As consumers, we have the power to vote with our wallets – we can create change in the environment by opting for sustainable and eco-friendly clothing. But it can be difficult to find the right eco-friendly fashion stores, in a plethora of fast fashion retailers and brands. To make it easier for you, here are five of our favorites:
Leigh and Eric Fleet started Threads 4 Thought in 2007 with a small collection of t-shirts made from eco-friendly fabrics. Today, almost ten years later, the brand has developed into a full lifestyle brand with a collection of sustainable wardrobe staples, which can be found all over New York at Bloomindale’s, Whole Foods, and Macy’s. Its goal to bring change to the textile industry, the second most polluting industry in the world.
Just how socially responsible is it? In Threads 4 Thought factories in Weihai, China, 80% of the water used in the production process is recycled and reused; on the other hand, its Kenyan factory is part of the REDD+ project that protects forest, wildlife, and communities within Kenya. In addition, the brand supports sustainable initiatives such as the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots program, as well as the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Levina Dress, $49
Amour Vert translates to “Green Love” in French, but it is so much more than that – it also means American manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, sustainable fabrics, and a zero-waste philosophy. The brand is founded by Lindy Balti on the belief that great fashion and social responsibility can coexist. In her words, “A woman should never have to sacrifice style for sustainability. Our choices matter – smart fashion is our future.”
Committed to making ethical products and positive environmental impact the gold standard for the fashion industry, Amour Vert has pledged that with every purchase of its t-shirt, it will plant a tree in North America. As of now, it has planted more than 100,000 trees with its partner, American Forests.
Apart from its environmental consciousness, Amour Vert is notable for its iconic fabrics and specially engineered textiles. Its linen, for example, is naturally hypoallergenic and incredibly soft as it is spun from the highest quality of Italian Flax. It also uses a 100% certified organic cotton from Peru to eliminate the need for toxic chemicals.
Melinda Tie Front Top, $68
You have probably heard of Edun, one of the most well-known eco-friendly fashion stores founded by Ali Hewson and her husband Bono in 2005. Although a global fashion brand based in New York, Edun carries 95% of its production in Sub-Saharan Africa in its mission to encourage trade in Africa. Its collections of clothing and jewelry are also inspired by the creativity of local craftsmanship and the natural beauty of Africa.
In 2009, Edun and the Invisible Children Society created the Conservation Cotton Initiative Uganda, which aims to support thousands of farmers displaced by civil war in Uganda, as well as promote quality organic cotton production using sustainable methods, in order to preserve Uganda’s ecosystems.
Twill Zip Up Tank, $147
For every product sold, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. As of now, it has removed over 990,000 pounds of trash across 26 states. And the company doesn’t just write a check or accept donations – it rallies its team and volunteers to pick up trash themselves. The reason? The company is created with the mission to make a lasting and measurable impact on oceans, and to encourage people to do the same.
Besides company-organized cleanups, all United by Blue clothes are made with recycled polyester, organic cotton, or wool, a natural and renewable resource. Check out its online store, or visit its flagship store and coffeehouse house in Philadelphia, for a collection of lifestyle apparel and accessories.
Himley Waffle Seater, $78
Since it was founded by Yael Aflalo in 2009, Reformation has put sustainability at the core of everything it does. In addition to recycling and donating its textile scraps and composts organic wastes whenever possible, it has invested heavily in green building infrastructure and uses the most eco-friendly and pro-social technologies available, to minizine its waste and energy footprints.
To keep its supply chain as sustainable as possible, Reformation tries to source its materials locally and domestically, as well as making sure that its suppliers adhere to social and environmental standards by screening all of them carefully.
Flint Dress, $128