Scientists estimate that we only have about a decade left to reverse global carbon emissions and save planet earth. (No pressure!) And although we’ve successfully removed plastic straws and disposable water bottles, the fashion industry, which accounts for 10 percent of global emissions, is on track to increase its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2030.
On average, each person in the US throws away about 70 pounds of clothing and textiles a year, and all of that waste takes up nearly 5 percent of landfills. However, unlike flexible straws, one can never buy clothes again – it’s a basic human need, let alone an important tool for self-expression. It’s cool, however, because there are many options for shopping that will minimize environmental damage, such as shopping. B. Buying used goods, selling clothes instead of throwing them away, buying biodegradable fabrics (cotton, linen, hemp, etc.), composting items made from natural fibers and buying from fashion brands that practice sustainability in all areas of their business.
In the last few years every brand has apparently added “sustainable” to their Instagram bio, but what does that even mean? If a company claims to be sustainable, does that statement apply to its entire production chain, the factories it uses, the materials it sells, the packaging it ships in, and the shipping process itself? How do you know that a company that claims to be sustainable really is?
These are the questions that make it so difficult to shop with confidence. That’s why Team Seventeen created the ultimate sustainable shopping list that you can refer to whenever you need a small impulse buy. We researched, interviewed and yes, shopped online to find superstar fashion, jewelry and accessory brands that have set the bar for sustainability – brands that are so good they deserve an award (* wink wink *).
Our winners are 15 percent owned by BIPOC and 73 percent owned by women. These companies are reducing, reusing, recycling, repairing, and using them so effectively that you are actually helping the environment with every purchase you make. These are the best and most sustainable fashion brands of 2021.
The Reformation likes to brag that “nudity is the most sustainable option, we are number two”. Despite having pretty tough competition on this list alone, the brand is well on its way to becoming one of the few fashion retailers that is not only waste, water, and carbon neutral (which they have been ICYMI since 2015), but climate positive too are . Right, the Reformation is working so hard to tackle waste and pollution that it expects to exceed its own negative emissions by 2025. How did you do that? Well, it’s a long story, but basically they have implemented sustainability practices in every area of their business: from reusing scraps of fabric, to switching to recyclable packaging, to phasing out plastic hangers in stores – the list goes * literally * on and on .
Cynthia Tie Dye High Rise Straight Long Jeans
The next time you try to increase the drop, Aurate is the brand to shop for. The female-owned business specializes in dainty jewelry made from 100 percent recycled gold. Their stones are guaranteed by mines that offer acceptable working conditions, fair pay and respect for the local indigenous communities. They only source pearls from family-run farms that farm sustainably and harvest sensitively to ensure the well-being and biodiversity of the marine environment. Each piece is made in NYC and comes with a lifetime warranty to prevent overbought.
If you want to find out about the sustainability practices of the well-known Girlwear Collective brand Girlfriend Collective, we recommend that you cancel your plans for the next few hours – because it’s a lot. If you don’t have time for this, let me surprise you with the highlights: Your packaging is 100 percent recycled and recyclable, your clothes are made from recycled post-consumer bottles, recycled fishing nets, recycled nylon and zero-waste, emission-free copper fibers Waste from the cotton industry, they use environmentally friendly dyes and their factory guarantees fair wages, safe and healthy conditions and no forced or child labor.
Brick Print High Rise Legging
Since its inception in 2018, the climate-neutral blue-jean brand Boyish has saved 36,510 miles in car emissions. of waste from a landfill and planted 15,622 trees. Boyish Denim is dyed with non-toxic plant-based dyes and is made from lyocell (a plant-based textile) and recycled or upcycled organic cotton fabric. Your jeans are biodegradable and specially designed to be recycled once they are no longer usable. Additionally, you can sell your used jeans on the Boyish website for cash or credit.
Since most of your underwear drawer is likely 100 percent cotton, keeping waste low is easy – just cut the elastic and compost the rest. Your bra drawer, however, is a whole different story. Many donation programs don’t accept used bras. When your favorite push-up is up, it goes straight to a landfill. Bra brand Harper Wilde knows this problem too well and has decided to open its own in-house bra recycling center. With every purchase, buyers receive a compostable shipping bag that can be filled with an old hanger. (If you’d like to donate without making a purchase, you can send your own box to the warehouse.) From there, bras are dismantled piece by piece to be recycled or recycled into clothing, carpets, cleaning textiles, or building insulation. To date, the company has recycled and counted 38,000 bras.
Netflix’s Seaspiracy has been haunting my nightmares for weeks – specifically the fact that 46 percent of the litter in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is just fishing nets (for reference, plastic straws make up 0.025 percent). Thankfully, Eco Eyewear is working to bring that number down. The brand recycles fishing nets, ropes and plastic trawls found in the sea and transforms them into trendy sunglasses. Their frames are made from 95 percent recycled metal, bio-based castor oil, and recycled ocean plastic, while the packaging is made from recycled plastic, recycled paper, and biodegradable materials. Oh, and for every pair of glasses they buy, they plant a tree. If you think about it logically, you basically pay to plant a tree and clean up marine litter and then get cute jars for free.
Come for the included size range (XXXS-7XL), groovy prints, genderless styles and super affordable prices, stick for the eco-friendly business model and ethical production. Yes, I’m talking about Big Bud Press. The LA-based brand continues to manufacture near its home and uses 98 percent US-grown and manufactured fabrics that are woven in either the Los Angeles area or the East Coast. They almost exclusively use textiles made from 100 percent cotton (biodegradable fabrics, ftw!) And non-cotton fabrics are made from recycled yarn and are dyed with non-toxic dyes. They are also in the process of switching their 100 percent recycled plastic garment bags to a more sustainable option.
Pink floral dugout corduroy hat
Cotton Candy Spiral Sweat Pants
This quirky brand was created to eliminate the need for single-use plastic bags. Sustainability is therefore the basis of the company. Baggus namesake tote bags are made from a continuous piece of 40 percent recycled nylon fabric to reduce waste. The machines they produce are turned into bags in limited editions. Other products are made either from 59 percent recycled nylon fabric, 65 percent from recycled cotton fabric or 100 percent from recycled PET (read: plastic water bottles). Once an order has been placed, the products are shipped in 100 percent recycled, recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Baggu also has a recycling program so their canvas and nylon bags never end up in a landfill. Customers can drop off used bags at any Baggu store or deliver them to their recycling center for a discount on their next purchase.
Allbirds are cloud friendly and have a cloud-like fit that has earned them a cult following. The sneaker canvas is made of biodegradable fabrics (either wool or eucalyptus tree fibers) in combination with recycled nylon. The laces each consist of a plastic water bottle. The packaging consists of 90 percent recycled post-consumer cardboard and also serves as a shoe box, shopping bag and post office. The company is also working to go carbon neutral and will be releasing a 100 percent plant-based (not plastic) leather later this year.
Women’s Wool Runner Fluff
Every single detail of the California-based swim brand Vitamin A’s business has been scrutinized to ensure that the most environmentally friendly practices are followed. Sustainability is applied in the materials of their suits (made from recycled nylon or natural fabrics) and the packaging they are shipped in (100 percent recycled, recyclable, biodegradable, and made in the USA), to the lightbulbs in their factories ( LED, reduces your electricity consumption by up to 90 percent) and the toilets in your bathrooms (low-flow and Energy Star rated). The company awards a portion of each sale to marine life organizations and hosts annual beach cleanings that are open to the public. At the time of publication, vitamin A has saved 742,819 gallons of water, 77,852 pounds of waste, 741,975 pounds of emissions and 1,066,508 kWh of energy through efficient production methods.
Face masks save lives, but since surgical masks are for single use only, they have quickly become a major threat to marine life. Enter: Barrière, a medical mask company founded in 2020 to combat this scenario. Their (very chic) surgical masks are FDA and CE certified, offer 95 percent protection and are made from 100 percent recycled plastic. They also offer a face mask recycling program to create a waste-free manufacturing process. If you happen to live in NYC, drop yours off at their Brooklyn headquarters and Barrière will recycle them for you.
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