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Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

Sustainable Sundays: My Favourite Sustainable Fashion Brands

Welcome back to Sustainable Sunday this week gang! The last instalment of this series talked about how you can find more sustainable or eco-friendly brands or products on the high street and if you're on a budget because y'all, we know that sustainable fashion isn't the cheapest. When it comes to fashion, I used to be such a big consumer of high street brands and retailers and whilst there's nothing wrong with enjoying that, I realised that I was trying to make myself happy with these constant purchases and that actually? I didn't find it at all fulfilling and I didn't like to know the impact fast fashion is having on the planet and those responsible for making items at their source. So I made the jump to slow fashion in 2O17 and whilst I still find my impulse to buy fast fashion I see that I love difficult to fight sometimes, overall I have majorly curbed my spending and also managed to restrict the spending that I do do to second hand pieces.

With that being said though, sometimes I just want to buy myself something brand spanking new and whilst there's definitely plenty of ways and reasons to shop second hand and thrift fashion items, it can be difficult to find exactly what you want (particularly if it's out of season) and sometimes you just really want to treat yourself, y'know? But all is not lost as the realm of conscious fashion is growing bigger and bigger with more and more independent and even high street retailers making a conscious effort to provide sustainable fashion items which are made from organically grown sustainable fibres and materials, ethically created and made, and often sold with some sort of profit going to the right people to help local communities. So what's there not to love right? Therefore I'm going to share with you some of my favourite sustainable brands, why I love what they're doing, why I like their products, and why you should buy from them in future:

1. Positive Outlook Clothing - Positive Outlook Clothing are so sleek, you'd want to buy from them regardless, but their organic fabric and natural, sustainable materials are what makes them a great brand to buy from. Catering in both men and women's wear as well as backpacks, camping mugs, wallets, and underwear, Positive Outlook are doing just that - putting a positive spin on the fashion industry.

2. Lucy & Yak - If you're relatively new around these parts, you might not know this girl's obsession with a) denim and b) dungarees/overalls/pinafores. Give me an outfit that makes me look about five years old and I will be overjoyed. So in steps the wonderful Lucy & Yak. They create some of *the* comfiest dungarees in a range of great colours, patterns, cuts, and fabrics not to mention some pretty ace trousers too! They are consciously trying to lower their business' environmental impact and make sure they work fairly with their employees. Lucy & Yak are very transparent about their ethics and their manufacturing etc. which is refreshing to see in the contemporary fashion industry.

3. Mud Jeans - Next up is a brand I simply would love to buy from in the future but just haven't had the chance to yet. Mud Jeans specialise in yep, you guessed it - jeans. The great bit about it though? Each pair are made completely from recycled jeans which have had their old jean fibres harvested to repurpose to create a new pair. If you're not completely sold on buying a pair, the company also have a lease scheme so you can pay a monthly member fee, rent a pair, wear them as much as you want, and then simply decide to keep them, swap them for another pair to try, or return them and get a voucher to spend online in their store. Anything returned is simply recycled. Now if that's not sustainable, I don't know what is.

4. Bibico - When it comes to sustainable fashion brand which are truly doing some good in the world, Bibico are paving the way for many other brands and companies to follow. Working with natural organic materials and ensuring a fair trade work ethic does not falter, Bibico work with women's cooperatives in India which help their workers receive thorough training, education, and fair work to help empower those women and help them and their children move up and out of the world of poverty. Is there any greater cause for your money to go towards? Also, if you're a fan of well-made items, like denim and simple pieces that are perfect for a capsule wardrobe then you will love this brand.

5. Seasalt - Based in Cornwall, UK, Seasalt are one of those sustainable brands that many people have actually heard of. They focus on making clothing that is locally manufactured and resourced to try and minimise environmental impact during production. Something I particularly like about this brand is their Breton striped tops and their range of ridiculously comfy and colourful boots and shoes. Seasalt are the first company to get Soil Association certification back in 2Oo5 which they dedicate to organic cotton growing. They're an all-round great brand as they do a lot of fundraising and also help local communities with bursaries for a variety of things which just makes me want to throw all my money at them (not to mention their sales are great).

6. Antiform - If you're into more vintage thrift shop vibes and tend to shop by themes or prints/textures etc. then Antiform are the ones for you. They are locally sourced and manufactured in the UK as often as possible and to quote their site, they "mix fashion forward shapes with heritage craft" and that's the best fitting description I've ever seen a brand have. They reclaim materials to maintain a sustainable stance on fashion production and they're ethically sound as they are a small team who work in their own studio to design and create their pieces. The staff are also readily available to share their knowledge in the form of lectures, installations, and more! Spreading that good message of sustainability is never a bad thing.

7. Mayamiko - Hold on to your hats gang because this brand is about to blow almost every other out of the water. Tackling excessive packaging problems our consumerist society has by ensuring all their packaging is recyclable, zero waste, and using solar power for their manufacturing, Mayamiko are taking sustainability to the next level. Not only that, but Mayamiko are partnered up with a fantastic non-profit organisation called One Tree Planted so every time you place an order with Mayamiko, they will pay a donation to the organisation your behalf without it costing you any extra. This brand have thought of so many ways to either protect or give back to the planet and their items are pretty darn nice too. One potential downside to sustainable fashion is that it can sometimes have *middle-aged geography or RE teacher vibes* in the choice of cut, print, or styling (I'm allowed to say this as an RE teacher who has already started to dress like that in her mid-2Os) of the items, but Mayamiko go against that grain completely. Their items are great if you're looking for "on trend" inspired pieces and unusual prints that are fashion-forward.

8. People Tree - Describing themselves as "pioneers" in ethical and sustainable fashion, People Tree are certainly one of *the* brands that pop into most people's minds when they think of sustainable clothing. They have been a fair trade company for over 25 years and work exclusively with organic materials such as cotton and wool. They work also vow to only ever work with certified producers which means working environments for those who produce the clothing we buy are clean, comfortable, and socially and environmentally meeting strict standards. People Tree work with marginalised producers too so those in the worst-off corners of the globe really benefit from the wages and money People Tree pay to them for the creation of their garments. If there was a daddy/mother brand out there that all other sustainable brands look to for guidance, People Tree are without a doubt *that* brand.

I feel that sustainable brands are making big waves in the fashion industry and more and more are either becoming popular or popping up and starting up and either way, I think it's all brilliant. I often think that people shy away from sustainable fashion because it's not necessarily the first or even the tenth thing you think of when you want to purchase something, but it's something I've become more and more aware of in my spending habits. Sustainable clothing is good for the planet, the people who make the items, and often local communities but of course, there can be things that stop people from buying from them. It can be simply not knowing where to start, which brands are sustainable, or even the price point as sustainable fashion tends to be more costly.

Although I certainly agree with the latter and sometimes that has stopped me from purchasing an item I like, I think it actually helps you to adopt the mindset of only purchasing what you really want/need and also helping me maintain a more "capsule" wardrobe. Of course I'm not for one minute taking the "suck it up buttercup" approach and acting like everyone can afford to buy sustainable fashion because that would be unrealistic, but if you've got your eye on something specific you want, and you really want to give sustainable items a go because their fibres/materials etc. or usually naturally & organic and therefore tend to last that little bit longer, definitely take the plunge with even just one item and feel happy knowing that you're helping the planet and it's people along the way.

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