10 Women Leading the Sustainable Fashion Movement
We live in an incredible time of change. The sustainable fashion frontier is being dominated by businesswomen, scientists, artists, designers and socialites who are tired of the waste from the fashion industry that’s polluting our world and beating down the hands behind our clothes. The consumerist game is exhausting. These fashion leaders’ work is a force of change against the exploitative practice of manufacturing and toxic supply chains. It is a call for justice.
Together, we are building a new history that celebrates and writes these incredible women in their entirety. Because who runs the world? Well, us and Beyoncé know it- girls. Here are 10 women leading the sustainable fashion movement that inspire and motivate us each day:
1. Stella McCartney
One of the most fearless leaders in the sustainable fashion revolution is English fashion designer Stella McCartney. A lifelong vegetarian and animal activist, Stella uses her platform to create a global conversation about the fashion industry and teach us how we can transform it for a sustainable future. Stella uses no animal products in her work and has launched lines of her own, as well as in collaboration with Adidas, that are as close to zero-waste as you can get. When it comes down to it, Stella says it all starts with us. She advocates for education on the cruelty of the fashion industry with roundtables before her shows, serving as a constant voice for sustainable fashion. By tuning in, she believes we can better understand the need for new technology and recyclable fabric. Stella champions secondhand shopping and creates coverage for those who want a change now. So, join the conversation.
2. Eva Kruse
Eva Kruse, CEO of Global Fashion Agenda and Copenhagen Fashion Summit, kicks some serious butt when it comes to sustainable fashion. Eva doesn’t think fashion is exclusive to people who like to shop. It affects everyone. This is why Eva calls for regulations to be made to support the growth of green technology in the fashion industry. She fights for it day in and day out! To her, sexiness is a design, not just a cheap price. By supporting sustainable designers, we can feel just as sexy in our clothes as we do now- and actually feel good about it.
3. Vivienne Westwood
A rebel with a cause. No one quite does it like Vivienne Westwood. Serving us punk rock, eco-friendly looks since the 1970s, Vivienne has been an absolute manifesto to the call for change in the fashion industry. To her, consumerism is a drug that has only led us deeper and deeper into climate change. It “penetrates to the root of the human predicament ... we have the choice to become more cultivated and therefore more human – or by muddling along as usual, we shall remain the destructive and self-destroying animal, the victim of our own cleverness.” Vivienne’s designs are unparalleled and worn by celebrities who also believe that cruelty-free is the only way to look truly stylish. She’s a punk rock girl with a serious sustainable agenda- to “choose well and make it last.”
4. Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher, American clothing designer and founder of her very own self-titled brand, lives by the goal to design out negative impacts and design in positive change. Eileen believes in paying attention to each step of the fashion industry, from what happens in the field to when it’s in your shopping bag. The industry should be sustainable from start to finish. This is why she launched the “Waste No More” goal that works to make the world better through the creation of fashion instead of constantly depleting from it. The goal is to create a completely eco-friendly, holistic and circular industry. To kick start the movement, Eileen has offered a buy-back program that has collected over one million garments in 10 years to be upcycled and sold along with her sustainable, everlasting garments. For her, it’s only the beginning.
5. Emma Watson
A commitment to sustainable fashion is not privy to just designers. Emma Watson proves that. Yes, she is a model and actress, but most importantly, she’s an activist. In 2015, she signed the "Green Carpet Challenge," pledging to only wear looks by sustainable designers to all media events. Emma believes that fashion shapes our identities by signifying exactly what we stand for. If you are what you wear, you should make it sustainable. Emma’s headstrong career and defiance has been a driving force in the sustainable fashion industry for years. Her leadership has spread like fire, molding and inspiring the younger fashion generation to make choices that are better for our Earth.
6. Mara Hoffman
Mara Hoffman founded her sustainable label through the inspiration and celebration of women. What could be better than to fuse these two powerhouses together? We know by now that there are several alternatives and options in the fashion industry. With this awareness, Mara is asking you to make her designs more accountable. Yes, make her accountable! Push the envelope of the norm and buy clothes you know you are going to wear time and time again. Diving headfirst into the daunting task of becoming a 100% sustainable label, Mara firmly stands strong and believes that this journey is a “forever process.”
7. Lauren Conrad
Lauren Conrad made eco-chic. Other than being absolutely fabulous, Laurens runs her own concept store, “The Little Market,” which sells only ethical products. Over 10,000 global artisans are represented on this e-commerce site, selling handmade, beautiful items to people who care. And the best part? These artisans are being directly benefited, not just washed into the fashion cycle. Amazing, unique and powerful- Lauren is undoubtedly running one of the most fearless passion projects in the sustainable fashion industry.
8. Carry Somers
It’s Carry Somers’ Revolution! British fashion designer and social entrepreneur Carry Somers founded the “Fashion Revolution,” the world’s largest, global fashion activism movement that speaks the truth about the fashion’s supply chain. The campaign asks people to wear their shirts inside out to bring attention to who really makes our clothes. Brands and producers respond, who are the weavers, dyers, embroiderers, cotton farmers, seamstresses, spinners and union leaders all around the world. With this honesty, Carry hopes to bring transparency into fashion. She wants to radically change the paradigm and give the faces behind our clothes the love and appreciation they deserve. Isn’t that much better than a silly logo?
9. Amanda Hearst
American socialite and activist Amanda Hearst found her ethical groove in sustainable online retail. As co-founder of the ethical online retailer “Maison de Mode,” a one-stop-shop for all ethical luxury goods from ready-to-wear pieces to accessories and home goods. Amanda’s work is rooted in the stories behind her products and how people find inspiration in goods that have real meaning and purpose. What motivates her? The science behind a need for change. Amanda advocates for complete transparency, working closer and closer to her goal of no longer having to label goods as “eco-friendly” or “sustainable.” One day, they will just be known as normal goods.
10. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde is another statement star that is making huge impacts in the sustainable fashion industry. Olivia founded her own sustainable fashion initiative “Conscience Commerce” that connects non-profit foundations to sustainable business models. The goal? Social consciousness, engagement and awareness. Olivia thinks used clothes should be cool and that we should all be choosing used over new. This is why she talks the talk and walks the walk- fighting for sustainability each day in vintage, worn and repurposed clothing.