I started working at Marie Claire two years ago with the aim of starting a page focused on ethical fashion. As some of you may know, the page is now a monthly column called "Feel-Good Fashion" and by working on it, I've learned so much about the ethical fashion movement. Unfortunately, one of the things I've notices is that Europe is waaaaay ahead of the U.S. in all things eco. This point can be argued, of course, but in my mind there are so many more designers (especially in northern Europe and the U.K.) that are concerned with issues of sustainability in their designs. We still have great pioneers in the States — Bodkin, Stewart + Brown, Loomstate, and Rosel, to name a few — but we have a long way to go if we want to catch up to our European counterparts.
This point became even more clear to me when I went to the Estethica shows in London during London Fashion Week. Estethica is an initiative that has been going on for five years, and is basically an opportunity for green designers to present their collections. When I went a few weeks ago, I saw about 20 really strong brands backed by really passionate designers. It was so inspiring, and I wish that America would do something like this! Below are my four favorite brands that I saw. Check them out. Fingers crossed, we'll have our own eco-designer showcase with the same caliber of creative designers in the not-to-distant future!
Both upcycled and recycled, these quirky and colorful pieces scream London chic. This was my favorite line at Estethica because it's both fun and wearable. LOVE!
Upcycling in its coolest form. With the Speedo collection, they reuse every scrap and strap from the Speedo factories to make cool dresses that are meant for day, beach, or night. With the main collection, the designer gets unused fabrics from brands like Alaia and Chanel to make an entirely unique-and-chic collection that any girl would die for.
This collection, inspired by the circus and theater, is ethically produced by both recycling and upcycling its materials. Every piece is unique and can be made-to-order.
At first glance, it's hard to believe that these whimsically colorful jackets are eco. But they're all ethically produced, made from recycled and organic materials... Maxjenny more than fits the criteria! I'd love to see someone like Gwen Stefani or Lily Allen rocking some of this outerwear.