A Sustainable shopping guide pt.1

Jun 26, 2017

To be sure, the offer of sustainable styles has vastly improved over the last few years. The days of tree-hugging fashions are happily far behind us. But still, finding brands that offer really fashion foreward pieces (that also happen to fit my personal style) and at the same time make an effort to minimise their environmental impact and/or improve labour conditions for their manufacturers? Not always an easy job! That's why I'm starting a small series in which I'll go on a quest to find brands that meet all of my standards. For today I selected 5 brands. We'll have a look at what efforts they're untertaking to deserve the 'sustainable label' and what items I would totally add to my closet if I could (I'm on a shoping stop right now, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming - nor from having a smallish relapse spree for my birthday earlier this month, ahem).



Reformation produces most of its collection in L.A. Their workers get paid the minimum wages or more. They recycle about 75% of all their garbage (e.g. textile scraps). Naturally they try to produce as energy-efficient as possible, but on top of that they also help plant forests and invest in clean water solutions, in exchange for the emissions and water used by their clothes.

1. Reformation Crew tank 2. Reformation Blush dress 3. Reformation Lace up top 4. Reformation High waist jeans 5. Reformation Basket 6. Reformation Button front dress


H&M Conscious

H&M's Conscious line focuses on using fabrics made from recycled material (Bionic, Tencel, recycled polyester) or organic cotton and silk. H&M also claims that they only partner up with factories who treat their workers with respect and pay them fair wages, though I'll admit they are rather vague about how we should interpret these concepts. I'm not saying that there is no room for improvement here, but I do appreciate the effort they're doing. And by buying from their conscious collection only, we as customers can show them which direction we want them to go in.

1. H&M Conscious Silk-blend flounced trousers 2. H&M Conscious Silk blouse 3. H&M Conscious Silk-blend shirt 4. H&M Conscious Off-the-shoulder blouse 5. H&M Conscious Silk dress 6. H&M Conscious Net bag

Filippa K

Filippa K offers high quality clothing in timeless designs, in other words, clothes that will last. This is already a first step into sustainability. On a plus, their collections are available for rent, which allows customers to give their closet an updatet feel without having to buy new stuff all the time. They are also a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, which tries to improve conditions for apparel factory workers. And they're striving to make their entire collection as sustainable as possible by 2030, by recycling materials and producing with minimal impact on the environment. You can read their Sustainability reports and Fair Wear Performance reports on their website.

1. Filippa K Short sleeve linen tee 2. Filippa K Twisted stripe top 3. Filippa K Sandals 4. Filippa K A-lined denim skirt 5. Filippa K Bomber jacket 6. Filippa K Cropped stripe pants


Monki has a 100% organic cotton denim range and all their stores offer garment and textile recycling. Just like with H&M their manufacturers have to sign a Sustainability Commitment. By signing this, they promise to meet certain standards regarding both working conditions and environmental practices. I guess it's kind of the same story here as with their mother company H&M: still much room for improvement, but it's better than making no effort at all, no?

1. Monki Statement tee 2. Monki Cropped blouse 3. Monki Striped dress 4. Monki Midi skirt 5. Monki Embroidered jeans 6. Monki Denim jacket


Kowtow only uses 100% organic certified  and 100% fair trade certified cotton. All fabric is dyed using Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) approved dyes which are free of hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals. Their cloting is made in a factory in India that pays all their employees a living wage, social security and pension funds. Workers receive house rent, which is 5% of their basic wages,  free transport services to the factory, paid holiday leave, sick pay, medical insurance and overtime pay. Basically, sustainable and ethical fashion as it should be.

1. Kowtow Chambray top 2. Kowtow A-line top 3. Kowtow Pink sweater 4. Kowtow Pleat front culottes 5. Kowtow Wide leg pant 6. Kowtow Cami dress

What are your favourite shops? And, are you okay with buying in stores that still have quite a way to go like Monki or H&M, or do you think I'm just being tricked by their greenwashing parctices and pretty clothes?