Albeit fabulous, the fashion industry can be harmful to the environment. This is why so many designer brands are taking drastic measures to work towards providing ethical and sustainable clothing that’s better for the planet and its inhabitants.

Wondering which brands you should continue to support? Here are some of our favourite ethical and sustainable luxury fashion brands to shop.

Gucci

Since Alessandro Michele has been introduced as Gucci’s creative director, the label has been making positive changes that contribute to the industry’s responsibility towards the environment, celebrating mankind and innovation. Gucci’s 10-year plan includes ethical practices and sustainable products along with other positive social transformations such as gender diversity and fair working environments to name a few.

The brand stated the following in a recent press release: “Gucci believes that sustainability—at all levels—involves fostering this respect: respect for the people we share our planet with as well as for the environment. If we lighten our environmental footprint we can enjoy the world with greater freedom— the freedom to follow our dreams, with curiosity, openness and joy.”

What’s more, Gucci’s parent company, Kering, is also pursuing several sustainable strategies including reducing its environmental footprint and choosing responsible and well-managed supply chains. Additionally, the brand promises to make 95% of its raw material traceable.

Gucci has also introduced a line of gender-neutral accessories that is completely sustainable. The Gucci Off The Grid collection uses recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials.

Prada

The original Prada Nylon bags that had fashionistas swooning in the late ’90s are now ethically sourced and sustainably made.

This Re-Nylon collection uses regenerated nylon, called ECONYL which is created from recycled plastic (collected from oceans and fishing nets) as well as discarded fabrics. This unisex collection includes a belt bag, shoulder bag, tote bags, a duffle and two other stylish re-nylon backpacks. To top it all off, Prada is donating a percentage of the proceeds to charities that contribute towards positive environmental impact.

The Italian brand says, however, that they’re not stopping there. By the end of the year, they intend to convert all Prada synthetic nylon into Re-Nylon and continue to build an environmentally conscious business going forth.

Chloé

Another brand to jump on the (eco-friendly) bandwagon: Chloé has hired a new creative director in 2020 that has her mind set on positive environmental and social change. According to Luxiders, Gabriela Hearst is known for her beautiful luxury designs but does not compromise when it comes to her values regarding the environment. In fact, her eponymous brand uses biodegradable TIPA packaging and is committed to being plastic-free and reducing waste in-store.

What’s more, her first collection for Chloé in 2020 was reportedly 4 times more sustainable than ever before. The runway was lit with environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral fashion.

Furthermore, in March this year, the brand released a statement which expressed that Chloé will “improve social and environmental sustainability with greater transparency and accountability”, along with regular updates regarding the progress. As for their plans for the rest of the year, the brand stated that they will continuously work on their goals towards “Fair & Equal Opportunities; Fair Sourcing; Positive Impact on Communities; and Impact on the Planet.”

Stella McCartney

Besides being the daughter of Paul McCartney, the co-leading vocalist and bassist for the Beatles, Stella has built her own legacy as a leading fashion designer. This includes her extensive repertoire of working as the creative director for Chloé, the 2012 Olympics collaboration with Adidas, and now her own fashion empire. Not to mention, Stella is known for being an animal rights supporter, environmentalist and particularly for her use of vegan-friendly alternatives in designs. In fact, her own moniker brand is the world’s first vegetarian luxury label and is a pioneer for high fashion luxury wear that abides by sustainable practices as well as supporting animal rights and our precious planet.

If anything, Stella McCartney is proof that environmentally-friendly brands do not have to be blasé or lacking in beauty.

Bvlgari

According to an article published by Forbes, Bvlgari’s CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin says that luxury buyers are not only concerned about the final product. They are also interested in the process that goes into creating an item. From “the ethics to the authenticity, to the craftsmanship, and eventually to the personality of the company.” It’s clear that corporate, social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability is no longer optional, but a necessity for a thriving business. Especially in the luxury industry.

Through Bvlgari’s webinar series, ‘Innovating The Present For a Sustainable Future’, the focus is on people, the planet and prosperity. The company outlines 17 goals and 169 targets aimed at ensuring the future of the next generations in a sustainable manner. 

Today, the brand has met many of its goals with successful initiatives and ongoing projects in the fields of science, humanity and culture. In fact, Bvlgari has even been instrumental during the pandemic. The brand hit the floor running by repurposing their perfume factories to produce over 800 000 bottles of sanitiser for medical practitioners in just 1 week. Babin says that the short-term goal was to save lives by preventing the coronavirus spread, but the end goal is still to accelerate the development of tests and contribute to the eradication of the virus in its entirety. Additionally, the Italian jeweller has raised more than $100 million through its ongoing partnership with Save the Children during the pandemic.

More Ways to Shop Sustainably

Luxury loving no longer means contributing towards global warming, inadequate working conditions, excessive greenhouse gas emissions, toxic waste or even animal cruelty. Supporting brands that produce ethical and sustainable items is supporting positive change for our planet. What’s more, buying pre-owned items means that you put less pressure on the environment to extract raw materials for a brand-new bag and promotes a circular economy. After all, one fashionista’s old is another fashionista’s gold!

So, change the world one handbag at a time and shop sustainably at Bvaultre, Africa’s largest source of authentic pre-owned luxury accessories.

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