Written by guest writer, Claudia Lee
In the world of sustainable fashion, 2021 was definitely another year worth adding to the books. With many independent designers and global fashion houses alike making net-zero pledges, venturing into eco-materials or debuting sustainability lines, 2021 was a year that propelled sustainable fashion further into the mainstream.
Claudia Lee, guest sustainability writer and podcaster with an eye for upcoming green trends, shares some of her favourite and most notable outfits that rocked sustainable hall of fame…
You’d have to be hiding under a rock not to have noticed how many exciting moments for sustainable fashion cropped up in 2021, from the luxury fashion house Chloé becoming the first luxury brand to earn a B-Corp certification¹, inspiring sustainable fashion moments at The Met Gala to the Fashion World’s net-zero commitments at COP26. As a climate advocate, I’m always on the lookout for celebrities who take the extra step to promote sustainability, whether it is through social media content or fashion.
I’ve selected 10 notable outfits which have highlighted to me the endless possibilities of sustainable fashion.
Gloria Yu in The R Collective
Digital creator and designer, Gloria Yu regularly posts sustainable fashion and lifestyle content. I fell in love with this upcycled burgundy one-piece, zero waste Calabash Dress that she wore whilst being a judge on the Redress Design Award 2021. The mid-rib knot, low cut back and flowy bottom spells both femininity and free spiritedness, values I want to embrace more in 2022.
Louisa Ziana in The R Collective
Louisa Ziane is the co-founder and COO of Toast Ale, a sustainable beer brand which reduces food waste by using surplus bread to brew beer. Ziane’s upcycled mustard Arnhem Jacket and a black Welland skirt from The R Collective reflects a bold, confident energy, while the tie belt creates a relaxing silhouette.
Venetia La Manna’s ‘Old Outfit Of the Day’
Fair Fashion Campaigner and podcaster Venetia La Manna’s Instagram is a page I regularly turn to for sustainable and ethical fashion inspiration. Venetia often shares her #OldOutfitsOfTheDay (#OOOTD) to encourage followers to practice slow fashion and demonstrate that there are many ways to style one piece of clothing. Out of her many unique looks in 2021, I was most drawn to this Bohemian outfit.
Jing Zhang in The R Collective
Jing Zhang in our Pascal Blazer from Refashioned
Fashion Journalist Jing Zhang’s timeless style is inspired by her journeys around the globe. Passionate about sustainable fashion, Zhang contributes to publications, such as SCMP and Prestige, writing about positive fashion trends. Her upcycled Pascal Blazer, Welland Skirt and Panama hat look is simple yet extremely alluring.
Aditi Mayer wearing Nece Gene
Sustainability and social justice advocate, Aditi Mayer spotlights the voices of the BIPOC community through photojournalism and compelling social media storytelling. LA based Nece Gene wore an upcycled denim dress to a museum dinner last September. Nece Gene upcycles high fashion couture denim, dreaming up unique cuts while preserving the coolness of denim.
Sustainable fashion blogger, Natalie shares content about sustainable fashion, clean beauty and eco-lifestyles under her brand ‘Sustainably Chic’. Natalie pulls off a chic summer style wearing a Brava Fabrics pinstripe jumpsuit paired with sandals. Brava Fabrics is a Barcelona based brand that uses only natural fibres and recycled materials to craft their garments. The brand is also committed to fair and transparent supply chains and uses recyclable packaging and cloth hangers.
I follow German fair fashion blogger Corinna for her minimal, muted palette and effortless style. I was particularly drawn to this outfit, which is completely secondhand; a loose long sleeve with a tight ribbed skirt is my go-to for any semi casual event.
Emma Watson shone at the Earthshot Prize Ceremony in London, where she strolled down the ‘green carpet’ in a Harris Reed upcycled demi-couture gown made from old wedding dresses. I think pairing the gown with classic black H flares adds a touch of sophistication and boldness to the overall look.
Lorde’s white silk two piece she co-created with designer Emily Bode is one of my favourite sustainable looks. The creamy silk piece was made entirely with repurposed fabric and embellished with antique beads and sequins. It’s nuanced and absolutely glamourous.
Gabriela Heart’s second SS runway collection for Chloé fuses the brand’s refined femininity with a touch of artistic craftsmanship. My favourite piece is the blue cape, which to me, conjures a vision of the ocean. The cape is made from deadstock material and elevated with a shell necklace handcrafted in Madagascar. The carbon emissions from the show were also offset, a tradition the designer began in 2019.
¹‘B-Corp’ is a certification that marks a company’s commitment to people, communities and the planet. All certified B-Corps are legally required to consider how their business decisions impact the environment and stakeholders along their value chain.