• Orianna

What is Eco-Luxury?

A look at the aesthetics of eco-friendly fashion

I've been thinking a lot about beauty recently. I've tried to step back from societal expectations about what an environmentally-friendly person "looks like" and explore my authentic expression. I'm a Taurus, and I love all things luxury. My sign ruler is Venus, so while I have moved away from over-sexualized clothing, my lens for what is aesthetically pleasing still relates to my femininity and a celebration of the body.


I went through a period of several years where I went make-up-free. I eschewed my luxury clothing items, donating them or selling them at consignment shops. I made my own deodorant, toothpaste and even DIY'd some dryer balls. I drank fresh juices. I detoxed. I changed all of my household products. You get the idea.


Through this process, I broke down the old conditioned self to see who was really there. I found a lot of self-judgment about conforming to societal norms and not caring for the Earth.

I had a profound realization that one of my purposes on Earth is to bring harmony between human and planet.

So I surrounded myself with some new people. I went to fermentation workshops. I met Earth healers. I went to the Hostel in the Forest and participated in ceremonies. I noticed that I looked different from the other participants, and my background was different. I think it was educational on both sides. Tempted to conform to my new groups, I adopted beliefs that it was "shallow" to focus on external beauty. Because internal beauty is what matters, right?


Well, yes and no. After coming out the other side of my transformation process, I can say that my aesthetic sense is largely unchanged. I still find diamonds beautiful. It's just that now, I would make 100% sure that a diamond is ethically sourced. I woke up to what was going on with the planet and internally accepted my responsibility for what I participate in.


But I didn't stop wanting to be beautiful.


What changed is that I no longer feel compelled by any social group to conform to beauty norms; I have the freedom to express myself the way I want to. Which, ironically, seems to be in line with what's going on with many people right now.


So what does any of this have to do with eco-luxury?


When I was younger, I was a Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus shopper. The ingredients or materials of my products were not on my mind as much as the look. Now that I am more aware, I still like many traditional brands, but many of them have not caught on to non-toxic ingredients and sustainable practices. So, I look for luxury swaps that reflect both my aesthetic AND my values — aka eco-luxury brands.


Eco-Luxury Brands

I appreciated this Harper's Bazaar article highlighting sustainable brands. Well-known eco-luxury brands include Stella McCartney, Maggie Marilyn, and Mother of Pearl. These brands all rate as "Good" on Good on You, a site that rates brands according to their ethical and sustainable practices.


Harper's noted several other brands, such as Stefania Vaidani. I checked out their Instagram feed and noticed a post of a beautiful white and pink look from their Le Coeur collection. The post said,

"Le Coeur collection was designed with love and emotion. Overflowing emotions of love, confusion and uncertainty. My aim was to bring attention to the supply chain of the garment production."

I love to see brands like this get attention. And I guess I'm not the only one. Forbes highlighted Stefania Vaidani in a February 1, 2021 article called New Brand to Know Stefania Vaidani.


The Harper's article included other brands to watch, including:

  • Nynne

  • House of Dagmar

  • Omnes

  • Sheep Inc.

  • Bogdar

  • Gaâla

  • Olivia Rose the Label

  • Ren London

  • Bird

  • Bleusalt

  • Yasmina Q

  • Working Title

  • Essén the Label

  • The Odder Side

  • Save The Duck

  • Ernest Leoty

  • Brother Vellies

  • Phoebe English

  • Boyish Jeans

  • House of Sunny

  • Bethany Williams

  • Bite

  • Misha Nonoo

  • Stine Goya

  • Away That Day

  • Reformation

  • Tome

  • Gabriela Hearst

  • Simon Miller

  • Ninety Percent

  • Baum Und Pferdgaten

  • Bottletop

  • Nak

  • Veja

  • Plastic Freedom

  • Tretorn

  • Allbirds

  • Alice Early

  • Kitx

  • Lark & Berry

Thank you to Jessica Davis for this comprehensive article! What strikes me is HOW MANY choices there are! There are options for varying aesthetic sensibilities for clothes, jewelry and shoes. She listed many brands I was not aware of, which I appreciate.


Wrap-Up

Part of living a more sustainable lifestyle is thinking about what we purchase and where it comes from. But being sustainable doesn't mean that we have to conform to any particular group aesthetic. If your vibe is more luxurious, there are options! Celebrate these eco-luxury brands.


You don't have to be rich or "over consume" either. If you live a minimalist lifestyle, you can have several high-end pieces included in your capsule wardrobe. (Check out my post on capsule wardrobes here.)


If you check out any of these brands, or if you want to share about your authentic eco-friendly aesthetic, leave us a comment!

 

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