11 Sustainable Clothing Brands Standing Up To Fast Fashion

This year I made the decision to only buy from sustainable, ethical, fair trade clothing brands or second hand. I made this decision based on a number of reasons.

 

In one year the fast fashion industry (think Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Gap, Zaful, Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, Mango, Uniqlo, Fashion Nova, Missguided, Romwe, Nike, Adidas, Topshop) will produce 150 billion garments, that’s 20 items per person.

30% of that will never be sold.

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. The oil industry being the first.

50% of the fast fashion produced will be thrown away in under a year.

The average life span of a piece of clothing is 3 years.

12.8 million tones of clothing is sent to landfills every year. Or sent to countries like Haiti, where they have a hard time distributing it and it then turns into waste there. With very few resources to manage the influx of waste it causes.

The fashion industry creates 92 million tons of textile waste, I can’t even personally understand what that number would look like if it were piled in one pile.

It takes 2700 liters of water to make ONE, just ONE t-shirt. To put that into perspective it would take one person 2.5 years to drink that much water. That’s messed up!

22,000 liters of toxic water is dumped into the rivers by the tanneries in Bangladesh every year. Causing horrific health issues for the locals who need this water to eat, drink, and bathe with.

Textile production produces 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. Airplanes produce 859 million, while cars produce 230 million.

 

So it doesn’t take much to see that the fashion industry is a horrible, horrible industry. Not only that, but the working conditions for the workers are horrific. Think Sweatshops, where workers are physically and mentally abused for asking for simple things like wage increases (the average textile worker, mostly females, wage in Bangladesh is 3000 Taka… That’s roughly $36.00 USD a month, you guys A WHOLE MONTH!), building inspections, toxic chemical protection (from the chemicals used on the clothing we buy), etc. I personally cannot go back to supporting the fast fashion industry after learning these facts.

Can you?

So here are my favorite clothing brands that give a shit about sustainability. Yes, they are more expensive, but I also aim to not purchase as often. They audit their factories, care about the people who make their clothes, and use toxic free fabrics.

Looking for plus size sustainable clothing brands? Check out my post on them here


1.Sezane

Price Range $$$

Product Range beautiful dresses-shoes

Size Range XS–L - up to US 12

Inclusive plus size options no

Shipping free shipping (over $200) and returns from the U.S.

Good to know all packaging when shipped is 100% recycled

Their ethos: "Since day one, I’ve been conscious that our actions today will determine the future of our children, and indeed the planet, tomorrow. It is this awareness that defines our choices - the choice to do things well, the choice to place the human first, and the choice to act. Each decision taken at Sézane is made according to these choices, with respect for the human above all, and a sensitivity to our planet whose fragility can no longer be ignored. The path to ‘perfection’ (if it exists), may be long, but nonetheless, it is this ideal that guides our actions. To constantly raise our standards and continue by your side - writing an endless and meaningful story. To ensure that tomorrow will be better than today. And of course, to report to you constantly on our engagements, even if they are still insufficient”

SHOP SEZANE


2. Reformation

Price Range $$$

Product Range beautiful dresses to shoes

Size Range XS–L and up to US size

Inclusive plus size options yes 3X and size 24

Shipping free U.S. shipping on all ground orders

Good to know you’re given the option to offset your carbon emissions at check out

Their ethos: “We put sustainability at the core of everything we do. We invest in green building infrastructure to minimize our waste, water, and energy footprints. By providing on-the-job training and opportunities for growth, we also invest in the people who make this revolution possible. There are people behind the clothes we wear, and too often they work under terrible conditions. That’s why we built our own sustainable factory in Los Angeles, where we work with awesome people from all over the world”

SHOP REFORMATION


3. Nisolo

Price Range $-$$$

Product Range womens and mens shoes, accessories and bags

Size Range womens shoes sizes 5-11, mens shoes sizes 8-13

Shipping $4.95 domestic U.S. shipping. Ships to Canada with Garmentory

Good to know they have a shoe reclamation program where you can send your used shoes to Nisolo, which will be given to Soles4Souls a non-profit that gives shoes to those in need

Their ethos: “All Nisolo producers receive, at a minimum, beyond fair trade wages, healthcare, and a healthy working environment. Your purchase enables us to create opportunity for over 500 people across our supply chain. We foster relationships with ethical factories and take a direct-to-consumer approach so that we can offer a fair price to you while ensuring producers in our supply chain are offered beyond fair trade wages, benefits, and a healthy working environment”

SHOP NISOLO


 

4. Marine Layer

Price Range $-$$

Product Range womens and mens clothing. Laid back California surfing vibes

Size Range mens small - x-large , 30-36, Womens x-small - x-large, 25-31

Inclusive plus size options no

Shipping free U.S. shipping and free returns within a year. Ships internationally for $15

Good to know they partner with charities by making custom-designed, limited-edition tees. $15 from each sale goes back to a featured organization

Their ethos: ”Most of our stuff comes from SF or LA, where some of the best knits in the world are made. For some of the more technical styles, we turn to sewers overseas that work in the same ethical and sustainable factories we’d use here”

SHOP MARINE LAYER

 
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5. Patagonia

Price Range $-$$$

Product Range womens and mens technical clothing

Size Range mens small - xx-large , 28-40, Womens x-small - x-large, 0-18

Inclusive plus size options sort of

Shipping $8.50-13.95. You can pretty much return anything or have it repaired in store

Good to know they have a program called Action Works that offers grants and support to activists working to find solutions to the environmental crisis. You can visit their website to apply for grants.

Their ethos: “As the climate crisis deepens, we see a potential, even probable end to such moments, and so we’re fighting to save them. We donate our time, services and at least 1 percent of our sales to help hundreds of grassroots organizations all over the world so that they can remain vigilant, and protect what’s irreplaceable. At the same time, we know that we risk saving a tree only to lose the forest—a livable planet. As the loss of biodiversity, arable soils, coral reefs and fresh water all accelerate, we are doing our best to address the causes, and not just symptoms, of global warming”

SHOP PATAGONIA


6. Arc’teryx

Price Range $$-$$$

Product Range womens and mens technical clothing

Size Range mens x-small - xx-large, womens x-small - x-large, 0-12

Inclusive plus size options no

Shipping free shipping. Free returns. You can pretty much return anything or have it repaired in store

Good to know they have a community program called Arc'teryx Community Grant that offers grants. They also support events, fundraises, and volunteer time.

Their ethos: “We believe that Arc'teryx can be a force for positive change. We create this change not only by improving the practices in our core operations, but by supporting projects and partners that align with our values”

SHOP ARC’TERYX


 

7. VETTA

Price Range $-$$$

Product Range womens capsule wardrobes

Size Range womens x-small-x-large

Inclusive plus size options no

Shipping free U.S. shipping and exchanges

Good to know all of their pieces can be worn multiple ways

Their ethos: “We're committed to sustainable fabrics and responsible factories. Our woven clothing is made in a family run factory in NYC, where many of the employees have worked there together for over 30 years - and we visit often. Our sweaters are knitted by our partner factory in Los Angeles that is audited annually for social and environmental compliance - and gets 70% of its energy from solar power”
SHOP VETTA

 
 

8. Everlane

Price Range $-$$$

Product Range modern basics and shoes for women and men

Size Range womens pants size 23-33, 0-16, tops x-small-xx-large, shoes 5-11. Mens pants size 28-40, tops x-small-xx-large, shoes 7-13

Inclusive plus size options yes

Shipping free U.S. shipping and exchanges

Good to know your first order ships free. Refer a friend and get $25 when they make their first purchase

Their ethos: “At Everlane, we want the right choice to be as easy as putting on a great T-shirt. That’s why we partner with the best, ethical factories around the world. Source only the finest materials. And share those stories with you—down to the true cost of every product we make. It’s a new way of doing things. We call it Radical Transparency”

SHOP EVERLANE


 

9. Kotn
Price Range $-$$

Product Range quality essentials for women and men

Size Range womens pants size x-small-xx-large, tops x-small-xx-large. Mens pants size x-small-xx-large, tops x-small-xx-large

Inclusive plus size options no

Shipping free North American shipping, returns and exchanges within 30 days

Good to know to stop the cycle of child labour Kotn, partners with pro-literacy organizations on the ground in the Nile Delta, Egypt where their cotton is grown. They are also working towards providing schooling for every child within their farming organization in Egypt

Their ethos: “At Kotn, we make every one of our fabrics from scratch, working directly with each step of the supply chain from farm to mill, to cut and sew. Once our cotton is picked, the raw fibres are spun into yarns and then knit into sheets of material, each using a different thread weight and knit pattern to create its unique makeup”

SHOP KOTN

 
 

10. BackBeatRags

Price Range $-$$

Product Range recycled cotton clothing for women

Size Range womens tops small - large, pants x-small-large

Inclusive plus size options no

Shipping free U.S shipping on orders over $120. Free returns

Good to know BackBeatRags hosts events in the U.S. check their events page for more information

Their ethos: “Our city, our planet. We’re committed to giving you better choices when it comes to what you wear. All our clothing is made here in Los Angeles. We buy locally knitted fabric and work with small, family owned businesses. That way, BackBeatRags supports local makers and create jobs at every rung of the supply ladder, while also minimizing our environmental imprint.”

SHOP BACKBEATRAGS


11. Anián

Price Range $-$$$

Product Range women’s and men’s clothing and accessories

Size Range small - large

Inclusive plus size options no

Shipping free shipping on all orders over $100.00

Good to know sign up for their newsletter to receive 10% off your first order

Their ethos: “The fashion industry has long been driven by throw away, fast fashion, with styles that come and go in the blink of an eye. We wanted to head in the other direction and create clothing that is timeless rather than trendy. It was a risk but it aligned with what we set out to do. Each item of Anián clothing is designed with simplicity in mind; built to withstand the elements but also keep you looking sharp. We design with the belief that owning one garment that will see you through multiple occasions makes more sense than owning ten you might wear once. Our aim is to fill your closet, not the landfills. Approximately 80-90 pounds of textiles are thrown away per person each year. By purchasing well-designed, well-constructed pieces of clothing you’re making a choice that has a globally positive impact.”

SHOP ANIAN

 
 
 
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