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This Earth Day, we're taking a look at all the ways you can make more sustainable choices in your everyday life — from adding upcycled products to your skin care routine to using refillable items that cut down on plastic waste. And now, we're turning our focus to your wardrobe.
While the fashion industry hasn't always been known for having the most eco-friendly practices, there are a number of companies that are putting sustainability at the forefront of their business models.
From using repurposed material that would otherwise get thrown out to creating products that require less water and produce less carbon dioxide than conventional items, these brands are creating clothing and accessories that are better for the environment — without sacrificing on style.
Read on for 10 brands serving up stylish looks while keeping their carbon footprint down.
Summersalt is a leading brand in the quick-growing sustainable swimwear movement and you've likely come across one of their suits while scrolling on Instagram. But the female-founded company's offerings go way beyond beach apparel. From sleepwear to intimates, you'll find plenty of options for your wardrobe, all created with earth-friendly practices in mind. Summersalt's swimwear is crafted from 78 percent recycled polyamide made from post-consumer materials and nylon waste, and much of the apparel on the site is made from recycled or eco-friendly materials as well.
H&M is a go-to destination for affordable wardrobe basics, but did you know that that the retailer also has an equally wallet-friendly sustainable line? The H&M Conscious collection is filled with fashionable favorites partially made with organic or recycled materials. H&M as a whole has established some big goals when it comes to sustainability. In 2020, 64.5 percent of the materials used for products were recycled or sustainably sourced, but the brand has set a goal to reach 100 percent by 2030.
Just as the name suggests, for every item purchased from Tentree, the company plants ten trees — and so far they've planted more than 56 million. But on top of that, the certified B Corporation uses plenty of earth and people-friendly practices when creating apparel. Most of its products are made with eco-friendly materials, like recycled polyester and sustainably sourced organic cotton, and are produced in ethical factories across the world.
Scroll through Patagonia's website and you'll find plenty of impressive stats about the company's dedication to sustainability. For example, 100 percent of Patagonia's electricity needs in the U.S. were met with renewable electricity and 64 percent of the fabrics used by the retailer this season were made from recycled materials. Plus, the company's Worn Wear program aims to help customers extend the life of the items they buy, going against the typical business model.
Looking to upgrade your athleisure collection? Girlfriend Collective has you covered. The brand's super comfortable pieces range from sweats to exercise dresses and many are made from materials like recycled plastic bottles and old fishing nets. Even the dyes used to color the clothes are eco-friendly. The brand also offers inclusive sizing, with sizes ranging from XXS to 6XL, and all of the products are made of 100 percent recycled materials and shipped in recyclable packaging.
Reformation sends out a quarterly sustainability report, to keep customers up to date on the strides the company has made toward incorporating more ethical and eco-friendly practices (as well as the areas that could use some improvement). The retailer is 100 percent carbon neutral and for every product on the site, you can find a "RefScale" measure that will show you the number of resources that went into making the product.
Cuyana was founded Karla Gallardo with a motto of "fewer, better." Meaning that high-quality, long-lasting basics are at the heart of the company's philosophy. Cuyana has committed to using 100 percent sustainable materials by 2022 — and the brand is currently at an impressive 96 percent. Whether you're searching for a new bag or face mask to complete your look, you're bound to find something in the retailers collection of chic essentials.
When it comes to comfortable sneakers, Allbirds is a clear category leader. The brand's shoes are a favorite of Kristen Bell, Al Roker and other sustainbly-minded shoppers. One Shop TODAY editor previously said that the popular Allbirds Wool Runners are "undoubtedly the most comfortable pair of shoes I own." But beyond comfort, the brand is also known for its sustainable practices. The certified B Corp uses 90 percent post-consumer recycled cardboard in its packaging and makes its shoes from sustainably sourced wool, wood and more.
Soko is a "women-led, people-first ethical jewelry brand." The company uses a "virtual factory" model, connecting local artisans in Nairobi, Kenya, with the international market through a mobile ordering and payment system. As a certified B Corp, the brand is legally required to put its people and the environment first, and many of Soko's products are made from eco-friendly materials like teak off-cuts or recycled brass.
In 2018, ABLE became the first fashion brand to publish its lowest wages in an effort to encourage transparency and accountability in the industry. Now, you can find wage reports for all of the brand and its partners' manufacturing sites, from Nashville to Ethiopia, on the website, setting ABLE apart as a true leader in pay transparency. In addition, the company has made strides toward sustainability, using eco-friendly practices like creating jewelry made from repurposed scrap metal and using denim that requires less water to produce. ABLE's handbag tanneries are also part of the Leather Working Group, a non-profit which ensures that brands meet environmental best practices when it comes to leather production.
For more stories like this, check out:
- By-product beauty is the new frontier — meet the brands leading it
- Make your life greener with these 10 genius products from small businesses
- From swimsuits to cleaning products, 8 eco-friendly essentials to shop