Sustainable Beauty & Fashion Brands, Shops That Birmingham Residents Can Support

Shopping ethically in the city.

Beyond affordability and quality, UK consumers also consider whether or not they align with a brand’s values before choosing to support them. In fact, a survey from the marketing and software company Provenance reveals that 91% of Brits find sustainability and ethics essential when buying products or services for their fashion, beauty, and cosmetics needs. These sustainability factors vary from environmental efforts like using recyclable packaging and reducing carbon footprint to social justice endeavours like fair labour, diversity, and community donations.

Fortunately, sustainability-minded Birmingham residents have various options for beauty and fashion businesses committed to helping the planet and larger society. Here are brands and shops to check out when searching for sustainable clothes, cosmetics, and salon services.

COW Vintage’s secondhand clothing

Considering the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to global carbon emissions, it is in consumers’ best interest to cut down their carbon footprint through slow fashion. This need is met by COW Vintage, a sustainable fashion brand that combines secondhand and vintage clothing to give customers high-quality yet affordable options for stylish pieces.

The selection ranges from branded clothes like Levi’s to retro shirts and accessories from accessible places like Disney. COW Vintage has a shop located in Digbeth, but it also has a website for those who prefer to browse and shop online.

River Island’s ethically-made clothes and handbags

Aside from buying secondhand clothing to extend the product lifecycle, fashion consumers can create a more sustainable wardrobe by opting for brands that commit to environmentally friendly and ethical production. The fashion brand River Island does so by ensuring that its collection of trendy handbags, which range from large totes and weekend travel bags to compact-sized crossbody bags and purses, are made with fair-trade leather certified by the Leather Working Group to ensure minimal chemical and water waste.

Since River Island also has a clothing line for men, women, and children, the brand manufactures items like shirts and jeans using organic and responsibly sourced cotton. Although River Island is a London-based fashion retailer, you can find its Birmingham branches at the Bullring Shopping Centre and The Fort.

Aura-Lotus’ natural and organic makeup

When it comes to beauty and wellness products, you can also reduce your carbon footprint by choosing brands that focus on natural and cruelty-free ingredients instead of toxic chemicals that harm animals, the environment, and your skin. One such brand is Aura-Lotus, which works closely with laboratories to design and produce makeup that is eco-friendly while still being highly pigmented, like your favourite conventional brands.

Besides using non-toxic, organic ingredients in makeup like eyeshadows, lip gloss, and lipliners, the company is also committed to reducing waste through refillable packaging. Aside from its official website, you can also purchase Aura-Lotus’ products from its physical store in Innovation Birmingham Campus.

Blacc + Blond’s eco-friendly salon services

Lastly, Birmingham is also home to one of the UK’s most eco-friendly and sustainable salons: Blacc + Blond. For the past year, the innovative hair salon has focused on creating positive social and environmental impact through a series of efforts, including using 100% renewable energy, offsetting carbon emissions among staff, and installing eco-friendly showerheads to minimise water wastage.

The salon’s newest initiative involves donating 10% of new client services fees to tree-planting projects, which means going to the salon for hair care services can help you directly support environmental conservation. Blacc + Blond is located at 17 Lionel Street, but you can also visit its website for more information on its sustainability efforts.

While your purchases can help meet sustainability goals for labour and the environment, remember that social and environmental justice goes beyond what you buy and support. Efforts like using public transit and adhering to waste management principles can also go a long way in achieving sustainability here in Birmingham.