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10 Sustainable Fashion Brands That Should Be On Your Radar

A woman holding purse

Would consider yourself to somewhat woke, or at least woke in progress? You recycle, you practice active listening, you try to be an ally to all marginalized people, you even have a compost bin at home, you’re checking good person boxes and trying to keep your carbon footprint in check, we respect that. Good for you for trying to be a better human in this sometimes problematic universe. We got one question for you though, do you shop ethically?

If you are stumped by this one, it’s okay, a lot of people are, however, did you know that the fashion industry is one of the major contributors to climate change? Gasp!

Let’s break it down like hammer time. Waste in the fashion industry, especially fast fashion is a HUGE problem. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but the real cost of those $20 jeans you just scored from the store that rhymes with “For-never 31” accounts for an accumulated 10% increase in global greenhouse gas emissions.

But how, you ask? Well, It’s because of the super long supply chains and energy-intensive production process of fashion brands like it. Need more proof? According to the United Nations, it takes up to 10,000 liters of water to make just one pair of denim jeans. 10,000 liters! To put that in context, it would take one person 10 whole years to drink 10,000 liters of water.

The fashion industry produces about 20% of global waste yearly. That couldn’t be good for any of us in the long run. “Furthermore, 85% of textiles end up in landfills or are incinerated.” Not to mention the terrible working conditions in the garment factories where these products are produced. Yikes!

It’s not entirely all doom and gloom. There are still ways to be stylish without worrying about wreaking significant havoc on the environment. For example, you could opt-out of fast fashion entirely by thrifting and shopping at second-hand clothing from stores like Buffalo Exchange. If second-hand clothing isn’t your jam, try to be more mindful of how much you consume. This means fighting the urge to indulge in retail therapy. We know it’s difficult but maybe avoid treating yourself that dress you saw in the window display of H&M on your way back from work. It’s also a good practice to shop ethical and eco-conscious fashion brands who are doing their best to actively change the fashion industry’s ginormous footprint.

Speaking of, we’ve curated a list of brands who are rallying against the greenhouse-emission-producing machine with sustainable practices, all to help you on your path towards becoming a more mindful and ethical shopper.

Everlane

Photo courtesy of Cloudinary.com

This company’s tagline is “exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical Transparency.” That about sums it all up. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Everlane is all about ethical clothing that doesn’t break the bank. Their products range from women and men’s apparel to accessories and shoes. Each factory they work with is given a compliance audit to evaluate factors like fair wages, reasonable hours, and the environment. Their goal? A score of 90 or above for every factory.

Cool Factor: Their site has a “choose what you pay” feature for select items that gives you the option to set your own prices. Cool, huh.

Outdoor Voices

Photo courtesy of Outdoor Voices

In 2019, we have all come to the societal understanding and acceptance that we never just exercise in our activewear. Please see hilarious and all too true activewear video. If you’re leaning into that athleisure lifestyle, it’s all good. Outdoor voices is the ethical brand for you. They, too, are all about ensuring that their factories have decent working conditions and sustainable practices.

Cool Factor: Many fun, eclectic colors.

Selva Negra

Image Courtesy Of Selva Negra

A Latinx-owned, ethical clothing brand, yasss! Crafted in California, Selva Negra is all about comfort, playful, billowy and architectural structures. They have an array of patterns and fabrics including gingham, poplin and a whole lot of linen. It’s a total vibe goes really well small, retro, red-framed, cat-eye, sunglasses and we’re feeling it.

Cool Factor: Latinx and women of color owned. You better show some support.

Reformation

Photo courtesy of Cloudinary.com

A lot of sustainable brands tend to be more minimalist and paired down in design, which is not great if you like prints and flirty silhouettes. This is where reformation enters the picture. Not that you’d ever be able to tell from the finished products, but their clothes are made from sustainable and up-cycled materials in Los Angeles. You have to check out their bridal and wedding guest selections. It’s amazing!

Cool Factor: If you ever get the chance to shop at one of their Brick and Mortar locations, it’s sublime! You can control the mood lighting in the fitting rooms and hook your USB up to your device for a personalized shopping soundtrack.

Cuyana

Photo courtesy of Cuyana

For my fellow bourgie humans who don’t want to compromise on silks and cashmere, Cuyana has the juice. Their motto is “fewer, better” and we can get on board with that. Your closet doesn’t have to be an overwhelming place with too many (frankly, just meh) options. If all your clothes were amazing, you’d pick the first one and be done with it. You can have higher quality pieces that are great for layering. Though be warned, it’s a tad upmarket, but so is anywhere where you’d find high quality silks.

Cool Factor: Through them, you can donate pieces that aren’t right for you anymore to women in need.

Amour Vert

Photo courtesy of Shopify.com

Based in San Francisco, California, Amour Vert is one of the lesser-known brands on this list, but that won’t remain so for long. With their selection of cozy cotton tees, print dresses and excellent jumpsuits, it’s a great store to have on your radar. They take great care to make sure their fabrics are rigorously tested, non-toxic, and consider the ethical treatment of animals (wool) in the process.

Cool Factor: They recently launched their baby line, so you can start them off eco-conscious, young.

People Tree

Photo courtesy of People Tree

The Stitch: Who doesn’t love a good sundress? The people at People Tree, know how to make a great one. Look to them to add a bit of fun to your summer wardrobe. For over twenty years, the brand has partnered with Fair Trade artisans and farmers to produce ethical eco- wear.

Cool Factor:  They have a sensible, but colorful vegan clothing collection.

Grana

Photo courtesy of Grana

The Stitch: For men and women seeking excellent basics with premium fabrics, Grana is it. They really care about the details of their fabrics, like their super soft Peruvian cotton shirts. Their garments are made in safe and ethical factories in Hong Kong.

Cool Factor: It’s relatively affordable for the quality. According to their site, the centralized location in Hong Kong cuts down the cost of shipping to the rest of the world.

Whimsy & Row

Photo courtesy of Shopify.com

When you need a fitted, linen, wide-legged trousers (I mean, who doesn’t?) this is where you get it. For a California company, they’ve got that whole French-girl-chic thing down. Then again, these days there are blurred lines between Parisian chic and easy-breezy California cool. Fashion nerd rant aside, you get the aesthetic: simple, easy, fun, perpetually summer and we are so here for it. Their pieces are made in Los Angeles, California from deadstock fabric, which means they make the most out of would-be waste materials.

Cool Factor: You really gotta get one of those wide leg pants. Trust me, it will make your summer.

House of Aama

Photo courtesy of Shopify.com

This brand is giving me so much life. It is uber refreshing to find a sustainable fashion brand that makes silk organza Victorian inspired dresses, luxe faux-fur coats, and beautifully tailored silk halter tops. Fawn. The entire line is such a visual treat and it’s all made to order in Los Angeles.

Cool Factor: Everything. Periodt.

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