Net-A-Porter's New Sustainable Platform Is The Easiest Way To Buy Ethical Designer Clothes

Ben Weller/Net-a-Porter

Just because something costs more, it doesn't mean it automatically qualifies as eco-friendly, ethical, or any word that signifies a benefit for people and the planet. But researching every single brand's credentials takes considerable time and immense effort. So Net-a-Porter's new sustainable platform, Net Sustain, is doing the hard work for you. And the brands that feature aren't as expensive as you might think with prices starting at £25.

Net Sustain is launching with an initial offering of 26 brands and 500 individual products. Only fashion and jewellery are currently on show, but the sustainable section of the site will be adding more categories in time, including beauty brands next year. There's also a mixture of exclusive capsule collections from the likes of Mother of Pearl and Stella McCartney and seasonal collections from numerous other labels.

Brands will only be given the Net Sustain label if they meet at least one of the following five attributes:

  • Considered materials: acquired using methods that take the welfare of people, animals, and the environment into account.
  • Considered processes: prioritise the health of workers and wearers and reduce impact on the environment.
  • Reducing waste: items that are made using "regenerated or reused materials." Brands that focus on a circular strategy (which means designing with the intention of long-term use) are also included here.
  • Locally made: pretty self-explanatory, but only includes brands that manufacture at least 50 percent of products in their own community and/or country.
  • Craft and community: any item that demonstrates "unique artisan skills" along with labels that stick to "fair trade principles and invest in communities."
Ben Weller/Net-a-Porter

"This is an important milestone in our sustainability journey at Net-a-Porter," the site's global buying director, Elizabeth von der Goltz, said in a statement. "Our sustainable edit provides our customers with the knowledge they need, understanding that they can trust that these brands have been carefully reviewed and meet our criteria for inclusion. Our aim is to give a voice to the brands that are truly making positive changes by providing them with a platform to highlight their best practice."

Net-a-Porter and the overall Yoox Net-a-Porter Group (YNAP) have already committed to various sustainable initiatives. In 2016, YNAP joined the Fur Free Retailer Program. The group is also working to change its packaging. FSC-certified cardboard (which guarantees that wood has been taken with "consideration for people, wildlife, and the environment") is used across the board and ribbons and bags are recyclable. Other packaging is in the process of becoming more eco-friendly. Finally, Net-a-Porter has committed to reducing travel and enforcing a no plastics rule for its photoshoots.

Here's a few of the most affordable, sustainable items currently on offer:

Thanks to Net-a-Porter's efforts, there's plenty more where those came from.