Shopping sustainably is not only good for the environment, it leaves you with a clear conscience. Want to find the right brand for your style but aren’t sure where to start?
Retail has always been a trend-focused industry. From interesting fabrics and elements, to shocking statement pieces and jaw-dropping looks, we’ve seen it all. But the latest trend to hit the industry is not looks-based, rather it’s environmental-based.
More and more clothing brands are going green to catch the attention of shoppers. They’re turning to sustainable practices, ensuring consumers that it’s not just looks they care about, but the environment too.
Brands are talking about manufacturing their lines mindfully. Consciously choosing clothing elements, their factory locations, and treating their workers with respect. One brand that emphasizes the idea of mindful manufacturing, is Kotn.
Underlying Kotn’s line of simple-yet-thoughtful essentials is the philosophy of traceability. Traceability, which the company likens to “farm-to-table, but for your clothes,” is the idea that every step of the supply chain should be transparent and accounted for, from sourcing to production. To that end, Kotn sources raw cotton from small family-run Egyptian farmers and turns this “white gold” of the Nile into cozy, ethically made clothing whose refined, monochrome designs display both the practicality and integrity of the company’s larger mission.
Do you want to stock your wardrobe with sustainable clothes but aren’t sure which brands implement sustainable practices?
If you wear the trends seen on the runway, but only want to buy from sustainable brands, we have good news for you. There are several high-fashion brands that sell chic garments while also taking the environment into account. You have likely heard of Stella McCartney. As it proudly advertises, it’s a brand committed to operating a modern and responsible business. The brand takes into account the impact of each decision it makes and understands that it has a long lasting effect on our planet. At the same time though, being a high-fashion brand, it’s committed to defining the future of fashion. Stella McCartney never uses leather or fur, and finds new and alternative materials using the latest technologies. The brand offers everything from dresses and skirts, to knitwear, accessories, and shoes.
If Stella McCartney is up your alley, you’ll like Reformation and Amour Vert. Reformation aims to make beautiful styles, and does so with less environmental impact than most other brands. For example, the average pair of Reformation jeans use 88% less water to produce than other jeans. The site is pricey, selling simple spaghetti strap sundresses for $178, and floor-length dresses for $430. Don’t be dissuaded though, as the items are top quality. If you’re ok with those price points, check out Amour Vert, which conveniently offers free shipping and easy returns. The brand is deeply committed to implementing sustainable practices, and making a positive environmental impact. To support its mission, it partnered with the US Forest Service to reforest 80 acres of Sierra National Forest. You can purchase a tree on its site, and the brand says it has already planted more than 130,000 trees.
If sustainable fashion is your thing, but you’re a more alternative dresser, there are brands that will satisfy your fashion craving. Heard of Kowtow?
Kowtow is one of the top sustainable and alternative brands. This New Zealand-based brand was founded in 2007 by Gosia Piatek. The brand only uses organic cotton and chemical free dyes. Their style can be described as a cross between structured, minimalist, and effortless.
Baabuk is another sustainable company that started with something simple and revolutionized it. Using felted wool as the anchor in its ethically minded footwear, Baabuk combines comfort, practicality, and an artisanal touch with sustainable practices that give these shoes, slippers, and accessories a gentle touch on both the wearer and the planet.
Yes, you read that right. H&M offers a sustainable clothing line along with its regular line. That means that you can get all the same cute styles, for the same low price, just with more peace of mind. The brand created its sustainable line to combat reports of H&M contributing to landfills and waste. You can find cool tops and trendy cut-off shorts for as low as $18. People Tree is another brand offering mindful, yet affordable clothing options. The company is based in London and Tokyo, and has everything from women’s clothes, to accessories and baby items.
We can’t talk about sustainable fashion brands without mentioning Patagonia. The goal of the brand is to produce the best pieces, the best way. Patagonia is known for its outdoor clothing and gear like vests, wetsuits, and snow and alpine pants. All of its clothes are Fair Trade Certified sewn. Additionally, every purchase sends more money back to factory workers who earn premiums that can be allocated as cash. The brand also donates 1% of its annual sales to environmental charities and other organizations. Its leaders realize the effects of the business on global environmental issues and are outward about them.
Alternative Apparel is similar to Patagonia in that it emphasizes quality products. It’s known for soft and simple staples, and was one of the first companies to jump on the sustainable fashion wagon.
Though it may not seem possible, it’s easier than ever to shop mindfully today. Whether you’re a high-style dresser, or prefer the cute affordable route, there’s a sustainable fashion brand out there for you!