Words by Chloe Laight
It’s no secret that the call for fashion to do better for the climate is getting louder. From activists to allies, aficionados to amateurs, consumers are growing more and more conscious of what they buy — and where from. The past decade’s concerns have driven the need for brands to become more transparent about their production processes, materials, and sourcing. So how do you find the best choices for your conscience? Enter Stephanie Broek.
A sustainability expert and fashion writer, Broek’s knowledge on luxury conscious brands, including the Scandinavian ones doing things particularly well, is worth a deep dive. ‘This past decade, consumers have started educating themselves and demanding change,’ she says. ‘Whether it’s a comment under a brand’s Instagram post from an informed consumer or callouts from accounts such as Diet Prada, shoppers now have a seat at the table and are holding the industry accountable for creating positive impact.’ At FARFETCH, we champion shopping mindfully with our unique curation of iconic pre-owned pieces and services that help to extend the life of your clothes and accessories – from selling your pre-loved bags through Second Life to clearing out your closet with FARFETCH Refresh. Here, with help of Broek, we spotlight the mavericks designing a better future, courtesy of Acne Studios, Ganni and more.
Known for its artful knitwear and effortless denim, Acne Studios is synonymous with cool. ‘I don’t know how Acne Studios does it, but the common denominator of its designs is undeniable coolness,’ Broek notes. ‘Two years ago, I visited the Acne Studios headquarters in Stockholm — I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many well-dressed people in the space of five minutes (no, not even during fashion week).’
Style credentials aside, the brand’s conscious efforts continue to be standard-setting. ‘Acne Studios is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation; an independent, non-profit organization that works to improve conditions for workers in garment factories,’ Broek explains. ‘The brand sees it as its main responsibility to create desirable, high-quality pieces for long-term wear. Indie sleaze is making a comeback and so are skinny jeans, but I find myself gravitating towards wide-leg styles. This organic cotton pair is the perfect light-blue wash that works with heels and a blazer for work, or a knit for a farmer’s market at the weekend. As for Acne Studios’ knits — if you know, you know. Warm, comfortable but never boring, like this embroidered cutout sweater.’
Transparency has been key in Ganni’s philosophy since its 2000 inception. ‘Ganni is committed to minimizing its social and environmental impact across the supply chain,’ explains Broek. ‘Last year, 92% of the collection was made from certified organic, lower-impact or recycled materials. It’s a commitment that in no way alters the brand’s commitment to style.’
‘One of my favorite Ganni moments was in 2020 when Paloma Elsesser strut down the runway in a yellow floral dress. She looked phenomenal — my jaw was on the floor. I’ll also never forget the spring/summer 2019 show in a courtyard, when Danish pop star MØ started singing her hit song ‘Lean On’ and it started pouring rain. Instead of hiding from it, guests danced while getting soaking wet. The cowboy boot has become a true Ganni staple and one of my personal favorites. I love to wear these boots with denim, but they work equally well under dresses and skirts.’
‘A few years ago, I decided to start treating my closet like a showroom — my long-term goal is to build a wardrobe consisting of long-lasting, versatile forever pieces that can be worn interchangeably and are easy to update for a new season (with the right layering or relevant accessories). Leave it to Stine Goya to make a simple, straight-leg trouser in a (recycled!) sequinned fabric. I can see myself wearing these with a black top to the opera, but I know in the Stine Goya universe this is an everyday pair of pants, perfect to hop on a bike wearing with sneakers and a colorful knit.’
The Copenhagen favorite’s mood-boosting aesthetic is matched by an unwavering approach to conscious practices. ‘Stine Goya aims that by 2025, 90% of the collection will be made from sustainable or recycled materials. The brand recently launched an online rental concept to support circularity, and has invested in diversity and inclusion programs.’
Seamlessly blending timelessness and modernity, elevated closet cornerstones brought to life in beautiful fabrics are Aeron’s forte. Driven by the latest waste-reducing innovations and sustainable sourcing practices, the brand is at the forefront of a conscious movement. ‘Aeron’s mission is to become the responsible industry leader in luxury knitwear,’ explains Broek. ‘The brand predominantly uses responsible wool and the majority of its pieces are produced locally.’
‘Aweng Ade-Chuol is one of my favorite models of this decade and stars in Aeron’s resort 2023 campaign. Photographer Georgia Devey Smith captured her against minimal black, yellow and white backdrops, and let the luxurious knits and leather pieces shine. Highlights include the flattering ribbed-knit summer top and this one-shoulder bodysuit.’
For modern jewelry that’s mindfully made, look to All Blues, who specializes in creating new pieces from reclaimed materials — a practice that ensures there’s little to no environmental impact in sourcing. ‘All Blues works exclusively with recycled sterling silver and 24-karat gold, responsibly sourced in Sweden,’ explains Broek. ‘Each piece is handcrafted locally. I find a lot of jewelry boring, but that’s never the case with All Blues. This link bracelet is the perfect mix of chic and cool, and this gold-plated ear cuff is a standout, too.’
‘There’s an image from an All Blues shoot by Sarah Blais from 2016 embedded in my mind. It’s a photo of a model in a black blazer with brown hair tucked behind her ears. Even though she’s breathtaking, it’s the silver hoop earrings that get all the attention. To me, this photo shows the power of jewelry. It finishes an outfit. It’s the cherry on top of the cake.’