Summary: Fashion brands are embracing sustainability and accountability to please their discerning customers. From fair wages to alternative materials, small businesses have a lot to learn from the change makers.
In the recently concluded COP27, the fashion industry pledged to cut down on its emissions by 30 percent. A figure they are not sure how to achieve. The fashion landscape is changing and people are demanding transparency in the products. The sustained campaign by Greenpeace and #whomademyclothes highlighted the unsustainable practices of the fashion industry.
Can fashion be sustainable? Yes, of course. Notable brands have been at the helm of sustainable fashion for decades. Patagonia and Alternative Apparel (now defunct) started with sustainability at the core of their business. Today, new-age fashion brands are now building their business with people and nature at the center. The clothes and accessories are mindfully made and keep up with the latest design trends.
Here are 15 sustainable fashion brands that are changing the way people are dressing.
Patagonia is one of the first brands that spoke about and practiced sustainability. The brand uses recycled materials like polyester, down, and cotton to make its products. They also have repair and trade-in services to reduce waste and extend the life of their products.
Amour Vert or ‘Green Love’ in French was started by husband and wife duo Linda Balti and Christoph Frehsee in 2010. The brand’s tagline “Paris chic meets California cool” capitalizes on the superior quality of its products. From sourcing the finest merino wool, organic cotton, and Tencel to manufacturing locally in America, they have managed to reduce supply-chain greenhouse emissions to a large extent.
Reformation started by selling vintage clothing in 2009. They are now using low-impact materials, and rescued deadstock fabrics for their apparel manufacturing. They also repurpose vintage clothing at their manufacturing factory in LA.
PACT was founded with the thought "To create the comfiest clothes in the world without destroying the earth, or harming people." Their clothing is made from 100% organic, Non-GMO cotton. Their garments are highly suitable for infants and people with skin issues since the cotton is not treated with chemicals.
Allbirds is a footwear company that is making heads turn with their shoes. They manufacture their shoes with unusual renewable materials like merino wool, wood fiber, Tencel, SweetFoam® shoe soles (derived from sugarcane) and Trino® (Tencel+Merino). The company is also trying to reduce its environmental impact with recycled cardboard packaging.
Big change starts small. For every item that someone purchases from Tentree, they plant ten trees (mainly mangrove trees in Madagascar and Indonesia). Their products are made with sustainable materials like TENCEL™ lyocell, organic cotton and REPREVE® recycled polyester. They use innovative materials that cut back on pollution and waste.
Prana was one of the first few brands to partner with Fair Trade USA way back in 2010. In 2011, they introduced the first Fair Trade-certified clothing to their customers. They source organic and recycled materials for their products. They have also managed to make their packaging 100% plastic-free.
With the tagline - Clothing designed to last, Everlane is radically transparent with their product cost. They were the first ones to reveal the true costs behind their products. They partner with factories that are certified with fair trade practices and provide good wages, benefits and working environments to their workers.
A giant in the fashion industry Levi’s is now at the forefront of ethical fashion. While they are working towards reducing their carbon footprint, they also support small sustainable fashion brands. Through their initiative, Levi’s - Good on You shares a list of ethical denim brands that practice slow fashion.
Stella McCartney is a British fashion designer. She is known for her sustainable and ethical approach to fashion. Her brand uses innovative materials like MIRUM®, a plastic-free animal leather alternative, recycled cashmere, fur-free fur and sustainably sourced viscose.
H&M Conscious is the sustainable arm of the fast fashion giant H&M. They were the first global fashion retailer to launch a garment collecting program at all their stores in 2014. In Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index 2021, they were ranked number two, with a score of 68%.
Good things come to those who don’t waste—with this belief Girlfriend Collective is ticking all the right boxes of sustainability. Their recycled polyester fabric is BPA-free and dyed with eco-friendly dyes. They even ensure the dye water is carefully cleaned and cooled before it is released.
Outerknown is a sustainable clothing company founded by professional surfer Kelly Slater and designer John Moore. Through their platform, they have managed to keep 1300+ garments from reaching landfill. They work with Fair Trade Certified™ factories and source GOTS-approved fabrics for their clothing.
Eileen Fisher started in 1984 to create simple and elegant clothing for women. Keeping up with the times it has since moved towards a circular model of using regenerative, renewable and recyclable raw materials. The philosophy emphasizes designing a future without generating waste.
Finally, we have ThredUP an online retailer that specializes in selling secondhand clothes. Gently used clothing is given a second life through their platform. This model ensures that clothes get a second lease of life and don’t reach the landfill.
Fashion brands old and new are waking up to the fact that climate change, global warming and changing customer preferences will affect their business in a big way. They are working towards using tech to bring about transparency for their customers. They are also partnering with Fair Trade Certified factories and using either organic or renewable materials for their products. The road is long but there are trusted partners who can help ease the journey.
Fashinza can be your apt partner in this journey. Our robust technology and network of certified suppliers and manufacturers can provide you with a seamless supply chain experience.
Speak to our experts at Fashinza!