Earth day is tomorrow and it got us thinking: what are we doing to make this world a better place? While our generation is very conscious with environmentally-friendly practices, unfortunately, we all know it’s hard to resist a $29,99 H&M dress or that faux moto from Urban Outfitters. So what’s the true cost of it? Contamination, waste, animal cruelty, and unfair trade. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean shopping has to be a guilt-ridden pleasure.
This brings us to today’s story; while we are glad that Stella McCartney and H&M’s Conscious Collection brought eco-friendly fashion to the mass market, there are a lot of smaller brands that are playing it green in a much more profound way. Over the last decades, a ton of significant socially conscious (and stylish) startups have been created, but how often do we keep them in mind at the time of shopping? We believe the first step for making a change is being informed on where products come from in order to have a more thoughtful shopping experience. For this reason, we’ve decided to make a list of 8 ridiculously cool eco-friendly fashion brands that you need to know. Trust us (and the world) when we say it’s worth spending those extra dollars when you know it’s going towards a good cause.
One of the fashion categories that are most controversial in regards to animal cruelty are bags and accessories. Why? Leather. Freedom of Animals made sure that’s not an issue anymore, offering a sustainable and cruelty-free luxury bag line. Using materials that look and feel as soft as leather, this New York based brand made it on our list due to its awesome designs and ethical practices. Fun fact: most of their chic bags are named after the orphaned elephants that were brought to the Sheldrick Foundation after losing their mothers to poaching.
We know a lot of people associate eco-friendly with eeeek-o ugly, but, seriously, that’s a HUGE misconception. Kowtow makes certified fair trade organic clothing that is ethically and sustainably made from seed to garment. Using 100% organic cotton and helping in the development of villages in India (where the clothing is produced), Kowtow sure knows how to make this world a better place.
Born out of the desire to create beautifully made and thoughtfully designed staples, Svilu is committed to working with environmentally sensitive fabrics and practices. Not only will you own clothing that looks good, but it also feels good. Embrace the matching sets… responsibly.
We believe that for Earth day it’s important to focus not only on eco-friendly brands, but also on socially conscious ones (the Earth would be nothing without the humans in it, after all). Article One is one of those brands that has to-die-for products (look at those sunnies) and a killer mission. The company was founded with a single goal in mind: to increase the funding for vitamin A supplementation in developing countries. One million children die or go blind each year from vitamin A deficiency, so Article One is committed to donate $2 from each sale of eyewear to Helen Keller International, to help the distribution of this vitamin supplements worldwide.
A website where you can buy all of your apparel without the guilty conscious. At Zady they have one mission: selling high-quality products. Of course, they do it through what they call the new standard — working with considered design, respected makers, and thoughtful production.
Because earth-loving looks are not just for hippie chicks, Cienne is doing the right thing. Sourcing the finest materials from artisans around the world and producing in high-end factories in New York City, this brand works with minimal design and exceptional tailoring that keep low waste and contamination. Key message: less is more — forget about changing your wardrobe every 6 months, these pieces are made to last longer than just a season.
Yes, we are pretty sure you’ve heard of this brand before (unless you live under a rock). Reformation is known for its trendy boho designs, amazing fit, and a strong approach to recycling fabrics. By manufacturing most of the garments on their LA factory and cutting out the middleman (goodbye department stores and multi-brand retailers), not only do they eliminate traditional retail markups but they also make sure that all the production process is done in a sustainable way. Additionally, last year they launched RefScale, a feature that informs customers of the environmental impact of their purchases by measuring the CO2, H2O and waste savings of each garment produced. And this year, they’re stepping up their already strong game with a new personalized dashboard added to each customer’s account page that will give them the ability to track their own environmental savings with every purchase. Word on the street is that they’ll also be launching a perks program later this year based on customers’ individual RefScale savings. Gotta love ’em.
Okay, we’ve got eco-friendly apparel, bags, and glasses, but something is still missing; finish your outfit with footwear that has equally strong ideals. When it comes to adorning our precious feet in a sustainable way, Brother Vellies is winning the game — by far. Most of their shoes are made using Kudu leather (an animal byproduct resulting from a government mandated culling due to overpopulation) and vegetable dying (minimizing the harmful effects that chemical dyeing has on the environment). They always work with local artisans in Africa, promoting fair wages and helping on the development of their villages. Fun fact #2: “vellies” are the colloquial name for velskoen, traditional African boots that are the ancestor to the modern day desert boot.
Feature image via Cienne