Conversations about climate change often circle around the damage incurred to our planet as a result of big oil companies. While coal and fossil fuel mining are certainly domineering culprits, the fast fashion industry is responsible for a large portion of global pollution, too. Though only 3% of the world’s croplands are used for growing cotton for clothing, that tiny percentage consumes nearly 25% of harmful pesticides. Not only are these pesticides pernicious to our planet, but they’re also the deadly reason behind thousands of farmers and producers falling ill or dying due to exposure.
Though the shift has been relatively slow, modern fashion brands are becoming increasingly mindful of how their products are created and consumed, creating better quality products in the process. From using recycled materials to growing organic pesticide-free cotton, there are a number of changes being implemented today that work toward a greener, cleaner future.
We’ve created a list of our 9 favorite eco-conscious clothing brands that are striving to make sustainable style the new norm.
Based out of Los Angeles, California, Reformation has become one of the most fashion-forward clothing brands for young women. Offering women’s apparel ranging from denim and shoes to sundresses and bridal gowns, Reformation stands apart from the rest with their carbon-neutral manufacturing methods. With every item purchased, you can see the specifications of how much carbon dioxide pollution and water waste you saved by choosing a sustainably-made item.
Outfitting your feet with fashionable, functional, and eco-friendly shoes is made possible when you slip into a pair of Rothy’s. Crafted from recycled water bottles previously intended to rot in landfills, Rothy’s reinvents the face of waste. Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of animal print flats or you’re looking for all-day comfort in an understand pair of shoes, Rothy’s are the way to go.
As one of the world’s most well-known denim brands, it should come as no surprise that Levi’s are quickly becoming pioneers of sustainable denim. Focused on reducing the amount of water than goes into creating a single pair of jeans, Levi’s Water<Less Collection is the beautiful reality of jeans made with the planet’s health as a priority.
If there’s one thing that makes Everlane stand out, it’s their mission to promote full transparency with their manufacturing process. Designed to give consumers a truthful and well-rounded look into how their materials are sourced and products are created, Everlane works hard to ensure that their operational processes are completely ethical.
For women who are into styles that are graceful, elegant, and effortlessly pairable with any number of wardrobe staples, Cuyana shines. With every purchase you make, Cuyana sends you a complimentary donation bag that you can fill with used clothes and drop off at any of your favorite charitable organizations or thrift shops.
6. People Tree
Based out of London, UK, People Tree is one of the emerging sustainable fashion designers with their aim on slowing the harmful effects of fast fashion. By employing green practices, producing their clothing ethically through Fair Trade certifications, and using GOTS-approved dyes, People Tree takes sustainability seriously. Their labels are even crafted from FSC-certified papers!
Having earned a reputation for being one of the world’s most-loved outdoor brands, Patagonia’s commitment to ethical clothing is one that speaks for itself. By using sustainable materials wherever possible, a number of Patagonia’s collections are Fair Trade Certified and Bluesign approved. This means that not only are the products you buy created from sustainable materials, but they’re manufactured by workers who receive fair wages and operate in safe environments.
8. Epoque Evolution
Though Epoque Evolution is still in its early phases, its very foundation is based on using sustainable materials wherever possible—in fact, they even source waste from other companies to create stylish t-shirts, trousers, and leggings. The cherry on top? Each and every single one of their pieces live up to their luxurious name.
Athleisure has exploded onto the scene in a big way over the course of the past decade. Every woman has her favorite pair of leggings, and odds are good that within her wardrobe hangs a pair of ultra-soft Athleta leggings. Athleta’s crowning sustainability achievement is their claim that 60% of their products are made with recycled, eco-friendly materials including organic cotton and upcycled polyesters. With an aim to increase that percentage to 80% by 2020, Athleta is making huge steps toward being 100% green.
Fashion that you and the planet can feel good about is the first step toward battling the detrimental and cyclical pattern of the fast-fashion industry. What are your favorite eco-conscious brands?