6 Eco-Friendly Fashion Brands To Inspire You In 2019
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As we head into a new year, it’s clear to see that the fashion industry is changing. More brands are starting to put sustainability and ethical practices at the forefront of their values, and about time too.
However, though changes are happening, it’s definitely not an across-the-board thing. There are still plenty of brands at the moment that follow bad practices and promote a one-season throwaway mentality. It’s easy for these brands to hide poor production methods and pollution behind well-worded advertising campaigns, meaning that as a consumer, you don’t necessarily know how your product made its way to the rail and what your money is funding.
If eco-friendly shopping is one of your New Year’s resolutions, then we’ve got just the list for you. These six eco-friendly fashion brands will inspire you to change your wardrobe and think outside the box when it comes to shopping for this year’s clothes.
Recommended reading: How Organizations Are Taking On Fast Fashion Today
1. Alternative Apparel
Alternative Apparel is a fashion brand that creates eco-friendly, ethical basics for men and women. Their style is simple and modern, comfy and versatile.
All of Alternative Apparel’s garments are made with sustainable materials — using organic cotton in place of conventional cotton, and recycled polyester and plastic bottles to create soft eco-fabrics. Their processes are pretty eco-friendly too, using non-toxic, low-impact dyes and water-conserving washes to make the end product.
Alternative has gone a step further and paired their eco-friendly clothes with equally eco-friendly packaging, which they say annually saves 2,100 trees, 400 cubic yards of landfill, 860k gallons of water and conserves 120 tons of CO2.
2. People Tree
Based in London, People Tree has been a pioneer in sustainable fair trade fashion since 1991.
At a time when the fashion industry was moving towards mass-manufactured products and the use of synthetic materials, People Tree went in the other direction. Rather than jumping on the mass-manufacturing bandwagon, Founder Safia Minney focused on traditional artisan skills such as hand weaving, knitting, block printing and embroidery. Instead of synthetics, the brand used organic fabrics and natural dyes to create their designs.
The result is beautiful — People Tree’s collections use vibrant V&A inspired patterns and contemporary designs to create exclusive, innovative pieces. And the great part? They haven’t had to compromise on their ethical, eco-friendly stance when it comes to production or the materials they use. Garments are made from eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cottons (their main fabric, making up 83% of their 2017 order), responsible wool, and Tencel — a biodegradable, sustainable fabric made from wood pulp.
People Tree also partners with producers, farmers, artisans and other workers in developing countries to ensure positive social impact through support, fair wages, and good working conditions.
3. Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney has long been an advocate for ethical, sustainable fashion.
The designer has placed great emphasis on having a positive effect on both the fashion industry and the world, through reducing our environmental impact on the planet, and social sustainability by creating a fair and respectful supply chain.
Not only has McCartney created a hugely successful fashion house; she has created a vegetarian brand. The fashion house doesn’t use any leather, fur, feather, or animal skins. At the time, the industry didn’t think that a luxury fashion brand could be created without using fur or leather. Yet Stella McCartney has proved everyone wrong and managed to create inspiring and innovative lines for both catwalk and wardrobe, season after season.
McCartney continues to work hard to combine fashion with environmental conservation, as shown in her thought-provoking campaigns.
4. Amour Vert
Amour Vert is a California-based fashion brand with a difference. Their garments may look effortlessly cool and carefree but behind the scenes, this fashion brand is working hard to ensure they stay eco-friendly and harm-free.
After finding out that the fashion industry is one of the top polluting industries in the world, Amour Vert set out to make a difference with their production methods and fabric use. Production is precise to ensure no excess waste, and 97% of their clothing is made locally in San Francisco to reduce transportation needs and their overall carbon footprint. You can even meet their factory partners here on their “About” page.
Much like TOMS’ “one for one” model, Amour Vert practice a “buy a tee, we plant a tree” concept. With every purchase of an Amour Vert tee-shirt, they plant a tree in North America (using a trusted partner). The result? Over 200,000 trees have been planted (to date), and 21 reforestation projects supported. Pretty impressive.
Based in Cornwall in the UK, Finisterre is a brand inspired by the sea, style, and reducing harm to the earth’s eco-system. Since shifting their operation to Shopify Plus, the brand have found greater success by showcasing their many sustainability initiatives via documentary-style coverage.
One of Finisterre’s most successful initiatives is swimwear made from discarded fishing nets and other waste material. The range has been designed specifically for surfers, and 10% of profits from each sale goes towards Surfers Against Sewage.
With the sea playing such a huge part in inspiring Finisterre — their workshop is perched on a clifftop next to the sea — so it’s great to see that they are doing their bit to reduce plastic waste in our oceans.
Their products (which range from waterproof jackets to swimwear to cord dungaree dresses) are both practical and fashionable; designed with longevity and durability in mind. While every garment channels a relaxed and call vibe, with just a hint of the surfer aesthetic.
6. Matt & Nat
Matt & Nat (short for “Material and Nature”) is a cruelty-free fashion brand that uses 100% vegan and sustainable materials.
They’ve created stylish yet ethical products such as handbags, backpacks, belts and shoes — so you can match your eco-friendly clothing with equally eco-friendly accessories.
Matt & Nat’s material use is fascinating: the linings of all bags created by the brand are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles, and they incorporate sustainable materials such as recycled nylon, cork and vegan leather.
Going eco-friendly with your clothes shopping doesn’t have to be difficult. These are just six of the many eco-friendly fashion brands available out there in 2019; with a huge range of styles, products and prices available to consumers, the choice is in your hands. All you have to do is open up that browser and get discovering some eco-friendly fashion for yourself.