Think about the luxury brands you can name- Gucci, Dior, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana. Big design houses dominate the headlines at high profile red carpet events like the Met Gala and Cannes. I love seeing gowns on the red carpet and have followed Red Carpet Fashion Awards for years. In honor of all the red carpet dressing, I wanted to mix it up and highlight some smaller sustainable luxury brands are just as glamorous and memorable as the ones you are used to seeing at the Oscars.
Galvan London is an ethical brand that uses small and slow batch production and they are all about to fair wages and fair treatment. They are all about transparency and frequently check their manufacturers to ensure a safe and fair work environment, alongside the fair work treatment of the brand’s manufacturers.
AMUR believes great style should not have to come at the expense of our environment and their dresses are a testament to that philosophy. You can see it written out in their name, AMUR stands for- A Mindful Use of Resources (AMUR). They used sustainably sourced materials and produce everything in New York City.
Sachin & Babi was founded by Sachin & Babi Ahluwalia in 2009 with a goal to redefine evening wear and find a connection with the customer. Sachin and Babi have a commitment to the quality of their clothes, their clients, and the people who craft their stunning eveningwear. Each garment is made ethically in their family-owned factory in Mumbai. This ensures that their clothes are steeped in the rich artistry, and culture of the region.
After the Rana Plaza Disaster British Designer, Zandra Rhodes teamed up with Safia Minney, the founder of People Tree to provide ethical futures for skilled female weavers. Parts of her collection are now fairly produced in collaboration with the same artisans that People Tree uses. Her latest collection is a look at her archive and it brings together a capsule of her most famous dresses. They reproduced, screened and finally hand-beaded at her London atelier.
Jiri Kalfar is a Czech based fashion designer who used to be a model and a dancer, which gave him a unique understanding of the human body. His signature look combines clean lines and an over-sized style. He also uses gorgeous intricate beading that makes the body come to life. All his collections use recycled fabrics and local manufacturing in that keeps his sustainable ethos and the zero waste policy of the brand.
Mariana Jungmann brings a global perspective to her clothing. Originally from Brazil, and now based in London, Mariana’s clothing is global, sexy, and feminine. She founded her label in 2013 and continues to use her signature renaissance lace throughout her collections. She also incorporates lots of sustainable fabrics and production techniques, like laser cutting the fabrics, into her process.
Leanne Marshall got her start on Project Runway and is now a bridal designer based in NYC. She started making gowns out of the scraps from her bridal gowns. She works with natural fabrics and eliminates waste from the process of making the gowns by focusing on cutting, and repurposing scrap material.
Zalinah White creates timeless, sophisticated, and functional clothing. The gowns are crafted from the highest quality sustainable materials like organic cotton and silk. The Zalinah White philosophy is fair and honest. All their manufacturers are chosen for their ethical practices.
Sustainability is now, Africa is now, and Edun is right on top of both. Edun was founded by two people you’ve probably never heard of (Bono and Ali Hewson) in 2005. The goal of the brand is to help promote and develop sustainable infrastructure and community in Africa. They produce most of their collections within Africa and use natural materials like cotton and silk and try to incorporate deadstock materials to reduce their waste.
Female-oriented, sustainable fabrics, and a minimalist style make up the fundamentals of the Laura Strambi brand. Every step of production strives to be as eco-friendly as possible. All the fabrics she uses have certifications, are free of heavy metals and have traceable supply chains.