What brands are sustainable? The fashion industry has come under fire recently for its negative impact on the environment. Many companies have taken steps to reduce their environmental footprint, but some brands continue to pollute our oceans and landfills.
In recent years, consumers have become more conscious about where they spend their money. They want to support businesses that care about the planet and its inhabitants. As a result, many clothing brands have started implementing sustainability initiatives.
There are several ways to measure sustainability. One way is through the use of eco-labels. These labels indicate whether or not a company uses environmentally friendly practices. Some examples include Fair Trade, Organic, and Responsible Sourcing. Other indicators include water usage, energy consumption, waste management, and employee benefits.
There are many sustainable clothing brands around today. From ethical fashion retailers to eco-friendly apparel manufacturers, sustainable clothing brands are growing in popularity. If you’re interested in finding out more, read our article below.
Outerknown is a sustainable fashion retailer based out of Seattle, Washington. Founded by designer/founder Kari Cline, the brand aims to provide high-quality products while also being environmentally conscious. In addition to sourcing from around the world, Outerknown uses organic cotton, sustainable materials, and eco-friendly dyes.
The brand prides itself on offering a wide variety of styles and colors, including denim, knitwear, dresses, outerwear, pants, and accessories. All items are designed to make you look good without making too much of an impact on our planet.
Fashionable American ethical clothing brand Everlane has been making waves since it launched in 2011. The company prides itself on being transparent about where its clothes come from, how much they cost, and what happens to the leftover scraps after production. In fact, Everlane even offers free shipping on every product sold. And while many companies might shy away from such transparency, Everlane embraces it.
The company’s mission statement reads like something straight out of a TED Talk. “We believe that everyone deserves access to high-quality products,” it says. “That’s why we design our own products, source our raw materials ethically, pay fair wages to those who make our clothes, and give you information about everything we do.”
Another brand approved by Caspalich and Cline, the Nudie Jeans brand uses exclusively organic, fairtrade, or recycled cotton, which contains 92.3% of all fibers. This percentage increases to 93.8% when you consider that the organic cotton Nudie jeans use is also certified by Gots, the Organic Content Standard, 100, or the United States Department of Agriculture (USADA). These standards are based on the quality of the raw material, the treatment of workers, the environment, and the transparency of the supply chain.
The Nudie Jeans label guarantees that the fabric is produced without harmful chemicals, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms. In addition, it ensures that the workers involved in production are paid fairly and treated humanely. The brand also supports environmental programs such as reforestation projects and water conservation initiatives.
Organic Basics is one of those brands that we love because it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, it focuses on quality over quantity, and it does things differently. For example, it only uses natural materials like cotton, wool, and silk, and it only sources from factories that are certified by Global GAP standards.
The brand also makes sure that every item is ethically produced, meaning that there aren’t sweatshops involved. And since it only sells products online, it doesn’t have to worry about shipping costs. All of that adds up to an amazing product that you’ll want to shop for.
Clothing retailer Reformation is one of those brands you might know, but don’t necessarily love. But it could soon become a favorite. The company recently announced that it had been named one of the “Top Sustainable Brands” by Fast Company magazine. In addition to being environmentally friendly, Reformation offers stylish clothing that fits well and doesn’t cost a fortune. Plus, the company makes sure customers are aware of where their clothes come from and how they’re produced.
The company is certified as carbon neutral, meaning it offsets the emissions associated with producing its products. This includes everything from shipping to manufacturing. And while the company isn’t completely carbon negative yet, it plans to make that happen by 2025.
The sustainable fashion brand is another example of how fashion brands are making sustainable choices. In addition to being made with up to 40% post-consumer recycled denim, Mud Jeans use 581 liters of water per pair. This is less than half the amount used by most brands. And it’s all thanks to the circular denim manufacturing process developed by founder and CEO Michael Caspelich.
Caspelich says he learned about the environmental impact of traditional cotton production during his time working on Wall Street. But while researching sustainable alternatives, he realized there wasn’t much information available on the topic. So he began developing the manufacturing process himself.
The outdoorsy clothing giant known for its fleece layers and signature yellow logo is now making waves in the environmental movement. In fact, Patagonia is one of the few companies that actually gets certified by the nonprofit organization Fairtrade USA. This certification ensures that workers are treated fairly and paid well for their work.
Fair Trade Certified products come from socially responsible manufacturers around the world. They must meet strict requirements like paying fair wages, providing safe working conditions, and protecting the environment.
According to Patagonia, it buys most of its fabric from sustainably produced materials. Its goal is to source 75% of its production from sustainably sourced materials by 2025.
Patagonia also works hard to reduce waste and protect the planet. For example, the company recycles 95% of its packaging and sends less than 10% of its trash to landfills.
Founded in 2000 by designer Mara Hoffman, the label quickly became known for its innovative approach to design and manufacturing. With a strong commitment to sustainability, the brand has grown into one of the most sought-after labels in the industry. By focusing on quality, diversity, and innovation, the brand has achieved a reputation for producing some of the most unique and wearable pieces in the market today.
The label is best known for its signature prints, which include bold geometric patterns, vibrant colors, and graphic shapes. In addition to the printed collections, the brand offers a range of women’s ready-to-wear apparel, accessories, and footwear.
This Canadian outerwear brand is making a big positive impact in the world. Founded in 2014 by brothers Mike and Ryan Cotopaxi, the company strives to make socially conscious products while providing jobs for people living in rural communities. Cotopaxi uses Fair Trade practices throughout its supply chain and sources materials responsibly.
The brand is a certified B Corp, meaning that it meets rigorous standards set forth by the nonprofit organization 3rd Point Research Institute. These include putting a portion of its annual revenues into social programs and creating positive environmental impacts. In addition, Cotopaxi offers a variety of ways to support causes you care about. For example, every year it donates 1% of its sales to organizations focused on improving lives around the globe.
For those seeking a little more comfort and style, Pact offers a wide selection of men’s and women’s underwear, plus some really cool gear for kids. This brand focuses on producing products that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible. Their mission is “to provide the best quality underwear possible while creating jobs in developing countries.”
The women’s underwear is made out of 100% organic cotton, and it is produced in a fair trade facility. The company makes sure that every piece of fabric used is ethically sourced and manufactured under safe working conditions.
They offer a variety of different styles, ranging from classic bikinis to lace-waist briefs and bras. All of the styles are affordable, and they come in a variety of colors.
The men’s underwear ranges from boxers to briefs and even includes a knit boxer for an extra soft feel. There are also plenty of styles for the guys who like to wear something a little more comfortable.
Founded in 2016 by sisters Lizzie and Emma, Girlfriend Collective launched its activewear collection in 2017. Today, it sells everything from yoga pants to workout tops to men’s boxers, plus a few pieces for women too. They’re known for their cuteness — think matching leggings and tanks — and their signature slogan, “Be Your Best Self.” But what really makes them stand out is their commitment to sustainability.
The brand partners with brands that support environmental causes, such as Patagonia, and uses recycled plastic bottles as part of its manufacturing process. Their products are made from materials sourced locally whenever possible, and they use renewable energy sources wherever possible. And while the company isn’t just about making eco-friendly clothing, it does offer some pretty rad options. For example, you can buy a pair of black leggings that look almost identical to those sold by Forever 21 but are actually made from recycled ocean plastic.
The luxury cashmere sweater brand Naadam has always stood out because of its quality and price. But the brand’s founder and CEO, Tserenda Gansukh, wanted to do more than just sell sweaters to people around the world. He wanted to make sure his customers knew where he sourced his yarn, too. So in 2018, Naadam launched its Social and Environmental Impact report. As part of the report, the brand partnered with nonprofit organization GoodWeave to help support local communities in Mongolia.
In addition to paying herders a fair wage, the goal was to reduce the number of animals being herded and increase the amount of land left ungrazed. Today, 100% of the material used in Naadam’s products comes from sustainable sources, like wool grown without chemicals or synthetic dyes. And the brand is committed to working with farmers in the future to ensure the same thing continues.
Another Certified B Corporation and a favorite of fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, Eileen Fisher is one of the most sustainable brands out there. From its use of organic cotton to its commitment to fair labor practices, the brand offers shoppers a range of products that are good for people, animals, and the planet.
The brand’s website features a lot of information about its sustainable initiatives, including how it uses organic cotton and recycled polyester in its products, where its organic fabrics come from, what percentage of its workforce is female, and how much water and energy goes into making each item. The site even lists out some of the brands in its supply chain, like the ones that make the buttons used in its clothes.
The Nisolo story began in 2011 when founder and CEO Chris Rondeau had a vision of creating a shoe company that cared deeply about the planet and its people. At the time, he saw a market opportunity to make premium footwear that was both comfortable and environmentally friendly. He set out to do just that, and today, Nisolo is one of the fastest-growing brands in the fashion industry.
In addition to being a certified B Corp, Nisolo is committed to sustainable practices throughout its entire supply chain. This includes sourcing leather from responsible suppliers in South America, where the majority of the world’s cattle are raised. In fact, Nisolo works directly with farmers to ensure that the animals live long, happy lives and receive humane treatment. And since every step of production is done in-house, Nisolo controls the quality of each product.
The shoe brand that just launched in 2014 has been growing like wildfire. Its mission is simple: make comfortable, stylish sneakers you’ll want to wear every day. And while there are plenty of options out there, few offer the level of comfort and style that Allbirds does.
Allbirds takes pride in being environmentally friendly, which includes using renewable resources such as bamboo, hemp, and soybean oil. They’re also working hard to reduce their impact on the environment, including reducing waste and lowering their carbon footprint. To do this, they’ve partnered with organizations like Carbonfund.org, which helps people invest in projects that help fight global warming.
They also use sustainable materials whenever possible, like the soles of their shoes, which are made from old tires. Plus, they work closely with suppliers to ensure that they’re getting products that are socially responsible and sustainable.
The world needs more companies like Cariuma, a footwear brand that cares about environmental issues. Not only does it plant trees for every pair of shoes sold, but it’s also working toward reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy sources.
For every pair of sneakers you purchase, Cariuma plants ten trees in the Amazon Rainforest. This initiative began in 2016, but the company plans to increase its tree planting goals to 20 million over the next three years.
Rothy’s is a global footwear brand that uses recycled materials such as recycled plastic bottles and recycled fabric scraps to produce its stylish threads. Founded in 2012, the brand has grown rapidly since it launched and now boasts over $1 billion in annual sales. The company employs about 500 people worldwide and operates five factories across Asia and North America. In 2018, Rothy’s became one of the first companies to launch a sustainable sneaker collection.
The brand’s footwear is crafted entirely from recycled plastic bottles collected from the streets of Shanghai, China. The bottles are melted down and molded into the uppers and soles of each pair of shoes. This process eliminates the need for raw materials such as rubber and leather. The resulting product is lightweight and durable while being environmentally friendly.
Christy Dawn is a clothing label based out of Brooklyn, New York, that creates pieces inspired by nature and the environment. It focuses on creating quality products while being mindful of how it impacts others. The brand takes pride in reducing waste and reusing materials whenever possible. This includes using excess fabric, or even deadstock, for another product. For example, some of the fabrics used for its dresses come from old wedding gowns.
The brand doesn’t just focus on sustainability; it also strives to promote social justice. Its mission statement reads, “We believe in the power of conscious consumerism, and strive to make our customers aware of what goes into the clothes they wear. We want to empower people to take control over their lives and live consciously.”
Madi Apparel is a leader within the sustainable apparel brands industry. They started off creating women’s undergarments with the intention to make a difference domestically and globally. MADI Apparel is based upon the principles of American manufacturing, self-sustaining fabrics/packaging, and social consciousness. Its mission statement is to provide affordable luxury while making a positive impact on our environment and communities.
The most impressive aspect of MADI’s ecosystem is how they take the time to develop a local manufacturing partnership. This allows them to create jobs, reduce waste and increase profits. MADI takes pride in being able to offer quality products without compromising the environment. In fact, MADI Apparel is committed to providing you with high-quality, stylish bras at reasonable prices.
Alternative Apparel carries a huge selection of comfortable and fashionable items. They offer high-quality apparel and accessories for both men and women. Their goal is clear: to use the best material for the planet and produce it in sustainable and responsible ways.
The company uses recycled materials such as heavy-weight cotton and light-weight jersey, and most of their factories are WRAPPED certified, adhering to FLA standards every step of the way as well.
Former fashion editor and stylist, Brittany Kozerski brings her editorial eye to create a swimwear collection with a minimalist design approach. The pieces showcase innovative silhouettes with unique details and quality construction.
All items are handmade in Los Angeles and made from natural fibers. Each piece is manufactured with attention to craftsmanship and factory working conditions. JADE Swim uses eco-friendly materials including ECONYL, regenerated nylon made from recycled fishing nets, plastic bottles, and fabric scraps.
The British designer founded her namesake label in 2001, and it has become synonymous with sustainable luxury fashion. From the beginning, she set out to create clothing that was both ethical and environmentally friendly. In fact, the brand has been entirely fur- and feather-free from day one.
And while the brand strives to create the most cutting-edge materials and animal alternatives, they are constantly looking for ways to improve upon existing ones. For example, they developed a synthetic material called “EcoFleece,” which is extremely durable and water resistant and uses 50% less energy to produce than wool. They also use recycled plastic bottles to make their shoes.
Fair Trade Winds
The brand is one of the most sustainable apparel brands in the world because it sources materials directly from small farmers in developing countries.
Fair Trade Winds is committed to creating positive change in our supply chain by working with local communities and empowering women entrepreneurs. They are passionate about giving consumers access to high-quality products while supporting local economies and communities.