Holiday gift guides 2022: Sustainable workwear brands to shop this winter
Whether you’re back at the office—or just tired of wearing the same old sweats at home—your workwear lineup could probably use a refresh.
While curbing fast fashion in mind, here are several sustainable apparel and accessories brands with quality products and quality production methods to consider for investment pieces that will last you longer than a few seasons.
Crafted in Italy, Another Tomorrow touts itself as a “farm-to-fabric atelier,” with ultra-fine ethical, farm-sourced, merino wool suiting separates, including the Double Breasted Jacket and Wide Leg Suit Pant now in the “Prince of Wales” plaid palette. Other options that will span seasons include the long sleeve crewneck tee dress, made from custom organic cotton and Tencel blend with a hint of stretch (and would also work for both casual and formal events), and the extremely elegant tailored overcoat made with recycled wool.
The pink pantsuit is everywhere right now, and among the most attainable options at an affordable but well-made price point is from Argent, a women’s workwear brand that defines itself as one that promotes gender equality, most recently demonstrated by an activation tied to National Voters Registration Day in September. Made from “seasonless wool,” the blazer and matching pants are made from a lightweight fabric that is temperature-regulating and odor- and wrinkle-resistant, so it can be worn year-round on its own or with an overcoat in colder temperatures.
An abbreviation for All Year Round, AYR produces quality staples that you can truly wear all year round, either on their own or layered in cooler temperatures. For fall and winter, the brand has a number of workwear-appropriate options in pima cotton and merino wool, including the “Big Win” overcoat for men, the “Espionage” trench for women, and the aptly-named, stretchy “Crowd Pleaser” dress.
British label Ben Sherman recently launched a new line that is perfect for working from the office, working from home, and anywhere in between. Heritage in Motion, a new men’s fashion performance line, uses technical fabrics designed to help to withstand the elements protecting from heat, cold, and water, keeping the body temperature regulated and dry, making it ideal for active lifestyles on the move. The capsule collection comprises several silhouettes, with advanced design details for maximum movement and comfort, including styles in bold color-blocking.
From supremely comfy drawstring pants to ultra soft pullovers, Cozy Earth offers a combination of luxury bedding and loungewear made with viscose from bamboo, sustainably sourced from USDA-certified organic farms. Not only is the proprietary weave temperature-regulating and hypoallergenic, but it’s also stain resistant.
Eileen Fisher has long been a go-to brand for comfortable, simple designs that still look elegant, sophisticated, and modern. And the company is taking the lead with circular fashion as the nonprofit Eileen Fisher Foundation seeks to promote sustainable design and recycled fabrics. The brand’s use of sustainable jersey—which is super soft, stretchy, and breathable—comes from Tencel Lyocell fiber, which is made from responsibly harvested trees. And its cashmere sweaters are made from yarn spun with recycled cashmere, part of the brand’s commitment to changing the way clothes are made.
One way that some clothing retailers are maintaining sustainable practices is running on a “closed loop” system, in which companies will take back worn products for the purpose recycling the fabric for new goods later. For Days—which specializes in a classic, minimalist aesthetic for men and women—rewards its shoppers with store credit for returning items when they are done with them to be responsibly recycled. The brand recently launched a new linen collection, especially embracing Scandinavian style (“Scandi-style”) bringing more hygge and comfort into your daily life, from staple items like the airy linen button down shirt and linen joggers.
Frank & Eileen
B Corp-certified Frank & Eileen trails only outdoor clothing giant Patagonia on its impact score among globally recognized U.S. apparel companies. The business is also entirely women-owned and women-led (with zero outside venture capital investments), with a commitment to support working mothers in the workplace. At the brand’s California headquarters, there is a fully-stocked facility built specifically for new mothers to breastfeed, pump, or simply spend time with their babies. And the company has pledged $10 million over the next 10 years to support female small business leaders. As for the clothing itself, the brand says it works only with sustainable manufacturers to craft pieces using raw materials found in nature to make simple but timeless and quality basics, like the triple-fleece capelet top and full-length, organic voile button-down dress.
Touting to have “re-engineered the perfect button-up shirt for the women of today,” Grayson addressed a problem in women’s clothing that has existed for decades and truly has only been addressed publicly—that so much of women’s fashion has been designed without consideration for different body types. Founder Audrey McLoghin brought together 30 women to create perfect-fitting button-up that actually fit and eliminated “the dreaded boob gap.” Among the brand’s bestsellers are the tissue cotton “Changemaker” dress and washed cotton “Hero” button-up shirt.
Luxmii makes sustainable, luxury womenswear from pure linen. Each piece is designed with a “fewer is better” philosophy, with a focus on producing timeless wardrobe essentials that can be mixed and matched with anything the customer already owns. Luxmii’s linen two-piece sets, in particular, are functional, breathable, and durable, exuding minimalist style that looks calm but collected.
Modern Citizen describes its brand as “considered fashion with a luxury sensibility—made accessible, versatile, and modern.” Specifically, while the designs and fabric cuts are meant to be modern and edgy—as seen with the Yimei Side Slit Midi Dress and Tove T-Shirt Wrap Maxi Dress—each piece is made with the intention to be re-worn season after season. And relying on stretchy but comfy fabrics such as rayon and spandex, the brand’s clothing is machine-washable, facilitating re-wears and lowering long-term care costs for the customer.
Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto cofounded Staud in 2015 as upon the idea that high fashion shouldn’t just empower women—it should be accessible, too. The Los Angeles-based label takes a slight avant garde approach to basic designs with extra lines, cuts, and shapes here and there while also implementing twists on traditional fabrics. Staud’s entire fall collection is centered around the return to the office, showcased through a vegan leather line of tops, pants, and blazers.
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