Top 7 Sustainable Fashion Designers Making a Change in 2022

The fashion industry emits more than 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases each year, accounting for more than 10% of the world’s carbon footprint. More consumers and brands realized the need for renovations in fashion, with consumers seeking transparent, sustainable processes, and brands making changes accordingly.

What does sustainable fashion mean?

Sustainable fashion is a design philosophy and movement that promotes environment and social responsibility. Sustainable fashion is defined as clothing, shoes, and other accessories that are manufactured and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into accounts both environmental and socio-economic.

Popular parts of sustainable fashion include:

  • Ethical Fashion: Production, Working conditions, fair-trade
  • Circular Fashion: Recycling, Upcycling, Thrifting
  • Slow Fashion: Sharing, Renting,
  • Conscious Fashion: Eco-friendly, green fashion

How eco-friendly fashion designers are making a change

  • 1. Reduces toxic waste and supports animal rights.
  • 2. Clothes are distinct and unique.
  • 3. Leads to less strain on the planet’s resources as eco-friendly clothing is made through sustainable practices.
  • 4. Eco-friendly fashion does not harm you.

 

More and more brands are making the transition to sustainable fashion. If you are also considering a change, or just looking to get inspired, let’s take a look at these designers:

Garcia Bello

Garcia Bello was conceived in Argentina by Juliana Garcia Bello. This designer focuses on upcycling and reconstruction methods by using disused materials and donated hand me downs. These discarded clothes are then combined with raw cotton to make its collections. Bello likes to use small stock to adopt a humane and unhurried time frame too.

 

The vision 

Garcia Bello’s upcycling methods relies on the following framework:

  • 1. Upcycling: A reconstruction method that combines outdated clothing and textiles to generate unique garments. It is essentially the practice of extending the life of objects.
  • 2. Handmade: To ensure every piece is durable, low-impact, comfortable and timeless, the garments are made in a simple way with handmade details.
  • 3. Reconstruction: The fabrics are obtained through donations from the community and deadstock from organizations, stores and companies. Then they are sorted and prepared for reconstruction. 
  • 4. Workshops: To spread awareness of the upcycling methodology, Bello invites people to learn more about how to extend the useful life of garments by sharing videos, workshops and more.

Sanyukta Shrestha

Sanyukta Shrestha is a pioneer in sustainable bridal wear and eveningwear. Her designs are luxurious, timeless and sustainable. She has redefined the bridal market with her sustainability goals, making an industry that was previously thought to be unsustainable – sustainable and couture at the same time. One of her designs was preserved in the Fashion Museum in Bath in 2012..

The Vision

Sanyukta Shrestha’s fight for a better environment includes the following steps:

  • 1. Ethical Workforce: The designer promises to lead by example by giving back to the community and spreading women empowerment. 
  • 2. Sustainable Luxury: All the designers designs are sustainably produced with Fair-Trade Standards. Being an advocate for the slow fashion movement, the pieces are handcrafted using a circular system of Zero Waste principle.
  • 3. Traceability:  The designer is committed to allow consumers to track the product’s lifecycle down to the raw materials and where they came from, who makes them and how they make them.
  • 4. Preserving Ancient Craft: Every gown is handspun and hand loomed with respect to the Nepalese craftsmanship and the ancient techniques that are used as a foundation for the distinctive designs.

Hunza G

Hunza G is a British based sustainable swimwear brand helmed by Georgiana Huddart. All items are one-size inclusive and reflect the pillars of sustainability and authenticity. The signature fabric is crinkle-stretch and the designer wishes to create figure flattering fabric that flexes to sculpt and support all shapes.

 

The Vision

Hunza G’s fight for sustainability includes the following pillars:

  • 1. Carbon Neutrality : All signature garments are made without any wastage left behind. The designer also follows a one size stance to be inclusive and to reduce the risk of over purchasing sizing.
  • 2. Giving back to the Community: The designer places a huge importance on community and donates portions of the gross profit to various charities as well as small movements supporting sustainable efforts.
  • 3. Reducing Waste: Localized production and operations are important, allowing for a limited carbon footprint and limited commercial output. The mailer bags are environmentally friendly and the entire process is done as green as possible.

Carolina K

Carolina K is a luxury lifestyle brand founded by Carolina Kleinman, who designs her collections on the foundation of versatility and functionality. Each piece is created with consciousness in mind and the artisanal works of different cultures is the defining characteristic of her designs.

The Vision

Carolina K’s desire for sustainability includes the following pillars:

  • 1. Circularity: Carolina K’s brand strives to operate in a responsible and sustainable way by launching a ‘Zero Waste Initiative,’ to make sure every last piece of fabric is used.
  • 2. Ethical Workforce: Since the launch, Carolina has been committed to empowering and uplifting the communities of people dedicated to preserving their ancestral techniques. Slow fashion is pioneered and this reduces the impact on the environment.
  • 3. Responsible Fabric Choices: Each design is created with responsible fabric choices and everything is chosen with much love and care for the environment. Natural and recycled fabrics are prioritized.

4. Giving Back: The designer is committed to giving back to the community through volunteering and making more conscious everyday actions. You too, can join in on the initiatives here.

Katharine Hamnett

Katharine Hamnett is a brand inspired by Buddist concepts of Right Livelihood. Manufacturing sustainably is the heart of their business and they aspire to be completely traceable and transparent soon. They want to prove that changing the industry from within is very possible.

The Vision

Katharine Hamnett’s commitment to sustainability includes the following pillars:

  • 1. Sustainable Materials: The designer is committed to only using raw materials from sustainable sources. You can find detailed information about the source materials here.
  • 2. Ethical Behavior: Hamnett is committed to making clothes ethically and as environmentally friendly as possible with respect to the traditional skills used in making the garments.
  • 3. Cutting Carbon Emissions: All dyeing and processing is at a minimum in compliance with REACH and they are aiming for a GOTS certification too.

Maggie Marilyn

Maggie Marilyn aims to do things differently and wants to use fashion to create a better world. Maggie Hewitt, the founder of the brand set out to reduce the carbon footprint by 73% to become a climate-positive business.

The Vision

Maggie Marilyn’s commitment to revolutionizing the fashion industry includes the following steps:

  • 1. Improving Relationships: Maggie wants to build strong, trusting and endurable relationships with every creator in the supply chain, ensuring every person involved is supported and respected.
  • 2. Traceability: The brand is committed to ensuring full traceability across the supply chain and every fibre is traced back to its farms properly. 
  • 3. Kind to the Planet: The production of textiles is taken very responsibly as the impact it has – if done irresponsibly, can be very harmful to the environment, therefore, Maggie Marilyn hopes to transform the fashion industry into a transparent, sustainable, circular and regenerative one, with inclusivity in mind.
  • 4. Giving back to the Community: Community is extremely important to the designer, and they try their best to give back to the organizations and charities, especially non-profits that help people with mental illnesses and those dealing with grief.

Misha Nonoo

Misha Nonoo is a fashion designer with a multicultural upbringing. This diversity is showcased through her work. She was named under Forbes ‘30 under 30,’ and was the first designer to use social media as a venue for her fashion shows. She wishes to push boundaries by marrying her designs with innovative digital concepts that are celebrated by women.

The Vision

Misha Nonoo wishes to push the boundaries with the following steps:

  • 1. On-demand: The designer participates in a method of manufacturing goods that entail that garments are only made when required rather than in large batches, which cuts down on pollution.
  • 2. Ethical Factories: Misha only works with factories that conduct businesses in an ethical way by paying their workers a fair local wage with strict no child labor policies. These factories are often visited to ensure that the good  practices are carried out.
  • 3. Cutting Plastic in Supply Chain: The designer is actively working on reducing the amount of plastic in the supply chain from removing plastic packaging and finding alternative materials where possible. The clothes are also designed to be worn many times to avoid mass consumption.

How to become a sustainable fashion designer

Whether you have started, or are planning to become a sustainable fashion designer, designing on sustainability principles is a lot more than using organic fabrics, dyes, and textiles.

60-80% of a garment impact on sustainability depends on the choices made at design and development stage. To become a sustainable fashion designer, you need to design anticipating the impact further along in the supply chain, be it at the sourcing, production and packaging phase. To achieve that you will need to learn the different facets of sustainability and efficiently communicate and collaborate with other actors in the development process who also need to be educated on sustainable practices and can align with your vision.

To upgrade your skills and know more about sustainability in fashion, go for Motif’s Sustainability in Fashion Course. The online course is self-paced and relevant for designers and product development team members at a large, whether they are seating in brands, retailers sourcing offices and vendors. And don’t forget as a simple citizen and consumer you should also do your part by supporting sustainable fashion designers to take ethical fashion from margins to the mainstream.

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