Five Women at the Forefront of Sustainable Fashion

The environmental, social, and economic cost of fast fashion has been staggering in the last few years. Here’s how five women-leaders in the fashion industry are championing sustainability.

We buy new clothing and accessories for many reasons. It’s because we need new ones. It’s because we want to celebrate our life’s milestones such as marriage. And we buy the latest trendy dress because it’s what’s popular. But what’s concerning is that the fashion industry also contributes to the carbon footprint that affects the earth.

But this doesn’t mean we should stop supporting fashion. This just means we can start looking for sustainable alternatives. This is where these five women leaders in sustainable fashion come in. They provide options for us so that we feel great about our clothing. And so we don’t feel guilty about the impact on the environment. So the next time we buy a promise ring for women, why not buy one that’s made from sustainable materials such as silicone?


Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney has been a common household name for years now. Her work has been capturing people’s attention since the mid-1990s. She gained prominence when she was appointed as the Creative Director of Chloe in Paris in 1997. She continued to climb higher in the industry when she launched her own brand in 2001.

She’s been a vegetarian her whole life. This ethical choice influenced her decision to never use any leather or fur in her designs. In 2018, she launched her first bridal collection. She called in “Made with Love.” The collection is named as such because the gowns are made from eco-friendly materials. Some examples are organic cotton, wool that’s ethically sourced, and recycled textiles.


Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood is also a well-known figure in the fashion industry. She’s been building her legacy since the 1970s. This was when she began designing clothing and accessories that are infused with punk elements. She challenged the masses’ idea of what’s appropriate clothing in public. She did so by introducing bondage pants and other fashion elements relating to BDSM.

This Dame of the British Empire has always been an activist at heart. Her work always represents something bigger than fashion. Through fashion design, she spread awareness of civil rights and freedom of speech. In recent years, she’s focused more on climate justice. She used eco-friendly materials in her designs. She even partnered with People Tree to produce clothing that’s 100 percent organic.


Aurora James

Aurora James launched Brother Vellies in 2013 with a vision to create a more sustainable world. She understood that climate justice is connected with the underrepresentation of people of color in fashion. So she created a solution for that through her fashion house.

Brother Vellies aims to uphold the traditional technique and practices of African design. By doing so, she’s also empowering the Black community by creating sustainable and fair jobs. The fashion company is committed to creating innovative solutions for the environment. One of which is a fully collapsible shoebox. It can help reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint.


Yasmina Qanzal

When Yasmina Qanzal was in the process of building her fashion label, Yasmina Q, she was influenced by Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030.” It’s a strategic framework that aims to build an economy that’s powered by diversity, less dependence on oil, and developed public sectors such as health and education.

As such, she created a company that’s conscious of its environmental impact. Her designs are made of materials that are sourced sustainably. Some examples are polyesters that are recycled or organic cotton. Like James, she’s also very conscious of the connection between climate justice and social justice. This is why her work would always champion women empowerment, fair wages, and workers’ rights.


Maggie Hewitt

Maggie Hewitt‘s love and commitment to the welfare of the environment is influenced by her upbringing. She grew up in a rural and coastal part of New Zealand. As such, she felt very close to nature and made sure that her love for it will always be prevalent in her work.

Her fashion label, Maggie Marilyn, promises to always be transparent about the materials that they use in their clothing and accessories. They also vowed to always put environmental protection first. They even use packaging made from cassava root.

The problem with fashion trends is that they come and go in the blink of an eye. Before we knew it, we’re scrambling to get the latest trendy outfit to fit in. This is the culture that fast fashion creates. And this culture causes a ripple effect on the environment. The turnover in fashion trends moves so quickly. This is why companies are driven to make new clothes all the time. This produces more waste of “outdated” clothing.

So it’s always good to know that there are fashion icons out there who are prioritizing the protection of the environment by using sustainable materials and protecting workers’ rights.


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