The Rise of Shopping Small: Embracing Ethical and Eco-Friendly Fashion

Estimated read time 4 min read

In the past decade, there has been a significant shift in the fashion industry as Gen Z consumers opt for smaller labels over fast fashion giants, driven by ethical and environmental concerns. Embracing sustainability and conscious consumption, these young fashion enthusiasts are exploring new and noteworthy brands that align with their values. Let’s take a journey around the globe to discover some of the small fashion brands that are making waves in the industry.

Lack of Color: Reviving Vintage Glamour

Founded in 2011 by Tess Corvaia and Robert Tilbury, Lack of Color draws inspiration from their love for vintage hats. Their vision was to create cool, affordable, and fashionable hats for the younger generation, filling a gap in the market. Crafted in 100% Australian wool or natural wheat straw, their hats have gained a celebrity following, including Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, and more. Sold in prestigious stores like Selfridges and Harrods, Lack of Color is reinventing classic headwear for modern fashionistas.

Velvet Canyon: Timeless Retro Vibes

Sisters Bec Nolan and Cassy Moase, along with photographer Ali Mitto, launched Velvet Canyon in 2018, inspired by the aesthetics of the ’60s and ’70s. Their sunglasses boast ethically crafted designs using recyclable materials like cotton, cellulose, and wood pulp. Sustainability is at the core of their brand ethos, with a percentage of online sales donated to support asylum seekers. With signature retro designs and a touch of nostalgia, Velvet Canyon’s shades have adorned the faces of fashion-forward celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Julia Fox.

Feben: Celebrating Diversity and Culture

Feben Vemmendy, a Central Saint Martins alum, founded her label in 2020 with a focus on surrealistic aesthetics. Raised in Sweden by her Ethiopian mother, she draws inspiration from her heritage and history. Her collections are a celebration of the modern woman, featuring intricate bead weaving and nouveau couture. With fans like Beyonce, Erykah Badu, and Janelle Monáe, Feben’s avant-garde designs are making waves in the fashion world.

Yueqi Qi: Chinese Heritage Meets Modern Elegance

Inspired by her Chinese roots, Yueqi Qi launched her eponymous line in 2019. Having worked with esteemed fashion houses like Chanel and Gucci, her designs exude elegance and sophistication. Drawing inspiration from female characters in Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler novels, she explores the essence of femininity, strength, and vulnerability. Yueqi Qi’s designs are favored by those seeking uniqueness, with a touch of boldness and romanticism.

Oceanus: Sustainable Swimwear for a Better Future

Hannah Attalah, the creative director and founder of Oceanus, is committed to sustainability in the world of swimwear. Her swimsuits and bikinis are made from recycled eco-friendly materials like Econyl, coupled with biodegradable embellishments. Embracing a luxurious yet environmentally friendly approach, Oceanus caters to customers who appreciate ethical fashion without compromising on style.

Jade Cropper: Embracing Empowerment Through Asymmetry

Jade Cropper’s designs boast sexy asymmetrical lines and strong silhouettes, inspired by his Swedish background and a love for fashion since childhood. With celebrity clients like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, Jade’s brand emphasizes empowerment, confidence, and self-expression. His clothing pieces are versatile, easily transitioning between various occasions, allowing wearers to be bold and authentic.

Mirror Palais: Celebrating Female Empowerment

Mirror Palais, founded by Marcelo Gaia, pays homage to the female form and Brazilian heritage. Marcelo’s background in styling and design allows him to create an exquisite blend of sensuality and elegance in each piece. His signature high-cut bikinis have graced celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski, Kendall Jenner, and Dua Lipa. Through his sustainable label, Marcelo aims to empower women and foster a strong sense of identity and belief.

Tove Studio: Timeless Minimalism

Camille Perry and Holly Wright launched Tove Studio in 2019, focusing on minimalist and refined aesthetics. Sustainability takes center stage in their brand, utilizing natural recyclable and organic fabrics to create timeless designs. Their collections cater to modern women who seek a sophisticated yet attainable wardrobe. With an eye for fit, luxury fabrics, and classic design, Tove Studio offers pieces that stand the test of time.

Abaga Velli: Redefining Street Elegance

Co-founded by Adémidé Udoma and Diallo Nehimiah Hasmat-Ali in 2019, Abaga Velli delivers street elegance with utilitarian and modular aesthetics. The brand’s focus on community, culture, and displacement gives rise to garments that empower the wearer. Adémidé Udoma’s experience in dressing celebrities and a passion for storytelling infuse his designs with meaning and purpose.

Exploring the Future of Fashion

From vintage-inspired hats to sustainable swimwear and avant-garde designs, these small fashion brands are redefining the industry. Driven by ethical values, sustainability, and inclusivity, they offer unique and empowering fashion choices for today’s conscious consumers. Embrace the future of fashion by supporting these brands, and let your style be a statement of positivity and change.

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