How to Find Sustainable Fashion Brands

How to Find Sustainable Fashion Brands

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Why is Sustainable Fashion Important

Look, I get it. It’s fun to have all the new things! But our throwaway culture has gotten out of hand in recent decades and is having a significant environmental impact. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry, worldwide. It leads to 8% of all carbon emissions and 20% of global wastewater. 1

In the US alone, the average consumer throws away over 80 pounds of clothing each year and we wear our clothing only 7-10 times before disposing of it.2 Without intervention, predictions say this situation will worsen, with global emissions doubling by the end of this decade.

How to Find Sustainable Fashion Brands

Small changes can make a big difference. One action you can take is to start shopping more mindfully. A way to do that is by supporting sustainable fashion brands.

1. Look for Company Certifications & Identifying Labels

Brands with the certifications of Fair Trade, USDA Organic, GOTS, B-Corp and Bluesign are ways that you check the sustainability of clothing manufacture. A quick web search came up with this list of B-Corp companies.

  • Patagonia
  • Allbirds
  • Eileen Fisher
  • Bombas
  • Athleta
  • Kotn
  • Tentree
  • Organic Basics
  • Cotopaxi

You can search the Certified Provider lists of the various organizations below and see if your favorite retailers make the cut. If not, encourage them with a quick email.

Lastly, look at the clothing label for one of the following designations: Fair Trade Certified, GOTS, FSC, or OEKO-TEX.

How to Find Sustainable Fashion Brands

2. Look for Sustainable Packaging

Up to a third of product waste can be attributed to packaging. As you place orders from various retailers, take note of who ships in plastic and who uses biodegradable packaging.

3. Do a Bit of Extra Research Before Adding to Cart

Get in the habit of doing additional research before making a purchase. Great things to look into include:

  • Fabrication. Are the products you are looking at made of polyester? Polyester is not bio-degradable and can take 200+ years to break down. Cotton, while bio-degradable is dependent on vast amounts of water for processing. Merino wool, linen, hemp, and tencel are biodegradable materials and easily recycled.
  • Social Responsibility Initiatives. Find out what a brand stands for on this front. For instance, in 2021 Patagonia announced it would no longer add corporate branding to its products due to waste considerations.
  • Working Conditions. Investigate the working conditions for both domestic and foreign garment workers. In the US, two legislative acts are under consideration. The FABRIC Act and the Fashion Act. Internationally, the EU has proposed ESPR and Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence. Learn more about these initiatives and how they might reduce the detrimental impact on fashion industry workers.
How to Find Sustainable Fashion Brands

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

Robert Collier

Let me know! Is sustainability in fashion important to you? Why or why not? It’s become more important to me over the last decade although I’ll freely admit, I still succumb to occasional fast fashion purchases.

Overall, I’m much more mindful of my shopping than I was years ago and I (proudly) re-wear my clothes more often. Recently, sustainable brands and thrifting lightly used goods have gained appeal as a way to make a bit of an impact. It’s ok to take small steps. Small steps are better than no steps!

With Earth Day rapidly approaching, I thought it would be good to talk about how to find sustainable fashion brands. Today's post gives you 3 great tips for identifying sustainable clothing brands! #sustainablefashion #earthday

Author: Betsy Ramsey

Betsy Ramsey is the author of Natty Gal. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, she now lives there with her husband and Bichon-Frise, Dolce. A mindful fashion & capsule wardrobe enthusiast, she travels extensively, visiting 56 countries to date. Betsy is committed to helping others live their most fulfilling life!

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