a woman in a black and white dress on a runway.
a woman in a black and white dress on a runway.

Types of Sustainable Fashion Design: a Guide to Help You Make Eco-Friendly Choices

Today, more and more people are becoming aware of the negative impacts of the fashion industry. From water scarcity to working conditions in factories, designers and consumers are now more aware than ever of the consequences of our fast-fashion habits. This has led to an increase in sustainable fashion designers that use eco-friendly materials, follow ethical production standards, and make conscious decisions about each step of the design process.

However, given that there are over 200 different labels for eco-friendly clothing available on the market today, it can be difficult for a newbie sustainable fashion designer to know where to begin. To help you get started with your eco-friendly designs, we’ll be covering the different types of sustainable fashion design in this blog post. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Sustainable Fashion Design?

Sustainable fashion design refers to the process of designing clothing that meets today’s needs without compromising the needs of future generations. The process of developing sustainable fashion entails taking into account a number of different factors throughout the design process, each of which we will discuss below. Conventional fashion, on the other hand, refers to the method of clothing design that emerged with the industrial revolution. This type of design prioritizes efficiency at the expense of natural resources and human health.

In this article, we will go over the five main types of sustainable fashion design:

  • Organic fashion design
  • Upcycling and zero-waste design
  • Fair trade fashion design
  • Eco-friendly sewing practices
  • Responsible material choice

Organic Fashion Design

Organic fabrics are made without the use of synthetic dyes or chemical processing. Because of this, they are often more expensive than synthetic fabrics. However, this price increase is often offset by the fact that these fabrics are generally more durable and are far more eco-friendly, and the price premium of organic fashion design, from the cost to create to the cost to buying the final product, is getting lower.

Organic fabrics are also naturally more breathable than synthetics. This makes them ideal for warmer climates, especially for those who sweat easily. Organic fabrics also naturally contain many more beneficial properties for your skin and are more eco-friendly in general. These fabrics are often more comfortable, more luxurious, and more breathable than synthetic fabrics. Considering organic fabrics can be an important part of getting more sustainable fashion design.

Upcycling and Zero-waste Design

Upcycling involves taking used materials and transforming them into something new and different. It’s often used to create eco-friendly designs that are both sustainable and ethically made, and it is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways for newbie designers to get started in sustainable fashion design.

For example, you could use old denim fabrics to make wallets, jackets, and other eco-friendly accessories. You could even create new fabrics by mixing different materials together.

Another way to create an eco-friendly design through upcycling is by repurposing materials that would otherwise be thrown away. You can do this by using repurposed home items, repurposed fabrics, or vintage materials in your fashion designs. One of the best aspects of upcycling and zero-waste design is that it allows you to create eco-friendly designs without having to up your budget. It’s possible to create beautiful and stylish eco-friendly clothes for less if you opt for repurposed materials, and designers who commit to upcycling or zero-waste can sell on RE.STATEMENT, the online marketplace where buyers are learning and looking for upcycled clothes.

Fair Trade Fashion Design

Fair trade fashion is made by designers that are committed to fair wages and safe working conditions for the people who produce their products. Fairly traded garments are available in many different fabrics, styles, and price points. If you’re looking for a more ethically produced garment, be sure to look for the Fair Trade label.

If you’re looking to create a fair trade design, there are a few things you can do to get started. First, you can research manufacturing companies that have transparent wages and safe working policies for their workers. Many of these companies are verified and supported by workers’ unions. You can also use repurposed materials or ethically sourced materials that fall within your price range, and then create the upcycled clothing by hand. Because fair trade fashion is so common, it’s easier than ever to find fabrics that are ethically produced. You can even buy ethically produced fabrics online once you become an established seller at RE.STATEMENT.

Eco-friendly Sewing Practices

As a sustainable fashion designer, you should always ask yourself how each and every design choice will impact the environment. This is especially important for sewing practices, as it’s in this stage of the design process where most of the waste is created. Use water-soluble fabrics that are free of hazardous chemicals and dyes whenever possible. If you must use dyes or chemicals, make sure they are eco-friendly and nontoxic. When it comes to fabric choice and sewing technique, it’s best to use natural fibers whenever possible. These include materials such as cotton, linen, and silk. Natural fibers are much more sustainable than synthetic fabrics. If you do use synthetic fabrics, make sure to wash your garments on a gentle cycle. This will help reduce excess water usage, and it will keep your garments from wearing out faster.

Responsible Material Choice

A large part of sustainable fashion design is knowing how to responsibly source materials. There are many different eco-friendly fabrics available on the market today, but not all of them are created equally. While organic fabrics are usually a good choice, other fabrics might not be as sustainable. For example, rayon, nylon, and spandex fabrics are all technically organic. But they can also be made from synthetic materials, which is generally not eco-friendly. To make sure you’re choosing the most eco-friendly fabrics possible, it’s important to do your research. Find out where each fabric comes from and what materials it’s made with. You can also opt for repurposed or vintage fabrics that you can find secondhand.


Designing sustainable fashion is a complex process. It requires designers to carefully consider each step of the design process to ensure that no negative impacts are made on the environment. Sustainable fashion designers  must also consider the impact their designs have on society. This includes everything from their use of materials to their prices. If you want to create eco-friendly fashion, it’s important to start early in the design process. From the moment you first come up with an idea for a new design, it’s crucial to ask yourself how eco-friendly it will be. By following the advice in this article, you can create designs that are more sustainable for both the environment and society as a whole. Join the movement towards a more eco-friendly future at RE.STATEMENT today.


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