Eco-Friendly Trends and Brands Making a Difference


Fashion has an appalling environmental footprint: resource-intensive practices drain natural resources while producing massive amounts of pollution (one cotton T-shirt requires 2700 litres of water for its creation). But this year brands are prioritising sustainability over wasteful practices.

Looking for materials with minimal environmental impacts is also key; certifications like GOTS, Oeko-Tex and Bluesign provide further assurance of this fact. Certified B Corporations should also be considered when searching for materials.

Organic Cotton

At a time when minimalism has never been more fashionable, eco-friendly footwear, bags and jewelry are growing in demand due to increased awareness about toxic chemicals found in everyday clothing. Organic cotton offers one solution as it is grown without using harmful pesticides – not only protecting wearer health but also decreasing water and chemical consumption used by conventional farming operations.

Brands often claim they are environmentally-friendly, but it is essential that consumers scrutinize the transparency and ethical practices of these claims to avoid greenwashing. Fashion accounts for 8 percent of global carbon emissions each year while using up 93 billion cubic metres of water annually.

Brands like Eileen Fisher, Frank and Oak, and prAna offer timeless styles from sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, TENCEL lyocell, recycled fibres and more sourced only from factories committed to environmental and social responsibility.

Recycled Textiles

Fashion has long been celebrated for its efforts toward sustainability, yet most clothing is fabricated using non-biodegradable petroleum-based synthetics that take years to break down and ultimately end up in landfills. To reduce waste, many brands have implemented circular models centered around using safe inputs while keeping materials in use as long as possible through recycling, reuse, repair, rent-to-own agreements and secondhand shopping initiatives.

When purchasing sustainable clothing, ensure it has certifications such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards), OEKO-TEX and Forest Stewardship Council. Opt for natural fibers like hemp, cotton and linen that require less water and pesticides to grow; virgin synthetics like polyester make up 55% of world clothing production but take years to break down.

Reformation, Girlfriend Collective and Stay Wild Swim are among the brands using recycled textiles in their designs such as Tencel(r) fabric deadstock pulp made from eco-friendly eucalyptus or bamboo wood pulp as part of their designs. Other sustainable options available to them are regenerated silk fabric from used clothing production facilities; vegan leather as well as viscose made from recycled plastic bottles for sustainable materials.

Fair Trade

As consumers become more conscious about sustainable fashion, they’re actively searching out brands with eco-friendly practices. According to a survey conducted by First Insight, two thirds of global shoppers would pay more for sustainable products.

Apparel retailers can embrace sustainability in various ways. Digitalization can streamline design processes and reduce waste. Furthermore, personalized styling services and precise sizing services can enhance customer experience and minimize returns. Finally, upcycling can reduce textile waste while contributing to circular economies.

Influencers and sustainable fashion advocates can also partner with eco-friendly fashion brands to increase consumer education about sustainable fashion practices, helping reduce their supply chain’s environmental impact while improving fashion industry reputation. Social media can also be leveraged to raise awareness and encourage sustainable lifestyles.

Zero Waste

Fashion’s impact on the environment is unsurpassed, with most items ending up in landfills. Even natural materials like organic cotton have earned themselves a bad name when used to produce clothing destined for landfills that will biodegrade anaerobically to release methane gas 25x more powerful than CO2.

Zero waste fashion (commonly referred to as circular fashion) challenges the “take-make-waste” model with garments designed with responsible end of life in mind. Designers like YeohLee use geometric concepts to minimize fabric waste; and companies are creating sustainable fabrics from agricultural waste such as orange peels and kapok tree pods for production of sustainable fabrics.

Sustainable fashion is often misrepresented as window dressing by brands responsible for overproduction, environmental impacts and worker exploitation. To truly support sustainable fashion when shopping, look for detailed policies and certifications instead of buzzwords when shopping – narrow your searches down to activewear (Girlfriend Collective or Stay Wild Swim) or denim (Outland Denim or Lucy & Yak are two great examples), or find brands using upcycled textiles in their pieces.

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