Top 5 Sustainable Brands To Shop If You Want A Polished Look

We need to start putting more care into the environment, there’s no doubt about that. It is crucial to the well-being of us and our animal friends that we take care of the planet. Given that the fashion industry is one of the top contributors to pollution, starting with our closets seems like the way to go. From what you’ve seen online, you might have the impression that sustainable fashion brands typically cater only to an outdoorsy or athletic lifestyle. It’s somewhat true that sustainable brands tend to lean toward a more rugged aesthetic, but it’s completely possible to build an eco-friendly closet even if the only jungle you’ve ever seen is a concrete jungle. Here are a few low impact yet sophisticated brands to get you started on your eco work wardrobe.

A stack of clothing with a tag that reads "100% recycled fabric"



Known For: Capsule wardrobes made from sustainable materials in ethical and fair trade factories

Best For: Classic workwear, day dresses

Price: $$-$$$

Vetta was founded in 2015 by Cara Barlett and Vanessa Van Zyl. It is a sustainable fashion brand specializing in curated capsule wardrobes consisting of 5 pieces each, which Vetta claims can be mixed and matched for 30 different outfits. They currently have 7 capsules available ranging from $439 to $549, which makes them quite pricey for a student on a budget but becomes quite affordable with afterpay. You can also build your own capsule, and a lot of their items are reversible or convertible in some way so you get a ton of bang for your buck.

House Of Aama

Known For: Silk pieces in a variety of nude tones sustainably produced and inspired by black history.

Best For: Dressy but versatile silk separates, lacey Victorian-inspired pieces.

Price: $-$$$

Founded in 2014 by mother-daughter duo Rebecca and Akua Shabaka, this brand consists of made to order pieces offsetting the carbon footprint associated with mass-produced goods. The majority of their clothes are made with organic cotton or sustainably produced silk. It’s a great black-owned brand to support and the beautiful items are timeless and will last forever.

Amour Vert

Known For: Colorful basics made from sustainable signature fabrics.

Best For: Basic yet fun tops and dresses that work great for day, at home, or mixed and matched under work blazers.

Price: $-$$$

The brainchild of husband and wife Christoph Frehsee and Linda Balti, this brand claims some impressive eco feats. Among them are planting over 300,000 trees since their inception and thus sequestering over 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide. To accomplish this, they use mostly Tencel, wool and mulberry silk. Even their packaging is biodegradable, right down to the ink used to print the logos on them. If this seems like something you want to contribute to, Amour Vert is the perfect place to get cute casual tops for a little over $50. More expensive items fi for the office or a class presentation might run $50-$100.

Eileen Fisher

Known For: High end but simple basics made in as closed a manufacturing loop as possible.

Best For: Designer quality silk and basics, and mature yet easy to wear separates, dresses and accessories.

Price: $-$$$$

Eileen Fisher began her namesake in 1984 with 4 simple garments intended to make getting dressed a bit easier for herself. The company has since grown exponentially over the years but has kept its promise to “make clothes you don’t have to think too much about.” Fisher’s simple yet sophisticated designs are kept sustainable with low impact fabrics like their silk crepe georgette, which was certified in 2012 as meeting bluesign criteria; a high standard for consumer safety and low environmental impact. Helping Fisher achieve this is her Renew initiative, which takes secondhand Eileen Fisher items and dismantles them to make new pieces. This means you can be sure that your new items are sustainable and your secondhand items are accurately branded, no faux designer pieces here. And picking up a few Eileen Fisher items for your dorm wouldn’t be a bad idea either, since her homeware items are made from clothing fabric scraps through the Waste No More program. Certain larger pieces might be hard on a student budget, but they’ll last a lifetime and smaller items are definitely within reach.

Mother Of Pearl

Known For: Sustainable contemporary fashion with luxurious fabrics and interesting details.

Best For: Fun patterned and embellished pieces to give you your maximalist fix without the impact.

Price: $$$-$$$$$

Founders Maya Norman and Sue Foulston were way ahead of their time, founding Mother Of Pearl in 2002 before sustainability really took off. In the last 5 years, creative director Amy Powney has turned the brand into a household name in luxury circles and writes her own sustainability column for Vogue. This brand focuses on sustainable denim, knits, and basics, but that’s not all. You can also find tailored dresses and beautiful tweed jackets. Less than 5% of their fabrics are synthetic and are only used when necessary. All of their manufacturing processes are as transparent as possible and those who produced their fabrics are ensured a fair wage. They even recommend ethical and sustainable dry cleaners to clean your items. This brand is living proof that luxury and sustainability aren’t opposites of each other. If you want to lower your footprint and still wear pearls and ruffles, this is the brand for you.



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