Sustainable fashion has become increasingly popular in the fashion industry, but what exactly does that mean? Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is designed, manufactured, distributed, and used in ways that are environmentally friendly. Currently, the fashion industry accounts for over 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Most brands partake in “fast fashion,” clothing that is intentionally designed to be consumed quickly at cheap prices. Some fast fashion brands release new collections every week, a speed that further depletes resources and fills landfills with outdated styles of clothing.
Luckily, there are many sustainable brands to choose from and even more that are in early stages of creation. Some ways that these brands produce “sustainable” clothing is by using organic materials, biodegradable dyes, and engineering patterns that create zero waste. Natural materials such as hemp, linen, organic cotton and silk are preferable over polyester, acrylic and nylon because natural fibers are biodegradable and can compost into the soil. Some brands also make clothing out of recycled fibers (recycled nylon, polyester, cotton, etc). Another way to practice sustainable fashion is to shop at your local thrift store! Buying second hand clothing is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Born from a small vintage clothing store in Los Angeles, Reformation focuses on creating sustainable clothing at its local factory in Los Angeles. Reformation is carbon neutral and offers an internal lifecycle tool that educates shoppers on how much CO2, water, and waste they are saving by shopping at Reformation.
My personal favorite sustainable brand is Toast Swim. Based in Bali, Toast Swim makes beautiful suit designs out of recycled materials. Toast prompts conscious and slow consumerism in the sourcing of recycled materials and the use of eco-friendly packaging. Toast is a compassionate advocate for change.
Everlane is a GOTS-certified brand, meaning it meets certain ethical and ecological standards. Everlane is committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement by lowering carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. 97% of Everlane’s apparel contains polyester and nylon made from certified recycled fibers.
Organic Basics is a sustainable brand based in Denmark that sells recycled clothing basics and activewear. Their apparel is designed with quality fabrics that will last.