Top 13 Sustainable Fashion Designers Making a Change in 2021

A billion dollar industry, fashion has an impact on both humans and animals. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to locate ethical, cruelty-free apparel made by sustainable manufacturers.

So let's check out some of the top eco-friendly designers for 2021!

Knowing who is influencing the fashion business will help you make more ethical purchasing decisions.

There are many outstanding designers today who are altering the way we view our clothing and how it affects the environment.

One of the most wasteful industries in the world is the fashion one. Due to the low cost of producing fast fashion, the average person discards 70 pounds of clothing each year, with just 12% of that being recycled.

However, given that many consumers are placing sustainability high on their priority lists, some designers are taking action to help make a difference in 2021.

In 2021, are you hoping to alter something? Perhaps it's time to update your wardrobe. With their clothing lines, several sustainable fashion designers are implementing measures to better the environment.

Several of these designers and their products will be highlighted in this blog post!

These are the best fashion designers for sustainable clothing in 2021, if you're looking. The list contains details on the reputation and sustainable practises of each designer.

You can use this to get an idea of who to follow if you want to participate in the newest trends while supporting environmentally friendly fashion.

In the upcoming years, sustainable fashion will become more and more popular, and designers are starting to pay attention. Sustainable brands are gaining popularity as consumers' concerns about sustainability grow every day.

The designers on the list below are some of the most well-known sustainable fashion designers who will have an impact on the market in 2021.

Through their mission statements or ideals, they encourage "responsible consumption," which includes lowering their environmental impact or using recycled materials in production.

There is also a link to a piece that describes how these designers are using their work to contribute to the development of climate change solutions.

There are many eco-friendly fashion designers working to alter the planet today.

It can be challenging to decide which causes to support and which people are worthy of your time, money, and effort.

This blog article will give you advice on how to shop sustainably and assist you in identifying the sustainable designers who are reshaping the future for future generations.

We've put together this list of our favourites whether you're seeking to make an ethical purchase or want some inspiration from these top sustainability firms!

Now, it's not just about what you dress; it's also about the social implications of what you wear. These leading eco-friendly designers demonstrate that fashion can be sustainable as well!

Let's get going!


Despite the fact that the worldwide pandemic has made us all adjust our lifestyles and purchasing patterns, sustainable clothing brands are now more popular than ever.

Both independent labels and designers are looking for ways to make too many clothes, either so that consumers get tired of them by the next season or, worse, so that they don't sell and end up in a landfill.

But how can you choose the best sustainable clothing when there is so much out there, especially when so many are guilty of greenwashing?

To assist you, I've put up this short guide, and you can go all the way down to the bottom to shop for my favourite brands.

What Does Sustainable Fashion Mean?

Sustainable fashion is a movement and design concept that supports social responsibility and the environment.

Clothing, footwear, and other items that are produced and used in the most environmentally and economically responsible ways are referred to as sustainable fashion.

Popular sustainable fashion elements include:

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

1. Sustainable Clothing Brands

The fabric sourcing, production, transportation, selling, and recycling are just a few of the many ways that the fashion business has an impact on the environment and society.

Let's be brutally honest: no brand is currently totally sustainable, but that doesn't imply a transition isn't taking place.

Big and small clothing brands alike are incorporating sustainability into their designs.

Larger high-street chains are making investments in stronger, more environmentally friendly materials, recyclable packaging, and transparency in an effort to reduce the amount of clothing they create.

Having access to a nice sustainable high-street t-shirt is still a step in the right direction because we are aware that not everyone can afford ethical labels.

2. Ethical Clothing Brands

The terms "sustainable" and "ethical" are frequently used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing, despite the fact that many brands attempt to address both issues.

The Ethical Fashion Forum divides the various methods of producing ethical apparel into three categories: social, environmental, and commercial. These methods explicitly address the following problems:

  • Combating detrimental practises of fashion consumption as well as quick, inexpensive fashion.
  • Promoting sustainable lives while defending the rights of workers, fair salaries, and working conditions
  • Reducing the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals, utilising, and creating eco-friendly materials and components
  • Reducing water usage
  • Recycling, energy conservation, and trash management
  • Establishing or advancing sustainability criteria for the fashion industry
  • Supplying tools, instruction, and awareness-building programmes
    the defence of animal rights

    How Eco-Friendly Fashion Designers Are Making A Change

    • The amount of microfibers emitted into the environment is decreased by this fashion strategy.
    • Minimises hazardous waste while promoting animal rights.
    • Clothing is different and individual.
    • As sustainable methods are used to produce eco-friendly clothing, this results in less stress on the planet's resources.
    • Eco-friendly clothing is safe for you to wear.

      A growing number of firms are switching to sustainable fashion. Let's look at these designers if you are thinking about changing something or are just looking for inspiration:

      1. Stella McCartney

      Stella McCartney is the first designer that springs to mind when discussing ethical and sustainable luxury apparel.

      Stella has been a leader in the development of environmentally friendly, animal-free, inclusive, and ethical design since the establishment of her fashion brand in 2001.

      This designer is always experimenting and learning about cutting-edge sustainable materials and technologies.

      She avoids using fur and leather and instead employs organic cotton, wool that is ethically produced, recycled materials, and regenerated cashmere.

      Her stores also use recyclable materials for packaging and solar panels and LEDs for lighting.

      The theme of Stella McCartney's most recent Fall 2021 Ready-To-Wear collection is "a new beginning." In addition to her normal efforts to sustainability, this collection embraced the transforming and escapism qualities of clothing.

      How sustainable is Stella McCartney?

      Stella McCartney based her approach to sustainable fashion on four key pillars:

      1. Respect for nature: By using as many traceable, renewable sources of viscose, cashmere, organic cotton, and other sustainable materials as possible, the designer helps to protect the environment.
      1. Respect for people: Stella McCartney ensures a beneficial impact on everyone involved in the production chain, from the crop producers to the consumer.
      1. Respect for animals: As a vegetarian company, Stella McCartney supports practises that respect both animals and their natural surroundings.
      1. Circular Solutions: The company uses regenerative and restorative production techniques in accordance with the ideas of circular fashion.

      2. Sandra Sandor

      The creator of the Budapest, Hungary-based record label Nanushka is Sandra Sandor.

      She avoids using recycled leather, wool, animal hair, down, exotic animal skin, or angora.

      She makes purses, skirts, and shirts for men and women using repurposed materials and vegan leather as a starting point.

      Her direct, one-of-a-kind style, which expresses her love of nature, is sweeping the fashion industry.

      Committed to Reducing its Carbon Footprint

      Several sustainability measures that Nanushka has put in place are aimed at preserving the environment and improving working conditions for its employees.

      While treating and compensating its employees decently, the company is constantly experimenting with new eco-friendly fabrics and upcycled materials.

      85% of the production is still carried out in Hungary despite the brand's expansion and growth in order to preserve a low carbon footprint and open supply chain.

      Additionally, Sandra Sandor is supporting non-profit organisations that are advancing this growth in underdeveloped regions of the world by sponsoring the Giving Back initiative.

      3. Eileen Fisher

      Without include Eileen Fisher, our list of eco-friendly fashion designers would be incomplete.

      This environmentally conscious designer uses a circular production process and is passionate about upending the linear production model.

      She recycles discarded textiles and apparel, uses natural colours, and organic materials to create opulent, sustainable attire.

      Additionally, Fisher went above and beyond by establishing a specific department for social consciousness within her business that deals with issues like human rights, sustainability, and more.

      Eileen Fisher Vision

      A number of public commitments, including a 100% sustainable business strategy, 100% organic cotton and linen, and becoming carbon positive, are part of the company's ambitious 2020 vision.

      The business continues to establish goals for progress and is on course to accomplish its target. "Horizon 2030," its present vision, aspires to:

      • Extend the goals of its circular fashion
      • Increase the usage of recyclable fibres and natural fibres that promote biodiversity.
      • Consider using ethical business practises to promote gender equity, fair pay, and a caring culture throughout our supply chain.
      • Invest in measures to address climate change, such as lowering glasshouse gas emissions.

        4. Katie Jones

        A knitwear designer from the UK named Katie Jones combines serious ethics with fun aesthetics.

        She embraces her grandmother's idea of creating something beautiful out of nothing to put sustainability into action.

        The moral designer makes sure that issues like overconsumption and landfills are addressed in her products. Additionally, the company develops experiences that promote social and environmental change.

        Waste Not

        Jones takes fabrics from textile manufacturers that have been left unclaimed based on her philosophy "Waste Not." They are transformed into wearable artisanal designs by the sustainable designer and her crew, who celebrate colour, texture, and joy.

        5. Spencer Phipps

        The menswear design team of Marc Jacobs was where Spencer Phipps began his career. He established Phipps in 2017, an organisation that promotes respect and interest in the natural world.

        This ethical clothing line investigates how environmental stewardship and sustainability relate to fashion.

        Sustainability as an obligation, not a buzzword

        Phipps takes sustainability as an obligation, not a buzzword. All products are made with integrity and created with consideration for the environment with eco-friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing processes. 

        From the producer to the consumer, all packaging is fully recyclable and free of plastic.

        Because it is concerned about its carbon footprint, Phipps partners with producers in Portugal and Italy, where European law limits pollutants and energy use.

        To offset its environmental impact, it also makes donations to environmental non-profits including Oceanic Global and the USDA Forest Service.

        Additionally, the company conducts internal audits of its suppliers to ensure that they adhere to moral standards and provide fair working conditions.

        6. Mara Hoffman

        Based in New York Mara Hoffman creates apparel for women, including swimwear, from pre- and post-consumer trash. Customers are urged by the brand to reconsider their relationship with their clothing.

        An alternative approach to fashion

        Hoffman uses a variety of eco-friendly textiles, such as Repreve and Econyl, as well as fibrous plant materials like organic linen and cotton. 100% organic cotton is used in the Pre-fall 2021 collection's construction.

        Versions of the swimsuits are available in a recycled polyester blend with built-in UPF 50+ protection.

        The company also use digital printing technologies and compostable packaging to save water.

        On the human side, the brand maintains open communication with vendors and manufacturing facilities that offer secure workplaces and competitive pay. The majority of its supply chain is tracked, and it frequently visits suppliers.

        Hoffman's team decided to sell off the existing stock instead of producing the planned Fall 2020 collection in 2020 and 2021. They also have a smaller Spring 2021 collection as a result.

        7. Maggie Marilyn

        One of the most notable representatives of the fashion industry's efforts to save the environment is Maggie Marilyn, a New Zealander.

        All of her creations are made with ethically sourced, sustainable materials.

        Local manufacturing is used to lessen the carbon footprint of the items. The company pays its suppliers a living wage, pays frequent visits, and tracks the majority of its supply chain.

        Additionally, the company went above and beyond by wrapping items in bags made from cassava root.

        Wear-Forever Pieces

        In order to make clothing endure forever, Maggie Marilyn is aggressively pushing a circular lifecycle for clothing.

        Every stage of the process, from the supply chain to the finished product, is scrutinised to make sure it is morally and environmentally sound.

        She can take those pieces back after use and reuse them in future creations. Sustainability, in her words, "shouldn't be a luxury but something everyone can buy." To enable everyone to experience her concept, her collections start at a very affordable price.

        The brand's 2022 Sustainability Strategy is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and seeks to solve circularity and regeneration challenges.

        8. Rag & Bone

        Rag & Bone is a sustainable luxury brand that redefines urban style since it emphasises local manufacture and sustainability. It was founded by Marcus Wainwright.

        The company started off as a denim label, and its roots also lie in a love of comfortable clothing, such t-shirts and jeans.

        The Denim Recycling Project

        The company later teamed up with Cotton Inc.'s Blue Jeans Go Green to launch a denim recycling initiative.

        Customers participated in the initiative by recycling their old jeans at the brand's retail locations in exchange for a 20% discount on full-priced jeans from the company.

        After the gift, the denim is recycled and turned into insulation for homes and civic-minded structures across America. Additionally, this novel insulation material is free of chemicals, has active mould and mildew inhibitors, and is harmless for the environment.

        9. Hillary Taymour

        Collina Strada was created by Hillary Taymour.

        Over the past few seasons, the company has emerged as one of New York's most talked-about brands.

        Hillary Taymour primarily uses deadstock and surplus textiles to produce her designs, in keeping with its dedication to eco-friendly design.

        She just joined forces with The OR, a group dedicated to recycling discarded clothing.

        In order to recut and reconstruct vintage items unsuitable for the site, she also collaborated with TheRealReal. So, despite Hillary's refusal to refer to her company as sustainable, Collina Strada is doing everything it can to protect the environment.

        Designing Around Humanity, Animals and Nature

        She collaborated with the Animorphs book series' illustrators to create graphics for fall 2021 that turn her models into different life forms, fusing the perspectives of people, animals, and the natural world.

        Taymour recycled clothing from Ghana's Kantamanto market, made fresh material from prior seasons, and used toiles in the lookbook in addition to using fabrics left over from previous seasons.

        10. Marine Serre

        French fashion designer Marine Serre is renowned for her avant-garde, environmentally conscious creations that fuse several cultural norms. Her work focuses on creativity and sustainability, and she typically does this by finding and reusing commonplace objects. Her collection uses at least 50% recycled materials.

        Regenerated, Upcycled and Recycled

        The Fall/Winter 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection from Marine Serre, "Core," was unveiled online at rather than on a real or virtual runway.

        She utilises this website to showcase her next collection and to inform customers about how the company creates new apparel from used materials.

        Recycled fibres , upcycled and regenerate materials were used to create this collection. The label describes each material in detail in the online lookbook.

        11. Emily Adams Bode

        The creator of BODE, widely regarded as the pinnacle of upcycled designer apparel, Emily Adams Bode, was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia.

        Bode introduced her first line of menswear in 2016, using vintage textiles from all over the world. Her products are limited editions, handcrafted by skilled artisans in New York, and have a zero-waste design to reduce waste.

        Preserving Traditions and Stories

        Bode is aware of her responsibility as an employer and cares about more than just lowering her carbon impact. She then continued to employ her group of artisans in New York, Peru, and India.

        12. Ditte Reffstrup

        The creative mind behind the Ganni brand is Ditte Reffstrup. The company supports eco-friendly fashion, and its #GanniGirls fan base is cult-like. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Danish Fashion Ethical Charter both include Ganni.

        Because of the "inherent contradiction between being in an industry that thrives and is driven by newness, and the concept of sustainability," according to Ganni, "it's not a sustainable brand."

        Tackling Sustainability through Different Environment-Friendly Projects

        Ganni, on the other hand, works on many environmental projects and regulations.

        For instance, it utilises deadstock fabric for its collections and encourages clothing rentals through Ganni Repeat.

        70% of the collection, for instance, is produced sustainably. Additionally, Ganni wants to utilise only reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging by 2025 and reduce its carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.

        13. Gabriela Hearst 

        As Chloé's newest creative director, Gabriela Hearst creates the line bearing her name. She also runs the property owned by her family in Uruguay.

        Sustainability from the Collection to the Packaging

        Gabriela Hearst came close to reaching her target of 50% for 2021 by using 49% of recycled materials in her fall collection. Her current objective is to switch to 100% by the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022.

        The company pays close attention to its environmental impact. To lessen its influence on the environment, the company also uses renewable energy in its supply chain.

        Some wool-based items use wool from Hearst's sheep farm in Uruguay. Hearst is also the first company to employ Tipa bioplastics that can be composted for all of its packaging.

        Hearst continued to work at Chloé with a low-impact approach, developing a new collection that is "four times more sustainable" than the previous one. In addition, Chloé has eliminated synthetics and other man-made materials in favour of organic silks and recycled cashmere.

        How To Become A Sustainable Fashion Designer

        Whether you work in the industry already or want to start, there is much more to sustainable fashion design than just employing natural fibres and colours.

        The decisions made during the design and development stages account for 60–80% of a garment's impact on sustainability. So, in order to create sustainable fashion, you must design with an eye towards the impact farther down the supply chain, whether at the sourcing, production, or packaging stages.

        In order to do that, you will need to become knowledgeable about the various components of sustainability, as well as how to effectively communicate with and work with other development process actors who can share your vision and who also need to become knowledgeable about sustainable practises.

        Consider taking a course on sustainability in fashion to improve your knowledge and skills. The self-paced online course is appropriate for all designers and members of the product development team, including those working for brands, retailers, or vendors.

        Don't forget that as a customer and a regular citizen, you can play a role in bringing ethical fashion into the mainstream by supporting designers who use sustainable materials.

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