Ethical Fashion, Life & Style

Zero Waste Fashion: The Best Brands To Know

Learn about the zero waste fashion brands that are redesigning fashion, through their eco-friendly approaches to clothing design.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links.

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

Image of a person making clothes with a blue text box that says zero waste fashion: the best brands to know.

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+

Beyond Retro

Zero waste fashion from Beyond Retro

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.

Boyish Jeans

A person wearing Boyish Jeans zero waste jeans

Budget: £££

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

A person wearing a blue floral Christy Dawn dress

Budget: £££

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*.

ColieCo

A person wearing a ColieCo bra

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.

Innermettle

A person wearing Innermettle's knickers made from surplus milk

Budget: £

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.

Pantee

A person wearing Pantee's deadstock fabric underwear

Budget: £

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

The Rokit vintage shopfront

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.

Overnight Breaks, Travel

How To Travel Europe By Rail Like A Pro

Ditch the plane, and travel Europe by rail. This guide to key international rail services in Europe will help you plan your trip with ease.

Many of us are looking to reduce the number of flights we take each year to help the environment. Thankfully, there are many ways to travel low-carbon. You can holiday at home or opt for camping trips. However, you don’t have to ditch trips to the continent. One great way sustainable way is to travel by train.

If you are looking to travel Europe by rail this summer then take note – Lonely Planet has recently published Lonely Planet’s Guide to Train Travel in Europe.

Whether you want to travel leisurely via the scenic route or head straight to your destination in the quickest possible time, Lonely Planet’s experts show you how to plan your journey. This covers everything from how to plan a long-distance trip, right through to the must-see stops and best ways to book value-for-money tickets.

And to help kickstart your trip, Lonely Planet has kindly let me publish this excerpt on the key rail services you need to know to help plan your trip. Get planning!


International trains are an unquestionably exciting part of the European travel scene. There’s no shortage of ways to cross borders on steel wheels to move between the patchwork of nations that makes up the
continent, from multi-day sleeper trains to glamorous high-speed expresses to regional curiosities. These services will be the backbone of any Europe-spanning rail itinerary.

Key International Services To Travel Europe By Rail

Image of a train crossing through a mountainous region, with a blue text box that says everything you need to know about travelling Europe by rail.

Several rail companies operate international routes across various European regions. These services often connect with other key international and domestic services at key hub stations and generally must be booked in advance. Services are well-used by leisure and business travellers so expect trains to
be busy during peak hours and at popular holiday times.

Thalys

Thalys is a high-speed service owned by SNCF and SNCB (respectively the French and Belgian state railways). It serves France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, connecting Paris, Brussels,
Amsterdam, Cologne, Dortmund, and points in between. It only stops at major cities, guaranteeing fast journey times, and connects conveniently (if tightly) with Eurostar services, meaning it’s heavily used
by business travellers and tourists. Thalys also offers a low-cost brand only operating between Paris and Brussels, IZY. Summer services extend to Avignon and Marseille.

The Thalys Neige ski train reaches French Alpine winter sports destinations including Chambéry and Bourg-Saint-Maurice.

Classes & reservations

There are three classes on Thalys trains: Standard; Comfort; Premium. All come with free wifi. Light meals are served at-seat in Premier class and are included in the ticket price. Reservations are required for all services.

Good to know

While there’s no specific security when boarding Thalys trains in Germany and the Netherlands, extra time should be factored in if travelling through Paris and Lille to put luggage through x-ray machines, and for
potential security checks in Brussels.

Resources

Thalys.com is the main booking site, though booking Thalys connections is possible through partners such as SNCF, Eurostar, Rail Europe, and Trainline.

Eurostar

Eurostar connects London’s St Pancras International with Lille, Brussels, Paris, and Amsterdam. These distinctive blue and yellow trains use the HS1 high-speed line between London and the Channel Tunnel on the UK side. Once in continental Europe, they make use of the LGV Nord high-speed line (which also carries Thalys services) between Paris, Calais, Lille, and Brussels. A winter ski train follows the Thalys Neige path into the Alps, while summer services have in the past offered a direct connection to destinations in
the south of France including Lyon, Avignon, and Marseilles.

Classes & reservations

Eurostar offers Standard, Standard Premier, and Business Premier seating. Bookings generally open 180 days in advance of the date of travel – sooner than potential onward services, so consider waiting if you’re looking to connect onwards via Paris or Brussels.

Good to know

Eurostar recommends checking in 45-60 minutes before departure. Ticket inspection, luggage x-ray, and passport checks for both the UK and France are undertaken before departure.

Resources

Eurostar.com has bookings and destination info and also offers ticket-plus-hotel deals
that can offer good value for short breaks.

Nightjet

A train in Norway

The flagship sleeper train brand of ÖBB (Austrian Railways), Nightjet comprises the bulk of Europe’s night-train services. Radiating in all directions from Vienna and Salzburg, routes reach Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands. Sleeper services run by operators in neighbouring countries reach Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine from Austria. As they’re not run by Nightjet expect different, mostly older sleeping cars.

Classes & reservations

There are three classes of Nightjet services: a seat in a compartment; a 4-6 berth couchette; and economy or deluxe sleeper accommodation in single, double- or triple-occupancy cabins.

Deluxe berths come with a toilet and shower. Note that solo travellers will, in all cases apart from designated single cabins, share with other travellers of the same gender. Booking in advance is
highly recommended, and compulsory in Germany and Italy.

Good to know

It’s a good idea to build plenty of time for onward connections into an itinerary containing any night trains – 90 minutes is sensible. Nightjet tickets go on sale 180 days before departure.

Resources

Nightjet.com has bookings through ÖBB, which allows for combined Nightjet and day train connections to a wide range of destinations, plus more details of on-board services.

IC/EC

Many cross-border routes in Europe are denoted as IC (InterCity) or EC (EuroCity) trains, such as the Berlin–Warsaw, and Zürich–Bologna services. They offer comfortable and frequent, if slower, services than branded high-speed fast trains – think of these as express services that would have been the fastest trains
in operation before high-speed services became commonplace.

Classes & reservations

Generally, two classes (marked 1 and 2) are available throughout. Reservations are sensible for longer journeys and in some countries, such as Italy, are obligatory.

Good to know

If you’re hankering after an old-school European rail experience, compartment seating for six passengers with a sliding door on a corridor can still be found on many InterCity services.

Resources

Domestic websites for your starting point are the best place to start, though InterCity trains are often bookable via international ticket sites.

Regional Services

Few regional or local services run internationally, but many run right up to border stations, such as the scenic Jesenice to Nova Gorica line in Slovenia, which runs to the Italian frontier, and those terminating
at Latour-de-Carol from both the French and Spanish sides of the border. Regional services are differently named in various countries – see the national rail services section for details.

Classes & reservations

Many trains offer first (marked as 1 on the carriage or seating area) and standard class (2) seating, though smaller services may only have standard class. With few exceptions, regional trains are turn-up-and-go, so there are no reservations.

Good to know

On regional trains in many countries, you need to validate your ticket by stamping it in a machine on platforms before boarding.

Resources

As with InterCity services, domestic websites from your starting point are the best place to start for times and tickets, though buying at the station is the norm.

This excerpt has been reproduced with permission from Lonely Planet © 2022.