It’s 2020 and sustainable fashion is no longer just linen clothes in various shades of beige, mustard and white—no offence if that’s your very neutral jam tho. Slow fashion, rewearing your clothes, capsule wardrobes and “no buys”, once relegated to the crunchy granola pockets of the internet, are all becoming more and more popular.
Considering the fashion industry accounts for more than 8% of manmade climate impacts (around 3,990 million metric tons of CO2eq, which tbh, my brain can’t really fathom), that’s a pretty good thing. Not to mention we all want to avoid the use of child labour and sweatshops in the clothes we buy.
Basically, it’s more important than ever now that our style is as consciously considered as it is, you know, cool.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite sustainable fashion Instagrammers and Internet fashion people to help inspire and guide you. Here to serve you thrifted, susty, eco realness. Hemp optional.
Ashley aka bestdressed 1m followers
Ashley is a charmingly awkward UCLA film grad fashion YouTuber based in New York. Her channel bestdressed (a chill 2.6 million subscribers) is predominantly fashion-focused and remains inexplicably a secret from her parents (how???). While she does pull from traditional brands for her outfits Ashley is one of our favourites to follow for expert-level thrifting tips, thoughtful conversations about life, and looks with a bit of gingham “picnic bitch” edge.
Wendy Liu aka withwendy @withwendy 90.8k followers
From a coat made from a sleeping bag to a replica of a Cecilie Bahnsen dress (a Dover Street Market fav), Wendy Liu is truly doing most. The Toronto-based YouTuber showcases DIYs inspired by designer items, thrift flips and her very endearing love of organisation. Muji is my happy place too, so I get it.
Jessica Tran aka Jess Glistening @jessglistening 20.4k followers
Jess is an Aussie to New York transplant who, as well as being a Senior Partnerships Manager for Intrepid, also runs a vintage shop and shares a tonne of sustainable fashion tips on her Instagram. Expect great reading material suggestions, vintage outfit ideas, gym inspiration (the girl can lift) and extremely cute pictures of her dog. PSA: we also got Jess’ expert tips on thrifting here. (insert link)
Letitia Ku @letitiaku 8.9k followers
Does anyone remember when Letitia’s channel was called Look Under Here? This Toronto-based fashion grad is an OG YouTuber and one of our favourite sources of inspiration for how to thrift current trends and update secondhand finds with simple DIYs.
Aditi Mayer @aditimayer 22.1k followers
Aditi Mayer’s mission is to decolonise fashion and sustainability, and we are here for it. Mayer shares a tonne of resources to educate yourself on the intersection of sustainability and race on her Instagram: “my relationship with sustainability very young age—both as a cultural standard and economic necessity.” Follow her for dreamy outfit photos featuring sustainably focused brands and v important perspective.
Leah-Jane Musch aka The Unmaterial Girl @theunmaterialgirl 18.8k followers
Leah is a self-described “former fast fashion addict turned slow fashion activist” residing in Melb. In her work as a fashion consultant for @the_new_garde she mentors emerging fashion labels, helping them to build sustainability and ethical practices into the core of their business—career goals. Check her out for a mix of eclectic but somehow always cool outfits.
Candice M Tay @candicemtay 63.2k followers
Category is: sustainable but could also be a minimalist spy. Toronto-based sustainable fashion and slow living blogger Candice Tay is our go-to for clean, sleek outfits and tips on how to be a more conscious consumer—especially in a busy urban environment, it can’t be #vanlife all the time after all.
Jasmine Rose @msjasminerose 24k followers
NYC-based blogger and YouTuber Jasmine Rose shares her take on vegan eco-chic on her Instagram. Expect tips for excellent thrift stores and sustainable fashion finds in New York and if you’re looking for stunning makeup inspo, she has you covered there too. If going vegan can give you a glow like that, sign me tf up.
Tolmeia Gregory @tollydoshposh 11.2k followers
Tolmeia Gregory’s bright n bubbly Instagram feed is where the ethical and sustainable fashion activist shares her personal experiences and insights about how she dresses and lives. In her words: “Shopping differently, whether it’s second-hand or just less frequently, challenges the idea of ‘fashion’ that we have in our minds. It’s truly freeing. My wardrobe is *my* wardrobe, fashion industry be damned.” Big mood.
Jenny Welbourn aka Wear I Live @wearilive 87.3k followers
There’s something really endearing about Jenny from Wear I Live. With her semi-’70s style, calm manner and Frida Kahlo vibes, she’s our inspiration for living a little more mindfully. Her Youtube channel is full of sustainable and ethical fashion (thrifted and from favs like Paloma Wool), but we also love her vegan meal ideas and dreamy self-care routines. Face mask anyone?
Joshua Katcher aka The Discerning Brute @thediscerningbrute 14.2k
Look, don’t get too intimidated but Joshua Katcher is one of these people’s bios you read and you just get tired because he is doing the fucking most. Katcher (whose been an ethical vegan 22 years) is a fashion entrepreneur, author, educator and vegan cheesemonger. He started Brave GentleMan, the first vegan and ethically-made menswear line in 2010, which Paper magazine said has “just about everything a mindful fashionisto could want.” Check him out for really thoughtful commentary on the intersections of fashion, masculinity and sustainability. And extremely good thifted and ethical outfit inspiration too, obv.
Alex @lifeof_alx 2.2k followers
We stan an environmentally conscious king, y’all, look at those grocery bags! Berlin-based honey, Alex is the founder of Too Cool For Cruel, a fair, vegan and organic clothing brand that doesn’t use plastic packaging and uses carbon-neutral shipping only.
He’s stopped buying from fast fashion brands as well as no longer buying fur, leather and silk but says it’s never impacted how good he feels in his threads or stopped him expressing himself: “Fair is the new black. Tell everyone.”
Eco-Stylist @yourecostylist 1.7k followers
Okay, while not technically a honey, we’re really into the Eco-Stylist Instagram and their fantastic blog. Founded in 2018, the team wants to answer the q: “can sustainable be dapper?” and from their insta alone, the answer is yes. Expect spotlights on ethically made and sustainable fashion labels, news from the sustainable fashion industry, and on-the-nose guides about the things we’re searching the most. You know that viral sweater worn by Chris Evan’s in Knives Out? They rounded up some ethical options to get you started. Go forth n get cosy.
Well Spent @wllspnt 3.3k
Another feed we’re digging for more masc susty inspo is the (sadly no longer publishing) feed of the site Well Spent, started by Cool Dad™ Nick Grant aka the sneaker and men’s style guy at Complex and GQ. While the site might not be publishing, we like digging around in the archives for recommendations for responsibly made fashion and styling ideas from those in the know.
Lead image via @bestdressed.