In case you’ve been living under a giant rock, eco-friendly clothing has moved way beyond its boring image of drab colors and roughly woven shirts. Today’s sustainable clothing is chic, modern, and 100% fashionable! Expand your wardrobe with a clear conscience thanks to our list of trends for ethical fashion and environmentally friendly clothing.
Fashion with a footprint
Shoes and boots aren’t the only things that leave their mark on our planet: every piece of clothing has its own unique ecological footprint. That starts with the 130 billion pounds of textile produced worldwide every year. That production process requires enormous amounts of farmland, fresh water, and chemicals. It also generates high levels of CO2. And that’s just the environmental impact of the clothing industry! Besides their ecological footprint, it’s very likely that your favorite curve-hugging jeans or deep-V tee were manufactured in dangerous working conditions. Fortunately more and more fashion brands are designing clothes that feel great on your body AND are ethically made.
Sustainable menswear and women’s fashion
A growing number of designers is stepping up to the challenges of our times. In 2015, Dutch fashion brand G-Star partnered with designer Pharrell Williams on a collection of denim made from recycled ocean plastic. Their RAW for the Oceans collaboration had enough innovative style to shatter any misconceptions about eco-friendly clothing. Then there’s American designer Eileen Fisher. As a strong presence in organic women’s clothing, Fisher has pledged to use only organic cotton and linen in her collections by the year 2020. The brand also aims to reduce waste by designing quality garments to last a lifetime. And if you should lose a button along the way, they provide free repair services to mend any damaged items. Environmentally responsible fashion brand tentree is committed to reforestation by planting ten trees for every item of clothing sold. Their business model impacts local communities as well, by hiring locals to plant, grow, and guard these new forests. And of course they only work with factories that provide fair wages and safe working conditions. Fashion brands worldwide are working towards a more socially responsible and environmentally friendly production process, so we can dress in style without destroying the world around us.
While it’s increasingly easy to shop online for eco-friendly style, sometimes you just want to get out into the world! Next time you’re in New York or Brooklyn, check out boutiques like Bhoomki, Kaight, or Modavanti for ethically sourced fashion options. Angelenos can pay a visit to the Carol Young Undesigned studio, or the ultra popular Reformation store in downtown L.A. And don’t forget about the thrift stores and vintage shops all across America trying to find new homes for unwanted clothes. Whether you’re shopping at your local mall or scouring the internet for new threads, keep an eye out for the Good On You app. The successful Australian app is set to release a North American version to help you identify which brands rank the highest in eco-friendliness and ethical production practices.
Sustainable clothing never gets old
When it comes to fashion, too much of a good thing can get overwhelming. If you find your closet overflowing with pieces you no longer wear, resist the urge to simply toss the excess! Organize a clothing swap with your most stylish friends, get a good tailor to redesign outdated styles, trade in clothing at your favorite thrift shop or consignment store, and donate quality pieces to a local shelter or charity.
No sustainable ensemble is complete until it’s been accessorized accordingly. Shop Etsy for unique jewelry by artisans around the world, check out the fab vegan bags of MATT & NAT, discover Pela’s eco-friendly phone cases, and of course you need to pick a Dopper bottle to match your look. Our reusable water bottles are available in an array of colors, so there’s always the perfect one to pair with your organic sweater, vintage coat, or favorite new “green” shoes.