17 Chic Yet Conscious Brands To Know And Love

Cool and considered.

By ELLE Team
Shopping has never been easier than it is in now.
Thanks to same-day delivery apps, buy-now-pay-later billing methods and social media's intensifying e-commerce offering, dropping your hard-earned cash is as convenient as hitting 'confirm' and as justifiable as knowing it's all 100 per cent refundable.
But with greater choice comes responsibility, and clued-in consumers are more aware than ever of the damaging toll fashion is taking on the environment. Ditching fast fashion and looking to brands that champion socially and environmentally responsible practices, buyers want to know exactly where their clothes come from and how they're made.

but, what exactly is fast fashion? and why is it bad?

Fast fashion is a relatively new phenomenon in the industry and unfortunately growing at a rapid pace, causing extensive damage to the planet, exploits workers, and harms animals," Georgina Neill Ryan, founder of Slowe Store, told ELLE Australia.
  • Environmental: Fast fashion's environmental impact is immense due to its use of cheap, toxic textile dyes and making the fashion industry one of the largest polluters of clean water. Its use of cheap textiles/fabrics including Polyester which is derived from fossil fuels, contributes to global warming and the shedding of microfibres that add to the increasing levels of plastic in our oceans. They also use conventional cotton that uses significant quantities of water and pesticides in developing countries. The constant speed and demand mean increased stress on other environmental areas such as land clearing, biodiversity, and soil quality.
  • Exploitation of workers: There is a human cost to fast fashion. Fast fashion impacts garment workers who work in dangerous environments and conditions for low wages and without fundamental human rights.

What are a few key pieces people should invest in?

There are a few pieces that have to be in every woman's closet and create the perfect capsule wardrobe. My go-to is a crisp white shirt, this is probably one of the most versatile pieces in one's wardrobe whether you are wearing it with jeans, layering over a dress or wearing over swimwear to go from pool to bar. Black Blazer and the perfect pair of straight leg blue jeans these are a must! Lastly a Shirt and Shorts/Pants Set, this is for the days when you have minimal time to put something together.
I always fall back on my Hyde & Stone crinkle set — the Anastasia Shirt and Lottie Pant. These items create the essential pieces in your closet and can be styled with each other or with other pieces to help build out the outfit options within your wardrobe.

So, how can we be more conscious about the brands we're shopping from?

Georgina's top signs to look out for when shopping consciously:
• Is there a dedicated page on a brands website about their sustainability journey covering:
• Where their garments are made and by who. Look out for local production!
• What their garments are made from and the environmental impact of their
• Are there thousands of styles on the brands site which focus on all the latest trends? If yes, this is fast fashion. Look for brands with few, specific styles per collection, which are released twice to three times per year or have a permanent seasonless collection
• Always check what fabrics and materials their items are made from - I always look for sustainable materials like natural fibres like wool, organic cotton and linen that points to higher quality pieces. Especially love if the brand's fabrics are certified.
• If the price seems too good to be true and super cheap, steer clear!
Thanks to a growing list of environmentally minded designers and eco-conscious brands, sustainability is in—as it should be.
Here, an ELLE approved list of sustainable brands favoured by the fashion set (and us).