Eco-Friendly Apparel Designers and Brands We Love
Has your wardrobe gone green? We’re not talking about picking up pants in Pantone’s Color of the Year, Emerald, or adding sprinkles of the trendy, mint green to your warm-weather wear. We’re talking sustainable and nature friendly. What better time than now to pledge to live a fashionably green lifestyle by supporting eco-friendly labels? Whether you choose to wear recycled materials to create something new, want to help preserve the environment, or stand behind fair trade, the following brands are helping to save the world one catwalk at a time.
As pioneers of the fair trade business, People Tree works with local artisans and farmers to improve both their lives and the environment. With an ecological focus at the core of its business, it’s a quirky and fun brand that’s easy to get behind. And, doing good won't cost you much. People Tree clothes and accessories are super affordable. Just take a look at this ceramic, statement ring. It's a bargain!
Alternative Apparel makes it easy to go green with comfy and attractive casual apparel, and accessories for the whole family. This brand is serious about sustainability. Products in their Alternative Earth line are made with organic cotton, recycled polyester, and man-made fibers derived from sustainable sources. They also use low-impact dyes (no heavy metals or toxic substances), biodegradable fabric softeners, and natural enzymes for finishing. And, their Eco-fi polyester, used in several of the product lines, is made from grinding used plastic bottles into tiny flakes and fusing them into threads. Wow.
Designer Nestor Pineda, founder of Aria Handmade, is strictly about sustainability. This jewelry and accessory line incorporates raw materials from the Amazon Rainforest or recycled materials from the United States. You can be certain each piece is uniquely crafted by hand with sustainable design in mind. Our obsession? This Tire Tube iPhone 5 case.
English designer Stella McCartney champions the spirit of ethical designs in each collection with her strict “no animal” policy. As a lifelong vegetarian, she does not use any fur or leather in her clothing, accessories, or lingerie designs. This year, McCartney was honored with an OBE—Order of the British Empire—award for excellence and service for her sustainable designs in the fashion industry. We particularly love her leather-look shoe designs like the ones shown here. So stylish you'd never know it was faux.
A Question Of
This brand goes beyond simply using organic cotton and focuses on the actual production of their goods, working only with factories that promote ethical workplace conditions for all of their employees. Made from 100 percent pure organic cotton, this A Question Of Kiss The Boys sweatshirt is entirely fun and guilt-free.
Chinti and Parker
Build the basics of your wardrobe with the ethical label Chinti and Parker. Product tags provide credentials so you know the eco-friendly TLC that went into each piece—whether it’s organic, fair trade, or made within the developing parts of the EU (where the founders have families). We’re obsessed with this super-soft, Love Heart-intarsia cashmere sweater made in Italy.
Organic by John Patrick
Socially conscious clothing designer John Patrick leads the charge in minimal, yet irresistibly chic, fashion for men and women. As a Vogue CFDA finalist in 2009, he understands classic American apparel design. Prior to launching his Organic by John Patrick line, he traveled to South America to foster relationships with Peruvian organic farm collectives. Patrick also incorporates recycled fabrics, botanical dyes, and organic wool yarns into his eco-conscious collections. We're crazy about these on-trend printed pants that show just how luxe Earth-friendly fibers can be.
New York powerhouse designer Donna Karan believes apparel designers should make a difference. In 2007, Karan established the Urban Zen Foundation to preserve cultures and implement action in the areas of well-being. Much of Karan’s philanthropic work has been dedicated to the people impacted by the earthquake in Haiti. Her designs also reflect her beliefs; she worked with local Haitian artisans to create her spring 2013 collection.