beyond next season. The brand favours fabrics that cause the least amount of impact on the environment, eschewing virgin cotton for recycled and organic forms as well as Tencel and linen which uses basically no water and emits ¼ of the carbon as cotton per pound of fibre.

 

 

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adidas by Stella McCartney

If you’re searching for sustainable sportswear that doesn’t scrimp on functionality or performance, put adidas by Stella McCartney top of your list. Following the same code of ethics that the eponymous luxury brand is renowned for, Stella McCartney’s longstanding partnership with adidas creates sportswear you actually want to wear, using sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled yarn; and innovations like the adidas DryDye technology which uses no water at all to dye clothing. More than half of the apparel and a third of the footwear in the recent AW18 collection are made with eco-innovative and recycled materials, such as parley’s Ocean Plastic.

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Everlane

With over 8 billion tonnes of plastic currently on the planet, Everlane has committed to using “no new plastic” in its supply chain by 2021. The US-based brand prides itself on its transparency and commitment to making apparel from the finest, ethically sourced materials that are made to last, stating that it is working towards replacing all synthetic fabrics with renewed materials, and replacing all virgin plastic poly bags with renewed versions. The brand has also promised to eliminate all single-use plastic from its offices and stores.

The company’s first step in achieving this mammoth goal is a new collection called ReNew which features a selection of timeless outerwear that has been created using 3 million renewed plastic bottles.

 

 

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Arket

Founded in 2017, Arket is the new sustainably-driven fashion label by the H&M Group. With a focus on well-designed products, sustainability is at its core, from the choice of suppliers and materials used to informing shoppers about how to care for their products to prolong their lifespan. Arket’s mission is to democratise quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable apparel that is designed to be worn and loved for a long time.

 

 

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