Ralph Lauren Silk Organza Wren Coat at left, $1,695 USD.
Master & Muse X Isabell De Hillerin Blazer at right, $457 USD.

Hey, kids! Welcome to another week, and welcome to another edition of Conscious Fashion swaps. This week, I’m switching High Fashion rather than Fast Fashion for Sustainable Fashion.

I’ve been under the impression that high fashion labels, because of their high price tag and supposed work with artisans, were safe from unsustainable practices. But as I’ve found out, not all high fashion labels are created equal. Luckily, there’s a light at the end of the luxe tunnel.

Switch Ralph Lauren

Up until I checked out Eco Fashion Week this April, I was obsessed with all things fashion. Some of my archival blog posts as well as my Instagram following list can attest to my worshipping from the good book Vogue and my being wholly consumed with fashion week. I’ve had dreams of sitting in the front row at fashion shows. I can’t wait for the September issues every year.

And it’s true: some high fashion houses have made strides in working with vegan materials. Other, older houses support European artisans who have been honed their craft for generations. But these are some of the unincorporated ateliers. It’s when a fashion house becomes a multi-national corporation that issues start to arise.

Through the Rainforest Action Plan’s Out of Fashion campaign, I’ve learned that some that the most widely distributed high fashion brands are the least sustainable. Ralph Lauren, along side Michael Kors, Tory Burch, the Prada Group, and LVMH Group (which includes Donna Karen, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton), all participate in the practice of clear-cutting forests to produce rayon and viscose.

There are other cheaper clothing brands that are involved in this practice as well. But that’s not surprising. What’s surprising to me is that these labels — the ones which, up until a few months ago, I happily worshiped — would charged such massive price tags for such sub-par unsustainable product.

It’s disappointing. But it’s also giving me what I like to call ‘issue fatigue’. All I want is to indulge in my love for fashion. But week after week, I uncover yet another environmental or social ill that is a direct result of the fashion industry. I mean, look at this campaign film. Am I the only one who found this hard to watch??

The bright spot in all this darkness is that I also keeping finding out about more and more sustainable fashion options to replace my past obsessions!

For Master & Muse

All the high fashion trends, none of the harmful side effects

Master & Muse is an online boutique founded by actress and model Amber Valetta. The boutique works to deliver some of the most fashionable, and sustainable, pieces available. Labels such as Amour Vert and Peace Treaty can be found through their Yoox shopping site, as well as Vivienne Westwood’s sustainable collection, and many lesser-known sustainable designers.

And can we talk about the clothes? They are innovative, high fashion pieces that are just as covetable as any Ralph Lauren, but have the added bonus of being much easier on the wallet. These are not mall prices, but none of the prices cost over $1,000 USD.

I’m so happy I’ve found Master & Muse. With all the high fashion trends with none of the harmful side effects, it’s definitely helping me get over my issue fatigue!

Have you found any other high fashion brands that are ethical or conscious of their effects on the world? Let me know in the comments!


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