I Made a New Year’s Resolution to Shop More Sustainable Fashion, And This Is What I’ve Learned

by Sidney Burds

I Made a New Year’s Resolution to Shop More Sustainable Fashion, And This Is What I’ve Learned
Shop Story

From my workout wear to wedding guest attire, here are the sustainable fashion brands I’m shopping and the reasons behind my consumer switch.


Since my college years as a Textiles and Apparel major, I’ve studied the fashion cycle and known one thing for sure: The industry is extremely wasteful and damaging to the planet. From harmful chemicals and dyes to unethical labor practices and inexpensive fast fashion, I began to look around and realize the clothes I was wearing, though cheap, came at a high cost.


I began my journey by taking inventory of my closet. Though I have gotten better since my college days by shopping higher quality pieces and a decent amount of vintage, I wanted to begin incorporating ethically sourced and environmentally friendly brands. And with that I set my New Year’s resolution for 2019 (and years to come after): Shop more sustainable fashion.


The first sustainable brand I began to shop was Girlfriend Collective, a premium activewear line that creates the majority of its leggings, tops, and sports bras from recycled materials and plastic water bottles. The brand is extremely transparent about its fabric process and labor practices, and it even ships items in a reusable pouch placed in 100 percent recycled packaging! I now own several sets of Girlfriend Collective’s reasonably priced leggings and bra tops, and most recently you can now shop the brand at Nordstrom!



With my activewear on the up-and-up it was time to reassess my formal wear. Wedding season is on the horizon and last year I purchased several dresses under $50 that, I’m ashamed to admit, have sat in my closet ever since. Determined to not make those mistakes again this time around, I went and purchased a dress from the cult-favorite brand Reformation.


Though the one dress I bought cost much more than the wedding guest dresses I bought last season, my thought process was this: quality over quantity. The fabric, the stitching, and the design details go above and beyond the dresses of weddings past. Plus I chose a timeless style that I can wear with heels a wedding, sneakers to work, and boots come fall.


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Aside from these two brands, in the first three months of 2019, I’ve mainly made vintage clothing purchases—that and one Kacey Musgraves concert tee. This has honestly impacted my savings immensely because I’m no longer tossing that $20 Target shirt in my cart that caught my eye every trip. Which in turn opens up my budget for those larger, long-term, sustainable garment purchases.


I’ve already started doing research on other sustainable brands I plan to make future purchases on. Mate The Label basic tees, Christy Dawn for recycled sweaters, Les Femmes for deadstock dresses, and Patagonia for outdoors-wear are a few brands topping my list.


All in all I’ve found shopping sustainable fashion to be quite easy and rewarding. It’s nice to know where your hard-earned money is going, and knowledge is power! Take a scroll down for some sustainable fashions I’m currently loving, and I’ll be sure to update you all at the end of the year on how I did.


1 of 6 Image Credits: Free People

MATE The Label Far Out Tee


I love a graphic tee and this cosmic print will go great with my summer skirts.

2 of 6 Image Credits: Shoples Femmes

Les Femmes Colette Dress


I’m going to find a field just so I can euphorically frolic like this chick.

3 of 6 Image Credits: Dicks Sporting Goods

Patagonia Women’s Baggies Shorts


Obsessed with the color, price, and retro look of these shorts.

4 of 6 Image Credits: Christy Dawn

Christy Dawn The Josephine Blouse


A white top to wear over and over again that can be styled so many ways.

5 of 6 Image Credits: There Formation

Tide Bikini


Sustainable swimwear is at the top of my list for the summer months.

6 of 6 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Girlfriend Collective High Waist Leggings


I need these leggings in every color but my recent purchase of the shade Globe is my No. 1 fave.