We’ve rounded up the best sustainable Scandinavian fashion brands (including sustainable Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian brands) for you to start with. Happy shopping!
Buying your first pair of Nudie Jeans is the beginning of a long-lasting relationship. Their motto is “Repairing is Caring,” which they take to the extreme by offering free in-house repairs service in some of their shops. The company notes that “throwaway” and “jeans” are two words that do not belong in a sentence together.
In addition, the Gothenburg-based company invite customers to donate their worn Nudie jeans to be exchanged for 20% discount off the next pair. Donated pairs are then either brought back to life and sold as second hand in-store or recycled.
I remember going to school in the early 2000’s wearing wooden clogs, convinced I was setting a trend. To my surprise, it didn’t kick off. A few years later in Stockholm, Swedish Hasbeens brought back the 70s style with a colourful and creative bang, validating my fashion foresight.
Using only ecological and natural high-quality materials, Swedish Hasbeens are made to last. They are made by local artisans using traditional methods and are quite possibly the quirkiest shoes in all of Scandinavia!
Armoire has nailed the classic Scandinavian look. Timelessness, functionality, and nordic simplicity define their design aesthetic.
Sustainability is considered throughout all stages of the products’ life cycle and has been a part of Armoire Officielle’s values since day one. Environmental and social factors are equally important to them; with their products Armoire wish to encourage ‘slow fashion,’ where customers invest in fewer, high-quality things and take care of them. It’s the kind of brand where you’ll find that one favourite piece that works for multiple occasions. They even offer environmentally friendly laundry tips on their labels!
#EcoWedding is a hash-tag I can get excited about. It’s easy to see why when scrolling through Leila Hafzi’s instagram account. Her couture wedding gowns seem to have bohemian romanticism delicately woven into every stitch.
The designer started her brand in 1997 in Stavanger, Norway, and has been a “leading lady” on the scene of ethical and eco-conscious high-end fashion ever since. Leila Hafzi is an award-winning and firmly established brand that has inspired the fashion industry into a global shift and has tirelessly worked to empower women in developing countries.
Vogue France put it best: Ann Wiberg’s Trash Couture is “fit for an Urban Princess.” Eerie, daring and sustainable is what makes this vintage collection unique and has given it a cult status internationally. The brand enjoys an impressive following of A-list celebrities including Penelope Cruz, Kirsten Dunst and Kate Moss.
Established by Ann Wiberg in 2002, the brand uses stunning antique fabrics, laces, beads and unique embroideries for its creations. The entire collection is hand-sewn within the company’s own atelier in Copenhagen, thereby “minimizing the waste of materials and excess production, and ensuring good and controlled working conditions.”
In Nina Skarra’s collections, fairy-tale meets raw beauty in an effortlessness spell of Nordic simplicity. The DNA of the brand is all about transparency, ethical production and quality. The Norwegian designer states that “sustainable change in fabrics and fashion is irreversible” but that she wishes for it to happen faster. Her vision for her brand has been to drive that change instead of just follow it. Nina Skarra uses materials such as silk, wool, babus, soja, organic leather and cotton that are all 100% biodegradable and also contributes substantially towards female empowerment.
Formerly the head womenswear designer at Henrik Vibskov, Maja Brix left in order to start her own line. Rather than creating collections, she’s elected to design a singe suit (Suit 1) that she creates bespoke for each customer. The suit itself lies somewhere between casual and formal, a study of minimalism that discarding all the extras (no breast pocket, no shoulder pads, no front button) and is rendered in organic cotton. She has slowly expanded to other items, including a dress that comes in a number of fabrics such ass silk and wool.
This Danish lifestyle brand makes both clothes and home goods, but in a slow and considered way. They work in three countries: Bolivia, Nepal, and India, choosing to work with the textile and skills that is local to the area so they can not only make great items but also benefit the local communities. Their clothes are timeless, high-quality, and beautiful.
Swedish menswear brand ASKET calls their garments “zero compromise.” Almost all of their pieces are fully traceable and come with a traceability note on their hangtags. They work with natural fibres like cotton, linen, wool, and cashmere, creating timeless and minimalist silhouettes for wardrobe essentials.
Marimekko is a brand with a cult-like following for good reason. The Finnish lifestyle brand is textile-first, so their clothes and home goods are all based on their incredible, graphic textile designs, many of which have been in production since the 70s. Everything they produce is wonderful quality. We particularly love their commitment to women in design; 95% of their company, including senior management, is women, and they’ve been championing female designers since their inception.
Made with organic and eco-friendly materials like Tencel, as well as wash-saving fabrics such as SilverTech, Danish brand Organic Basics makes quality and good-looking wardrobe essentials including leggings, underwear, socks, and t-shirts. You can buy single items, or packs of three or ten, which provides a great discount and then takes care of all your underclothing needs in one go!
Want the absolute best in knitwear? Andersen-Andersen is your first stop. This Danish brand formed in order to replicate an old fisherman’s sweater that was so high quality that the yarn had developed a patina instead of piling. Their collection is small, each piece is expertly-made with double-spun yarn, and anything you buy will last a lifetime – both in quality and style.
Using deadstock fabric, including Italian parasol textile from the 60s, Bartels produces extremely high-quality shoes, handmade in tiny batches in a small Italian family-owned factory. The quality, aesthetic, and background story don’t get much better than this. This brand was a Danish classic until it closed many years ago; then the founder’s descendent Eva Bartels decided to resurrect the brand in her own special way. These are shoes you’ll have forever!
Danish designer Stine Sandermann puts most other sustainable fashion brands to shame: she makes everything by hand with leftover wool that she collects from sheep farms in rural Denmark. She then cleans the wool herself and has it hand-spun, then makes her gorgeous knits from them. The pieces are all limited batches, so pick up a unique sweater, beanie, or something else while you can.
Stockings are one of those items that we use then throw away very quickly, often because they’re poorly-made and therefore break within a few wears. Swedish Stockings saw all that waste and decided to do something about it: they used recycled yarn to make their (shockingly high-quality) stockings and socks. They also have a recycling club: simply send three pairs of disused nylons to them for recycling and you’ll receive a 10% discount on your next purchase.
Finally, sustainable maternity clothes! Boob, a Swedish brand, provides great silhouettes in pants, dresses, leggings, shirts, and everything you need when buying clothes during a pregnancy. They make a great range of maternity and nursing clothes; their nursing bras in particular are wonderful.
Where to shop?
Here are some of our favourite sustainable fashion stores: