The Duchesses Of Sustainability

When it comes to fashion, no royals are more closely watched than Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, both of whom have global style influence. When one of them is seen wearing something, it almost always sells out quickly. It’s a duty that both Duchesses take seriously, as they’ve used their fashion to make statements about the types of brands they support.

Queen Elizabeth and her family are known for their fancy gowns, bespoke suits, and opulent jewels, but despite their grandeur, the British royals’ wardrobes are fairly eco-friendly. For one thing, almost every member of the royal family has been known to wear the same outfit multiple times, which is sustainable in and of itself. Prince Charles is well-known for his dislike of waste of any kind, and created a sustainable fashion collection in collaboration with Vin + Omi back in 2019. Princess Diana, on the other hand, not only re-wore outfits, but she also had a few pieces remade into completely new designs. Princess Beatrice borrowed the Queen’s wedding gown and tiara, and in 2019, the Queen announced that she would no longer wear real fur.

Credits - The Royal Family via Instagram

The Duchess of Cambridge is known for re-wearing pieces she’s had for years — a practice that is inherently sustainable because it reduces the number of clothes you buy while also keeping the garments out of landfills. However, like her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Sussex has recently been seen wearing more eco-friendly and ethical labels, such as Daniella Draper and Gabriella Hearst.

We all know the harmful impact of fast fashion, the ever growing “need” to keep up with rapidly changing trends is fueling a “throwaway culture”. This is not only damaging for the environment, but also the underpaid workers who sew our clothes for a living. Clothing consumption is heavily reliant on non-renewable resources – and our planet is running out.

In contrast to this, it’s positive to see the Duchesses are taking a more conscious approach to fashion and the wider influence this may have. We’ve compiled a list of brands that showcase a variety of environmental designers the Duchesses have supported.

Maggie Marilyn:

Meghan Markle chose an ethically made blazer dress from New Zealand designer Maggie Marilyn during a visit to Courtenay Creative in Wellington back in 2018. The label is committed to sustainability in a variety of ways, including the use of materials that meet the Global Organic Textile Standard and compostable packaging.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge via Instagram

Faithfull the Brand:

This Bali-based brand, founded by designers Sarah-Jane Abrahams and Helle Them-Engerbrand, works with local artisans to create pieces that are entirely handcrafted, printed, and dyed in ethical workshops. Kate chose the Marie Louise Midi Dress for a June 2020 visit to East Anglia Children’s Hospices, as a result, it became an instant online sell-out.

Credits - Duke and Duchess of Cambridge via Instagram

Monica Vinader:

Monica Vinader, a sustainable jewellery brand, is an accessory staple for both Kate and Meghan. Vinader uses only recycled gold and silver, and all diamonds are sourced ethically. Kate is frequently photographed wearing the brand’s Siren Wire Earrings, while Meghan has been seen wearing the Linear Friendship Bracelet for ‘The 19th’ Interview in August 2020 and various other outings.

Credits - The 19th via Youtube

Beulah London:

Known for her desire to support charitable causes, it’s easy to see why British brand Beulah London is another one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourites. The label, founded in 2009 by Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan, aims to create employment for previously trafficked women, with 10% of profits going to the Impact Partners through the Beulah Trust, which works to end modern-day slavery. During a hospital visit in July 2020, the royal wore a navy floral dress by the label, and she wore a similar design in red for a video message in May.

Credits - Duke and Duchess of Cambridge via Instagram

Theory:

Theory is a well-known American fashion label that is admired (even by royalty) for their fashion-forward designs, ethical sourcing and environmentally friendly manufacturing. Meghan wore this off-the-shoulder plaid top while visiting Cardiff Castle back in 2019. Theory has pledged that by 2025, their signature fabrics will reach 100% traceability and as of now their newest fabrics are ethically sourced and created in collaboration with fabric mills at the forefront of sustainable manufacturing.

Credits - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex via Instagram

Stella McCartney:

The Duchess of Cambridge, a long-time Stella McCartney fan, most recently re-wore the blue shift dress by the designer — first seen in 2012 — to launch her new photography competition, ‘Hold Still’. Given McCartney’s environmental credentials, it’s no surprise that the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex (who commissioned McCartney to create her evening wedding gown in 2019) are among her high-profile clients.

Credits - Stella McCartney via Twitter

When the most powerful royals lead by recycling clothes, repeating outfits, shopping from small ethical brands, and even sharing their wedding gowns, we can’t help but think this is a practice we should all adopt.

This week, we’ve gathered together a selection of ethical clothing and accessories from Wearth that we think would be “Duchess Approved!”

Lily Flo — Horizontal Bar Diamond Necklace:

If you’re a fan of Meghan’s favorite Monica Vinader friendship bracelet you’ll be sure to love  this necklace. A recycled solid silver bar is hand engraved with an initial of your choice (just like the Monica Vinader bracelet) and is flush set with a delicate 1.5mm lab grown diamond, just for that extra yet ethical bling!

Credits - Lily Flo

Stidston Studio — Midi Dress:

Looking for a floral midi dress that rivals Kate’s Faithfull the Brand dress? Look no further than this flattering, eco-friendly midi dress with puff sleeves. It is handcrafted in a small design studio in Devon and has much-loved pockets, ideal for summer weddings, parties and other special occasions! Made from sustainable, soft Tencel fabric this is a must-have addition to your sustainable wardrobe.

Credits - Stidston Studio

RationL — R-Kind Vegan Trainers: 

A good staple in any wardrobe is trainers and both Kate and Meghan have been photographed a multitude of times wearing the eco-friendly brand, Veja. Our gender neutral vegan white trainers are manufactured with recycled and organic materials in a sustainable manner. The eco-friendly trainers are designed in the UK, and are crafted with the intent of everyday use making them incredibly comfortable. Just like Veja, they come in various colourways.

Credits - RationL

Rakha — Balloon Bolette Pants:

Everyone knows that comfortable trousers are hard to come by, now what about trousers that are sustainable, comfortable and elegant… Sign us up! Back in 2019, Markle posted a photograph of herself wearing elegant looking black trousers and yes we’ve got a great dupe for them. These everyday trousers are both stylish and comfortable made from a sustainable cupro fabric crafted from recycled cotton fibres, which has a beautifully soft, silky feel. With a flattering contrast Mother of Pearl button opening at the front, this pair of trousers are designed to sit on the waist.

Credits - Rakha

Hide The Label — Azalea Dress:

Red has long been regarded as a powerful fashion colour, and members of the Royal Family have donned some stunning and stylish red ensembles over the years. More recently, the Duchess of Cambridge being one of them; this red asymmetrical dress is made from super soft viscose fabric derived from cellulose, an eco-friendly and cruelty-free material that is better for the environment. This 3/4 sleeve asymmetric viscose dress can take you from the office to a night-out with ease.

Credits - Hide The Label

Kate Wainwright — Recycled Gold Faceted Pendant:

Meghan Markle has been at the forefront of promoting ethical fashion and her collection of Recycled Gold jewellery is a hit amongst her fans. This handmade, recycled gold pendant by jewellery designer Kate Wainwright is created in Sussex and uses the technique of hammering  to create a stunning textured necklace. The perfect, minimal addition to any jewellery collection.

Credits - Kate Wainwright

If you’re looking for more inspiration, shop our eco-friendly clothing and accessories here.