The Good Trade covers conscious fashion, beauty, food, wellness, travel and lifestyle.
7 Sustainable Luxury Designers For Eco-Friendly Fashion
Our Favorite Ethical Luxury Fashion
Don’t let the words designer and luxury scare you. While these brands are much more expensive than traditional fast fashion labels and even our favorite affordable ethical brands , it’s worth noting these designers for when you’re ready to invest in a staple piece. Or for when you’re browsing online consignment stores , and secondhand luxury retailers like Vestiaire Collective .
Not only are the designers below creating garments that will last you years (and then some), but they’re paving the runway with progressive production methods and innovative textile inventions. Whoever said environmental sustainability and luxury fashion couldn’t mix?
If you’re looking for apparel at all price points, see this full guide of sustainable fashion brands .
1. Stella McCartney
Sustainability | Cruelty-free—no fur or leather, re-engineered cashmere & ethically sourced wool, organic cotton & recycled textiles, 100 percent PVC-free, sustainable packaging
Best For | Ready-to-wear fashion for all genders & ages, swimwear, sunglasses & bags
Stella McCartney has been reshaping fashion since launching her first collection in the early 1990s. Known for creating modern garments that exude natural confidence, the UK-based luxury designer is a pioneer of alternative materials and eco-friendly practices.
There is no compromise when it comes to sustainability, and pushing boundaries is always at the forefront of the brand’s mission. In 2014, Stella McCartney introduced Clevercare, a simple, five-step labeling system to help consumers care for and prolong the life of their clothing through mindful garment care.
Continuing to set the bar high for social and environmental sustainability in the fashion industry, Stella McCartney regularly conducts audits and measures impact, too. A member of the Ethical Trading Initiative , the brand is also careful with its selection of suppliers, many of whom are small businesses are artisans in Europe.
As an added bonus, the Stella McCartney brand gives back to organizations like Bioplanet, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Million Trees Miami.
Sustainability | Organic, recycled, & sustainable garments, natural dyes, secondhand shop
Best For | Inclusive & petite sizes for women, minimalist staples
EILEEN FISHER is passionate about disrupting the linear production model touted by most luxury fashion brands. The eponymous Illinois-bred designer paints in circular brushstrokes, recycling and giving new life to old textiles and discarded garments.
The result? Luxurious and sustainable womenswear with a particular focus on inclusive and petite sizing.
Loved for her use of recycled fabrics, organic fibers, and natural dyes in production, it comes as no surprise that the EILEEN FISHER brand is a certified B Corp with several sustainable initiatives like a sustainable secondhand shop called Renew and Waste No More. If that isn’t progressive enough, the team also collaborates with environmental conservation orgs, supports artisans, and empowers women through the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute .
Sustainability | Denim recycling program
Best For | Denim, urban style for all genders, footwear & accessories
Founded by Marcus Wainwright and Nathan Bogle nearly two decades ago, Rag & Bone is a luxury label as passionate about redefining urban style as it is about sustainability and local production.
Rag & Bone’s beginnings are rooted in a love for American casual wear (aka jeans and a T-shirt) after all. Working with manufacturers committed to detail, excellent craftsmanship, and time-honored garment creation techniques, the brand is loved for its edgy New York aesthetic and British-inspired tailoring. Plus, Rag & Bone offers a product lifetime warranty via Quality Guaranteed, if your apparel doesn’t last like they’re intended to.
It’s no surprise then, that in 2017, Rag & Bone partnered with Cotton Incorporated's Blue Jeans Go Green to launch a denim recycling program that encourages customers to bring in their old jeans back to a brick-and-mortar store. After the jeans are donated, the denim is then recycled and transformed into insulation for homes.
Sustainability | Recycled fabrics & fibers, hemp, linen, & organic cotton, eco-friendly packaging & branding, secondhand shop, sustainability commitments
Best For | Designer swimwear, womenswear
Mara Hoffman ’s collections, which are devoted to color and sustainability, draw from the inspiration of women. The luxury designer aims to encourage mindful consumption and “encourages consumers to reevaluate the relationship” they have with their clothing.
Employing alternative approaches to fashion production, the brand uses an array of sustainable fabrics, including ECONYL® and REPREVE® in the favored swimwear line—which are regenerated nylon fiber made from waste and polyester fiber made from recycled plastic. Mara Hoffman also uses hemp in ready-to-wear collections, as well as organic cotton, linen, ethical alpaca wool, and fibrous plant-based materials like modal sourced through Lenzing Group .
Additionally, the brand uses sustainable means for shipping, packaging, and branding, and internationally accepted environmental and human rights standards are upheld for responsible production. As an added bonus, Mara Hoffman hosts a secondhand shop called “Full Circle” to keep items out of landfills.
Sustainability | Natural fabrics, made-to-order options, handcrafted in NY
Best For | Tropical-inspired colors & styles
For luxury garments inspired by Grenada, we’re turning to Fe Noel ’s work. This womenswear brand based out of Brooklyn, NY combines tropical colors, bold prints, and stunning styles for a gorgeous collection that works from the beach to the runway. Fe Noel’s line includes wide-leg pants, flowy tops and dresses, and eclectic swimwear.
Sustainable pieces are handcrafted out of its New York studio, with typical sizes ranging from XS through XL—but you can also choose a made-to-measure option for a guaranteed perfect fit. And accessibility is important to this luxury designer, too: Some garments start at just over $50 and payment plans are available.
Founder Fe also launched the Fe Noel Foundation , so proceeds from the brand also support underserved youth who want to launch their own businesses and make an impact on a global scale. This is exactly what ethical and social responsibility looks like.
Sustainability | Artisan-made worldwide, low-waste, fair trade, sustainable materials
Best For | Summer dresses, tops, & skirts
If we had to distill Roopa Pemmaraju ’s style in three words, we’d say floral, feminine, and summer-chic. Combining modern and traditional designs, pieces are designed in New York and then sustainably crafted by artisans in India using age-old techniques. We love the team’s emphasis on “a world where the traditions that have shaped India’s culture for centuries can continue to thrive, instead of disappearing into the shadows of fast fashion.”
In addition to being fair trade and offering competitive wages, the brand also prioritizes slow fashion values—its clothing and accessories are made with recycled or natural fabrics like cotton, corn fibers, eucalyptus, and silk, which means it embraces low-waste practices as well. Then each piece is detailed with hand embroidery, digital printing, or hand block printing for that gorgeous final touch. You can find out more about Roopa Pemmaraju’s processes, fabrics, and craft here .
It’s worth the investment knowing no two pieces are exactly alike.
Sustainability | Responsibly sourced leather & recycled materials, sustainable secondhand shop, ethically made in Spain
Best For | Women’s footwear
For beautiful shoes that embrace clean lines, a neutral palette, and sustainable practices, look no further than Coclico .
Offering wedges, boots, sandals, flats, and clogs, this New York-based brand responsibly sources the best materials around, including high-quality Italian leather, upcycled cork, and natural wood, all for its timeless designs. Each pair is lovingly crafted in a small family-run factory in Mallorca, Spain where makers are paid living wages and given fair working conditions. All of this to say: Coclico shoes are made to last in every way.
Because Coclico shoes are made in limited quantities, it can be hard to find the pairs you love if they’re sold out—which is why we’re especially obsessed with the brand’s re-sell initiative, “ Coclico, Pre-Loved .” Find gently used options from fellow shoe-lovers at heavily discounted prices, including older styles that are no longer available. It doesn’t hurt that the secondhand shop embodies slow fashion and circularity in action, too.