Fashion

Eco-Friendly Brands for Conscious Layering

Danielle Copperman shares her favourite brands to source layering pieces from in preparation for colder, wintery temperatures. 

I’ve been pretty fortunate this year to have spent most of my time overseas and in warm climates. Since March, I have been travelling somewhere new for work every month and, needless to say, I’ve been spending most of my time in bikinis and short shorts. But now, being back home in London means back to reality to find Autumn in full swing. I’m digging out my winter layers to prepare for the colder temperatures and getting cosy.

It always gets to this time of year and I realise a few of my jumpers have become pretty worn out and are looking a little sorry for themselves. Chunky knits are always reliable, but the thinner layer-able pieces always seem a little threadbare due to overuse the previous winter.

This year, here’s where I’m heading for any replacements, and where I would suggest you look, too. Unlike the mass-produced, almost-disposable garments you’ll find in many high street brands, these high quality pieces are made from natural materials that will remain reliable year after year,

Outerknown

Outerknown are dedicated to responsible innovation, creating products by making every decision with the highest regard for the environment and the people they work with. Their mission is to protect natural resources and to inspire change within the industry. 
 
I’m loving this 100% organic cotton vest which is dyed with a closed-loop GiDelave™ diffusion process that uses 98% less water and far less energy than traditional dying. And this 100% organic cotton tee, which is sewn in a Fair Trade Certified™ facility, which means the makers have been paid a premium for their work.

Reformation

Reformation source the most beautiful and sustainable fabrics possible to bring their designs to life, and are passionate about creating an equation that follows the lifecycle of clothes—everything from growing textile fibers and making fabric, dyeing, moving materials, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, garment care, and even recycling clothes when you’re done with them.
 
They say it's not enough just to manufacture sustainably and so also invest in programs that replace and offset the resources used throughout the supplychain. Having partnered with the Brazilian Rosewood Amazon Conservation Project and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) Water Restoration Program, they hope to help put back some of the resources used. In just one quarter of the year, Refortmation protected 1,000 acres of the Amazon Rainforest from deforestation, contributed 27 million gallons of freshwater to critically dewatered rivers and wetlands in California, and purchased landfill gas offsets.
 
I’ve got my eye on this sweater made from 75% recycled cashmere and 5% responsible wool.  The production of this saves 32.0 lbs of carbon dioxide, 120.0 gal. of water and 1.2 lbs of waste. I love this turtleneck too!

Patagonia

Patagonia is a brand committed to creating high quality clothing with low impact on all life on Earth. As loss of biodiversity, arable soils, coral reefs and fresh water all accelerate, they are doing powerful things to address the causes, and not just symptoms, of global warming. They also devote their time, services and at least 1 percent of sales to help hundreds of grassroots organizations all over the world, focusing not only on environmental sustainability but social too. 

I'm currently eyeing up the classic retro fleece pullover, and even heading over to the men's section for this neutral staple

Everlane

Everlane has been an all time favourite of mine for years, for simple, effortless, day-to-day basics. They partner with the best, ethical factories around the world, sourcing only the finest materials and treading lightly on the planet. This season I might just have to invest in this cosy turtleneck dress or this trend-transcending wrap cardigan

Organic Basics

Organic Basics put sustainable thinking at the center of everything they do, only choosing fabrics with the environment in mind, careful not to draw on too many resources or produce in ways that can contribute to emissions. This is done by only ever partnering with factories that care about their impact, too. Their mantra: "When we say sustainability is our core mission we don’t mean that sustainability is nice to have - we mean that it’s the only way we act". I love their underwear items but also think that this long-sleeve top and siglet are going to be great to layer under jumpers and coats this season.

Cuyana

The fewer, the better is the foundational philosophy that leads all aspects of this brand. With a strong belief in conscious consumption, sustainability, they even encourage their customers to purchase fewer, but better quality pieces that they will love and treasure for years to come. Unlike most mainstream brands whose main goal is to sell more, more, more. So choose wisely - I'll be picking this recycled cashmere wrap sweater or this seamless bodysuit

People Tree

Every People Tree product is made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. Contemporary, versatile designs and playful, exclusive prints inspired by the V&A archives create stylish, innovative and affordable fashion while respecting people and the planet. They launched their first fashion range to meet the Global Organic Textile Standard certified by the Soil Association and were the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label. These certifications guarantee People Tree’s dedication and compliance to the principles of fair trade, covering fair wages, good working conditions, transparency, environmental best practice and gender equality. I am obsessed with their daisy print top.

Theo and George

Theo & George make exceptionally crafted clothes with comfort, following a design process that keeps textile and social responsibility in mind every step of the way. Their product descriptions are transparent to the point of detailling the sourcing of their cashmere fibres from Tibet and Inner Mongolia and their cashmere and merino wool blends help to make beautifully soft products. Last season I got a cashmere jumper from here which I have been living in since the colder weather kicked in, and now I'm thinking about these cashmere leggings to match!

Looking for more sustainable shopping inspo? Read Danielle's guide to shopping sustainably in London.

Make sure to take good care of your layerable pieces with this guide on how to care for wool.

Discover our favourite ethical winter coats for winter for both women and men.

Eco-Friendly Brands for Conscious Layering