Learn about the zero waste fashion brands that are redesigning fashion, through their eco-friendly approaches to clothing design.
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Zero waste fashion is the ultimate goal when it comes to ethical clothing. With the fashion world being a notoriously wasteful industry, we desperately need brands who are cleaning up fashion and reducing waste.
But what is zero waste fashion exactly? Confusingly, the term actually has multiple meanings. At the base of it, everyone agrees that zero waste fashion is a type of ethical fashion.
From there, definitions deviate. Some people say that zero waste fashion is where a clothing brand participates in the circular economy by using deadstock fabric or waste materials to create brand new items of clothing from items that would otherwise be binned.
Others view zero waste fashion as when a clothing brand does not produce any textile waste at all. Or at the very least, creating only very minimal waste. This could be achieved by employing clever cutting techniques to minimise offcuts, or by creating other products out of remnants or offcuts to help reduce or avoid fabric wastage.
The Best Zero Waste Fashion Brands
The good news is that whatever your interpretation of zero-waste fashion may be, there are some incredibly exciting and innovative brands out there tackling the scourge that is fabric waste. All whilst making some seriously stylish clothing.
To help you out, here are some of my favourite zero-waste fashion brands who are either keeping clothes out of landfill, or are creating clothing out of materials that would otherwise go to waste.
The price range key for this guide is:
£ = Under £50 | ££ = £50 – 100 | £££ = £100+
Budget: £ – ££
Caters for: sizes XS – XXL
Beyond Retro* is an online treasure trove of vintage and secondhand clothing for men and women, carefully sourced from around the world. You can shop by clothing type, by brand, by era, and even by type of fabric should you wish to avoid synthetic fibres. What’s more, Beyond Retro also has dedicated plus-size sections for both men and women, catering up to size XXL. There is also the ability to search for unisex clothing.
As well as saving clothes from landfill, for extra zero waste points Beyond Retro also offer their Reworked range*. Here, new items are made from vintage clothing, meaning your piece is totally unique. Beyond Retro says that only 1 in 1,000 vintage items are suitable for sale. Reworking clothes that are otherwise unsellable help lower this number and delivers a more zero-waste-minded fashion.
Use the exclusive code MORALFIBRES at the checkout to receive 15% off your order at Beyond Retro.
Do also check out my full guide to shopping for secondhand clothes online, for more ideas of where to shop secondhand.
Caters for sizes: XS – XL
Boyish Jeans* work exclusively with recycled fabrics and materials to create their stylish denim products – from jeans to jackets and more. This means that their zero-waste clothing has a much smaller impact, particularly in terms of water usage.
As well as using recycled fabrics, Boyish Jeans also employ ethical and sustainable practices when developing and manufacturing its products.
Do also check out my full guide to ethical jeans for more denim-based inspiration.
Christy Dawn’s Zero Waste Fashion
Caters for sizes S – XL
When it comes to high-end women’s zero waste fashion, then look no further than Christy Dawn*. The Christy Dawn team shun new fabrics. Instead, they spend their time rummaging through piles of leftover and discontinued fabric – what’s known as deadstock.
When they find the fabric they love, their team of artisans cut, sew, and finish each piece in their Los Angeles factory. Making limited-edition runs from existing fabric in this manner means each version of a style is very limited. This means there’s little chance of being seen in the same dress as anyone else.
Find Christy Dawn for sale in the UK via Content Beauty*.
Budget: £ – ££
Caters for: sizes 30B to 36DD – custom sizing is also available
Even underwear gets the zero waste treatment. ColieCo*, for example, sells very fashion-led lingerie, all made by hand in Portugal in a zero-waste manner. Here, only recycled, reused, and reclaimed fabrics are used. And what’s more, your underwear is only posted to you using biodegradable and recyclable packaging.
Sizes for their soft and underwired bras range from 30B to 36DD. However, ColieCo does take requests for custom sizes.
Caters for: UK sizes 8 – 16
Innermettle’s* zero waste knickers are made from surplus milk. It sounds unusual, but the protein casein can be separated from sour milk to make fabric and tackle milk waste at the same time. I have to admit, I was initially sceptical. However, I’ve tried Innermettle’s Milk Innerwear underwear out and it strangely works!
Their underwear is very smooth and soft (and I promise it doesn’t smell of milk!) and feels similar to cashmere or silk on your skin. It can be chemical-intensive to make milk-based fabrics, however, Innermettle uses a technique that they say is free from harsh chemicals.
Use the exclusive discount code MORALFIBRES25 at the checkout to take 25% off any product in the Milk Innerwear collection.
Caters for: sizes 28A to 38F
Pantee* is a new ethical underwear brand, catering for bra sizes 28A to 38F. What makes Pantee a zero waste fashion brand is that they upcycle unsold t-shirts that have been left unworn and are destined for landfill, into soft and supportive bras and briefs.
All of their styles are underwire-free. In case you are worried about support, each bra is double-layered for extra comfort and support. Their bras are all £38, regardless of style.
Rokit’s Zero-Waste Vintage Fashion
Budget: £ – ££
Caters for: sizes XXXS to XXL
Finally, Rokit* sells a vast collection of pre-worn vintage & designer secondhand clothes in the UK that can be bought online. From sports, street, designer to vintage, whatever your style, Rokit stocks it. And with a vast inventory, covering sizes XXXS to XXL, Rokit’s size inclusivity is something to applaud.
To minimise waste within the vintage clothing industry, Rokit has also developed its own Rokit Originals Range. This is a collection of reworked vintage pieces, that gives a new life to old garments and creates new items to be loved over the long term, keeping old clothes out of landfill.
I’ll be sure to update this guide – so do check back or pin it for later. In the meantime, why not share it with your friends to help spread the zero-waste fashion love.