By Samantha Kruse
A brand that values sustainability will include eco-friendly ingredients in its products, pay employees fair wages, and (most) use renewable energy for the production process. As many companies are now trying to go “green,” I have put together my favorite ethical and sustainable fashion brands that promote unique clothes while also being conscious of their impact on the environment.
Levi’s is transparent with consumers and realizes its duty to create durable products while also looking out for the ecosystem. While selling the cutest denim, the brand’s mantra is “Buy better. Wear longer.” Levi’s has made innovations that use less resources when creating products. According to Levi’s website, its efforts include reusing and recycling water, using cotton from sustainable sources, and implementing a Worker Well-Being program at its production sites. The results from these innovations show the company has saved 4.2 billion liters of water, and reused and recycled 6 billion liters of water. The website even has a “secondhand” section that resells gently used items and eliminates more waste going into landfills. Even though the company has already made substantial efforts, it has many goals to keep reducing, reusing, and recycling.
I see Afends as the sustainable Urban Outfitters. They have the same street style fashion and price products about the same. The company, which started in Byron Bay, Australia, devotes itself to eco-friendly products, as it uses 100% sustainable fibers, innovates ways to use its waste and excess fabrics, and designs its products for durability. Afends’ website talks about its favorite fabric alternative, Hemp fibers, as “one of the most durable and economically viable all-natural threads.” Making clothes out of hemp can clean the atmosphere, as it consumes “four times as much CO2 as trees do.” Afends is also unique because it aims to support a culture of up-and-coming artists, musicians, and surf and skateboarders. They have their community’s back while also being conscious of their environmental footprint.
Earthbound Trading Company
Earthbound Trading Co. is home to all things hippie, from beautiful, glass mushroom lamps to tie-dye jumpsuits. This smaller company did not have much information on its website. But, after reaching out to the Earthbound WebSale staff via email, I found that it has started to make efforts toward a more sustainable company. It maintains a close relationship with its vendors to ensure the products and conditions are safe and ethical. The company takes pride in minimizing single-use plastics, and whenever a shopper has their own reusable bag, the company donates to the Arbor Day Foundation, which plants trees with every donation.
Parks Project creates National Parks apparel while putting forth efforts to help clean and protect the parks. It has made the process more sustainable by upcycling materials to create their products and by using solar power to run the production facility. The brand’s goal is to educate the youth and restore habitats and wildlife. Each purchase of a Parks Project item helps fund a project. Some of the projects include: the Big Bend Conservancy, which helps fire recovery efforts in Big Bend; Big Sur, which supports the Ventana Wilderness Alliance to continue to deploy trail construction; preservation and protection of California State Parks; removal of invasive species from Channel Islands; and enhancement of preservation in Death Valley. Don’t worry, though, you won’t have any trouble picking out a product. They’re designed beautifully with the different parks and their unique attributes.
The best way to stay sustainable with fashion is upcycling and putting together pieces of items you already own. But, as we are all guilty of a shopping spree once and a while, be conscious of where you buy items and how they are sourced. These brands are great to start with when trying to shop sustainably; they not only create unique designs, but they are also mindful of the environment