From the best fitting jeans to the most comfortable shoes, here are some of the best brands committed to producing ethical fashion.
We admit it, the thrill of buying a new dress for a special occasion, like a wedding, or a new pair of sneakers for a future vacation feels (and looks) great—but if it’s not something that has longevity in your wardrobe you could be causing some major damage to our environment because fast fashion is one of the biggest culprits in polluting our planet.
According to the United Nations Economic Commission, in 2017 the average consumer bought 60 percent more items of clothing compared to 2000. The heartbreaking update to that is those consumers are only keeping each item half as long; almost 60 percent of clothes are thrown out within the first year of their production. Americans now generate 11 million tons of textile waste from the U.S. alone—up 400% from just two decades ago. Yikes.
These depressing stats should have us all thinking twice about what we buy, but not just the amount, we should also take into account the brands. The next time you go shopping considers purchasing from one of these sustainable and eco-conscious brands.
Allbirds, tree rummer, $135, allbirds.ca.
Known as the “sock-free” shoe and “the worlds most comfortable shoe,” this San Fransisco brand got off on the right foot from the get-go. You can add this brand to the rising tally of success stories from Kickstarter. Allbirds debuted its first pair of wool sneakers in 2016, and with the affordable $135 a pop, these moisture-wicking, and machine washable shoes became an instant success with men, women and kiddos. In March 2018, its tree collection was launched, made from super sustainable eucalyptus, a textile created from the tree’s pulp. In August of last year, a flip-flop collection made of bioplastic foam from sugar cane, the crop is known to eat up CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. Which makes these new soles carbon negative. The brand is on the verge of rolling the SweetFoam in all their shoes.
Sakura Sweatshirt in Eggshell Mix, $119, getpreloved.com.
This Toronto based fashion label’s tagline is very on brand, “saving the planet one sweater at a time.” Over the past 20 years founder, Julia Grieve and her team have breathed new life into over 1 million sweaters that were destined for a landfill. Preloved collections consist of upcycled designs that are handmade locally, all created with a mix of reclaimed vintage and deadstock fabrics that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Name another denim brand that creates eco-conscious designs while fighting sex trafficking. You can’t. James Bartle started this Australian-based brand when he saw first-hand how human traffickers use young women in the sex industry. After years of research, Bartle linked poverty to what leaves these women vulnerable to traffickers. To help women escape that life to start over he started a little denim project which we now know as Outland Denim. The production facility in Cambodia employs, teaches and facilitates the career advancement of many women who have escaped the sex trade. The jeans are made from organic cotton and are coloured with organic vegetable dyes.
Everlane's ReNew collection.
Everlane is an ethical e-commerce retailer that produces high-quality clothing for an affordable price. The company’s taglines are “radical transparency” and “ethical factories.” It offers information on each factory they manufacture, including a visually break down of the costs of producing and transporting each garment. Many of its garments are made from biodegradable fabrics and this fall it started selling sweaters that are made from fabric that’s recycled plastic bottles. This ReNew collection is Everlane’s first step to completely eliminate all newly-manufactured plastic from their supply chain by 2021 and transitioning to completely recycled plastic instead.
One of the first sustainable fashion brands with mass success is Reformation. The eco-fashion leader has a vast collection of skirts, dress and tops that are created from fabrics such as organic cotton, Tencel and deadstock and recovered fabrics in its range. With manufacturing is Los Angles, it reduces its carbon footprint by manufacturing much of its range close to where it is sold. They proved trendy and timeless styles that protect the earth. Look good, feel good.