13 Sustainable Fashion Labels That Prove Eco-Friendly Is Chic
by Alexis Puebla
From indie brands to major fashion players, finding a brand that doesn’t post detrimental effects to the environment can be tough. We get it, so we rounded up the best fashion brands that put sustainable production and the use of natural products at the forefront of their designs. Who knew you could feel so great about looking fabulous?
Founded in 1991, People Tree set out to make the needs of Fair Trade producers, garment workers, artisans, and farmers the strongest focus of their brand. After decades of evolving the brand to continue to be eco-friendly, partnering with Vogue, and being awarded with the first ever World Fair Trade Organization’s Fair Trade product mark, People Tree is only getting started. Often regarded to as the pioneer of ethical fashion, the brand makes a promise to its customers that goods will be made ethically and sustainably, always. Its website lays out the differences between fast fashion—the high demand for cheap clothing and accessories—and challenges the concept with its idea of “slow fashion,” which means standing up against exploitation, pollution, and the demise of slum cities.
Shop People Tree here.
French sneaker line Veja couldn’t be more transparent. Its website defines the brand as a vision that proposes cultural change. Encouraging the fashion community to take action against social and environmental issues, Vega prides itself on creating shoes that are made from all-natural and sustainable cottons, rubber, and leathers. Oh, and in case that isn’t enough, its most popular shoe, called the Vegan shoe—yes, Vegan—is made with no animal products and is all ethically sourced. Yep, we’re sold.
Shop Veja here.
L.A.-based fashion brand Reformation designs and produces nearly all products in its own factory, and then sources the rest of the production through responsible manufacturing partners. Reformation sources sustainable fabrics in addition to reusing vintage garments to create its styles, so you know the clothes you buy from this eco-friendly brand will make you look good and have you feeling good, too.
Shop Reformation here.
Alternative Apparel creates soft, simple, and sustainable basics from t-shirts, to sweatshirts, and jeans—you could give your capsule wardrobe a complete refresh. Classifying itself as a “fabric first” company, customers are encouraged to purchase products knowing that they’ll be receiving new clothes while investing in every stage of the fabric lifestyle. Alternative Apparel puts a heavy emphasis on every aspect of the production of its clothes, as it uses G2 Wash that uses 60 percent less water, eco and organic fabrics, non-toxic low-impact dyes, and recycled and poly materials. Alternative Apparel also requires that factories are in accordance to the Fair Labor Association Workplace Code of Conduct, ensuring that the workers in all countries are valued and respected while being given fair and safe workplace conditions.
Shop Alternative Apparel here.
California-based fashion line AGAATI aims at keeping the fun in fashion, without the designer price tag… and the unsustainable tendencies. Using eco-friendly, organic, and recycled products are just a few of the efforts that this bold brand makes at creating a line that supports communities and the environment. It creates fashion-forward designs with the planet in mind—and on top of its production efforts—it also gives back 5 percent of all profits to NGOs dealing with the impact of “fast fashion.” We couldn’t love AGAATI any more!
Shop AGAATI here.
As a fashion line, Monsoon dates back four decades to a boutique in London’s Beauchamp Place in 1973. The brand was inspired by an inspiring trip to Asia by the founder, and it aims to bring vivid and colorful experiences of the rich culture to clothing. Bright patterns, fun textures, and hand-crafted techniques combine to create the super stylish clothing and accessories that are all created with sustainability in mind. Monsoon uses rainwater harvesting and expanded recycling at its head office in London and energy-efficient fittings throughout its stores, plus it has a zero-tolerance toward animal abuse within its supply chain.
Shop Monsoon here.
SiiZU’s brand revolves around a simple philosophy: Design and deliver a beautiful product in a sustainable way at a great price. All fabrics are 100 percent organic, and designers are urged to be conscious about and minimize fabric waste. Ensuring that every detail matters, even its packaging is eco-friendly, offering reusable poly bags and recyclable paper bags in an effort to eliminate its carbon footprint. Implementing an extra-lean business model, the clothes are offered solely online so prices can remain as low as possible for the customer. And lastly, SiiZU has a strong partnership with the American Forest, generously helping plant 2.7 million trees across 44 different projects. SiiZU, you have our heart.
Shop Siizu here.
Bead & Reel
Embodying head-to-toe ethical fashion, female-founded Bead & Reel is a clothing, shoes, handbag, and jewelry fashion brand that makes you feel good about looking fabulous. Claiming to be a one-stop shop for activist fashion, Bead & Reel products are made in America and are organic and vegan. In addition to its sustainability efforts in the fashion world, Bead & Reel is also very active among social issues. It has a Charity of the Month program that gives back to various causes all around the world by donating a portion from each sale. The brand also takes part in local community events and fundraisers in the Los Angeles area, most recently raising over $31,000 to help fight human trafficking.
Shop Bead & Reel here.
Emphasizing the importance of eliminating fashion waste, YSTR is another Los Angeles-based fashion brand that prides itself on designing and creating all products in its downtown studio. In an effort to decrease potential overproduction, each product is made to order for you specifically. How cool! The eco-friendly company also implements a no-sweatshop policy, so all products are manufactured by well-treated artisans. Prices are also significantly cheaper than other major brands because YSTR is able to cut out the middleman distribution chain and selling products at wholesale prices. The brand also offers the #YSTRClub—an ethically made capsule collection delivered right to your doorstep. Oh, and it plants a tree for every member that joins the club.
BRB, going to fill out our online style profile…
Shop YSTR here.
New York-based denim company DL1961 is only focused on one thing: fusing the technology of great-fitting denim with a pursuit of a better environment. Putting an extreme emphasis on the fabric and fibers that go into your jeans, the denim is mindfully made with cotton fibers, offering a perfect fit to sculpt your body with a 98 percent shape retention. The jeans also give 360-degree movement, leaving you feeling ultra comfortable. All their products are made from sustainable resources, and the look and feel of these jeans will have you running to get another pair.
Shop DL1961 here.
You probably have something hanging in your closet from the widely-loved and mega successful fashion brand H&M, but did you know that it is a sustainable leader in the fashion world? Keeping the environmental impacts of production ingrained in their philosophy, 98 percent of electricity used throughout operations comes from renewable sources. The H&M Conscious clothing line leads the pack in sustainable production, but the rest of the company’s lines are following suit. 43% of cotton use is sustainably sourced, and by 2020 all cotton will come from sustainable sources. Oh, and since 2013, over 39,000 tons of garments have been collected at stores to recycle for future production. H&M also prides itself in not owning any factories, as it works very closely with independent suppliers all around the world to produce their clothes.
Shop H&M here.
Founded in New York City with the idea that great fashion doesn’t have to come at a big cost to the environment, the luxury fashion brand AMUR’s name is actually an acronym for A Mindful Use of Resources. It keeps sustainability in the core of its designs, materials, and environmental impact. Using a combination of natural, cellulosic, and regenerated fibers, AMUR’s clothes are eco-friendly and ultra comfortable. Silk, linen, cotton, and a soft yarn made in Japan are featured throughout, and the regenerative material in its beautiful clothes can be recycled into new products.
Shop AMUR here.
Another widely known brand, Patagonia‘s outerwear will keep you warm and ensure you’re doing right by the environment. Using the minimalist style that climbers and surfers embody, the company uses simplicity as a guide for all it does. From the designs to the utility of products, Patagonia aims at creating zero unnecessary harm to the environment, and through its voice it strives to bring conversation around environmental issues to the forefront.
Shop Patagonia here.