Nine fashion brands that have gone beyond sustainability [source: Fashion Letter]

Almost everyone in the fashion world is now concerned about sustainability. But only a few brands have managed to deal with what they are manifesting – through different means. Some have invented new biomaterials for their clothing production, others have embarked on recycling and upcycling. Here are the lucky ones.

Stella McCartney

In 2020, the British brand announced the McCartney Manifesto, defining and guiding its sustainable vision. In line with this, the brand has launched several innovations such as Coreva – biodegradable stretch denim, or Stellawear – a sustainable innovation merging underwear and swimwear, made from Aquafil Econyl regenerated nylon and ROICA elastane. The brand has also designed bio-lenses and bio-acetate frames for eyewear.

Gerda Irene

Designer and fashion activist Gerda Irene embraces upcycling and recycling. She collects items found at flea markets and garage sales such as vintage linens, rugs, furniture and restores vintage embroidery technologies to create what she calls “fashioned-upcycling”. In its collections you can find both haute couture dresses and casual jeans and jackets.


Another proponent of upcycling techniques is Albina Kan and her brand Beena. She creates her outfits from patchwork textiles. She is also fond of vintage silhouettes – flared jeans, voluminous collars and jackets with accentuated shoulders. Only natural materials are used for its collections: silk, cotton, mixed fabrics made from natural fibers and denim.


The Nanushka brand is inspired by natural resources. She pursues responsible production with a genuine appreciation and respect for the world around us. The brand not only strives to reduce its impact on the environment, but also to give back and contribute positively to the communities it works with.


Nadezhda Abzaeva, the designer from Buryatia and creator of the eponymous brand, emphasized local identity. She is inspired by the indigenous rituals of the nomadic tribes who cherish nature the most. Their heritage has a strong influence on the silhouettes and materials that the brand puts forward. Abzaeva also follows zero waste production principles in its collections.

Navy Tight

The young Parisian fashion brand is attached to the ideas of circularity, understood as an ability to recycle and regenerate materials. Nearly half of the brand’s collections are made of upcycled materials. Another way to reduce the negative impact on the environment is to work with innovative and sustainable fibers, such as biodegradable yarns and recycled fibers.


Brand designer Elena Mezhova learned so much from nature that she named each piece in her collection after an animal or mushroom. Among them are an Ostreidae jumpsuit, which repeats the aesthetic features of an oyster, a Hymenophore sports jumpsuit, and an Amanita dress. The collection was made of 70% recycled materials. A dress was even made of plastic bags.

Mara Hoffman

A graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York, Mara Hoffman was among the first to adopt the strategy of implementing more sustainable and responsible practices. The brand focuses on sustainable materials, processes and production to extend the life of each garment.
The designer is inspired by the celebration of women and actively advocates for racial and social justice in the name of a more equitable society.


The BUGERA brand clothing brand is an enduring brand that pays attention to every detail. Each product goes through a long creative process – from the development of unique patterns, the selection of materials, hand-drawn prints to the exclusive tailoring of models. Collections include items made using upcycling techniques.