Sustainable fashion is on the rise with the introduction of methods and materials that put the environment first. Some of the more popular brands have even released clothing lines that are cruelty-free and use sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.
But living an environmentally-conscious lifestyle can be tricky, especially when it comes to fashion. Most brands are still working towards being 100% sustainable, and it can be cumbersome to sift through their catalogs for hours to find something that’s ethically produced.
Luckily, fashion brands that are 100% cruelty-free, environment-friendly, and sustainable are slowly on the rise, with many having gained immense popularity in recent years. And if you’re looking for sustainable clothing and accessories, here are some brands you should definitely check out.
Related: If you’re looking for ethical brands with a focus on minimalism, we also recommend this list of the best minimalist clothing brands (via Ianiko.com). They focus on sustainable brands that produce both elegant and long-lasting clothes.
1. In The Soulshine
This Aussie brand makes T-shirts, sweaters, crops, and accessories for women, men, and children. All their products are 100% vegan and even the ink used in their t-shirt designs is completely free from animal products.
In The Soulshine is phasing out standard cotton and replacing it with organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). Besides drastically reducing the negative impact on our ecosystem, this shift to organic cotton will also benefit farmers who are often at risk from the standard methods of cotton production. The brand’s commitment to an eco-friendly product line goes beyond their clothing, and all products are packaged in biodegradable bags before being shipped out.
Their garments are manufactured in a production house in Bali, Indonesia. In The Soulshine makes regular visits to their production plants to ensure that they are clean and spacious with ample lighting. Local workers are paid per piece and have the opportunity to earn 40% more than their standard minimum wage.
2. MUD Jeans
If you love jeans and the environment, there’s no better place to shop than MUD Jeans.
They’ve managed to create a circular economy within their supply chain by giving customers the option to ‘Lease A Jean’. This way, MUD Jeans retains ownership of their valuable fabrics and ensures that every pair of jeans is recycled.
MUD Jeans has also freed itself from old production techniques by phasing out the use of PP spray, which poses a serious health hazard to their workers and a threat to the environment at large. Their factories are set up to recycle 95% of the water used in production through the process of reverse osmosis.
Now, considering that it can take a whopping 10,000 liters of water to make a single pair of jeans, it’s clear that regular production processes seriously threaten the health of our planet. By switching to MUD Jeans we can all drastically reduce the negative impact we have on the planet.
3. We Are We Wear
This London-based swimwear brand places emphasis on body diversity as well as sustainability, offering women’s swimwear in a range of sizes, from XS to 3XL.
And while catering to such a wide audience can be difficult, We Are We Wear manages to do this effortlessly while minimizing their impact on the Earth to unimaginably low levels.
Aside from their sustainable production process, they use a trademark ‘Eco Edit Fabric’ to weave swimwear. This ‘Eco Edit Fabric’ is manufactured in Italy using waste material like fishing nets, plastic, and fabric scraps. Talk about turning rags to riches!
4. Brave GentleMan
Launched in 2010, Brave GentleMan became the first vegan lifestyle menswear brand in the world. But their commitment to sustainability goes beyond cruelty-free products. In fact, Vogue magazine even commented on how founder Josh Katcher’s commitment to sustainability was ‘head-spinning’ in its intensity.
Aside from using organic cotton and recyclable denim, BG goes a step further, even sourcing used water bottles to create some of the most astounding tops and bottoms you’ll ever see. All materials used in their manufacturing process are ethically-sourced and 100% cruelty-free.
Recently, BG even stepped it up a notch, creating ready-to-wear suits made entirely from bamboo!
And while they are priced as a high-end fashion brand, the durability of their clothing and their unwavering commitment to minimize harm to the planet makes it a worthwhile investment.
Based in the UK but shipping worldwide, Thought uses organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and recycled polyester in all of their designs. The brand is mindful of the environmental disaster wrought by the fast fashion industry and how it feeds into our consumerist culture. As such, they are advocates of slow fashion, offering designs and looks that are timeless and made from the most durable materials.
Thought is also committed to high ethical standards and ensures that the working conditions in their factories meet the standards set by the International Labor Organization.
Their commitment to ethical production has led to the formation of the Ethical Trading Initiative, comprising an alliance of leading ethical companies, Trade Unions, and NGOs that promote and work towards respect for worker’s rights around the globe.
If there’s one company that takes sustainable clothing to the extreme, it’s Wawwa.
Late in 2018 they decided to push the boundaries for sustainable clothing even further and began to source yarn made from 100% recycled material; 40% plastic and 60% organic cotton scraps from their production process.
And while this material may not seem like much, Wawwa offers an assortment of funky, durable clothing and accessories, including socks, hats, and scarves!
To top it off, most of their factories have switched completely to using renewable sources of energy, with solar and wind-powered production processes that drastically reduce the negative impact on our environment.
These fashion brands are aware that something as simple as our clothing can be produced without straining the Earth and her resources while ensuring that everyone involved is treated fairly and paid well.
Today, there are hundreds of fashion brands across the world that offer sustainable clothing. And with the emphasis on sustainability and the growing number of conscious consumers, this number is sure to grow!
It may feel like buying sustainable clothing doesn’t have much impact, and every time we make a responsible purchase we are only able to shield the Earth from a tiny amount of harm.
But when millions of us decide to switch to wearing outfits that minimize damage to the Earth, in terms of both resources and the impact caused during disposal, we can, over time, save the planet.
So let’s start making more conscious choices. Happy shopping!