Five Sustainable or Ethical Designer Brands on Shopbop

The designer fashion world is often seen as self-serving, shallow, snooty and of course, gosh darn expensive…and I don’t often write about it because I know it’s a bit beyond my, and most people’s, reach. However, I do admire the creativity that goes into many of these brands, and I also like getting to the bottom of truth. Not all high end brands recklessly pursue the almighty dollar—there are definitely a lot to give shoutouts to. Some brands started off with sustainability or other ethical initiatives in mind, and some make the switch later as awareness grows and they become more mindful of their footprint on this planet. No matter the price point, I like to give coverage to a brand that realizes resources are finite, or that human rights are important. If you happen to be one that adorns your closet with designer goods but are looking to shop a little more guilt-free, then this post is perfect for you!

Like many, I’ve always liked Shopbop as a main source of quality goods, but I’ve also been a lot more mindful of my shopping habits lately. I decided to do a little digging! I wasn’t sure how many brands sold through this popular retailer were actually ethical, sustainable or both, but I found a happy little handful (and I’m sure there are more). All of these brands have been around for quite some time, and I’m happy to see them going strong and working hard to be kind all around!

Mara Hoffman

“There’s a certain wanderlust wrapped up in Mara Hoffman’s designs, all inspired by her world travels, and the rich history and mythology of each destination. It’s been intrinsic to her ethos since she got her start in 2000 with a collection of colorful hand-dyed batik knits called “Circle.” Over time, she swapped the name for her own, and expanded the brand’s umbrella to cover a full range of women’s ready-to-wear, as well as Mara Hoffman swim, dresses, bridal pieces, and children’s clothes, but always with a focus on bright global eclectic prints, and ancient crafting techniques.”

Mara is highly conscious of her practices. I’ve been a fan of her fun, psychedelic designs for awhile! This brand wasn’t initially founded on the idea of sustainability, and later realized the impact the fashion industry has on the world. Sustainable and eco-friendly materials are now used, such as ECONYL® 100% regenerated nylon fibre made from fishnets and other nylon waste. All polyester is made from post consumer recycled polymers, and all cotton used is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The brand also uses Lenzing Tencel, Modal, Rayon or Burla viscose which is made from the pulp of sustainably harvested trees. Mara Hoffman also uses fabrics that are Oeko-Tex® 100 Standard ​certified, which means raw materials are tested for harmful chemicals. Everything is also made in the USA, digital printing is used to reduce water and waste, partnerships with India are in place to ensure jobs for artisans, factories are highly monitored in person, and even poly bags and stickers are compostable. The brand is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and joined the movement to create a universal assessment (HIGG) that will be used industry-wide across the world. Impressive, right?


Five Sustainable or Ethical Designer Brands on Shopbop - EDUN

Image: EDUN

“The fact that EDUN happens to spell ‘nude’ backwards is no fluke. The company’s music-famous co-founders U2 frontman Bono, and his wife Ali Hewson, chose the name based on its allusion to nature and the Garden of Eden, a reference that ties into the company’s aim to create fair pay jobs in Africa. Philanthropic efforts have been a key element of the brand’s ethos from the get-go—a large portion of each EDUN clothing collection is sourced and produced in impoverished countries—but its look has evolved over the years. The most recent iteration? A global minimalist aesthetic, as imagined by EDUN’s 2013-appointed creative director, Danielle Sherman.”

Shopbop nailed it all in their description for this brand! I love how the designs ooze vintage yet modern appeal, with some beautifully ethnic flair, of course.

Stella McCartney

“A graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins school in London, Stella McCartney cut her teeth as the creative director of Chloe before breaking away in 2001 to create her own luxe, ethically-minded label. The cruelty-free line, which not only avoids fur and leather but practices sustainable production, is proof that vegan materials can be wildly covetable. The collections irresistible mix of sharpmenswear influence and whimsical femininity has made its one of the most in-demand labels in both the fashion and Hollywood communities. Stella McCartney bags, shoes, and clothing have a habit of popping up on the some of the best-dressed people in the world, whether the people row at a fashion show or on the red carpet.”

Yes, Stella is the daughter of Paul McCartney, and daughter of musician, photographer and animal rights activist Linda McCartney. You can see where she gets her inspiration! Stella uses organic cotton, wind energy and does not use PVC. She continues to push for even more sustainable practices as we learn more about how we can better take care of our planet.

Chinti and Parker

“On a mission to perfect the building blocks of a woman’s wardrobe by creating the most desirable and versatile must-haves, British cousins Anna Singh and Rachael Wood founded Chinti and Parker clothing in 2009. The collection boasts essential pieces with innovative twists, and manufacturing with care and conscience is a top priority. A carbon neutral company, Chinti and Parker uses organic and ethically sourced materials and proudly produces much of its line in the EU.”

These cashmere pieces are so cute and eye catching! To me, they are essentials with a twist, to bring out the playful side in all of us. I love that star hoodie below!


Five Sustainable or Ethical Designer Brands on Shopbop - Cleobella

Image: Cleobella

“Globetrotting adventures often inspire creativity, and Angel O’Brien’s muse was no different. After embarking from her California home to wander the world, Angela realized fashion design was her passion. Her line Cleobella offers precious and unique finds from foreign lands, which not only gives us these exclusive pieces but supports the livelihood of foreign artisans and designers. Named after Angela’s mother, the Cleobella woman is sophisticated, confident, and elegant, yet imaginative and youthful.”

Cleobella was founded in Bali because its founders simply fell in love and were forever changed by the heritage of the island. Being stationed there and giving work to its locals creates a sustainable living for families which in turn makes a positive impact on the community! Each piece is hand made down to the last details with impeccable craftmanship. Cleobella also gives a percentage of all sales to empower women in South East Asia through, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty and focused on the power of women, as well as education, clean water, HIV prevention, expanding economic opportunity, improving sanitation, and protecting natural resources. CARE also delivers aid and helps rebuild communities after war and natural disasters.

Do you have a few others you like to shop? Share away in the comments! I’m always all ears and would love to get more ideas for future posts!

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