A Directory of Ethical and Sustainable Clothing Brands: There are a growing number of sustainable fashion brands, many of which are affordable, comfortable, and fashionable.
You don’t need to sacrifice personal style to help save the environment. Those profiled here include large and small, budget and luxurious, but all are making sustainability and ethical practices their priority, caring for the environment, and through the goal of fair trade clothing they are aiming towards a living wage for everyone involved.
See Also: What is Minimalism? A Beginner’s Guide
This article about fair trade clothing companies contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure here.
By Ellen Rubin
Why We Need More Ethical and Sustainable Clothing Brands
Clothing may be essential for our comfort, and even survival, but all too often its creation is environmentally harmful and ethically callous.
It accounts for almost 25% of all carbon emissions, traditionally grown fibers add pesticides and insecticides to the environment, and processing fibers into yarns requires great amount of energy and water while polluting our air and waterways.
Creating a single pair of jeans can take as much as 2600 gallons of water. Producing clothing is very wasteful of fabric, dyes can be toxic, packaging requires a great amount of wood fiber (cardboard) and plastics, and petroleum is used in the making of certain yarns (polyester) and in transportation.
The best ways to reduce the unsustainability of fashion is to either purchase pre-owned garments or clothing from companies who are environmentally conscious and feature quality goods in timeless styles. The greatest danger is in fast fashion that is trendy and poorly made.
Rather than purchasing the standard 68 garments per year, purchase fewer, longer lasting items and remember to recycle or upcycle items you no longer want.
What is Sustainability in Fashion?
Something is sustainable when it can be maintained at the same level indefinitely – that over time the resources necessary for its existence will not be depleted. For clothing, there are many steps that need to be sustainable for that term to be applicable:
- The way the chosen fibers are grown or created – whether animal, plant or chemical/petroleum based, including use of fertilizers, pesticides, feed, and water requirements
- Harvesting – either by hand or machine
- Processing of fibers – dyes used, other chemical and water needs, circular or closed loop processes
- Waste from cutting and sewing
- Accessories and peripherals such as buttons, zippers, and packaging – sourcing and processing
- Transportation from factory to showroom to consumer.
Ethical companies are focused on the treatment of their employees (healthy working conditions and a fair wage) as well as the impact on the environment (reduction of their carbon footprint and minimal to no environmental pollution), and corporate diversity and inclusivity.
Different companies focus on different aspects of ethical treatment or sustainability, so you can find companies that support the causes that are important to you.
Even when a company publicizes their commitment to sustainability, you, as the consumer, have to do your research to differentiate those who truly make ethical and sustainable clothing from those who merely use it as a marketing tool, but don’t back up their claims with measurable action. In other words, they participate in greenwashing.
Organizations, Certifications, and Sustainability Scores
Luckily, there are resources to help you make this distinction. First, you can examine websites. If you dig enough, there is a lot of information there. Because companies use shorthand or mention organizations and certifications, we have a glossary that goes into depth about certifications for ethical and sustainable clothing companies, their processes, and raw material sourcing. These are quick, objective clues that your purchase meets certain sustainability standards for transparency, human, and environmental impacts. Read the glossary here.
There are also some independent, online guides that track sustainability:
- Higg Index developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. The index enables brands, retailers and facilities to accurately measure sustainability performance at every stage of the item’s manufacture. Full descriptions are currently available only by subscription, but they’ll be offering an “Open Data Portal” in 2021 to reveal their rankings and facts behind them.
- Remake is a fashion-based, human rights, non-profit organization that has published their inaugural transparency report. Their independent experts integrate publicly disclosed information on a company’s human rights, climate, water, and waste policies. They rate brands on a point system of 0-100 and categorize them as “rock stars,” “wannabes”, or “up-and-comers”. To achieve a passing score (over 50) a company must meet criteria for both worker wellbeing (fair wages, diversity, inclusion in leadership, human rights impact) and environmental sustainability (waste, water, carbon, raw materials, animal rights, and packaging), as well as traceability, and transparency. The entire process from raw materials to finished product is considered. There are some companies that are fast fashion based (usually unsustainable), yet have small sustainable fashion lines. These include: Inditex/Zara, Uniqlo, H&M Group, and Madewell’s eco-denim line. While they produce some sustainable clothing, overall, the company does not rate as sustainable on Remake’s list.
- Good on You rates brands by category – listing them as either “great,” “good,” “it’s a start,” “not good enough,” or “we avoid” – based on their accountability for people, planet, and animals. They also have an app you can download to access the ratings while shopping.
- Fashion Transparency Index (FTI) for 2020 reviewed 250 of the world’s largest fashion brands and ranked them according to their disclosure of social and environmental policies, practices and impacts. Each company is scored up to 100% for each criteria, with overall scores ranging from 0-70%.
- Finally, if you are interested in learning how to create sustainable clothing, The Center for the Advancement of Garment Making has classes available.
Our Complete List of Ethical and Sustainable Clothing Brands
Whether you are looking for men’s, women’s, or children’s clothing, accessories, or home products, these companies are good choices for sustainable and ethical clothing. Some of the first, and largest, brands to embrace sustainability started as outdoor or activewear clothing companies. Many were started because their owners spent time outdoors and believed that we needed to preserve the places that we love.
There is a sustainable clothing company for every taste…vintage or modern, neutrals or prints, exclusive and luxurious or everyday casual. There are companies that specialize in travel, athletics, business, wedding, or sleep wear for all genders, shapes, sizes, and ages, even maternity. Everyone can find sustainable clothing that will fit their needs, style, and personality.
It may be quietly elegant in neutrals, ready for the rough outdoors, fun and flirty, or bright and bold prints. There are brands that rely on state-of-the-art high-tech fabrics, and those that focus on preserving local artisan techniques and fabrications. Some brands combine several of these attributes.
It’s notable that these companies span the globe. There are representatives from every continent. This just proves that sustainability really is a global movement. As an added bonus, many sustainable companies focus on a cause that may be near and dear to your heart.
Sustainable Clothing Brands For Families and Casual Wear
These companies make clothing for men and women. Some include children and inclusive sizing.
The Good Tee makes shirts for the entire family from newborns on up. They take the simple t-shirt and use it to celebrate good humans making good things by partnering with suppliers who share a common vision of sustainability, accountability, and transparency. Their mandate is to be open and honest. They evaluate each phase of the product’s life cycle to find the most sustainable options. The use of organic cotton is so important to them because founder Adila Cokar, while travelling in India, was shocked at the high suicide rate of cotton farmers that is attributable to working conditions. She decided to put her experience in the industry to good use by putting the people she works with first.
Mission: “To humanize the apparel industry and support the makers who make our clothing.” They believe that it’s their duty to be a positive example of responsibly made fashion basics. They celebrate all the good humans in the supply chain that makes their products, so the customer can understand the positive impact their purchase makes.
Certification: Certified B Corporation. They are Fair Trade Certified, support slower production schedules, ethical working conditions, and fair deals for all. They are also Flocert certified to guarantee fairness.
Transparency: They embrace an ethical supply chain. They have listed their farm to store shelf suppliers and where they are located. They even list what trims they use, and which shipping companies. All are long-term relationships and are subject to third-party audits. For instance, their factory in South India, Assisi Garments invests in their community by supporting various social projects such as an old age home and a children’s orphanage.
Fabrications: GOTS Organic and Fair Trade cotton (meaning no toxic chemicals are used). The cotton is long-staple ringspun combed yarn so it is not only soft, but durable and hole resistant. They use only AZO-free and low impact dyes. Their dying partner treats, recycles, and reuses their water. Their buttons are made of coconut or seashell rather than plastic. Their zippers are made from post-consumer chemically recycled polyester that are perpetually recyclable. No elastics or plastics are used in their shirts; therefore, they are 100% self-fabric and biodegradable. Their care and contact tags are made from natural cotton or recycled paper.
Products: Their ethical women’s clothing comes in XS – XXL (US 0-16) and in 3 fits: relaxed, classic, and slim. Unisex shirts fit women S-XXL and men XS-XL. Men’s sizes range from XS-XL. Toddler clothing comes in 2T-6T (2 years to 7 years old) and Youth in S – L (8 years to 14 years old). Baby clothing is 0 months – 24 months. They also offer accessories and natural tie-dye kits so you can design your own creations from their natural T-shirts. Most styles are offered in black, white, pink, and gray. Some also come in blues.
Packaging: They use biodegradable bags and recycled boxes.
Flora Animalia founder Rozae Nichols pairs her passion for fashion design with her advocacy of animal rights, food justice, veganism, and environmental protection. She is dedicated to her regenerative organic urban garden and community outreach. These interests are embodied in her aesthetic of refashioning and repurposing garments and adding intricate details. The Flora Animalia site is a juxtaposition of gardening and fashion where clothing can meet the rigorous demands of daily labor, yet be joyful.
Mission: Their mission is to create heirloom-quality gardening apparel and accessories that are practical, comfortable, and sustainable. The creation of clothing should be fair to the environment and people alike. They want to heal the damage of factory farming, labor abuses, farm animal abuse, and environmental devastation.
Certification: GOTS, Fair Labor practices are stressed.
Transparency: Each product page has extensive information about exact sizing dimensions (up to 8 dimensions are given), where the product was made, fabrication, and how much will be donated to their allied partners.
Fabrications: Crop clean Belgian linen, GOTS denim, GOTS cotton, Tencel, bio-silk acetate, recycled poly fleece.
Products: Aprons, Denim, Women’s, and unisex clothing. Many of their items are one size fits all or 2 sizes (S/M and M/L).
Giving Back: Flora Animalia is all about creating community and school gardens. They partnered with Mercy for Animals (working to end the exploitation of animals for food) on a fundraising fashion presentation. They’ve worked with local gardens and have created a community recipe book on plant- based meals, as well and giving natural plant dying seminars and gardening presentations.
Recycling Program: Starting in Spring, 2021 they will be working with a quilt-maker to present workshops on how to repurpose your clothing into works of functional art.
Organic Basics is a good resource for underwear and basic clothing for men and women. They are a Danish company that values sustainability based on quality above all else. They support regenerative agricultural practices for they cotton the use to rebuild healthy soil.
Mission: Organic Basics’ core mission is sustainability. They consider this first when making all decisions – from choosing fabrics to the factories they partner with. They start with the premise that their clothes should be designed to last by investing in quality fabrics and workmanship and then design with simplicity and function in mind.
Certification: Blue Sign approved fabrics
Transparency: They provide an impact index that measures their sustainability as compared to similar traditionally produced products to measure the life cycle footprint across their entire supply chain. It measures waste, chemicals, energy, CO2 emissions, and water saved. They partner with factories that continuously reduce their environmental footprint and ensure that their workplace is free of child labor and forced labor. Their factories in Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Austria, and Scotland offer safe working environments, pay a living wage, and treat workers with fairness and respect. You can visit their site for details of each factory.
Fabrications: Combining a focus on environmental footprint and lifetime durability, they use only Class A and B fibers. They choose natural, renewable, recycled, biodegradable and/or low-impact textiles such as recycled nylon, wool (re-wool), and cashmere, as well as organic cotton and Tencel™ Lyocell. Organic Basics uses seamless knitting techniques to increase the stretch and comfort while eliminating weak points in the fabric. This also reduces fabric waste during the production phase.
Proprietary Fabrics: SilverTech™ is a process of covering polymer fibers in silver then blending it with organic cotton. The result is a soft, odor-controlling, heat regulating fabric used in their socks, underwear, and t-shirts. The silver molecules won’t wash off so nano-particles aren’t created. Polygiene® is a bluesign approved permanent fabric treatment made from recycled silver salt. It keeps fabric fresher for longer by inhibiting the growth of odor causing bacteria. This reduces the need for frequent washing saving time, energy, and water. It is used on their SilverTech™ collection.
Products: Men’s (XS-XXL) & women’s (XS-XL) undergarments, socks and basics including t-shirts, sweaters, bottoms, and dresses. They feature no-show underwear with all-day comfort.
Giving Back: Organic Basics has raised enough money to convert 62,500m2 of conventionally planted cotton to regenerative cotton fields. They have created the Organic Basics Fund which supports grassroots activists and organizations that address the planet’s environmental crises such as fighting climate change, restoring biodiversity, and protecting vulnerable communities. Among the organizations are Danmarks Naturafrednigsforening (restores habitat for pollinators), Amazon Watch, Green Kayak (cleans trash in local waterways), and Rewilding Europe (increase biodiversity). The site has information on their application process. This past holiday season they worked in partnership with WWF© to convert land in Turkey.
Recycling Program: Packaging is made from recycled and recyclable materials.
Gandys International is a travel inspired fashion brand started by two British brothers after losing their parents in the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. Their goal is to honor their parents and a means to spread the importance of education to help orphans and deprived children around the world. They have taken their unique upbringing of travel and homeschooling and transformed it into a way to better the world.
Mission: Making the World a Better Place with items designed by travelers for travelers with sustainable and ethically clothing sourced products that are accessible to everyone.
Fabrications: Luggage is made from coated and/or waxed cotton fabric and faux or real leather, outerwear and clothing is made with water-resistant cotton, nylon and polyester, acrylic, and wool.
Products: Travel clothing and outerwear for men in XS – XXL and women in XS – XXXL, sturdy luggage and backpacks, and accessories.
Giving Back: The Gandy brothers founded “The Gandys Foundation” to provide education, medication and nutrition to those who need it most. The company is dedicated to doing good by building kids’ campuses and giving back to other underprivileged children around the world. Over the past 10 years they have built 4 Kids’ Campuses; the first in Sri Lanka in 2014 to provide food, education, and medical care for children 4-18. Malawi was completed in 2017 and offers vocational education and a safe haven.
Nepal was completed in 2019 in an area badly affected by the 2015 earthquake and supports children who are victims of trafficking for slave labor. They provide a safe place to stay, education, therapy and practical skills. The Kids’ Campus in Brazil, completed in 2020, provides clean water and food packages to hundreds of families in the surrounding favelas. A 5th Kids’ Campus is planned for Mongolia. The goal there is to stop children from scavenging in the garbage dumps in Ulaanbaatar for survival by breaking the cycle of poverty through education.
Frank And Oak offers a full complement of clothing for men and women that is highly and thoughtfully sustainable. They have a denim lab that specializes on finding new ways to create the jeans you want with the least environmental impact, including using recycled fibers. They spend a great deal of time and energy discovering new fabrications using renewable and ecologically sustainable resources that perform even better than traditional fabrics. They have started a monthly clothing subscription program.
Mission: “We’re determined to do our part for the planet. This means big changes in the way we make products with major steps toward sustainability.”
Certification: GOTS fabrics
Transparency: Their stores are built by Canadian artisans using recycled materials and creating minimal waste. They use upcycled furniture as much as possible.
Fabrications: Hemp, non-mulesed merino wool, yak, Lenzing™ EcoVero™ viscose, recycled fibers include cotton, post-consumer cotton, polyester, nylon, wool. They only use eco-dyes which are aniline free.
Proprietary Fabrics: SeaCell™ – a biodegradable high-tech fiber made from renewable raw materials found in seaweed and natural cellulose; Kapok is 5 times lighter than cotton, thermal resistant, and uses less water than cotton to produce; Seawool is quality yarn made from recycled polyester and oyster shell composites. They also use sugarcane paper which is a biodegradable paper made from bagasse, the fibrous residue that remains after sugarcane is crushed.
Their denim is made rivetless to ease recycling, thermal lined to be adapted to northern winters by using a volcanic mineral to thermal line them. They effectively retain heat while providing an additional layer of softness, comfort and thermal isolation. They are also fade-resistant so that black denim will look new even after 20 washings. They also use Hydro-Less Laundry’s ozone washing and 3D laser distressing.
Products: Men’s (XS-XXL) and women’s (XXS-XL). Their men’s pants come in skinny, slim, tapered, and athletic slim fit. Women’s pants come in wide leg, barrel, straight, cropped wide-leg, skinny, balloon, tapered, and slim fit styles. They have a wide array of clothing including loungewear, tops, bottoms, dresses, denim, blazers & jackets, and performance outerwear. They also offer beauty/grooming and skincare products as well as accessories.
Giving Back: They have teamed up with Earth Day Canada to operate a tree-planting reforestation program in Quebec to offset their carbon emissions from eCommerce packaging and shipping.
Recycling Program: Frank and Oak has a Circular denim™ program that recycles denim by breaking down post-consumer waste. The fibers are then re-spun into new material. This minimizes waste by creating a resource for new production.
They encourage consumers to bring their gently used garments to their stores or drop them off in provided containers. They have expanded their “Let’s give a shi(r)t” initiative across Canada. They partner with grassroots nonprofits to divert textile waste from landfills and redistribute them to help those in need. Their certified partner is Earth Day Canada.
All shipping boxes are made with post-consumer recycled cardboard and their mailers are recyclable poly bags made from 50% recycled materials. They encourage the use of canvas tote bags in their stores. Receipt paper is certified by EcoChit that it originated from sustainably managed forests and a tree is planted by One Tree Planted for each role used. The paper is 100% BPA and BPS free with recycled cardboard cores. Their tags are made from recycled and recyclable materials.
Threads 4 Thought is a lifestyle brand that is responsibly and ethically produced. Their site gives an up-to-date accounting of their total impact in terms of driving emissions avoided in miles, hours of bulb energy saved, days of drinking water saved, and the square feet of land farmed without pesticides.
Mission: Thread 4 Thought was founded with the understanding that every time you buy a product or support a brand you’re casting a vote with your wallet. Those choices determine the spread and success of each brand’s ethical and moral standards. They decided to create a product that leaves an innately smaller impact on our environment, supports in-need communities and assists in changing the narrative and understanding of ethical standards withing the fashion industry.
Certification: GOTS Cotton
Transparency: They provide a complete Transparency report. 80% of their wastewater is recycled and reused. They list their factories and publish the code of conduct that they must adhere to.
Fabrications: Regenerated beech trees, GOTS organic cotton, recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets, Lenzing™ Modal (regenerated beech trees), Triblend (50% recycled polyester, 37% organic cotton, 13% rayon).
Products: Men’s (M – XXL), women’s (XS – XL), plus sizes (1X – 3X), maternity (XXS – L) boys and girls (2T – 6). Their clothing ranges from athletic wear to casual clothing, outerwear, and hats. They have partnered with a few other brands to sell on their site: Boyish Jeans, Oliver Cabell Shoes, Veja Shoes, and Guppyfriend Washing Bags.
Giving Back: They have partnered with the International Rescue Committee to benefit in-need communities around the world. The Committee has given countless refugee communities the opportunity for a quality of life every human being deserves.
Mission: To protect our waterways from plastic pollution. “We prioritize sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing to lead the charge toward better business practices.”
- B-Corp Certified – Named “Best for the World Honoree” for 3 years running. An average impact score for certified companies is 50.9. United by Blue scored 80.1.
- Fair Trade Certified Factories
- GOTS certified organic cotton
- Build LEED Certified stores
Fabrications: Organic textiles (hemp & cotton), and high-tech fabrications that are rugged and have a comfortable stretch. They use vegetable dyes, biodegradable Corozo buttons made from Taua Palm nuts.
Transparency: They have customer reviews on each product page and list all of the factories that manufacture their clothing. They also have an impact report on the amount of trash collected in their Clean Ups (almost 870,000 pounds in 2019).
- Repreve™ – recycled polyester, micro-modal, wool, and Tencel™
- EcoKnit™ – hemp, organic cotton, modal, and yak
- (R)evolution™ – recycled PET from water bottles
- Bison Shield™ – bison fibers either spun into wool-like yarn or used as stuffing for insulation. The fur is discards from the meat industry.
- AllDay Chambray™ – blended cotton, hemp, and yak fiber
- EcoDry™ – moisture-wicking fabric made from organic cotton and recycled polyester.
Products: Entire family, including your pets, plus your home
Giving Back: United by Blue removes 1 pound of trash from the world’s waterways for every product sold. To date, over 3.5 million pounds have been removed. You can find the real-time tally on their website. Their goal is to “prove that a for-profit company could do serious, dirty conservation work.” They have a Clean Up Tour with dates listed on their site. If there isn’t one near you, you can order a DIY Clean Up Kit.
Tentree is committed to reforesting the planet. For every product purchased they will plant 10 trees. They choose locations based on lost biodiversity or the need for land restoration in Madagascar, Kenya, Senegal, Indonesia, Nepal, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Haiti, or Brazil. All trees planted are non-invasive, indigenous species that are fast growing and multi-purpose. The forests also provide local employment. You can register your trees and track their progress through geotagging photos and GPS coordinates. In addition to being one of the most environmentally progressive clothing brands, they offer great quality clothing that is fun. Their graphics include a Dr. Suess Lorax collection, tree and animal motifs.
Mission: “We believe in the power of small acts, so by empowering everyone and anyone with easy access to sustainable solutions those tiny seeds of change can grow to change the world. #ItTakesAForest”
- Fair Trade
- Fair Wear Foundation
- B Corporation (scoring in top 1% of all manufacturing)
Transparency: All suppliers and partners must sign their Code of Conduct to “ensure that all people who work with Tentree are respected, valued, and feel safe”. They list place of manufacture and all suppliers used on each product page. An Eco Log compares wear, CO2 emissions and waste saved by purchasing their products compared to comparable products. They have independent impact assessments prepared by third party partner GreenStep before putting any new item into production.
Fabrications: Hemp, cork, organic cotton, Tencel™
Proprietary Fabrics: RePREVE™ recycled polyester
Products: Entire family plus accessories. They also emphasize inclusivity.
Giving Back: In addition to planting almost 51 million trees as of December, 2020 (with a goal of 1 billion by 2030), Tentree partners with other companies and offers different packages to become a Climate+ partner. Climate+ rehabilitates ecosystems and provides jobs across the globe. By joining, consumers can offset their non-eco-friendly indulgences. United By Blue is also a Climate+ partner organization.
Nudie Jeans is a Swedish company that embraces the importance of denim in our lives, knows it isn’t usually a sustainable fabric, and works to create sustainable clothing that we want to wear and repair. “It all starts with a pair of drys.”
Mission: “Nudie Jeans is characterized by timeless design. We want to create timeless and seasonless garments, clothes you want to wear every day and keep over time, garments that last, and garments that can live through repairs.”
Certifications: GOTS, Organic Content Standard 100 (OCS 100), USDA Organic, Fair Trade, FSC, PEFC
Transparency: The site has a Materials index to show the sustainability or circularity of their fabrics. They work with the Higg Index, which has also been a solid frame of reference when creating and updating their Material Index, together with Made By’s Environmental Benchmark for Fibers.
Fabrications: Organic cotton, Tencel™, recycled cotton
Products: Fashion for the entire family. They make their jeans (women’s, black, dry, selvedge) in 12 cuts: 3 tight, 3 slim, 5 regular, and 1 relaxed. Shirts come in XS – XXL. The site offers a Virtusize guide to help you choose the correct size.
Recycling Programs: Nudie Jeans wants you to be able to extend the life of your clothing. The company offers free repairs for life on all Nudie jeans at their Repair Shops, Repair Partners, Mobile Repair Station Tour, and by offering free Repair Kits that can be ordered from their site. When the relationship between jeans and owner comes to an end, there’s also the possibility to return the jeans to any Repair Shop in exchange for a 20% discount on a new pair. The old jeans will in turn be resold, reused, or recycled in their reuse program. They also offer guidance on how to wash your jeans, a Denimopedia, and user stories.
Everlane’s motto is “Modern Basics, Radical Transparency.” They design business-casual and everyday clothing based on a streamlined, quality driven approach.
Mission: “At Everlane, we are working to do our part by building an ethical supply chain that creates high-quality, low-impact, long-lasting products. We carefully consider our materials and work with our production partners to reduce waste, chemicals, and plastics that endanger our planet’s ecosystems.”
Certifications: Factories are audited yearly in compliance with the California Supply Chain Transparency Act
Transparency: Everlane stresses transparency. The website includes the “true cost” of each product; comparing the actual cost of materials, labor, transportation, duties, and accessories such as buttons, to the competition’s retail price. An interactive map pinpoints where their fabrics are sourced and their factories’ locations.
There has been some negative publicity about their corporate inclusivity and diversity, as well as clothing quality.
Fabrications: 100% linen or cotton, and recycled materials. For example, their reversible puffer jacket is made with 100% recycled polyester and filled with 100% recycled down.
Proprietary Fabrics: ReNew™ will replace all virgin plastic used to make their polyester by 2021. Similarly they use recycled fibers mixed with new fibers for their ReWool™ and ReCashmere™.
Products: Men’s and Women’s clothing including accessories and shoes.
Hungarian brand Nanushka demonstrates that highly styled clothing can still be sustainable. They use luxurious and sustainable fabrications that drive their fashion forward collections. Their Fall/Winter 2020 collection “filters intellectual ‘70s classics through the anarchic lens of ‘90s grunge, contrasting the sensual and the tough, the sober and the subversive.”
Founder Sandra Sandor, born and raised in Hungary, created a contemporary house for the modern human by mixing confident ease and subtle femininity. Her style is more European, although her sustainable clothing is sold through free-standing stores in 30 countries, and through their website.
Mission: Their mission is to develop holistic products and services that nurture nature, communities, and the soul. The want to create clothing that fulfill their function, yet are bohemian, rebellious, free-spirited, and progressive while protecting the planet. Their business is built around craftsmanship, experimentation, and progressivism.
Certifications: FSC certified fabrications.
Transparency: Each product page gives very specific fabrication, down to what products are used to make their buttons. (Interestingly, potato dust is one of the ingredients.) There is a tab for sustainability which enumerates which fabrics are sustainable.
Fabrications: They use a wide assortment of fabrics. The most sustainable include: organic cotton, fabrics labeled “responsibly forested”, regenerated leather, wool, and baby alpaca. Their vegan leather is made from polyester and polyurethane.
Products: Men’s (XS – XL) and women’s (XXS – XL) clothing
Giving Back: Nanushka supports non-profit organizations such as the Bibi Fund, which researches aggressive childhood brain cancers, and Bagázs, which works to eliminates socio-cultural disadvantages in the Roma community. They also donate unused fabric to theaters and universities.
Recycling Program: Nanushka has joined with Eon’s CircularID™ program to track the circularity of their clothing. By scanning the QR code the customer can learn about the process the garment went through in its manufacturing processes, care instruction, and how they can eventually repair, resell, or rent out the item.
Alternative Apparel’s key words are “soft, simple, even more sustainable”, and #DoGoodFeelGood. They focus on eco-fabrics and blends, classically styled basics, and inclusive sizing made in factories that adhere to their strict ethical and sustainable Code of Conduct. Originally founded in Georgia, USA, their site also sells other worldwide brands of sustainable clothing, eyewear, home products, jewelry, bags, footwear, and beauty products; and they support primary producers and artists around the world.
Mission: To always strive to lessen their impact by creating new fabrications while ensuring that their workers are treated ethically. They go beyond their clothing’s sustainability by looking for ways to lessen the impact of packaging.
Certifications: WRAP certified factories, Fair Labor Association Guidelines & Workplace Code of Conduct adhered to by their factories. GOTS Cotton, OEKO-Tex Certified
Transparency: Ensures fair, safe & clean workplace conditions for their employees through audits. They are joining the Fashion Revolution.
Fabrications: GOTS organic cotton, upcycled and recycled cotton, cotton-Tencel modal interlock, post-consumer recycled polyester, hemp/cotton blended jersey, low impact dyes, water conserving washes.
Proprietary Fabrics: Eco fabrics include cotton Tencel Modal Interlock, Eco-Fleece™ (recycled polyester-cotton blend), Eco-Jersey®, Eco-Teddy (resembles polar-fleece), and Eco Toweling
Products: Casual men’s (S-2XL), unisex (XXS- 5XL, OS), women’s (XS-2XL), and youth (S-XL, YS-YXL)
Recycling Program: They use oxo-biodegradable mailer bags and have implemented a program to reuse and recycle materials from their vendors.
MyIntox, founded and based in Germany, combines the latest trends with high-quality materials and innovative design. More than most collections, it is based on the enjoyment of nature and the love of endangered animal species. Owner, Christine Stegmann designs all of the graphics herself.
Mission: To combine exciting design and high-quality fabrications with sustainability while highlighting and working to protect endangered species.
Certifications: Fair Trade, Fair Wear
Fabrications: Sustainably produced Mongolian cashmere and Australian merino wool, cotton, organic cotton, recycled polyester
Products: Men’s (limited to sweaters & t-shirts), women’s (XS-L), children’s and accessories such as handbags and jewelry. They heavily feature embroidery and appliqués.
Giving Back: The company donates part of their proceeds to animal welfare organizations that work toward protection of species threatened with extinction.
Amendi is a Swedish company founded by three friends. The name comes from the word amendment. The company looks at clothing phenomenologically or “relating to an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience”. In other words, fashion can be sustainable.
Mission: “To make clothing that you can love, trust, and cherish for years and years”, done through transparency, traceability, and a commitment to responsibility. Total transparency is the key to building a truly ethical and trustworthy business. Their goal is to go beyond sustainability to rejuvenation. Through innovation and partnering with trusted charities, they want to prove that a good business can give more than it takes.
Certifications: GOTS organic cotton, OSC 100, OEKO-Tex Standard 100, GRS , SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, BSCI.
Transparency: Their fabrication facts tag, attached to every piece of clothing, lists essential information about its fabrications, how the cost is distributed, and approximately how many people worked on it. They trace where the raw materials were harvested, where it was woven, assembled, and delivered from the loom to your closet. All of their suppliers have signed their Code of Conduct for high employee working standards and innovative sustainable practices.
Fabrications: GOTS organic cotton (including their denim), nylon, upcycled wool.
Products: Men’s & Women’s (S – XL)
Filippa K is a Swedish company that designs long-lasting wardrobe staples. They have a permanent Core collection that never goes on sale, as well as seasonal collections. The company was founded in 1993 by Filippa Knutsson as a solution to the stress of dressing. Their sustainable clothing values style and comfort equally with an eye on minimalism and sustainability.
Mission: Circularity is the foundation of the company. The follow the 4 Rs: reduce, repair, re-use, and recycle. They encourage mindful consumption, and will help customers repair their clothing.
Certifications: OEKO-Tex 100, they insist on total compliance with Filippa K’s Code of Conduct from their suppliers, Fair Wear Foundation.
Transparency: Each product page gives extensive care directions, sustainability factors, and product origin including the address of the factory where it was made.
Fabrications: cotton (organic, pima, or recycled), cupro, down, leather (vegetable tanned within the EU and a byproduct of existing food production), cashmere, polyester (recycled & virgin), wool (mulesing- free merino wool, recycled, and Swedish), yak, polyamide (recycled and virgin), viscose, camel hair from Mongolia, linen, lyocell, Refibra, modal, alpaca.
Propriety Fabrications: Swedish wool is a byproduct of the meat industry. It is an organic resource from local Swedish farms. Their wool is untreated, and the color is completely natural to the original wool. Swedish leather comes from a locally and fully traceable supply chain to ensure animal welfare. It is chrome-free and organic vegetable tanned using bark from mimosa trees. It is biodegradable.
Products: Men’s (XS-XXL or 44-56) & women’s (XS-XL or 32-44) active wear, leisure wear, shoes
Recycling Program: They have a secondhand shop in Stockholm. In 2015 they launched their Collect program which will give customers a discount on future purchases when they bring in pre-loved pieces. They recycle cutting waste. Their supplier in Italy recycles wool and suiting cutting scraps into new yarns as part of the Re.Verso™ process. They have upcycled some of their fabrics, such as silk scarves into shirt cuffs and shortened a jacket for a new collection.
Levi’s is the original denim, yet the company is embracing the future. They have created several new lines of sustainable by focusing on the manufacturing process and fabrication, as well as exploring recycling and recycled materials.
Mission: “A lot of people throw around the word ‘sustainable,’ so we think it’s important to be super straightforward in exactly how we use it. For us at Levi’s, it’s about making better choices like sourcing more sustainable materials and finding ways to use less water. It’s about making better clothes like WellThread™, our most sustainably designed collection. And it’s about bettering the planet and the communities that share it at every step along the way. We’ve always stood up for what’s right – and creating sustainable clothing is no different.”
The WellThread™ Collection is modeled on the four guiding principles of materials, people, environment, and process. One of those processes is their Water<Less technology. Instead of using the normal 11 gallons of water to prewash each pair of jeans, they use stones. 80% of all their denim products are produced using Water<Less technology. Additionally, the Water<Less collection contains 20% post-consumer waste.
Fabrications: Cotton, rain-fed cottonized hemp and recycled materials such as plastic bottles and other waste materials as their insulation in puffer jackets, Tencel™ Lyocell. They no longer use any PFC’s in their clothing.
Proprietary Fabrics: In partnership with re:newcell, Levi’s, along with Outerknown, has created a WellThread 502 jean made from organic cotton and Circulose™. This new material is made from 50% recycled denim and 50% sustainably-sourced viscose.
Products: The entire family in extended sizing for just about every body type.
Giving Back: Levi’s sponsors extensive programs to better their employees and communities:
- Terms of Engagement created in 1991 that ensures worker protections at every point of the supply chain.
- Champions of the LGBTQ+ community since 1982.
- Their Worker Well-Being initiative protects the rights of their employees. By partnering with suppliers and local nonprofits in 12 countries, they provide health education, family welfare programs, and financial empowerment to nearly 200,000 workers.
- Levi’s is teaching farmers new methodologies that require fewer chemicals and less water. This benefits the farmers economically and helps fight climate change.
- The Levi Strauss Foundation, founded in 1952, advances not only their worker’s rights, but human rights in general.
- Regarding sustainability, Levi’s is especially focused on reducing water and chemical usage. Their involvement in alliances with others is enumerated on their website.
Recycling Programs: Levi’s created a “Tailor Shop”. It is staffed by experts to help customers extend the life of their jeans with advice about up-cycling or recycling, redesigning and embellishing your clothing. They have found that by extending the use of a garment by 9 months, the carbon footprint shrinks by 30%. Think of the Tailor Shop as Levi’s own Pinterest.
Sustainable Outdoor and Activewear Brands
Girlfriend Collective, based in the USA and with factories in Taiwan and Vietnam, focuses on transparency – from the raw materials to their carefully chosen partners. They are an active wear and underwear brand for women.
Mission: To create a collection of eco-friendly clothing that is made in a sustainable and ethical way for their inclusive clientele.
Certifications: The factory that makes their t-shirts and tanks is SA8000 certified which guarantees safe working conditions, fair wages, and zero forced or child labor. Their fabrics are OEKO-Tex certified.
Transparency: Each product page has a sustainability report
Fabrications: recycled polyester, nylon, and cotton
Proprietary Fabrics: Compressive leggings and bras are made from 79% recycled polyester (RPET) & 21% spandex. The polyester comes from recycled post-consumer bottles. 83% of their LITE leggings are made from recycled fishing nets and other waste using Econyl yarn and 17% spandex. Their t-shirts and tanks are made from Cupro, using waste cotton fabrics made in a zero-waste, zero-emission factory in Japan.
Products: Women’s casual, activewear (including unitards), some outerwear, and underwear – including maternity. Inclusive sizing goes from XXS – 6XL, and 2 inseam lengths. They also make and sell a washing bag or filter that attaches to your washing machine to catch all the non-particles shed from their fabrics to reduce the microfiber plastic pollution in our waterways. They use eco-friendly dyes and their wastewater is carefully cleaned and cooled before it is released into the environment
Giving Back: In line with their philosophy of inclusivity, Girlfriend Collective has begun donating to #BlackLivesMatter; listing places to donate, organization involved in the movement, resources, and other companies that support the cause.
Recycling Program: Girlfriend Collective offers a recycling program, ReGirlfriend, for when you are finished wearing your purchase. By buying a shipping label for a $15, you get a credit toward a future purchase. They recycle and upcycle your returned item.
Reprise Activewear makes plant-based activewear for a guilt free workout. Normally, most work out gear is plastic-based, but Reprise has found a way to make stretch, comfort, and sustainability synonymous. In fact, their leggings were named “The best leggings in the world” by a Washington news channel. They brand themselves as a vegan clothing line.
Mission: “To free your body from plastic by designing clothing made with plant-based materials.” They want to create a softer, healthier, more comfortable way for their customers to care about their skin.
Certifications: Their carbon offset projects support multiple UN sustainable development goals and are verified and certified through The Gold Standard, Clean Development Mechanism, and Climate Action Reserve.
Transparency: Their website lists statistics for driving emissions avoided, light bulb energy saved, and days of drinking water saved that have been prepared by the third-party group, Green Story which measures the positive global impact of apparel companies in clear terms. Many Reprise products are carbon neutral. All production, from fabric creation to sewing takes place in the US. Their fabric is knit and dyed in Los Angeles, and their sewing factory is in New Jersey. It is 100% woman owned and majority women operated.
Fabrications: All textiles are plant-based. Their leggings are made from 93% Tencel because as a wood pulp-based product it requires 80% less water to produce than organic cotton. It is also grown without pesticides. There is 7% Spandex for added stretch and shape retention. They yoga mats have a natural tree rubber coating to be sweat and slip resistant.
They are hand loomed from 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, free of chemicals, heavy metals, PVC, BPA, and phthalates. They are dyed with ayurvedic medicinal plants such as turmeric, neem and holy bail which smooth skin and reduce stress. Their yoga towel is made with 100% raw organic cotton with 20 skin soothing and detoxifying herbs. It is aromatherapeutic and stress reducing, while still remaining antibacterial and antifungal.
Products: Leggings, yoga mats, towels, scrunchies. Leggings come in XS – XL (waist 25” – 35”)
Giving Back: Their yoga mats and towels are made in India by skilled artisans where they are hand spun and dyed using the ancient Ayurvedic herbal methods. Each towel or takes several days to spin, dye, and weave. Most of these artisans are women who can work from home while being paid a fair wage and have safe working conditions.
While they are still working toward being net carbon neutral, they purchase carbon offsets to counteract unavoidable carbon emissions. Their offsets are in areas such as renewable energy, forest conservation, and energy efficiency that they research through Green Story. They are currently supporting Garcia River Project in California, Sidrap Wind Farm in Indonesia, and Clean Drinking Water in Cambodia.
Packaging: Their packaging is plastic free, 100% biodegradable and eco-friendly.
Patagonia is one of the most highly regarded sustainable companies. They offer casual and adventure/active-wear for everyone. Their clothing is based on classic designs rather than flash fads. They are now offering a resale shop of their gently used clothing as well.
Mission: “We aim to use the resources we have – our voice, our business and our community – to do something about our climate crisis.”
Certifications: Fair Trade, Fair Labor practices include working conditions and environmental responsibility at each step of the supply chain. Bluesign technology since 2000 (they have reduced their chemicals, dyes and finishes), joined the Bluesign system partners in 2007, Partner with American Forests.
Transparency: Footprint Chronicles are listed on the bottom of each product page giving the details of the factory where that product is manufactured. They are rated as a “Rock Star” on ReMake with a 67, and 60% by the Fashion Transparency Index (one of their highest scores).
Fabrications: 100% non-GMO natural fibers including cotton and linen, recycled polyester, ethically sourced certified wools and down. 72% of their products lines use recycled materials. Inks are PVC-free and phthalate-free.
Proprietary Fabrics: Responsibi-Tee® – made from recycled cotton, polyester, and organic cotton. Hei-Q® Fresh odor control reduces the need for frequent washing.
Products: The entire family including kids & babies, packs & camping gear, work wear.
Sustainability: 100% of their electric needs are met using renewable electricity. They will be carbon neutral by 2025.
Giving Back: Patagonia has a self-imposed Earth tax of 1% used for grants to local groups and individuals tackling urgent environmental issues. They donate either $15 of every sale or 10% of their pre-tax profits to environmental initiatives. The company also wants to empower and encourage their customers to become an active part of the solution. They created Patagonia Action Works that will help you discover volunteering opportunities in your community.
Recycling Programs: Patagonia will help you repair your clothing. They also re-purchase their used clothing by giving the customer a credit toward new items. They have a re=sale shop on their site.
prAna was purchased by Columbia Clothing in 2014. While both companies specialize in outdoor wear, prAna adds items specifically designed for swimming, surfing, rock climbing, and yoga.
Mission: Clothing for a Positive Change (C4CP) supports their philosophy of inclusivity, social responsibility, and continual improvement. They want to “outfit our adventures with respect for the planet and its people…We can inspire new generations to thrive and stay active in their own unique way.”
Certifications: Fair Trade Certified, member of the Fair Labor Association, Textile Exchange, Bluesign partner.
Transparency: Source materials are traced from the farm, through processing and production, to end product. They monitor their supply chain carefully for issues such as: forced and/or child labor, harassment or abuse, nondiscrimination, freedom of association, compensation, work hours, healthy and safety, environment, and ethical conduct. They ensure that factory workers are aware of their rights by posting signage in native languages on every factory floor.
Fabrications: Organic cotton, recycled polyester, hemp, Tencel™ modal, sustainably harvested merino wool, RDS certified down.
Products: Men’s & women’s active wear and casual clothing
Giving Back: They support Outdoor Outreach programs for at-risk urban youth and surfing camps for girls.
Outerknown is a casual and active wear company with an understandably surfer vibe. It was founded by 11 time world champion surfer Kelly Slater. The company stresses both ethical and sustainable values.
Mission: “At Outerknown, sustainability is not a marketing slogan or something we take lightly…Sustainability is why the company exists.”
- Fair Labor Certified (even before they produced their first product)
- Fair Trade USA
- Bluesign Certified
Transparency: Items marked S.E.A. means they meet the company’s Social and Environmental Accountability standards. They list all of their suppliers who agree to abide by their Code of Conduct and FLA standards because they believe that “sustainability starts with transparency.”
Fabrications: 90% of their fabrications are organic, recycled, or regenerated. They are working to increase that percentage. They use renewable fibers wherever possible including: organic cotton, hemp, alpaca, wool, and RDS-certified down. Recycled materials include fishing nets, hemp and Econyl® for their swimwear. Buttons are made from either recycled polyester gathered from the oceans or sustainable corozo nuts. The coordinates of where the plastic was harvested is found on the button.
Proprietary Products: Given their interest in surfing trunks, Outerknown has introduced several innovations: Econyl® is made from regenerated nylon from fishing nets, their APEX trunks are made from recycled water bottles, and Woolaroos are made from 100% Australian merino wool. Outerknown has joined with Levi’s to produce WellThread 502 jeans.
Products: Men’s and women’s casual clothing, including selvedge jeans, swimwear, shoes, and accessories.
Recycling Programs: S.E.A. Jeans are made with organic cotton and are sewn by Fair Trade Certified companies in the world’s cleanest denim facility. They are guaranteed for life. “To keep worn or torn S.E.A. Jeans out of the landfill, they will repair, replace, or recycle them for you.”
Giving Back: The proceeds from their “Tides Turn We Rise” t-shirts all go to Ocean Conservancy. They launched a second advocacy campaign with their “It’s Not OK” shirt. They work with their retailers on beach clean-ups. They have partnered with Breitling to incorporate Econyl in a watchband. $1,000 from the sale of each watch is donated to Ocean Conservancy.
Nau was one of the first companies to prove that high performance clothing could be sustainable. They pride themselves on being innovators and inventors of new fabrications that are high-performing, comfortable, rugged…and totally sustainable.
Mission: “As the first sustainable performance wear brand, the fabrics and processes we needed largely didn’t exist. So we had to create them. To make the world more sustainable, we’re ready to do the heavy lifting.”
Certifications: Bluesign approved and FSC certified fabrics.
Fabrications: The company limits themselves to 10 sustainable fabrics: RWS certified merino and alpaca wools, recycled wool, GRS recycled polyester, closed loop micro-modal Tencel™, Lyocell™, linen, hemp, GOTS-certified organic cotton, and down recycled from old duvets and pillows. Their outerwear uses either a PFC-free durable water repellent or natural waxed cotton canvas to accommodate people with sensitive skin and the environment.
Products: Men’s, Women’s, Unisex, Accessories
Giving Back: One of Nau’s core principles is to “Do more by giving back.” They accomplish this by donating 2% of each purchase to their chosen “Partners for Change” who use community involvement to support both environmental and human causes. Past partners include the Conservation Alliance (protects wild places) and Mercy Corps (empowers people to recover from crisis and improve their communities). They actively use their profits to find sustainable solutions to improve the company.
Kuyichi is one of the world’s first organic denim brands. This is especially important since denim is one of the worst fabric polluters. Pollution is caused by azo dyes, denim processing and distressing. The founders started this Peruvian company after witnessing the poverty and pollution in Peru. They collaborate with local farmers to create organic denim. Their clothing never goes on sale – they believe they charge a fair price for a superior product.
Mission: Kuyichi is the Peruvian God of the rainbow that brings color and positivity to society. The company wants to do the same with the fashion industry by fixing the system using pure products made from organic and recycled materials made by people who are treated and paid right. They combine social and environmental responsibility.
Transparency: Their suppliers are all listed on the website and must agree to follow the Fair Wear Foundation standards, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and commit to a Transparency pledge. They also maintain a sustainability report on the site.
Fabrications: Locally grown organic cotton, recycled PET, Tencel™, hemp, and linen.
Proprietary Fabrics: Their specialty is GOTS certified organic denim. Their production innovations have saved millions of gallons of water and reduced power usage by using laser washing techniques. Not only is this environmentally responsible, it increases fabric strength by 50% and workplace efficiency by 500%. They use chemical free ozone bleaching and natural indigo dyes.
Products: Denim and casual wear for men & women.
Recycling Programs: In conjunction with the Global Fashion Agenda’s commitment to use more post-consumer recycled denim, they encourage their customers to donate their used jeans. They partner with Blueloop recycling sites to use these to create new jeans.
Ably considers the true cost of your clothing – that’ the price you initially pay plus the monetary and environmental impact of the item. They focus on the cleaning and maintenance of clothing. What makes them unique is that their clothing is protected with a sustainable coating named Filium®.
Mission: To save water and energy by making clothing that needs less frequent laundering through a breathable, protective coating that is eco-friendly and sustainable.
Transparency: The website allows you to calculate how many gallons of water per month you save by wearing their clothing. They estimate loads washed is reduced from 8 to 2, and water usage from 160 gallons to 40 gallons per month.
Fabrications: Cotton is the most common fabric on the site.
Proprietary Fabrics: Filium is nano-particle free and the chemicals used don’t break down to leach into the water system or your skin. It is eco-friendly and maintains fabric’s soft “hand” and breathability, yet is stain resistant. Between perspiration evaporation and fewer stains, clothes need to be washed less frequently. Filium also allows clothes to dry 40% faster.
Products: Full line of men’s & women’s (XS – 3XL) including underwear and accessories.
Giving Back: Ably works with the United Way. The company that produces their Filium donates to groups that are working for healthier communities and a cleaner planet such as: Splash (cleaner water), Carbonfund.org (carbon offsets), and Clean Clothes Campaign (workers’ rights in the garment industry).
Beckons Inspired Clothing, founded in 2006, makes organic yoga clothing. It was created by 25-year apparel designer Becky Prater with the goal of creating every garment to be her customers’ favorite piece by using color, organic fabric, and intentional words. Her pieces must be comfortable, versatile, and representative of the yoga lifestyle. Each piece contains a small tag that contains a word representing an intention such as strength, grace, wisdom, love, joy, peace, courage, or balance.
Mission: To design clothing that inspires you, as an individual, and makes you feel positive, powerful, and vibrant, clothing that is luxuriously comfortable, brightly colorful, and helps you speak your purpose.
Certification: Fair Trade, OEKO-Tex® Standard 100
Transparency: They manufacture locally using only the finest, sustainable fibers and organic cotton. Each product page also talks about how colors and fabrications reflect different feelings and moods.
Fabrications: Organic cotton, bamboo, spandex
Products: In addition to yoga wear, Beckons sells dresses, jackets & sweaters, tops, bras, pants and skirts. They have a tall shop and a plus shop. Women’s sizes are XS – 2XL (0-18). Men’s wear is limited to yoga pants, graphic t-shirts, tank tops, and hoodies. They also offer a variety of prayer beads in assorted semi-precious stones.
Giving Back: They are a member of the Green Business Network and the Organic Trade Association. They actively support the YogaSlackers, an inspirational group of yogis who tour the country teaching AcroYoga workshops. They donate all of their end-of-season merchandise to charitable organizations such as the Samburu Tribe of Africa and the Women’s Resource Network.
Recycling Program: The company offers a custom hemming service for a fee.
Sustainable Clothing Brands for Women
Round + Square features t-shirts (many graphic with a message), bandanas and shawls. It was founded by Henriette Ernst when she learned about the work that Equality Now does to protect the human rights of girls and women around the world.
She took her 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, and guided by her passion, established a conscious fashion brand that prioritizes style, substance, and sustainability. She focuses on creating beautifully designed products, an efficient supply-chain model, sustainable materials and methods to produce products that will support Equality Now. Each piece that she designs incorporates messages of peace, prosperity, and gender equality.
Mission: Round + Square is a fashion brand powered by values and vision to bring together style, substance, and sustainability in support of gender equality. Their values include value-driven fashion, playful communication, efficient supply chain, embracing the environment, and giving back to the cause.
Certification: They ensure that there is no child and/or slave labor, or unfair conditions involved in their production. They use only GOTS certified cotton.
Fabrications: GOTS certified organic cotton. Labels are from recycled PET bottles.
Proprietary Fabrics: Their printing is done using Canepa’s SAVEtheWATER® Kitotex® processes which cut down on water use and toxins.
Products: Their t-shirts come in women’s XS – XL, as well as unisex fit. Their fabric is toxic-free and the cotton is organically farmed in Turkey.
Giving Back: They donate 10% of sales profits to Equality Now Org which advocates for equal rights for all women and girls by using the law to bring a more equal and just reality. #wearcauseicare. Some t-shirts that carry an environmental graphic have 10% of the profits donated to Big Blue & You which is dedicated to inspiring and educating youth about ocean conservation through arts, science, and media.
Packaging: Their shirts are delivered in an organic cotton jersey pouch.
Gorman is a women’s line designed by Lisa Gorman. It is based in Australia and has 40 stores across the country. They have partnered with Camilla Perkins, Birkenstock, and Beck Blair to create Gorman exclusives.
Mission: Gorman is committed to manufacturing quality products that will last many years and that are produced under safe, fair, and humane working conditions.
Certification: All suppliers must meet labor, anti-corruption, fair and safe working conditions, environmental compliance, as well as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also require suppliers ensure freedom of association (employees can join unions), and there must be no child, forced, bonded, or prison labor. They are a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. Their suppliers are audited by third parties. Having signed the Cotton Pledge, they are committed to not using cotton from Uzbekistan due to their child and forced labor practices in cotton farming. Their wool is RWS certified, and their cotton is GOTS certified.
Transparency: Their commitment to sustainability extends to their shops where they use non-toxic natural oils and low toxic paints along with recycled or plantation timber, unbleached linen curtains, durable, chemical free cashmere carpets, and recycled or salvaged vintage lights with LED bulbs. In an effort to reduce their shipping emissions, they ship most things by sea.
Fabrications: A minimum of 25% of their clothing is GOTS cotton, recycled and BCI. They also use viscose, nylon, Tencel™, recycled polyester, non-mulesed merino wool, sand-washed silk, recycled cotton and raw rattan linen
Proprietary Fabrics: They have offered an organic label since 2007.
Products: Women’s shoes and clothing sized X – L (AU 4-18), children’s (2-8 years) and baby (0-18 months). Accessories, including jewelry and housewares are also available. Exuberant prints are featured.
Giving Back: Their community includes many local animal and children’s charities. Often, the purchase of a specific item will fund these donations.
Recycling Program: Their “Out of the Bag” project eliminates single use plastic bags from their stores by encouraging customers to bring their own. If a customer needs one, they offer a recycled multi-use carry bag made from recycled PET for a minimal price whose proceeds go to environmental organizations.
Symbology empowers women artisans worldwide by using artisanal fabric techniques and fashion forward designs to create one-of-a-kind items. They feature Boho chic dresses, printed tunics, beach dresses, caftans, and loungewear that flatters all body shapes and offer inclusive sizing. They want to bring confidence and compliments to all their customers.
Mission: To redefine the fashion industry so that ethical fashion would no longer be the exception, but the norm. Symbology celebrates textile arts, worldwide, by fusing them with modern designs to create inspired, unique pieces – each that tells a story of empowerment.
Transparency: They believe that the wellbeing of their artisans is central to the company so the ensure that they are paid a livable wage. To address inclusivity, each product page shows two models of varying size and shape, as well as testimonials from customers.
Fabrications: They preserve handmade crafts such as block printing, tie dye, and embroidery. Each collection showcases a series of motifs and symbols. Fabrications include viscose georgette, tulle, and velvet; organic cotton; modal; crepe rayon.
Products: Women’s clothing in XS – 3X including sections for the “curvy gal”, maternity, and special occasion and bridal.
TAMGA Designs offers forest-friendly fashion. They design each garment to be a free-flowing statement of art, creativity, and the inner free spirit. Feminine silhouettes and flowy shapes carry from day, to night, to the next adventure.
Mission: TAMGA Designs is a sustainable lifestyle movement, born out of the need for a positive example in fashion. They believe in a bright future for style, people, and the planet, so they create clothing that respects all three.
Certification: FSC-certified wood fibers, OEKO-TEX 100 certified dyes.
Transparency: Each product page gives exact water, energy and emissions saved through a TAMGA purchase. Their home page shares the real-time impact of purchases to date. They insist on the world’s best sustainable materials with dignified conditions for every worker throughout the process. Their site also identifies carbon neutral styles and where each product is made.
Fabrications: All of their fabrics, with their hand-drawn prints, are made from traceable and sustainable botanic fibers including Tencel™, Lenzing EcoVero ™, and Lenzing Modal® (from beechwood forests in Europe). All dyes used are water-saving and non-toxic.
Products: Women’s clothing in XS – XXL (2-18 US, AU/NZ/UK 6-16) They also offer scarves and hair accessories, jewelry, and home products. Some of their designs, such as their kimonos, are one size fits all.
Giving Back: They are committed to protecting Indonesia’s endangered rainforests. They have partnered with Canopy Style and the Sumatran Orangutan Society to protect the forests and develop solutions for a better future.
Recycling Program: Their packaging consists of GOTS organic cotton totes. Their thank you cards are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper made by a social enterprise in Bali. All shipping envelopes are 100% compostable and made from sustainably sourced plants.
337 BRAND wants to influence a positive movement through their leisurewear and casual basics. They manufacture locally in New York City where they make every day ease for effortlessly-cool living. Kindness is Sexy™ is the core of their brand and words to live by. The believe that sexy comes through selfless acts and care for the planet, animals, and each other. The company doesn’t offer seasonal collections, but elevated essentials with a timeless look. There are occasional new arrivals.
Mission: Circularity…because Kindness is Sexy™. Their clothes are made and recycled in closed-loop systems with bare minimum to zero waste.
Certification: GOTS cotton, OCS, OEKO-Tex Standard 100.
Transparency: Their mills, manufacturers and distributors are located in the US and Canada where they can oversee their functioning which include ethical and sustainable practices of no child or forced labor, no harassment or abuse, fair living wages with legal working hours, non-discrimination, health, safety, and environmental consideration.
Fabrications: Sustainable materials that consist of recycled, certified organic, and natural fibers with a low environmental impact. Recycled cotton, GOTS organic cotton, hemp, recycled polyester (rPET), and rayon from bamboo. All of their products are vegan.
Products: women’s basics and leisurewear in XS – L.
Giving Back: #JoinGreenMoves is their effort to be a sustainable brand. It is short for “join us in making green moves” by choosing a healthier lifestyle for humans, animals, and the planet. They have launched One Tree Planted x 337 BRAND, a non-profit organization based in Vermont that focuses on global reforestation. They donate $1 for each purchase which will pay for the cost of planting 1 tree. Their site gives a breakdown of how each dollar is spent, from preparing the land to operating and maintenance expenses 3 years out.
Recycling Program: Their packaging included Poly mailers made from 50% post-consumer plastics and are 100% recyclable. Their hangtags are made from 50% post-consumer materials with a biodegradable hemp cord (which will soon be recycled hemp).
Grey State Apparel gets their name by offering a neutral space – neither black nor white – as a symbol of today’s modern woman. Their goal is to be adaptable, multi-faceted, and ever-changing. The company is women owned and operated. They believe their collection is trend-relevant, but not trend-driven, ideal for even the busiest lifestyles. They have created seasonless comfort and timeless style in a neutral color palate for mix and match options.
Mission: To help their customer move through life with ease, comfort, and style. There are on a mission to make your life easier; because fashion should complement, not complicate.
Certification: They follow the UN Sustainability Goals as their guide and manufacture in the most compliant, internationally certified factories, using the highest standards including OEKO-TEX, US Green Building Council, PACT, WRAP, and BSCI. Their factory is LEED Gold certified and is powered by solar energy.
Transparency: Cotton USA tests 100% of their cotton bales. They also support the 17 goals set forth in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Their ethical goals put people first. Their entire supply chain must meet fair wages, healthy working conditions, and a sense of dignity.
Fabrications: They use Cotton USA grown on family farms, polyester, viscose, and modal. They also offer a collection of their own recycled cotton and polyester. They use only azo-free dyes.
Proprietary Fabrics: They have created a Wellness Collection which features 3 innovative fabric blends that act like skin care by adding hydration, providing anti-aging benefits, and nurturing the skin.
- Milk modal yarn that is blended with hydrating amino acids.
- Cotton collagen fabric is infused with collagen fiber which has anti-aging and moisturizing properties. It contains Umorfil® fibers (a peptide infused rayon), infused with collagen peptides and blended with pima cotton.
- Micromodal offers natural temperature regulation by wicking away moisture and contains anti-microbial properties that resist environmental harm. They also offer HeiQ V-Block Technology, a Swiss antimicrobial technology which prevents microbes and bacteria from harboring in fabric on their outerwear to reduce the risk of contamination.
Products: Neutral basics for women in XS – XL (US 0-14, AU/UK 4-18). They offer everything from loungewear/nightwear, to casual and office wear.
Giving Back: They donate $1 for every purchase to One Tree Planted. They have fully funded the Malek Chowdhury Memorial Girls’ School in Gazipur, Bangladesh near their factories. They also provide childcare to parents in their production facilities and have partnered with Better Work Bangladesh and International Finance Corporation’s GEAR (Gender Equality and Returns) initiative to help promote women.
Recycling Program: They have strict goals for reducing energy usage, increasing water efficiency, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. They harvest local rainwater to help meet their water needs. They’ve built a biological effluent treatment plant to remove harmful chemicals from their wastewater. They upcycle and/or recycle textile waste by shredding the cloth into fiber and converting it to yarn. They have also signed on with UPS Carbon Neutral and purchase certified offsets for all packages shipped.
Grey State is participating in Haverdash’s Rental program.
Mate creates clean essentials made sustainable in Los Angeles with non-toxic, natural, and organic materials. They are especially focused on avoiding harmful chemicals used in growing, processing, manufacturing, and wearing clothing.
Mission: To offer women a Clean product that is just a beautiful as it is sustainable. They are proud to be a female founded company that is predominately operated by women. They believe fashion isn’t simply an industry but an ecosystem, a forever-connected circle in which we must protect people and planet – today and for generations to come. The believe that what you wear directly impacts your wellness and how clothes are made changes the earth we walk on, the air we breathe.
Certification: They are working toward their Made Safe Certification, becoming B Corp Certified, and Climate Neutral
Transparency: They use a localized supply chain that is all within 10 miles of their headquarters to reduce their carbon footprint. They list the environmental impact of each of the fabrics they use, as well as how much was saved compared to a comparable, less sustainable alternative fabric on their site. They also pro-rate the cost per wear based on 5, 10, 25 and 50 wearings, and a fit guide based on reviews that says whether the garment was too small, true to size, or too large.
Fabrications: GOTS Cotton jersey, terry, and thermal; cotton fleece, and cotton stretch made with some spandex, as well as linen and Tencel™.
Products: Full line of women’s clothing including casual and athletic wear in inclusive sizing from XS-3X (US 0-20, AU & UK 4-24). They also offer a limited selection of children’s wear.
Giving Back: In 2020 they launched their partnership with 1% for the Planet and donated over $95,000 to environmental and social justice organizations.
Recycling Program: They are offering a return policy so that they can recycle their used products in their ongoing effort to increase circularity. The established a partnership with New Denim project in 2020. It is a family-owned industrial textile group based in Guatemala through which they have created a circularity initiative that would mechanically recycle their cut scraps. Their shipping mailers and boxes are all 100% recycled materials, along with recyclable tissue paper and no poly bags.
Encircled features elegant and easy loungewear – including dressy sweatsuits. They are a Canadian company that makes thoughtfully designed capsule wardrobe essentials that are versatile. Their original vision is based around making travel clothing that is lighter and comfortable, yet stylish. Fashion should simplify your life by taking you from day to night, work to weekend, regardless of where you are in the world. The Encircled woman is effortlessly polished, comfortable, and confident in her own sense of personal style. They create durability through quality manufacturing and fabrics.
Mission: ”Whether it’s style for comfort or quality for price, something always seems to get pushed to the side. Until now…style, comfort, quality, ethics, and genuine sustainability. Encircled is the slow fashion brand that does it all.”
Certification: B-Corporation, OEKO-Tex® 100 Certified, their packaging is FSC certified.
Transparency: Their factories are all within 50 miles of their headquarters in Toronto so they can be cognizant of factory conditions. They ensure that their workers enjoy a safe and happy work environment, feel respected, and are paid a fair wage. Each factory signs their Ethical Code of Conduct checklist that goes beyond the legal requirements. Their website provides a description of each factory used and which styles it manufactures.
Fabrications: Encircled looks for fabrics that are soft, drape well, and are resistant to fading. They must be sustainable and utilize low-impact dyes. Included are: Modal®, Tencel™ Lyocell, rayon from bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, and linen. Their website lets you shop by fabric.
Products: Women’s basics capsule collections from XS – XXL (size 0-20). They have designed a single garment that can be worn in a multitude of ways based on how it is snapped – everything from a cardigan, to a shirt, cape, or even a dress. The Chrysalis Cardi has endless possibilities, with tutorials available on the site on how to create different profiles.
Giving Back: All scrap fabric is upcycled into accessories. They also hold quarterly sample sales for their imperfect garments. The company participates in a yearly park clean up. They advocate for diversity and inclusion within the company and outside their business including funding two grants for BIPOC founded brands.
Recycling Program: They host the Encircled community on Facebook where customers can buy, sell, or trade their Encircled clothing.
Grammar creates the foundational elements of a modern minimalist wardrobe. They believe that each garment they make serves a distinct purpose and has a unique personality. The company focuses on producing iconic wardrobe essentials – and it all started with the perfect white shirt. Grammar creates shirts, dresses, and tunics (no bottoms, at this time).
Mission: To make women feel good they design each piece with a women’s form and the item’s functionality in mind. They pursue beauty through a combination of design and production perfection, so they are committed to producing the highest quality garments possible. In other words, they want to produce timeless designs of impeccable quality that never go out of style so that it can last generations.
Certification: GOTS organic cotton, Fair Labor
Transparency: They minimize waste by producing locally in small batches. Each product page gives extensive information about style, fit, care, production and product content.
Fabrications: GOTS cotton sourced in India
Products: Women’s tops in SX – XL or 0-16. They have 3 profiles: slim, regular, and oversized.
Giving Back: They support local artisans and craftspeople, women- and minority-owned business in New York City.
Kes founder Lia Kes was born and raised on a Kibbutz in Israel. Her focus on meticulous detailing of utilitarian and functional clothing reflects her upbringing. Her life in New York is reflected in the high-quality materials used and her sophisticated, modern edge. Kes clothing is meant to reflect a lifestyle, not just the latest trend.
Mission: The symbiotic relationship of humans and the environment should be acknowledged and respected. Water, fire, air, animals, and earth are sacred and should be protected.
Transparency: They track all their items to ensure that each product is long lasting and of the highest quality. They manufacture in New York’s garment district so they can ensure the well-being of their employees. Each product page lists fabrication and place of manufacture.
Fabrications: All fabrics are organically dyed. Natural and organic materials include 100% silk, wool, cashmere, modal, and cotton. Tie dyed is available in silk, cotton or rayon. They have upcycled cotton and silk pieces.
Products: Women’s clothing in XS – L. Home and women’s accessories also available.
Giving Back: During the pandemic KES has donated masks to healthcare providers, the homeless and organizations whose mission is the liberation and well-being of Black and minority communities.
Recycling Program: Fabric scrap waste is used in upcycled pieces and they recreate or upcycle items from past collections by tie-dying them.
Theo + George wants to make buying less and choosing well effortless so they offer a timeless collection of wardrobe essentials that all work well together. They keep textile and social responsibility in mind and focus on every step of the process so their customers don’t have to. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Ireland. The owner, Katie O’Riordan has a background in architecture and fashion, and a degree in physics. She has received a nomination for the IDI Universal Design Award and is the 1017 IFIA Fashion Designer of the Year.
Mission: To embrace slow fashion. Their goal is to create each collection to empower consumers to remove a layer of clutter from their wardrobe making more space for joy and living life fully. The key words for the company are simplicity, sustainability, durability, timeless quality, and easy wearability. The company considers both the process to produce items with structural integrity and its usefulness.
Certification: Use BSCI approved factories for their cashmere production. They also use OEKO-Tex certified factories.
Transparency: Theo + George is open about their pricing, factories used, and the company’s progress toward their goals. They ethically source their materials and commit to causes and challenging the fast fashion culture. All their factories have been carefully vetted for sustainability and ethical treatment of their workers. Their cashmere is 100% traceable; they control the production process and buy directly from the herdsmen in Tibet and Inner Mongolia.
Fabrications: 100% organic cotton, pima cotton, GOTS Italian cotton denim, cashmere, and organic cotton/cashmere blends.
Proprietary Fabrics: Their cotton-modal blended t-shirts have reduced odor retention and shrinkage, resist wrinkles and pilling and have a smooth finish. They stay soft and keep their color longer than 100% cotton t-shirts.
Products: Women’s wardrobe essentials, jeans, and loungewear (XS – L)
Recycling Program: All packaging is reusable and/or recyclable. They have partnered with a textile recycling company in Dublin with access to 1500 recycling banks across Ireland and will let all their Irish customers know where the nearest recycling bank is located.
Eleven Six is truly an international enterprise. The owners are British, their headquarters are in upstate New York, and they employ Peruvian artisan knitters to bring their sustainably made knitwear to fruition. The brand combines contemporary design with traditional Andean knitting techniques to make modern alpaca separates in neutral colors. In addition to online shopping, there are Eleven Six stores in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Mission: Working with master artisans to thoughtfully craft products of uncompromised quality and beauty for a contemporary collection of luxurious and easy to wear knitwear.
Transparency: Most of their designs are made by a women’s cooperative of artisans in two family owned factories in Peru and Bolivia using traditional textile techniques of hand knitting, macramé, crochet, and hand weaving. Therefore, each piece comes with a tag with the artisan’s signature and an edition number. There is a detailed description on each product page, including the designer’s name.
Fabrications: Baby alpaca is the primary fiber. They also use eco- and merino wools, polymide, mercerized cotton, Peruvian cotton, and silk
Products: Primarily women’s (although they have just introduced a men’s line of sweaters in S-XL). Their sizing is fairly limited with XS – L (US 0-10, UK/AU 4-14, EUR 30-40).
Giving Back: Supporting women entrepreneurs and small businesses. Contributions to the education of future craftsmen and women is of the upmost importance.
yes and is founder Marci Zariff’s answer to ECOfashion, the term she coined in 1995. It matches casual clothing with sustainable practices and organic fabrications. In fact, Marci was a leader in defining the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the world’s first Fair Trade Textile Certification. While Yes And is located in New York, the business has a long history of working with Indian farmers, mills, and collaborators.
Mission: Conscious business needs to focus on people, planet, prosperity, passion, and purpose. Sustainable clothing can be edgy, flattering, fun, stylish, and of good quality and price.
Certification: GOTS, Fair Labor, GMO-free
Transparency: Their partners must meet full transparency and traceability standards through the entire textile supply chain – from farm to finished product. They enforce no child labor, safe working conditions, and payment of fair wages from their manufacturers.
Fabrications: They use 100% GOTS organic cotton and low impact dyes. Inks are free of harmful chemicals including chlorine bleach, acetone, formaldehyde, and heavy metals. Their denim is 70% GOTS cotton/30% Tencel. They offer a wide range of tie-dyed and tip dyed clothing.
Products: They believe that althleisure-wear shouldn’t be made from fabrics that release microplastics that pollute our oceans and humankind. Therefore, they choose organic fibers which are biodegradable. Their women’s wear comes in XS – XL (US 0-16). Their limited men’s offerings range in size from XS – XL (34 – 42). They also offer a number of graphic t-shirts that are environmentally oriented.
Lacausa is a California-chic brand for women. They want to redefine basics by blending romantic silhouettes with a contemporary bohemian twist.
Mission: Adhering to the name of their brand (la causa means the cause in Spanish), they keep most of their manufacturing in the Los Angeles area to ensure that workers get fair, livable wages, and healthy, human working conditions. They believe in low waste, equality, transparency, and a more ethical future for fashion.
Fabrications: viscose, rayon, cotton (some organic). Their tie-dye clothing uses 60% Post Industrial Cotton / 40% RPET (recycled plastic bottles). They also create items from deadstock fabrics.
Products: A complete women’s line with sizes ranging from XS – XL
Giving Back: They choose different organizations to donate to each quarter or for certain holidays, for instance, mother’s day. Most have to do with women, children, or the environment – many are local. To see a listing of their past donations, see Causes
Ivy & Oak is a German company that specializes in sustainable wedding clothing – elaborate gowns, maternity bridal wear, bridesmaid, mother of the bride, and city hall brides. Everything wedding. They also have mummy and mini collections, leisure wear, everyday, and business looks. They have created a brand that is for “women who value quality, simplicity and style”. Their clothing is available in 28 countries.
Mission: Sustainability, fairness, and honesty are the core of Ivy & Oak. They believe in style, not trends, so they create clothing that will last. Their clothing is: intentional (full traceability of their products and clothing that is designed for circularity), impactful (fair employment in their supply chain, eco-friendly fabrics, eliminate hazardous chemicals, reduce, reuse and eco-friendly packaging), inclusive (diversity and equality, honest prices), and inspirational (promote systemic change in the fashion industry, live sustainably).
Transparency: They are open about their prices and how much each garment costs to make at each stage from raw materials through packaging and transportation. Their leather-goods are completely traceable – from farm to factory. The tannery in Turkey uses 100% chrome-free tanning. They are working on their Leather Working Group certification.
All leather is a by-product of the meat industry. Each product page explains exactly what materials are used, and, if applicable, where each step in the manufacturing process takes place – from design to fabrication to production. They have a CSR Roadmap that sets their goals and targets for the near future and the actions they are taking to fulfill them.
Fabrications: Wedding collections contain cotton, polyamid, polyester, viscose lining, and Tencel lyocell. Their leisure wear collection features baby alpaca, and recycled wool from Italy; other collections feature mulesing-free wool, wool/cashmere blends, linen, recycled polyester, cupro, viscose, chrome-free Napa leather, organic cotton, and wool blends.
Products: Women’s sustainable clothing sized 32-46 (XXS – 3XL). There is also a small selection of girl’s dresses to match some of the women’s styles.
Groceries Apparel looks at the entire fashion process – from seed to farm to factory. They support family farms and localized manufacturing. They are especially focused on producing clothing that is as chemical free as possible. This is a great brand for people with sensitivities.
Mission: While the company purchases their fibers from local farmers, they process, dye, and manufacture at their own facilities to ensure a chemical free product. “Vertically-integrated, local, and traceable production maximizes quality, efficiency, and employee pay, and minimizes redundancy, waste, and our carbon footprint.”
Certifications: They use only Fair Trade products and require 100% GMO-, pesticide-, and herbicide-free fibers.
Transparency: You can shop their website depending on fabrication desired.
Fabrications: Organic cotton, eucalyptus, recycled plastic and cotton, hemp, and they use only vegetable dye from herbs and raw plants.
Products: They sell unisex and women’s clothing. Their sizing is inclusive with XS-XL available in slim, classic, relaxed and oversized fits.
Passion Lilie clothing is designed in New Orleans and made in India using ancient wood block printing techniques. The entire process is done by hand. Their fabrics are as unique as they are artistic and comfortable.
Mission: To “help artisans empower themselves by creating dignified employment opportunities. By offering fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and long-term employment to artisans in India, these job opportunities lead to sustainable societies and a better world. We are also committed to using eco-friendly materials throughout the supply chain and preserving the artistic and cultural talents of our craftspeople.”
Certifications: Fair Trade Certified, Green America Certified, Ethical Fashion Forum Fellowship 500 Member, part of the Reclaim Collaborative, Carbon Offsets program
Fabrications: 100% non-GMO organic pesticide-free cotton hand printed with non-azo, organic, eco dyes using ancient IKAT dying methods.
Proprietary Fabrics: all original, hand blocked IKAT prints.
Products: Primarily women’s clothing with baby and a limited men’s selection as well as home products.
Giving Back: Passion Lilie not only helps better the lives of the artisans who create their block prints and fabrics, but they have created a program for customers to host trunk shows and raise money for causes they support.
Mara Hoffman is a women’s brand of elegant basics, swimwear, and feminine, colorful dresses.
Mission: “The aim is to design and manufacture our garments with greater care, to reduce our impact, and generate awareness.”
Certifications: They partner with Blue Business Council (protect waterways and oceans), Canopy (support ancient and endangered forests) Earth Matters (improve organic waste processing), Ellen MacArther Foundation, Fabscrap (divert textile waste from landfills), Fashion Positive, Global Fashion Agenda, Nest (inclusivity, especially women), Organic Cotton Accelerator, Queen of Raw, Responsible Packaging Movement, Textile Exchange.
Transparency: There are explicit guidelines for ethics, working standards, health & safety, child or forced labor, freedom of association & collective bargaining, non-discrimination & harassment, material sourcing & traceability, animal welfare, and product safety. There is information on each product page about fabrication origin.
Fabrications: Mara Hoffman prioritizes natural, recycled, and organic fibers. 100% of their swimwear is made using recycled polyester or nylon. They also use GOTS organic cotton, linen, hemp, Econyl™, Repreve™, Tencel™ Lyocell, Modal, Luxe and Refibra™. It is important to note what they don’t use fur, leather, mulesed sheep wool, feathers, or anything on the Restricted Substance List. They look for products that are part of the OEKO-Tex 100 Standard and Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals lists.
Proprietary Fabrics: Climate Beneficial™ Wool is created by allowing the land to re-grass from grazing to allow carbon improvement and soil enrichment.
Products: Women’s ready-to-wear clothing and swimwear. They offer extended sizes from XXS – 3XL
Recycling Programs – Garments that don’t pass Mara Hoffman’s inspection are sent to their Renewal Workshop where They are either repaired and sent to their resale shop, recycled, or upcycled.
Eileen Fisher pairs classic styling with luxurious fabrics for a complete and elegant wardrobe. They are committed to sustainability and extending the use of their sustainably made clothing.
Mission: Making circularity the new standard for sustainability. “Simple, timeless clothes, made with the future in mind. Our clothes are made from the highest quality, most sustainable materials we can find. And if they aren’t yet available? We work with farmers, fabric mills and dye houses to make our vision a reality.”
Certifications: Forest Conservation, Blue Sign Certified, Fair Trade, Certified B Corporation, SA 8000 Standard, follow the Social and Environmental Implementation Guide
Transparency: Each page gives extensive information about where the clothing is made, it raw materials, the model wearing it, and care instruction to extend the life of the garment.
Fabrications: Responsible and regenerative merino wool, cashmere (recycled, silk blended, Italian), velvet, silk, ponte, viscose & fine jersey blend, stretch crepe, brushed terry cloth, organic cotton and linen, recycled polyester & nylon, Tencel™ Lyocell
Products: Women’s clothing with extended sizes including petite (XXS – XL) and plus (also in petite) to 3XL, plus shoes and accessories
Giving Back: Eileen Fisher is especially concerned with human trafficking and modern slavery, and follows a number of initiatives.
Recycling Programs: Their Renew Takeback program accepted back 1.4 million pieces Eileen Fisher clothing since 2010. Those in perfect condition are cleaned and resold while those that are worn-and-torn are recycled into new designs. Their Waste No More team takes irredeemable clothing, deconstructs them and felts the yarns to create wall hangings, pillows, and accessories.
Amour Vert is a California company that limits the number of pieces they produce to ensure that the highest production standards are met, and that they eliminate excess waste. They produce locally to increase sustainability.
Mission: “We are green love. Our sustainable practices address all aspects of our business operations and the full lifecycle of the garment: the fibers and production processes used, how workers are treated, how it gets to the consumer, and finally—whether it can be recycled or is forced into a landfill.”
Certifications: FSC, OEKO-Tex
Transparency: Each product page has the fabrications listed with an in-depth description of its sustainability.
Fabrications: Partnering directly with the mills, they use Tencel™ Modal made from FSC Certified Beechwood (free of pesticides), merino and recycled wool from Italian and Australian mills, Mulberry silk (OEKO-Tex certified), organic cotton
Products: Women’s plus accessories
Giving Back: Buy a Tee, We Plant a Tree – Working with American Forests®, Amour Vert plants a tree for every tee-shirt purchased. They have planted almost 326,500 trees since opening. The environmental savings adds up to 102,977 tons of CO2 sequestered, 8 billion gallons of water replenished, and 1,236 acres reforested.
Recycling Programs: They use compostable protective bags to ship their clothing and boxes made from recycled materials and soy-ink.
People Tree is a British pioneer in sustainable and ethical clothing for women. They focus on empowering their employees and feature a great deal of handwork: knitting, weaving, embroidery and block printing.
Mission: “To support producer partners’ efforts towards economic independence and control over their environment and to challenge the power structures that undermine their rights to a livelihood….protect the environment and use natural resources suitably throughout our trading and to promote environmentally responsible initiatives to create new models to promote sustainability. To supply customers with good quality products, with friendly and efficient service and build awareness to empower customers and producers to participate in Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable solutions.”
Certifications: First fashion company awarded World Fair Trade Organization product label, GOTS, certified by Soil Association, Fair Trade, PETA approved vegan
Transparency: Product pages list materials, product details, maker (factory name, location, and history), and care instructions.
Fabrications: Organic cotton, brushed velvet made with organic cotton, Tencel™ Lyocell, linen, wool, low impact dyes
Proprietary Fabrics: Blue Planet Collection in conjunction with the BBC
Products: Clothing, jewelry, accessories, underwear for women
Giving Back: The People Tree Foundation was established in 1991 to benefit farmers and artisans through training, technical support and environmental initiatives. They also raise awareness and campaign for fair and sustainable fashion.
Sustainable Swimwear & Underwear
Araks offers lingerie, swimwear, sleepwear, resortwear. Araks Yeramyan, an Armenian American, started her company with the belief that the most intimate layers of clothing will help a woman feel beautiful – even if the garments won’t be seen by others. She combines a love of art, design, and color in her understated approach to style. What makes her intimates different is her combination of sheers with the bold use of color. Her philosophy has won her many celebrity devotees. Each collection is meant to work interchangeably with pieces from the past and those to come.
Mission: To design and construct garments meant to last – pieces to be loved and worn until they simply can’t go on anymore. The concept of mindfulness and economy permeates the company – from design through completion.
Certifications: The company was assessed by Bluesign. They use an OEKO-Tex 100 certified mill in Spain. Other mills have EPD Environmental Certification or EPD Climate Certification, ISO 14001 Certification.
Transparency: Their philosophy is to reduce, reuse, and recycle, in that order. Unused fabrics are reworked into future seasons rather than discarded. This eliminates waste and allows customers to integrate future purchases into their current wardrobe.
Fabrications: Items are designed in New York, but made with the finest Italian sheer layers, with unexpected colors and textures. GOTS certified organic cotton, recycled nylon (Econyl makes up 50% of their swimsuit collection), linen
Products: Women’s lingerie, swimwear (XS -Lg-D cup) , sleep wear, and sustainable clothing in XS – XL
Giving Back: They donate unused materials to schools and other charitable organizations.
Recycling Program: While they don’t have a recycling program per se, by making past, present, and future collections interchangeable, new pieces can be worked into a wardrobe when part of an older set wears out.
Maaji is a Columbian company that offers an extensive selection of sustainable clothing in the form of swim, beach, active, and sleepwear for the family.
Mission: To make every day earth day by leaving the environment better than how they found it. They are committed to doing more to minimize their environmental footprint and doing more for social good…ethical and sustainable practices. They identify land, water, and souls as the three factors that they want to improve. Souls includes their community, clients, and suppliers.
Transparency: They are committed to treating employees with dignity and respect, ensuring a living-wage and providing opportunities to those that live in underserved communities. They expect their suppliers to provide the same standards.
Fabrications: Nylon, spandex, rayon (pajamas), polyester, cotton, recycled cotton, Tencel, recycled polyester from plastic bottles, modal knit.
Propriety collections: The Return swimwear collection is made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles using Eco Digital printing. This reduces water use by 98% and produces 80% less CO2. Their activewear Community collection has leggings and sports bras made from 20% post-consumer recycled yarn from plastic bottles. The shirts are made from 36% eco-friendly fibers such as Tencel Refibra™ and Uni-Repreve™ and recycled cotton. Their Earth Pact collection uses 100% sugar cane fiber and is free of bleaching chemicals reduces water usage by 9.3% water and energy usage by 13.5%.
Products: Swimwear, beachwear, pajamas, and activewear for the entire family. They offer matching outfits for children and their parents. Their sizing ranges from XS-XL, so it isn’t as inclusive as some companies. For instance, women’s swimsuits sizes include bust sizes from 33-40, hip measurements from 35-41”. Bikini tops and bottoms are sold separately so you can get customized sizing. Another unique feature is that some of their swimsuits are reversible. Girls sizing is 2-16.
Giving Back: They have planted more than 100,000 trees and support local causes. They’ve protected 10 spring water sources, rebuilt the habitat for many endangered species, and led more than 5 beach clean ups in Columbia, the US, Guatemala, and Israel.
Vitamin A is a Californian swim and lounge wear company for women. Their innovative fabrics include recycled and plant-based materials. They get technical about the fit and style details to ensure that their swimwear is supportive and dependable. Their products are manufactured locally to reduce emissions and enables them to build strong relationships with their manufacturers who maintain the highest standards of workplace ethics and environmental responsibility.
Mission: “We’re all about feeling good, looking good, and doing good. From design to production, distribution, and charitable partnerships – Vitamin A is the sustainable choice. “
Certifications: All fabrics meet global OEKO-Tex standards for safe textiles. They work with Fair Trade artisans globally for those products not made in California.
Transparency: Their site reports the resources saved by embracing sustainable practices: 651,294 gallons of water, 75,981 pounds of waste diverted, 708,106 pounds of emissions avoided, and 1,011,621 kWh of energy saved. They have partnered with a “green team” to audit their materials and supply chain. They provide a sustainability report on their site.
Fabrications: Organic cotton, organic hemp, linen, recycled cotton, Tencel, plant-based polyamide, lycra and cashmere (sustainably made in California from recycled Italian yarns using a water saving closed loop process). They use digital printing, rather than traditional wet printing. This reduces the amount of water used and fabric wasted since they don’t have to adjust the placement of pattern pieces when cutting. Their packaging is 100% recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable.
Proprietary Fabrics: Eco Lux™ is a premium swim fabric made from recycled nylon fibers.
Products: Women’s swimsuits (supportive tops accommodate up to DDD sizing) whose tops and bottoms are sold separately so you can choose the style, support and exposure you want; and a full line of loungewear including dresses, tops, bottoms and jumpsuits.
Giving Back: They partner with 1% for the Planet so part of every sale goes to organizations that protect the oceans. They also host beach cleanups.
Sand Cloud is a San Diego company built around the ocean. It all started with designing a new beach towel that is sand resistant, yet ultra absorbent. Their choices and mission reflect this passion. They use sustainable materials and donate a portion of all sales to marine conservation charities.
Mission: To protect the oceans and marine wildlife.
Certifications: GOTS Cotton
Fabrications: Their towels are made from 100% organic Turkish cotton. They dry 3 times faster than traditional towels and are sand resistant. Athleisure is made from 78% Repreve Certified recycled polyester and 22% spandex. Hoodies are made from GOTS 100% Turkish Organic Cotton (French terry). Graphic T-shirts (available in children’s also) are made from 85% recycled cotton/15% recycled polyester from water bottles.
Products: It all started with beach towels, and moved to women’s athleisure, hoodies, and t-shirts. Sand Cloud now also sells eco-friendly beach accessories such as reef-safe sunscreen, reusable glass water bottles, sunglasses, and metal straws. They feature tie-dyeing on their sustainable clothing and towels.
Giving Back: They support marine conservation charities and have been names Philanthropists of the Year by the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Not only do they donate 10% of their profits toward marine conservation, they will take 15% off your first order when you register at #Savethefishies. They have created an Ambassador’s program for customers who help with their ocean clean-ups who also help with product creation for the company. Their charities include: Marine Conservation Institute, Surfrider Foundation, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, San Diego Coast Keeper, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, and Ocean Connectors.
Recycling Program: They work with Ryan’s Recycling on Community Beach clean-ups.
Sustainable Clothing Brands for Men
Tact & Stone is a men’s wear sustainable and ethical clothing company that believes that the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. They consider water usage, waste, labor conditions, emissions, recycling, and pesticides when they create their clothing. They are committed to 100% organic, natural and recycled materials, ethical production, and quality and fit.
Mission: Their mission is to change more than your wardrobe. They strive to be the best option for thoughtfully designed garments with style and purpose. They want to make it easy for everyone to: express their individuality, yet have a positive impact, and learn to rethink the way clothes are designed, made and consumed. This is possible through innovation and human collaboration for positive change toward circular and regenerative practices.
Certification: Their suppliers have GOTS, GRE, OEKO-Tex, and Higg Index certifications. Their cottons are GOTS, OCS, USDA Organic and Fair Trade
Transparency: Each product page lists the amount of water saved, fabric characteristics such as wicking ability and how many water bottles were recycled to make it, whether it is recyclable, CO2 reduction, and ethical labor practices. They also list where each product is manufactured and there is a page that describes each manufacturer.
Fabrications: Their fabrics are chosen based on their organic and regenerative abilities. They include hemp, alpaca, recycled and upcycled cotton and polyester (rPET) fibers that use zero chemicals or dyes.
Proprietary Fabrics: Orbital Hybrid Yarn™ is their sustainable performance fabric that is moisture wicking, fast drying, zero pilling, and abrasion resistant. It’s made from organic cotton and recycled polyester.
Products: Men’s essentials and performance clothing in S-XL, pants are 28-36” waists.
Asket in Swedish means “a person who does without extravagance and abundance.” The company embraces this philosophy by only introducing key pieces to their core collection one at a time. There aren’t seasonal collections, just a permanent collection of around 20 garments.
Mission: “We envision a world free of fast consumption. A world with less clutter, less waste, less smoke and mirrors.”
Transparency: Each web page has a “traceability bar” that describes the garment: where it was milled, manufactured, source of raw materials and trims, and a total traceable percentage. They are also transparent about the true cost of their clothing and each individual component: fabric, hardware, labor, and transportation, as well as the comparable retail price of similar products. They list their current traceability as 81% toward their goal of 100%.
Fabrications: They use the finest natural materials available to make sustainable clothing that will last: merino wool from Australia, Egyptian cotton, organic cotton, linen, and cashmere bought directly from nomadic Mongolian farmers. Linings and zippers are made from recycled materials.
Products: Men’s clothing, underwear, accessories, home products
KnowledgeCotton Apparel is a Danish company that features classic garments with a contemporary twist. They consider water and energy usage, as well as carbon dioxide released in creating their clothing.
Mission: Their credo is “gain knowledge, take action, earn respect” as it applies to people and the environment. “With a thirst for knowledge and a desire to constantly develop and improve at what we do, we can actually make a difference.”
- Certified Carbon Neutral® and their goal is to be 100% carbon neutral by 2025
- Ecocert Greenlife
- GRS – Global Recycle Standard
- OCS – Organic Content Standard
- Fair Trade
Transparency: They list the water, energy and carbon dioxide saving compared to a traditionally made garment. They focus on sustainable production methods.
Fabrications: organic cotton, linen and merino wool, Tencel™, GRS certified recycled polyester
Products: Men’s casual clothing and underwear (They have an extensive size chart available.)
Giving Back: Knowledge Cotton has planted their Knowledge Forest in India as well as fighting against poverty and child labor. They choose a different charity to donate to each Black Friday. In the past, this has included Oceana and the Surfrider Foundations. Feeding America is the charity for 2020.
Brands Built Around Unique Fabrications or a Luxury Fiber
Arielle is based in New York but has a global perspective when it comes to their fabrications. They want to make clothes for the people, and fashion of the future by producing simple garments for colorful people that are free of trash and exploitation. Their clothing is stylish, sexy, and sustainable. Owner Arielle is a zero-water climate lobbyist, and human rights advocate.
Mission: They are committed to organic, recycled, and zero-waste fabrics, local manufacturing, fair-trade supply chains, and plastic-free packaging and production. “We make covetable clothes with no compromise to people or planet.” Their mission is to address the problems that plague the clothing industry with innovative and attractive solutions that put planet and people first.
Certification: They are Fair Trade Certified, RWS Certified, Meet the Global Recycled Standard, and are a member of the Sustainable Fashion Alliance. Their site lists the UN Sustainable Goals which they address. They are committed to responsible animal agriculture of vegetarian materials like wool and wild silk.
Transparency: They work locally in New York’s garment district so they can ensure fair-trade labor, supply chain transparency, quality control, quick turnaround, and reduced carbon emissions. Their entire operation is powered by bicycle.
Fabrications: GOTS certified organic cotton from Texas and India that uses no toxic pesticides, bleaches, dyes or other chemicals. Recycled cotton and recycled wool developed from 100% recycled fibers from unwanted sweaters, blankets, and fabric scraps in Prato, Italy. No additional dyes, water or chemicals are used. Recycled polyester using post-consumer plastic water bottles. American wool from American family farms in Texas and Massachusetts. Irish linen where it’s eco and ethically certified by law.
They use no plastics in their buttons, only corozo nut from Ecuador, mother of pearl, brass, or vintage horn. Their silk producers in China allow the worms to naturally emerge from the cocoons before it is gathered and processed. They also blend some of their fabrics, such as linen or silk, with Tencel.
Proprietary Fabrics: Milk fabric was developed by a German microbiologist. They use spilt milk from organic dairy farms what has been fermented and spun into a silky fiber. It is produced entirely without chemicals and with very little water. The finished fabric retains all of milk’s nutrients and natural proteins so it is anti-microbial, hypo-allergenic, temperature regulating, and fully biodegradable.
They also use only natural finishings for waterproofing from either beeswax or Chitosante, an athletic wear treatment made from a shell byproduct. They use Repreve® backings on their outerwear woolen coats. Tussah is a combination of wild silk and organic hemp.
Products: Women’s casual and dress clothing in S – L (0-10), and unisex XS – XL clothing.
Giving Back: They advocate and encourage change for the BIPOC community with inclusive hiring, talent recruiting, and vendor partnerships.
Recycling Program: They have a Reborn page where you can shop and resell Arielle products. This is also where they sell their samples. They provide care tips and accept their clothing for recycling.
Packaging: All packaging and hangtags are made from 100% recyclable and compostable materials.
Deadwood – When you think about leather, and even more specifically, motorcycle jackets, you might not think sustainable and ethical. You can, and should, when you visit Deadwood™ Recycled Leather. The company actually started as a vintage store in Stockholm, but the two founders, Carl Ollson and Felix von Bahder, started creating their own clothing line when they couldn’t locate enough vintage merchandise. They wanted to stock leathers, but couldn’t find anything they liked. Their design esthetic comes from functionality and practicality. They consider what is essential and then tweaked the pattern in succeeding collections. Their designs evolve, but they don’t start each season with a completely new collection.
Mission: To create leather garments in a sustainable manner.
Certification: Their linings are GRS certified. The family owned factory in India that produces their products is SMETA-audited by Sedex for working conditions and sustainability.
Transparency: Their site lists the number of driving emissions avoided, light bulb energy saved, days of drinking water saved, and kilograms of waste diverted from landfills as calculated by Green Story. They follow the labor standards of the ILO International Labour Organisation of no discrimination or child labor. There is freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, a living wage, reasonable work hours, and safe and healthy working conditions.
Fabrications: They use the 30-40% of leather that is usually wasted after tanning or cutting from the auto and furniture industries. They use what most brands would consider trash – deadstock skins. They also use repurposed vintage clothing. Using old leathers and fashioning them into new styles also means that the clothing already has a soft, worn-in feel. Their linings are made from r-PET.
Proprietary Fabrics: The Cactus Collection is a line of jackets and pants made entirely from a leather-like material derived from organically grown cactus. The cacti are native to the Mexican dessert, and once a year mature leaves can be cut from the plant without damaging it. The leaves are dried under the sun for 3 days and then this raw material is processed into a leather-like material.
Products: Leather and suede jackets & coats, shirts, pants, skirts & dresses, for men and women. Women’s sizing is XS – XL (EU 34 -42) and men’s is XS – XXL.
Ecovibe combines the definitions of eco (focused on the environment and sustainable, ethical practices) and vibe (feeling, style, look, energy, and experience) to create a lifestyle brand that encompasses not only clothing, but also plants, planters, and gardening supplies, housewares such as baskets, candles, kitchenware, lighting furniture rubs, and paper goods.
Mission: “To take the time and care to consider where and how things are made while supporting local designers, women, minority, and family owned businesses.”
Fabrications: Bamboo, modal, polyester, nylon, viscose, cotton, rayon.
Products: Men’s and women’s clothing and accessories such as hats, bags, and eyewear. Women’s sizing is either one size fits all (oversize) or S/M and M/L. The selections are limited to tops, cardigans, and shawls/ponchos. The limited men’s clothing comes in S – XXL and includes t-shirts, vests, pants, jackets, and button shirts. While Ecovibe doesn’t have the most extensive clothing collection, it is a great resource for everything plants and home oriented!
Giving Back: They are community-focused and give back through local events, classes, and workshops. They donate 1% of all online sales to local nonprofit 1% for the Planet members.
Tonlé believes in creating fashion through sustainable, zero waste processes. They use reclaimed “waste” materials for their clothing, accessories, and homewares. Their goal is to create fashion circularity. Tonlé is based in Cambodia and is in direct opposition to the fast fashion factories that are common there.
Mission: Their mission is to be purposeful in every action they take. Each piece of clothing created should have a purpose, be beautiful, yet designed to last. They have created a company based on collaboration and reciprocity to reach justice. They champion transparency and accountability while crediting their artisan teachers and co-creators.
Fabrications: They use only remnant or deadstock textiles that larger factories consider waste including linen, cotton, cotton jersey that is at least 90% natural plant-based fiber. Printed motifs are made using non-toxic, water-based inks or are hand painted. When they dye upcycled fabric, they use only plant and mineral based, non-toxic materials such as iron, turmeric, soy-mil, and lemon juice. In addition to hand weaving, they also employ hand knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and screen printing,
Proprietary Fabrics: They create hand woven fabrics from small bits of hand-cut fabric yarns rescued from cutting room scraps in their fair trade workshop in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province. Accessories, jackets, and home décor is made from these fabrics.
Products: Women’s and gender-neutral clothing in XS-3XL (US 0-26, UK/AU 4-30).
The Plant Kween x tonlé collection is a gender-expansive approach meant to be adaptable and comfortable for all bodies yet catering to gender-fluid and non-binary people. (Plant Kween is an Instagram and YouTube star who shares their love and knowledge of plants.) Many of their styles are maternity friendly. They also offer jewelry, ceramics, candles, and home décor.
Recycling Program: They are in the process of creating a resale platform, called Open Closet, where customers can trade and sell their tonlé clothing.
Packaging: All of their packaging is made from 100% recycled materials. Hand tags and promotional materials are printed by eco-friendly printing houses on recycled paper.
Mulxiply Collaborative was “born out the recognition that fashion can be fair, art can be healing, and design can change the world.” It was founded by long-time fashion and design professional Tanja Cesh as a response to her exposure to human trafficking and other pandemics that affect the poor and marginalized people of India, Nepal, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Mulxiply creates dignified employment for the skilled artisans in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal.
Mission: People are their priority, design is their approach. The want to honor the raw materials and resourcefulness of the people of Nepal. Even though the designs are modern, they approach their creation by using ancient methods.
Transparency: The site tells the story of each of their artisans.
Fabrications: Hand woven cotton, GOTS Organic cotton, mulesing free merino wool (South African), hand carved coconut shell buttons, hand embroidery. There jewelry combines Raku pottery and brass. Their slippers are made from hand felted natural wool and have no-slip suede soles. They also make an assortment of hand felted animals. They only use natural dyes and vegetable tanned leather.
Products: Mulxiply artisans produce women’s apparel in S-L (US 2-12), hand forged jewelry, leather bags created by master craftsmen, and felted “stuffies” and slippers. All items are hand-made. Their bags are made from leather, felt, or a combination of the two.
Synergy Organic Clothing
Synergy Organic Clothing offers a full line of women’s clothing from their home base in California. Much of the collection focuses on organic cotton, but they also offer some pashmina wool and other fabrications. They use factories and looms in India, as well as handwork done in Nepal.
Mission: “It matters how your clothing is made. Consumers deserve a choice to buy clothing they feel good about wearing with the knowledge of where and how it was produced.”
Certification: Certified B Corporation since 2018, Fair Trade Certified Factory, GOTS Cotton, Member of the Organic Trade Organization
Transparency: Their certifications ensure that they are socially responsible and meet high environmental performance standards.
Fabrications: GOTS Certified organic cotton grown and loomed in India. Low impact dyes which have a high absorption rate are used to reduce water needs. No harmful chemicals are used in growing or processing. All handwork is done by seamstresses in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. They also use recycled polyester, pashmina wool, nylon, acrylic, modal, spandex, Lyocell Chambray (for their denim looks).
Products: A full line of women’s clothing from casual, to lounge, active, outwear, and eco luxe selections in XS – XL.
Giving Back: They support their workers in India and Nepal, ensuring that they have fair wages and working conditions.
Recycling Program: As part of Synergy’s commitment to reducing textile waste, they will give customers a coupon for a 25% discount off a future purchase/order when they send back or return unwanted Synergy garments to their store. Garments returned in good shape will be donated to local nonprofits and women’s shelters. Unwearable garments are donated to environmentally responsible textile recycling programs.
Mata Traders is a design driven, ethical, fashion company that merges uncommonly vibrant style with fair trade practices. They champion the work of women artisans in India and Nepal. The company was founded by 3 friends after travelling around the world. Spending 4 months in India left them enamored with the culture, markets, and colorful textiles. Mata means ‘mother’ in Hindi and is a tribute to Shakti, the female creative power in all of us.
Mission: “Together, let’s ‘fashion a better world’ by embracing slow style, celebrating handmade artistry, and being connected to the women who make our products.” They want to help end global poverty and inspire consumers to change the fashion industry.
Fabrications: The company used Indian block printing (both Ikat and khadi) on organic cotton jersey. The jersey has a bit of spandex. They also use woven cotton and linen.
Products: Women’s clothing sizes go from XS – XL with plus sizes or maternity friendly styles that go up to 2X. Artisans use hand embroidery, block printing and screen printing. They also offer jewelry that is made from brass, some of which has been plated with silver or gold with elements of bone or wood.
Giving Back: The company partners with several fair trade organizations in India and Nepal that train and employ hundreds of artisans in marginalized communities whose goals are gender equality and empowering women. To break the cycle of poverty, they provide health care, paid maternity leave, retirement pensions, and daycare. These organizations employ social workers to address personal needs such as financial issues and domestic violence. There are literacy classes, computer training and health-oriented workshops, and training programs to teach new skills.
Virechic gets its name from the Latin word “virare” meaning to become, plus “chic” to indicate someone or something that is elegantly and stylishly fashionable. The company was named this because together, the words mean “becoming chic” – which happens when you wear pieces that support fashion that is a force for good and spread social consciousness. This Brazilian company wants to preserve global culture by keeping traditions alive using handmade artisan skills such as knitting, weaving, and embroidery. This also empowers women artisans and promotes transparency in the production chain.
Mission: “Sustainable fashion is about being responsible, having a small footprint in terms of waste and being creative while producing an aesthetically pleasing wardrobe for daily use as well as special occasions.” Their watchwords are rethink, reuse, recycle, respect.
Fabrications: They use recycled materials such as tin and soda pop cans, coffee filters, paper, pallet wood, textiles, CD’s, and plastic. New materials include natural fibers such as cotton, banana fiber, guava wood, reed and jute, and metals such as rose gold.
Products: Jewelry, and clothing using embroidery, crochet, knitting, and bobbin lacing, as well as bags.
Rentrayage means to mend or to make whole again, in French. The company brings old clothes, vintage and dead-stock fabrics back to life by mixing and matching them. Going beyond stitching things back together in a new way, they want to create a new way of thinking along with innovative methods. Each piece is hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind or limited edition made from 100% upcycled vintage fabrics.
Mission: Their watchwords are circularity, quality, innovation, representation, education, partnership, and growth. They believe that every piece of clothing has value, beauty, and purpose. Everything they make is born from existing materials, or has the ability, to be reborn. Because they want to create clothing that people are proud to buy, inspires them, and lasts, they use only quality materials.
Transparency: They ensure that diverse voices and representation are included on their team and in their community. All items are handcrafted in New York and Brooklyn by employees paid a living wage. They vet all partner brands sold on their website to ensure they are sustainable.
Fabrications: 100% upcycled and vintage clothing. A typical t-shirt is made from two halves of different shirts sewn together. If you examine each piece, you can see the different fabrications that have been melded to create something new.
Products: In addition to upcycled clothing, they also offer art & décor, glassware, table linens, pillows & throws, makeup & skincare.
Recycling Program: They use only 100% recycled boxes and poly-mailers which break down more readily than compostable plastics. Their alternatives to bubble-wraps, tissue paper, and stickers are also recycled and bio-degradable.
OhSevenDays is mindfully made women’s sustainable staples from dead stock fabrics manufactured in small batch collections. They are based in Istanbul, Turkey because that is a textile hub where deadstock fabrics can be found. The company was founded by Canadian born, and Australian bred, Megan Mummery when she discovered the untapped resource of surplus/deadstock fabrics. They make “slow fashion from fast fashion’s leftovers”. Their clothing is designed to be multi-functional and compatible within each capsule wardrobe. Their goals are to create circularity and offer their customers complete transparency about where each garment is made.
Mission: To promote sustainable manufacturing practices and lifestyles. Share our message and increase awareness of the social injustices that occur in the mainstream fashion industry.
Certification: OEKO-Tex fabrics
Transparency: Each product page gives the origins of the garment – from stitch to store. Production is done in-house by a team of 4 tailors whose profiles are on the site.
Fabrications: Cotton, organic cotton, linen, Tencel, Viscose, vegan silk (Cupro/rayon), certified recycled polyester.
Products: Women’s staples in XS – XL (US 1-22, UK/AU 4-26), including some ½ sizing and many items that are “one size fits many”.
Recycling Program: While their deadstock fabrics go through strict quality control, there are occasionally small faults that slip through. They sell these items slightly discounted because they believe that minor faulted items still deserve a home and shouldn’t be thrown away.
Campo Collection is a luxury, sustainable, slow fashion, sleepwear company that features items that are designed to be worn all day. The founder is Brazilian, although the company is based in Miami. (Campo is “field” in Portuguese). The collection is thoughtfully crafted, minimalist and elegant.
Mission: Our commitment is to contribute to the sustainability of the fashion industry wherever possible, to constantly update our customers with our initiatives, and to provide beautiful garments that will last for many years to come.
Certification: GOTS certified cotton.
Transparency: All garments are consciously produced locally, supporting women artisans, out of ethically sourced fabrics. They manufacture in small quantities to limit distribution to an exclusive market.
Fabrications: Fabrics are ethically sourced and include recycled, natural, and organic GOTS cotton and deadstock fabric whenever possible. Dyes used are natural, plant-based and/or chemical-free.
Products: Sleepwear for women XS – L and one size fits all. Girls sizes range from S – L (2-12). Their color palate is limited to milk, dusty pink, tan and burnt sienna.
Mission: Their mission is to reduce waste by using deadstock materials and manufacturing scraps which allows them to reduce their carbon footprint. They manufacture ethically, and they ship sustainably by being plastic free.
Certification: SEDEX-compliant factory in India
Fabrications: They use only deadstock and discarded fabrications including Better Leather. Better Leather is made from 100% waste. They test all skins for Chrome VI after aging to ensure that it is safe. They try using vegetable tanned skins whenever possible. Their beanies are made from Italian wool/nylon blended yarns.
Products: Wallets, bags, and beanies for men and women
Giving Back: They donate 1% of net sales every month to support organizations which foster the physical and mental well-being of people in need. The company chooses a new mission recipient monthly. Past recipients have included the Anti-racism Fund, World Health Organization, No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, NAACP, Okra Project, National Women’s Law Center, and Spread the Vote.
Recycling Program: All packaging materials (mailers, tape, and postcards) are made from 100% recycled materials that are recyclable and biodegradable.
Ninety Percent is a London-based sustainable company founded in 2018 based on sharing and 360-degree empowerment. The founders, Para Hamilton and Shafiq Hassan, wanted to create a business model that put the planet first. They offer pared-back, luxury basics with an emphasis on comfort, detail, and beautifully crafted knits that are built to last.
Mission: To create a clothing brand that is the best for their customer, producers, and the planet. They want to do it better, and be kinder. They focus on respectful working environments, sustainable materials, garment longevity, transparency and traceability, animal welfare, water stewardship, lowered emissions and CO2 circularity.
Certification: GOTS fabrics
Transparency: They list the factory used on each product page and how that factory protects their workers. For instance, offering health insurance, fair wages, free lunch, etc. The also specify whether the factory is LEED certified, what level, and how much energy they save.
Fabrications: Cotton: GOTS Organic and recycled; wool: ZQ merino or GOTS certified; EcoVero™ viscose (sustainably harvested wood pulp in a closed loop system), MicroModal™ (sustainably harvested hardwood pulp), Tencel™, natural linen, and hemp
Products: Women’s full line of basic clothing, as well as sleepwear, sweats, casual, and dress in XXS – XL (US 2-12, UK/AU 6-16)
Giving Back: The company is committed to sharing 90% of their profits between charitable causes and their partners who make their collection possible. They invite their customers to vote for their chosen cause using the code found on the garment’s care label. Current choices include animal protection organizations Big Life or Wild Aid; children’s charities Children’s Hope or War Child; or women’s empowerment organization BRAC; or all of the above.
Santicler believes that style and sustainability can go hand in hand. They stress lasting value and versatility for their luxury clothing that reflects the founder’s European roots, passion for craftsmanship, appreciation of minimalism, and the functionality of modern design. They produce and fulfill small run orders based on specific demand, thereby eliminating excess and waste.
Mission: True sustainability begins with mindful production and the elimination of excess inventories. Santicler is committed to circular design principles that take into account easy care, nontoxic materials from renewable resources with the lowest environmental impact.
Certification: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, Woolmark and RWS certified wool, GRS certified, FSC, ZDHC, Bluesign, BCI, GOTS, GRS, OEKO-Tex Standard 100
Transparency: They hunt for mills and factories that respect their employees, limit environmental impact, have a long-term vision of zero waste manufacturing, and are committed to social change. All of their products are certified and of traceable origin. Their main factory is in Northwestern Transylvania, Romania and is subject to Europe’s strict labor laws. Their site gives an extensive explanation of all factories and mills used for their fabrications.
Fabrications: Organic Cotton, Nylon Microfiber Jersey, extra-fine merino wool is from non-mulesing sheep and is Woolmark certified. Eco Cashmere, produced by an Italian company, is composed of a blend of GRS certified 65% recycled/35% virgin cashmere. They have also applied for RWS certification. They never use fur, leather, angora, horn, or other animal products.
Products: Women’s luxury clothing and accessories. Sizing is somewhat limited with XS – L (US 0-12, AU/UK 6-12)
Recycling Program: Their packaging is recycled and biodegradable. Any bio-plastics used are fully decomposable in less than 30 days with no toxic residue and all boxes and paper have at least 80% post-consumer content.
Mozh Mozh is a womenswear brand that celebrates and safeguards Peruvian artisans, their textiles, and techniques. Their design aesthetic emphasizes form, detail, and high-quality fabrics. They use words such as colorful, whimsical, and timeless to describe their clothing. If you are looking for hand crafted and fringed items, Mozh Mozh is a great place to shop.
Mission: Mozh Mozh believes that sustainability goes hand in hand with working with local and authentic materials. They work under the tenants of recovery, revaluing and reinterpreting the ancestral textiles of Peru. They focus on being a slow fashion brand. Their vision is one of community and sincerity, reverence for one’s roots and of looking to tradition to innovate for the future. They value conscious sustainability and want to create systemic changes to ensure fashion has a positive impact on their communities and the planet.
Certification: Fair Trade, GOTS certified cotton, OEKO-Tex (alpaca and wool)
Transparency: Their clothing is made to order. By working directly with local artisans, they continue to showcase traditional Peruvian crafts while improving the lives of the people across their supply chain.
Fabrications: alpaca, pima cotton, wool (mainly Peruvian Highland wool using eco-colors), merino wool, polyamide, and natural rubber – all native to Peru and sustainably sourced. They use rubber as an alternative to leather. This plant-based latex is known as shiringa. They apply the warm, waterproof, and elastic material over natural cotton and smoke it until it is completely dry to achieve a clean look and comfortable feel equal to traditional animal leather. They do use baby alpaca leather, but it’s sourced only from natural death. They only use natural dyes in all of their fabrications.
Products: Handmade women’s clothing (XS – L) although some styles are termed unisex, in knits, crochet, and woven styles. They also offer knitted home décor.
Giving Back: They forge working alliances with female artisans in their native villages.
Misha Nanoo is a British-Bahraini fashion designer who has based her company in the US. The company offers a new “Suiting Evolution with a relaxed feel with a professional finish.” In other words, they create soft suiting with a modern twist for modern women. Their new 10-piece capsule explores the future of work post-pandemic with soft, easy tops and smooth, sophisticated bottoms. This is an elevated transition wardrobe without sacrificing comfort. The company is sustainable, in that they don’t cut and sew your garment until you place your order.
Mission: This is a very female oriented company that wants to empower women in their everyday life, as well as support other female-owned businesses.
Transparency: Misha Nonoo operates as a direct-to-consumer company. This increases transparency, lowers the price, and promotes sustainability by reducing waste. They have eliminated plastics from their domestic shipments using recycled paper envelopes and tissue paper. They use a zero-waste knit production process. They insist on ethical factories that pay a fair local wage with strict no child labor policies. The factories provide a healthy work environment.
Fabrications: cotton (often with a hint of spandex), Peruvian Pima Cotton, Polyester, wool, silk, and cashmere. They use recycled polyester where possible. They have a symbol on pages with their most sustainable choices.
Proprietary Design: They offer their all-time bestseller – the husband shirt. You can either purchase one of their pre-made choices, or design your own shirt by choosing either poplin, cotton voile, or linen in a selection of colors, add the stud color, and size (XXS – XL) and then personalize it with a monogram. They also offer stylist consultations for 30-minute one-on-one coaching, either virtually or in their NY store, as well as styling tips on their site.
Products: Women’s clothing in XXS – XXL (US 00-16)
Giving Back: They actively seek to partner with businesses owned or run by women.
Recycling Program: They partnered with FabScrap to recycle all residual fabric from previous collections before implementing their on-demand model.
Bevza is a Ukrainian womenswear company founded in 2006. They feature clean, simple silhouettes made from fine fabrics for a timeless elegance.
Mission: Sustainability is one of their core values.
Fabrications: Wool, acrylic, recycled polyester, viscose, recycled denim, cotton, silk, leather in their shoes. Some of the knits are hand-made.
Proprietary Fabrics: Eco-friendly digital printing on polyester that resembles fur. The lining is a polyester/wool blend.
Products: Women’s wear, including sweaters, ceramics jewelry and accessories, and shoes. Sizes include XS – L (US 2-14, UK/AU 4-18)
Thierra Nuestra works with Peruvian communities to make 100% handmade pieces fashioned from the best natural yarns such as alpaca and Pima cotton. They showcase the work and traditions of Peruvian families. Their items are either hand knit or crocheted so items are usually available in 8-14 days. They create knitwear for a lifetime.
Mission: “To spread our culture and fascination for details through our designs and curated pieces, while supporting artisans. Travel sparks our imagination, feeds our curiosity, and reminds us how much we all have in common.”
Transparency: The site gives instructions for the care of their garments.
Fabrications: Cottons include Peruvian Pima, organic, and Tanguis cotton. Wools include baby alpaca and merino wool. Polyamide. (Tanguis cotton is stronger than Egyptian cotton, snow white, and has uncharacteristically uniform fibers.)
Products: Women’s knits in XS – L
Giving Back: They organize trainings and support groups of textile artisans. 8% of all sales are allocated to their training program for their artisan partners. They are so serious about giving back, that the amount allocated doesn’t change when items go on sale.
Boody is an Australian company dedicated to sustainable everyday basics that are made from soft and comfortable bamboo viscose.
Mission: “To design a superior essential. A softer fabric, A comfier fit. We set out without ego to change the way you think about your clothing choices. And we did it keeping the environment in mind.”
Certifications: The bamboo they use for their viscose yarn is certified as organically grown by Ecocert, and comes from FSC-certified forests. They are PETA Vegan Approved. Their fabrics are independently tested by SGS to ensure they meet health and safety standards in each country where they are sold. Among the things they test are for formaldehyde-free content, a chemical ‘scratch’ test of 46 chemicals and elements, flammability, lead, phthalates, sharp points, toxins in packaging, amount of recycled paper in the packaging. Their dyes are azo free. WRAP Gold standards met, ISO 14001 and 9001 compliant.
Fabrications: Their sustainable clothing is made of organic bamboo viscose.
Products: Men’s (S-XL), women’s (XS-XL), baby, underwear, casual apparel and dresses, activewear, sleepwear. Most styles come in black, white, gray, and a fourth color.
Giving Back: They support local communities and environmental causes – keeping in mind the three priorities of flora, fauna, and people. They want to save and protect biodiversity. They give back 1% of all sales 1% for the Planet.org.
Tasc Performance creates sustainable clothing and casual wear made from bamboo and cotton. They believe that plastics “suck” so this New Orleans company decided to focus on creating fabrics that are comfortable and made to last without relying on synthetics. They also feature, golf, running, and tennis clothing that all begin and end with the unique properties of bamboo – a cloth that doesn’t rely on chemical finishes.
Mission: “We believe in simplicity. We believe in needs, not wants. We believe in quality over quantity.”
Transparency: 100% of the power required to run their knitting and sewing facility is generated from solar and wind power, 99% of their wastewater is recovered, treated, and reused in a closed-loop process so the treated water is kept out of the ecosystem. 72% of their products use natural fiber (predominantly organic cotton).
Fabrications: Bamboo viscose, beech viscose, organic cotton. Bamboo viscose rayon fibers are soft, don’t require harmful chemical processes yet have desirable characteristics and are hypoallergenic.
Proprietary Fabrics: BamCo® process means that their bamboo viscose/cotton fabrics wick moisture, are anti-odor, have superior breathability, and provide UPF 50+ sun protection – all without chemical finishes. They have created more than 15 unique fabrics in varying weights, blends, and textures – always insisting on comfort. Their fabrics are also thermal regulating because bamboo fibers are filled with tiny gaps that increase ventilation and moisture absorption so you stay cooler and drier in warm and humid conditions, and warmer in cooler and drier conditions, while still being breathable and wrinkle resistant.
Products: A full range of everyday wear plus athletic wear for men (S-XL) including Big & Tall, and women (XS-XL)
Giving Back: Their long-term (22 year) relationship with their family-owned factory in India means that the workers there are paid higher than average wages, have healthcare, subsidized housing and food, skill development and advancement opportunities, and a training program for the disabled.
Naadam is a luxury cashmere company that you can feel good about, even though cashmere is not usually a sustainable fabric. Their fibers are sustainably harvested and produced in an ethical manner. Their business model includes the ethical and fair treatment of the people, animals, and environment. They offer a wide range of sizes and styles starting at $75.
Mission: To create a sustainable clothing brand while increasing profits for nomadic herders in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. They deal directly with the producers, cutting out all middlemen so they can pay their cashmere sources 50% more than average, all while producing quality, economical clothing.
Certifications: Forest Stewardship Council certified (they use recycled paper) and 100% recycled plastic made with non-toxic chemicals that biodegrades more quickly. Their goal is to be carbon neutral by 2025.
Transparency: Their website has many transparency features. On each product page there are descriptions of the handfeel, breathability, wrinkle-free, odor blocking, weight, care, gauge, and pilling characteristics. They also give a softness scale and the source(s) of the yarn. They provide a Social and Environmental Impact Report on their site.
Fabrications: Virgin Cashmere, recycled cashmere, silk, wool, cotton
Proprietary Fabrics: Their cashmere is hand-combed (vs. sheared) by herders in the Gobi Desert.
Products: Men’s (XS – XL) and Women’s (XXS – 3XL)
Giving Back: Naadam supports the Gobi Revival Fund, a non-profit organization that supports 1,000 herders by providing clean water sources, livestock insurance program, and a park. In an effort to prevent the desertification that often accompanies the cashmere industry, they have fenced off a large area of grassland. Naadam also provides veterinary care for 250,000 goats.
Recycling Programs: They recycle cashmere fibers and mix them with new fibers to create new yarns.
Kotn is a niche company focusing on luxurious Egyptian cotton at affordable prices. They are able to achieve this by cutting out all middle-men. They are a direct trade company working directly with the producers at every step of their supply chain from seed to store.
Mission: To revive the Egyptian cotton industry and improve the lives of the farmers and factory workers. They focus on fair labor practices and collaborative communities to build a strong foundation that will allow the region to prosper for generations.
- All their cotton will be certified organic within the next 5 years.
- Certified B-Corporation
- Use 3rd party auditors to monitor farm suppliers and the factories they use.
Proprietary Fabrics: Gossypium barbadense or extra long staple Giza cotton known as “white gold” from the Nile Delta. The cotton is hand-picked to prevent damaging or stressing the long, fine strands of raw cotton creating higher thread count fabric that is softer, yet more durable.
Products: Casual wear for men, women, and the home
Giving Back: Their profits directly benefit their farm suppliers and their families. They have built, and operate, 7 new schools in areas without access to education. This is especially beneficial for girls who have limited educational opportunities. They have also provided over 690 private subsidies and resources to small farms and impoverished communities. Overall, they have impacted over 30,000 lives in rural Egypt. They also advocate for environmental responsibility and stewardship, and support a local Egyptian NGO to prevent child labor.
Indigenous champions the 1,000 artisans who create their clothing. They still value hand knitting, hand weaving, and machine handknitting to create their clothing and jewelry. They are an ethical and sustainable company.
Mission: “We go beyond fair trade, crafting a supply chain focused on the needs of our artisans. Through economic empowerment artisans are able to improve their own lives, invest in their families, and give work and training to other women in their communities.”
Certifications: Fair Trade, USDA Certified Organic, OEKO-Tex 100, SA8000 , Certified ISO Company, Green America, B-Corporation.
Transparency: The site enumerates their sustainability savings per year: 45,600 pounds of CO2, 13 million gallons of water, and 400 pounds of pesticides.
Fabrications: Organic cotton, free-range alpaca, Tencel™ from a closed loop process, eco-friendly dyes
Proprietary Fabrics: PURE collection uses no dyes, relying on the natural coloring of their alpaca and cotton fibers.
Products: Men’s & women’s, as well as jewelry
Giving Back: Indigenous works toward improving the lives of the producers of their goods, especially the women. They provide free training, year-round work, zero-interest loans for education and equipment, and invest in local schools and communities.
Pact offers affordable, organic clothing for your entire family.
Mission: “To build earth’s favorite clothing company by providing economically priced organic clothing for the entire family while protecting the earth.”
Certifications: Fair Trade USA Certified factories
Transparency: They manufacture their clothing in India to be close to their fabric sources and reduce transportation pollution. Their factories must be both economical and environmentally friendly, yet sweatshop and child labor free.
Fabrications: 74% of their clothes are made from GOTS certified cotton sources in India. Using zero harmful chemicals, they also reduce water and energy usage during production.
Packaging: Their shipping containers are all compostable: boxes are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paperboard and 98% post-consumer recycled materials for cardboard. Even the plastic bag that keeps your clothing safe is made with biodegradable plastic.
Products: Sustainable clothing for the entire family (including babies) and furnishings for your bed and bath
Giving Back: Pact offers their customers the option to offset the carbon footprint of their transportation.
Giving Back through Recycling: “Give Back. Wear Forward.” is their charitable program. They encourage people to ship any brand of clothing back to them to be donated to inspiring nonprofit organizations in need. They’ll even pay the shipping.
Umber & Ochre
Umber & Ochre embraces the field-to-farm philosophy of watching their supply chain and supporting artisans. Their fabrics are hand-woven and naturally dyed. They strive to be both ethical and sustainable.
Mission: “We believe in transparency, sustainability and longevity. Our ethical supply chain supports sustainable practices, fair wages, and the preservation and continuation of traditional craft in small villages. We source natural materials from family-run weavers and environmentally responsible production and practices. We believe in doing our part to preserve the natural world and are committed to exploring and furthering opportunities to help support it. We utilize skillful craftsmanship which results in durable construction and long lasting products.”
Transparency: Each product page lists their materials and the processes that are used to create them. Many include the thread count of the fabric.
Fabrications: hemp, organic cotton, wool, IKAT printing with azo-free dyes, silk.
Products: Men’s, Women’s, Unisex, accessories
Giving Back: They employ artisans in remote Indian villages and use multi-generational, family-run small factories. Many of the artisans are referred to them by word-of-mouth.
Boutiques Highlighting Sustainable Clothing Brands
Ash and Rose is a Boston boutique that has gathered fashions from small, independent designers and artisans. Together, your purchases can make a big collective impact. Their choices include easy and chic styles for the modern romantic. Some of the brands they represent have been listed individually (for instance, Mata Traders) but many aren’t represented here.
Mission: To represent Fair Trade, ethically, and sustainable made fashions from small, independent, and artisan businesses. They choose to support designers who are genuinely trying to make a positive impact, both on the planet and on their workers’ lives.
Certification: Fair Trade, GOTS Organic
Transparency: Their site allows you to shop by impact, such as by fabric, cruelty free, Fair Labor/Trade/Trade Practices, handmade, naturally dyed, or recycled materials. Each product page gives a description of the brand, its priorities, and the certifications it has. All of their brand partners must meet at least two of the following criteria: fabrications of bamboo/hemp/linen/modal/organic cotton, donate a percentage of their profits to a worthy cause or that operate as a non-profit organizations, animal products such leather, wool, or horn must be cruelty-free, Fair Labor practices such as living wages, safe working conditions, career growth opportunities, Fair Trade Certification, hand made, upcycled fabrication, or vegan.
Fabrications: Alpaca, bamboo, hemp, linen, modal, GOTS organic cotton, recycled polyester (they list how many water bottles were recycled), Tencel, rayon.
Products: Women’s clothing, jewelry, bags, silk scarves, and accessories. Because they represent different manufacturers, the sizing varies. It can range from XS – 2XL (US 0-24). They carry a line of hand-embroidered wool belts that are made in Peru according to fair trade guidelines that create employment opportunities for indigenous women in rural areas. They come S, M, L and fit 23” to 43” inch waists or hips. These belts are unique and fun. Many of the other products feature hand embroidery. The jewelry features glass, metal, and semi-precious tones.
Azura Bay carries a curated collection of ethical, eco, organic, and fair trade lingerie and loungewear. They don’t manufacture most of the clothing they sell, but instead, represent companies that are carefully curated to meet their high sustainability and ethical standards. Most brands that they sell are women owned including Groceries Apparel, Organic Basics, Cosabella, Wama, and Underprotection.
Mission: To make purchasing ethical and sustainable clothing as easy as possible for the consumer.
Certifications: Some of their products are PETA approved vegan, OEKO-Tex and GRS certified, or Fair Trade Certified.
Transparency: All the brands they represent are either Fair Trade certified or have employment transparency regarding their ethical practices to treat their employees with respect, fair wages, and safe and positive work environments. They incorporate sustainable fabrics and production methods as much as possible such as zero waste collections or upcycling fabric, using organic fabrics and waterless dying processes. Each product page gives where the garments were designed and produced.
Fabrications: Eco Fleece (50% GMO-free organic cotton/50% recycled plastic terry), organic cotton mixed with elastan, polymide, viscose, hemp, recycled mesh fabric.
Products: To make shopping easier, they offer several collection options: basics, curvy styles, ethically made, eco + organic, or vegan. Sizes range from XXS – 2XL (0 – 16). They also give cup sizes. They provide a better than usual size guide with notes about whether a product runs true to size and helpful hints about finding the best fit.
Giving Back: They donate a portion of their proceeds to help restore and protect the environment and wildlife, or support health and human rights programs for women and girls. When you check out, you can choose which organization you would like to donate to: Because I am a Girl (run by Plan International to end gender inequality and promote girls rights), World Wildlife Fund, or Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Packaging: Azura Bay uses home compostable mailers from Better Packaging Co. Their boxes are made in the US by EcoEnclose and are 100% recycled. Their tissue paper is FSC certified. The rest of their promotional materials and stickers use eco-friendly inks and recycled materials.
Other Established Brands that are Embracing Sustainability
There are a number of long-established companies that have embraced the need to find sustainable alternatives. Many, like Adidas and Reebok, are in the shoe and sport sectors. Not all companies are completely sustainable; some have started with sustainable lines and are working their way toward including more and more sustainable choices. There are a number of other large brands that have started incorporating sustainable product lines:
- Gap owns Althleta, an athleisure and active-wear brand. Their goal is to use 80% sustainable fabrications by 2020 diverting 38 millions+ water bottles to create recycled polyester. Their H2Eco line of swimwear has diverted 72,264 kilograms of waste from landfills. They are also a B- Corp. The Gap’s sustainability goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050, and eliminate all single-use plastics by 2030. Other Gap brands that embrace sustainability are Intermix and Banana Republic.
- Polo by Ralph Lauren has introduced their Earth Polo line made from recycled water bottles. They further reduce their environmental imprint by using dyes that don’t require water in the application process.
- H&M Conscious features aspects that lessen their environmental impact. For instance, they may use organic cotton or recycled polyester. You are also able to recycle unwanted clothing at H&M stores for a discount applied to new purchases. Overall, H&M reports that is uses 57% recycled or sustainably sourced fibers with the goal of reaching 100% by 2030.
Final Thoughts on Ethical and Sustainable Clothing Brands
The brands profiled are just some of the best and most well known brands for ethical and sustainable clothing. The companies that are embracing this philosophy are growing daily. As always, the power rests with the consumer. It is your choice who you purchase from, and it’s within your control how you care for your clothes, how long you keep them, and what you do after you are finished wearing them.
You can choose to purchase pre-owned clothing and recycle to be as sustainable as possible. The companies profiled are just making it easier for you to make good, earth-friendly and ethical choices.