BUT IF YOU DO,
SUPPORT THESE SUSTAINABLE BRANDS
While Big Oil is a well known cause of pollution and the largest threat to our environment right now, you’ll never guess what the second most dangerous industry is. And you might be part of a bigger problem than you realized.
When you think of pollution, you probably imagine cars, oil producing wells, coal mines and raw sewage pipes spilling into our lakes and oceans. But it’s in fact the clothes you are wearing that cause almost as much devastation to nature.
Clothing industry is the second biggest cause of pollution today. Those endless trends we have all been following are ending up in the landfill faster than ever. An average American throws away about 82 pounds of clothes and textile waste each year, which adds up to 11 million tons from the US alone! Those trendy pants you got on sale at H&M for $5 because, you “can afford to throw them out after this season”, will end up in a pile somewhere in the nature, producing toxic greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere, contributing to temperatures rising higher and higher, making sure we have no future. It takes up 40 years for clothes made of natural fibers to decompose, and it might be up to 1000 years for shoes to break down! But polyester, like plastic, never breaks down. And the statistics that demonstrate the impact of clothing production are literally shocking!
How do you help reduce toxic waste and help the planet without sacrificing what you love?
You make conscious choices and you think twice before reaching for your wallet!
Do you really need another tank or another pair of jeans? Maybe you only buy one item a month instead of 5? Maybe you even don’t buy anything for a while and see where that takes you?
In the past year I have cut down on shopping as much as possible. I even shared with you my system on how to clean up both your life and your closet by sorting your current wardrobe in a way that will maximize the use of everything you have. But for anyone like me, who sees fashion as a tool for radical self expression, it’s hard to cut out shopping altogether. Or to shop without guilt. So I have put together a list of brands that practice fair trade, sustainable and eco-friendly. Enjoy and please use this list!
According to the website Everlane “spends months finding the best factories around the world—the very same ones that produce your favorite designer labels”. And then they visit them to build strong personal relationships with the owners. All this work is done for the purpose of price transparency – the customers have a right to know what their products cost to make, their real cost.
People Tree is a pioneer in ethical and sustainable fashion. Having existed for more than twenty years, this company has collaborated with Fair Trade artisans and farmers in the developing world to support their economic independence while they don’t forget about the environment protection and use natural resources sustainably. As a result, they offer good quality products, with friendly and efficient service.
LA based company Alternative Apparel offers modern and casual basics for both men and women, as well as accessories. The motto of their official website is “More than a name, Alternative is who we are”. And that’s true. They stick both to ethical and sustainable practices in their work. Their factories operate in accordance with the Fair Labor Association Workplace Code of Conduct and they make over 80% of their garments with sustainable materials and processes.
The official statement of the company on their website is that “Symbology aims not only to produce beautiful clothing but also to preserve traditional art forms in each garment — from Indian block printing to Palestinian weaving and Native American embroidery”. You can’t help but fall in love with their amazing unique designs, modern aesthetic, and commitment to empowering women across the globe. Their goal is to redefine the fashion industry so that ethical fashion would no longer be the exception, but the norm.
“We don’t want sustainability to be our edge. We want it to be universal.” —that’s what Eileen Fisher wants to say. They care about fair trade and human rights, proper work conditions and sustainable manufacturing. By 2020 their vision is to have 100% organic cotton and linen fibers, responsible dyes, carbon positive operations and a no waste facility. That’s where to look for the best organic linen clothing.
The philosophy of Indigenous Clothing is based on ethical and eco-friendly fashion. They are committed to fair trade partnerships with culturally diverse artisans from all over the world. All Indigenous clothes and accessories are made of only all natural fibers, including organic cotton, organic alpaca, marino wool, silk, and other fibers created by nature, as well as use only natural dyes – so be sure that your clothing feels as soft on the planet as it is on your skin.
Mata Traders company was started by three best friends that fell in love with India and wanted to help to end global poverty and inspire ethical companies to change the fashion industry. They cooperate with several fair trade organizations in India and Nepal that train and employ hundreds of artisans in marginalized communities. That’s how they promote gender equity and empowering women. Their products are handmade using artistic traditions like block-printing and embroidery, so ii the end they produce dresses with attractive designs and colorful patterns.
Krochet Kids are known for their affordable and trendy clothing, as well as for the incredible impact they have on the communities where their artisans live and work, in particular in Uganda and Peru. By the way, every their product is hand-signed by the person who made it.