Despite the often-overwhelming nature of the climate crisis, we as individuals have more power than we think—we can make a profound impact by investing in sustainability across all aspects of our lives. Consumers hold power to fight climate change through our everyday choices, selecting brands and companies to support that align with our values.
One industry in which making eco-friendly decisions can be particularly challenging is the fashion industry: an industry that regularly comes under fire for its lack of equitable and sustainable practices, favoring quantity over both quality and ethical means of production. Moreover, numerous well-known fashion brands have been found guilty of greenwashing, a deceitful practice that involves branding products as more sustainable or ethical than they are. In recent years, however, more and more brands have emerged that are dedicated to sustainability, transparency, and integrity.
As consumers, we’re continually looking to fashion as a way to express ourselves and feel our best. But knowing how to navigate the uncertain world of high-end fashion with an eye on sustainability and impact can feel simultaneously limiting and overwhelming. These six items and brands are some of Worth’s favorite sustainable alternatives to greenwashed brands–the world of sustainable fashion is filled with sophisticated options for even the chicest consumers.
Retail price: $285
Photo courtesy of NOIRANCA
With a simultaneously classic and experimental look, ALICE by NOIRANCA mixes fun with sophistication and luxury. If you’re looking for a sleek multipurpose bag, look no further. ALICE’s teardrop shape gives any outfit a glamorous flare when worn as a crossbody bag, shoulder bag, or purse. Coming in a variety of colors and made from NOIRANCA’s PETA-approved vegan leather made of 58 percent recycled polyurethane, ALICE is a fantastic alternative to its leather counterparts.
NOIRANCA is a brand that specializes in creating timeless bags and is committed to sustainability across the board. Always striving to offset their carbon footprint, the company only works with exclusive suppliers who meet strict sustainability standards in addition to ensuring product traceability and transparency throughout their production process. Furthermore, NOIRANCA avoids toxic chemicals typically used in bag production and prioritizes safe, healthy, and fair conditions for all of their artisans.
Retail price: $740
Photo courtesy of DUKE+DEXTER
These singular Penny Loafers from DUKE + DEXTER are handmade and hand-painted to order in England by a team of dedicated craftsmen. Their colorful design is both a bold and delicate statement. Interested in something different? DUKE + DEXTER will put you in contact with an artist to make your custom design a reality. These classic loafers are also available in various colors, from white to green to black.
“Appalled by many of the shocking practices within the fashion industry,” DUKE + DEXTER ensures that all of their materials are sourced sustainably and releases collections in limited runs to avoid extraneous waste. Their artisans handpick every leather, suede, and fabric. Furthermore, the brand’s shoes are designed in London and produced in a family-run workshop. Returning to older production practices allows DUKE + DEXTER to guarantee transparency throughout all aspects of their brands; they know where each material comes from and their workers’ names at every step of the process.
Retail price: $4,400
Photo courtesy of Dalliance
Or & Elle is one of the first diamond Atelier brands to bring sustainable practices to the world of high luxury jewelry. With a singular gold band interrupted and encircled by a delicate ring of diamonds, this understated Gold Bracelet is a brilliant accessory or gift for any occasion.
Hailing from Antwerp, Belgium, Or & Elle was founded to enforce sustainable and transparent production practices in an elite industry. Working only with lab-grown diamonds and recycled 18K gold, the brand avoids mines and intermediaries in all aspects of their supply chain. It selectively employs laboratory partners who are third-party accredited by SCS Global Services. Additionally, Or & Elle handcrafts their jewels in a family-run Atelier in Antwerp to ensure that every piece is fully traceable, 100 percent climate neutral as well as created with the utmost quality and care.
Retail price: $188
Photo courtesy of Taylor Stitch
The Utility Shirt from Taylor Stitch lives up to its name, pairing a rugged and long-lasting construction with an exquisite quilted lining made of recycled nylon and polyester. In addition to being an infallible shirt for any situation, the Utility Shirt features Taylor Stitch’s signature California collar, hand-warmer pockets at the side seams, and through-chest pockets for extra storage.
Taylor Stitch is a brand built on five pillars of sustainability: sourcing responsibly, building, closing the loop, creating a community, and giving back. Their production materials are recycled—even their packaging is made of 80 percent recycled bags, tags, and labels. Taylor Stitch understands the importance of durability not only as a component of quality but also as an essential tool to help the brand and its customers reduce waste. The brand also has a “long-haul guarantee” program that allows customers to repair any piece of their Taylor Stitch clothing if necessary.
Retail price: $990
Featured on Gabriela Hearst’s Fall Runway, the Freddie Skirt is knitted with high-quality wool, silk, and cashmere and fitted through the waist, the skirt flares out at the hem for a piece that embodies both professionalism and personality. Its elegant simplicity allows it to be paired with a variety of other pieces for a look that is both modern and classic.
Gabriela Hearst and her eponymous brand are strong competition for other non-sustainable luxury fashion brands, such as Hermés. Hearst has been praised for her rigorous attention to detail and quality and emphasizes sustainability in all her collections and couture shows. She is known for minimizing waste by designing new clothes using the yarns and fabrics from her previous collections and adhering to a “no-plastic policy.” Furthermore, Hearst is the creative director of Chloé, another luxury fashion brand with an impressive set of transparent and sustainable goals, from minimizing their impact on the environment to championing gender equality.
Retail price: $799
Photo courtesy of Nordgreen
The Guardian watch is a sleek staple made with a premium brushed metal finish, recycled stainless steel, and sapphire crystal glass. Designed to last over 100 years, Nordgreen takes a scientific approach to time wear. Each aspect of the Guardian is essential, playing a specific role in the watch’s function and constructed with longevity in mind. Nordgreen defines this singular watch as “a symbol not just of caring about the environment and humanity, but of having the strength of mind and character to actively co-create.”
Nordgreen’s first step in creating the Guardian was to conduct a circularity and sustainability study to determine which aspects of watch production exert the environmental damage. They then selected the best high-quality alternative materials for each component of the Guardian to create one of the world’s most sustainable watches. Nordgreen is a brand that strives for circularity, sustainability, and transparency in every one of its products, adhering to strict sustainable and ethical standards across the board.