The C&TH A-Z of Sustainability

By Lucy Cleland

3 years ago

The sustainability A-Z of British brands and global figureheads

Inspired by Stella McCartney’s 2021 A to Z Manifesto, we bring you our guide to the British fashion brands, companies and global figureheads doing the right thing and championing sustainability. 

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Palmer Harding works closely with its fabric mills to ensure the production process is free from environmentally harmful chemicals and all plastic packaging has been replaced with 100 per cent biodegradable alternatives.


Eighty per cent of alpaca yarn used in Ally Bee Knitwear is derived from the fleece of British alpaca flocks.


Celtic & Co exemplifies the 16 principles for a circular fashion industry, including providing a repair and resole service and designing for longevity.


According to a recent McKinsey report, 67 per cent of consumers consider the use of sustainable materials to be an important purchasing factor.


Woolmark promotes and highlights the benefits of sustainable wool use as the most reused and recycled fibre in the world.


Paper’s textured swimwear is made using REPREVE yarn, which is produced from plastic bottles – since 2018 it has recycled the equivalent of 112,500 plastic bottles.


Activist Greta Thunberg has made climate change a global issue by challenging world leaders to take immediate action.


We need to start seeing the planet we live on as a living, breathing entity – as Mother Nature – not just an inert static form that we can continue defacing.


If you’re going to buy, make sure it’s pieces that are made to last like Navygrey’s signature navy merino knit (above) that you’ll find yourself wearing again and again.

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda leads weekly demonstrations (virtually for the moment, but usually on Capitol Hill) to bring the issue of climate change action firmly to the seat of American political power.


Eco-friendly London-based drycleaner BLANC works with design houses to make sure the textiles used for collections are long-lasting and cleanable in a more sustainable way.

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‘Locally sustainable’ is Alice Temperley’s new mantra as she moves her business home to Somerset, an area famed for its rich history in textiles and age-old skills she intends to support in her enterprise.

Made to Order

Phoebe English makes to order and everything else in small batches, so there’s no excess stock.


All the cotton used by Beaumont Organic is GOTS certified, so it knows where it was grown and knitted, ensuring that no pesticides, chemicals or GMO seeds are used in  production.


Matches Fashion uses recycled, recyclable and/or FSC-certified packaging, made from responsibly sourced 100 per cent plastic free materials with removable magnets and natural vegetable dyes for the marble pattern.


If we don’t ask questions about the brands we’re buying, we won’t be able to change the status quo. Luckily, brands like Skiim Paris make it easier by only using suppliers recommended by The Sustainable Angle.

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New Brit brand Mynok boasts an impressive 90 per cent sustainability in its first season. Its S/S’21 collection uses recycled fabrics, vegan silks and organic cottons, while its campaign features trans women and non-binary models.

Social responsibility

Mother of Pearl travels to its factories with each production round to personally meet the people working there. Where possible, they strive to trace the initial raw material to the country of origin.


Burberry’s New Planet-Conscious Cashmere Project provides goat herders with training on sustainable farming, harvesting techniques and animal welfare practices, helping them to achieve higher quality cashmere and, in turn, higher prices for the natural fibre.


Erdem is upcycling past seasons’ fabrics to create a new, 25-piece, ready-to-wear capsule collection for The Outnet.


Second-hand and vintage shops, such as Worn (, Kids O’Clock ( and Loop Generation ( are critical for promoting the circular fashion economy.

Waste not, want not

Many of Penelope Chilvers’ shoes and boots have Goodyear welt construction, so they can be completely resoled after years of use, and surplus raw materials are repurposed in repeat designs so there’s no waste.


Herd uses the finest fleeces in England from farms in Lancashire and Yorkshire, then cleans and spins them with no toxic inputs and knits everything within 150 miles of the farms.

Zero waste

Stella McCartney is working hard to reduce its use of raw materials and increase its use of repurposed and upcycled fabrics. This gorgeous one-off Gabriela dress – a rare collector’s piece – was created from strips of patterned fabrics from nine past ready-to-wear collections.


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