How dreamy is this gingham number from Jillian Boustred’s beautiful collection? When wearing it, I feel like I could have come straight off the Bridgerton film set (speaking of, who else is excited for season 2?) I know that many of you are on the look out for sustainable brands to support. So, incase you’re after some inspiration, below are four of my favourite sustainable minimalist brands who create timeless and well made designs.
But first, what is minimalist style and how the practice of minimalism more sustainable?
I’m sure that many of you, by now, are familiar with the concept of ‘minimalist style’ which definitely has a cult following on instagram. Minimalist fashion encompasses both the practice of minimalism and minimalist aesthetic. As a practice, minimalist fashion involves practicing minimalism in relation to your wardrobe; curating a streamlined wardrobe with fewer items (a capsule wardrobe being one way a minimalist wardrobe is achieved). As an aesthetic, minimalist style is a mode of dressing which favours simple and timeless silhouettes – elevating an outfit’s design through its cut, shape and texture as opposed to busy colours and prints.
A minimalist wardrobe does not necessarily equate to a sustainable wardrobe. However, there is overlap between these two movements and by focusing on a more minimalist wardrobe often you begin to practice similar principles to that of sustainable and slow fashion. For example, both sustainable fashion and minimalist style emphasise:
- Purchasing quality over quantity of items.
- Buying less, and looking after the things you do have.
- Buying trendless, timeless pieces.
- Moving away from fast fashion.
- Maintaining a smaller, more cohesive wardrobe.
- Re-wearing and re-styling the same items.
- Repairing and caring for items you own.
Minimalist and sustainable brands I've tried
1. Jillian Boustred
Where to I even begin to talk about Jillian Boustred’s beautiful designs? I discovered this local Sydney brand last year and instantly fell for its timeless, elegant dresses. Made in Australia with a commitment to responsible, transparent and inclusive designs, Jillian Boustred uses a range of linen, deadstock fabrics (fabrics left over from other brands’ collections which would otherwise go to waste) specific fabrics created from an Italian Mill and GOTS certified cotton to create the most beautiful dresses (and other garments). This brand also re-purposes off cuts of fabrics into other designs such as tote bags, masks and scrunchies and the brand offers a lifetime repair and take back program. They have also outlined some of the sustainability goals their brand is working towards (for example, removing 90% of plastic from their studio and increasing more sustainable fibres in their designs).
I had my eye on the beautiful Esther dress (a design which also comes in several other colours and plain black) for most of this year, what with its romantic shirred bodice, black and white gingham print and ethereal gathered sleeves. So, when I recently noticed it was on sale, it was a purchase which really didn’t bear thinking about.
I was recently on the look out for a pair of slides – something simple that I could slip on with a breezy summer dress or shorts. I wanted them to have a similar feel to the Hermes’s Oran sandal or the Yves Saint Laurent Tribute slides, but without the designer price tag and which were, preferably, sustainably or ethically made. Cue to enter Nisolo a USA brand which makes beautiful boots, sandals and bags. Their products are simple and timeless and I’ve been so impressed with the comfort and quality of the Isla Woven Slide in woven brandy I purchased (it also comes in a range of other colours too).
In terms of sustainability Nisolo are a climate change neutral B Corporation and which uses a range of up-cycled and re-cycled materials in their designs and packaging. Their leather is sourced from Leather Working Group Certified tanneries. They also have a have a shoe reclamation program. They also publish information about their lowest wage challenge and commitment to a living wage here.
Although Nisolo doesn’t ship outside of the Us directly, their products are stocked on Garmentory (a marketplace which stocks a range of “emerging, sustainable and cult-classic brands” and local boutiques worldwide) and Nordstrom.
I spoke in depth about my love for Boody in my sustainable active wear review here, where I talk about their sustainable and ethical initiatives. Boody is a sustainable brand with a focus on comfy sustainable basics made from organic bamboo. They offer underwear, t-shirts, active wear and sleepwear/loungewear in simple, timeless colours and designs. While I have been previously gifted items from Boody, I’ve also purchased items from them myself (you can read more about my policy toward gifting here). You can also use the code BRIDIELEAH to get 15% off at checkout (*ad-affiliate).
I’m sure many of you will have heard of Sezane, an effortlessly chic Parisian brand. As is the french way, many of their garments feature classic styles which transcend trends for example the Tomboy Shirt or the Noan Mariniene. You can read more about their approach to sustainability and my review of this brand here.