Luxury

The Rise Of ‘Thoughtful Fashion’

Sustainability and style can now co-exist. Here are the designers, apps and companies helping you shop thoughtfully.

By Divya Bala

Luxury

Sustainability and style can now co-exist. Here are the designers, apps and companies helping you shop thoughtfully.

By Divya Bala

Once exclusive to outfits favouring consciousness over chic, “sustainable fashion” has evolved to a tipping point where both can now mutually exist. From its once divisive past and hippy associations, it is now linked to the educated elite and progressive Gen Z-ers. As sharp aesthetically as it is sartorially, “sustainable fashion” is clever, refined and readily available in the collections of many designers. If it wasn’t already mainstream, Emma Watson solidified it when she declared “now is the time for thoughtful fashion,” on her guest-edited issue of Vogue Australia in March. And while Watson is one in a long line of eco-fashion pioneers championing the benefits of conscious fashion, her cover and the key message of sustainability woven inside it, is one hitting something of a zeitgeist.

The same month Watson became Vogue’s cover girl, San Francisco became the largest US city to ban the sale of fur apparel and accessories, joining West Hollywood and Berkeley in the same state as well as Sao Paulo, Brazil, Norway, Switzerland and Germany. For fashion, this comes in the wake of a domino effect of fur bans across several major luxury houses in the last 12 months including Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Versace. Though the current fashion focus is on fur, it offers a springboard to a larger conversation across the industry, as PJ Smith of the Humane Society United States explains: “Fur creates a platform for companies to build on. We worked with Inditex/Zara starting with fur [banning] policies, then angora and they just keep adding to them.”

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in

So, for those of us whose wardrobes can no longer escape the same scrutiny that the rest of our lifestyle choices do, how can we approach fashion thoughtfully? Get informed, suggests Devlin. “Constantly do your research and read about what you are buying into. You are not just buying product anymore, you are buying into a practice and a lifestyle. Make sure you read where the product was made and look into the fabrics, and the way in which they are made from. Generally, if something seems cheap, there is most likely a reason why.”

There are also apps to help you through, such as Good On You. Launched in Australia in 2015, it’s a peer-review platform allowing users to rate any brand based on independent certifications, rankings, and information published by the brands themselves, press and NGOs. Users have the added ability to discover brands that speak to the issues (and aesthetics) they care most about. Downloaded by over 10,000 people in its first eight days, the app was clearly a vital piece of the sustainable fashion puzzle. As for advice to thoughtful consumers, co-founder Gordon Renouf explains: “First up, think about whether you need to buy something at all, or buy it new. Consider options like vintage, rental and clothes swaps. If you do need to buy, then look for long-lasting quality garments, or versatile garments that can be worn in a number of ways. And then when you’ve bought something, take good care of it.”

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in