Gone are the days when sustainable fashion was just a niche part of the industry. New eco-friendly brands and collections launch in Europe every week, but it can still be a challenge to know where to find these sustainable brands and who to buy from when looking for new pieces for your wardrobe.
With such a wide choice of European sustainable fashion brands to choose from, the bigger brands always get the most attention. We like to give a platform to the smaller, emerging brands you might not have heard of before – providing with all the information you need to make conscious clothing choices.
What Makes a Brand Sustainable?
Even the most simple item of clothing undergoes many stages of production. For a garment to be considered eco-friendly or sustainable, there are different ways a brand can implement responsible and ethical means of manufacturing, transportation and reducing waste.
- Firstly, it is essential to consider where the clothing material is sourced. If the item is made from cotton, is it grown organically and certified? If the item is vegan, is the imitation leather made plastic-free?
- Secondly, it is essential to consider how the garment is constructed – which dyes are used, how many chemicals are needed to finish, and how much waste material or water is created along the way.
- Finally, are the people involved in the garment construction paid a fair living wage and have good working conditions?
PARO takes a holistic approach to choosing brands to work with, considering people processes and the materials used in their design and production. We have curated ten of our favourite European sustainable fashion brands for you here, with a close look at the individual efforts each is making to reduce their carbon footprint and create a better impact on the world.
A clever brand that gives new life to usually discarded bed linen from luxury hotels. The studio creates timeless classics made from Egyptian cotton and sourced from the best hotels in Europe. These high-quality fabrics are typically thrown out at the slightest hint of wear or tear. The brand uses more sustainable materials and methods for the complete construction of shirts, and each piece is made in Romania.
Based out of Budapest, this ethical brand creates unique clothing made from up-cycled post-consumer knitwear and waste. Borbala uses techniques such as quilting or patchwork to make colourful, crafty, fun pieces.
Each item is reworked and created with vintage pieces, excess production yarn or sustainable fabrics. The collection features mainly knitted pieces, upcycled materials and yarns sourced in Italy and made locally with a small team. The studio also works with a social enterprise that aims to help teach skills to vulnerable people.
A zero-waste company created a circular t-shirt system by persuading customers to send in their old t-shirts to receive a discount on their new products. The virgin, certified organic cotton is sourced in Turkey, the fibers are recycled and spun together in Spain, while the t-shirts are dyed and constructed in Portugal.
An Amsterdam-based label that creates slow fashion with a broader social impact. In Italy, they source deadstock fabric, and the pieces are made at an atelier in Poland. The aesthetic of Heute is genderless, yet elegant and classy; however, it never compromises on reducing its environmental impact on the planet.
Hul Le Kes
Each purchased garment comes with a passport where you can keep track of who owned the item previously and where it has lived. The studio also offers a dyeing service where you give your favourite clothes a makeover – giving new life to old clothes. The brand ensures its supply chain is as ethical and sustainable as possible.
Timeless, non-seasonal bags with leather, sourced in Spain. Each bag is made on a small scale in their ateliers in Spain and Holland. As their leather is sourced locally, they can minimise transportation costs and be more carbon-efficient in creating their beautiful bags. Nona embraces the notion of slow fashion and doesn’t create any leftover stock in constructing their pieces.
Strong in colour – stand-out unique clothing and objects for the home are sourced and made in Poland by local artisans. Each item is designed, constructed, produced locally, and sent to customers with minimal packing materials. For the product to reach a customer, only 100% recycled or eco-friendly parcels are used.
A fashion brand that creates handmade unisex clothing, sourced and made in Switzerland, where their production line is hyper-local. The brand focuses on the idea of repairing clothing, offering a unique finish to each piece. The studio wants to provide a world contrary to fast fashion or disposable garments.
A shoe brand using only vegan and PETA-certified materials and recycled rubbers. The shoes have a coating made from discarded apple skins from a farm in Northern Italy, making the fabric waterproof and look like a leather finish. All shoes are made in a family-owned factory in Portugal which specialises in vegetarian shoes. Creating sustainable methods throughout the supply chain is very important to the team behind Viron.
Buy Eco-Friendly and Ethical Clothes at PARO Store
PARO Store distinguishes brands’ classification, so you can always make an informed choice before buying – we call them the Good Design Codes. You can read more about the design codes and browse our sustainable clothing collections for women and men.