Sustainable fashion has a bad reputation for being boring and downright dowdy sometimes, so thankfully there are sustainable fashion brands out there trying to change that!
If eco-friendly style calls to mind images of frayed burlap and too-thin organic cotton materials, then this article is for you! Check out our list below of eleven top sustainable fashion brands. Some you may have heard of, and hopefully others will be a new discovery! Here they are, in no particular order.
By far one of the most popular eco-chic brands out there, Reformation is loved by stylish ladies and gents for their excellently-curated collections of cool clothes. In their own words, “we make killer clothes that don’t kill the environment.” And just how do they do that? The brand designs limited-edition collections that are made in its own LA-based factories, and everything is either sustainably sourced or vintage. Even when it comes to selling online or in their boutiques, they use sustainable practices the whole way, complete with recycled hangers or packaging for each item. Design and fit of the clothes are equally as important as sustainability, which is why Reformation has such a strong reputation for being stylish and eco-conscious.
2. People Tree
Like Topshop for eco-fashionistas, People Tree is cute, trendy, and has a ton of variety for different tastes and body types. Far beyond being made sustainably, they also have a commitment to selling fair trade garments that are made by artisans and farmers in developing countries. Best of all, the clothing they make is high-quality and pretty stylish to boot! They even do designer collaborations.
So, certified fair trade? Check. Certified organic? Check. Certified safe and natural dyes? Check. All of that and they have a major commitment to recycling.
3. Asos Green Room ‘Eco Edit’
Another personal favorite, Asos’ Green Room is a carefully curated collection of environmentally friendly and fair trade clothing and accessories. One of the coolest features on the site is their glossary, which helps shoppers recognize items that are fair trade, organic, etc. They also label items with where they were made (some are made in Africa, others in the US and UK), which helps if you want to by something either fair trade or just closer to your respective location.
4. Talented Totes
I’ve mentioned this brand before over here, and I had to include them on this list too because I love them that much! These canvas bags are fair trade, eco-friendly, and straight-up hilarious! They’re usually printed or have text on them with various witty sayings. They also have seasonal collaborations with designers from around the world so they’re constantly switching up their prints. This bag (pictured above) is just plain pretty.
5. American Apparel
American Apparel’s bragging rights can be traced back to their claim that they’re sweatshop-free. They have a company policy of using vertical integration to concentrate all of their manufacturing and distribution from their LA headquarters, which minimizes their carbon footprint. This way, the money they save on fuel and shipping goes to provide fair wages for their workers. Also, they have an organic collection, like this white organic tank top above– definitely a basic necessity.
6. Amour Vert
This brand is a celebrity favorite, and has had a lot of luck scoring placements in some major magazines, which is positive for sustainable fashion in general. It proves sustainable fashion brands can be stylish! All of Amour Vert’s clothing is made in the US with organic fabrics, non-toxic dyes, and a zero waste philosophy. And they have a program on their website where every tee shirt purchase plants a tree somewhere in North America. They also recently did a collaboration with Blake Lively where they designed the cutest dress together!
7. Freedom of Animals
These bags also got some major attention when they first came out. They are by far some of the most chic vegan bags out there, and they keep it sustainable throughout the manufacturing process! They use recycled plastics and organic cotton to make most of the bags- even the zippers are made of recycled metals! The sweetest part? They have a partnership with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya (they rehabilitate orphaned elephants) and Freedom of Animals names the bags after the orphaned elephants. Sweet and stylish? Yes and yes!
8. H&M Conscious Collection
While some would argue that clothing produced on a mass scale (as H&M does…) can’t be sustainable, it’s still awesome to acknowledge them for what they’re trying to do with their conscious collection. They’ve got a long way to go, but this is one of those baby steps that will hopefully lead to something greater. Something you may not know about the brand is that they have a commitment to waste reduction, whereby they accept old used garments form customers (in any condition) for them to be recycled. Bonus: Eco-conscious fashionista Olivia Wilde loves the brand’s conscious collection too! It’s always positive when big brands make sustainability more mainstream, as H&M is doing.
9. Eileen Fischer
Eileen Fischer is known for being eco-conscious since before it was (somewhat) cool! This sustainable fashion brand is a bit more refined than some of the others on this list, but it’s got some high-quality, classic items. The brand is also committed to updating its manufacturing processes; they used to make their clothes out of viscose, but upon discovering it’s not the eco-friendly renewable resource they thought it was, they switched to another tree-based fiber that’s sustainably harvested.
Like Amour Vert, OlsenHaus is another celebrity favorite. Founded by Elizabeth Olsen, these 100 percent vegan shoes are just plain gorgeous, and they come in a wide variety of styles. Olsen prides herself on making the shoes as stylish as they are kind to animals and the earth. As you would expect from such a conscious shoe line, all of the designs are fair trade, cruelty-free, natural, recycled, and low-carbon. The shoes are also made-to-order, so they don’t mass produce something, and they get it just right each season. The brand is also totally transparent, and has photos on its website of the factories and materials it uses.
11. Synergy Organic Clothing
If you like a little bit of whimsy with your sustainable fashion, Synergy Organic Clothing is a must-have brand. Their clothing features beautiful, hand-sewn appliques, and their entire line is made from GOTS-certified organic cotton. Check out this beautiful bodycon tank dress to get an idea of what their clothing is like.
[photo of woman from Shutterstock]