Sustainable Clothing

By definition:

sus·tain·a·ble/səˈstānəbəl/

Adjective:

    1. Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
    2. (esp. of development, exploitation, or agriculture) Conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.

 

From PDX with Love // Sustainable Clothing

Sustainable clothing refers to the fabrics produced without harming the environment, whether from sustainably grown fiber crops or recycled materials. Historically, eco-friendly clothing meant second hand clothing, or reusing old garments. Nowadays it leans more towards reducing the amount of clothing that is discarded to landfills, and decreasing the environmental impact of chemicals used to produce fiber crops, e.g. cotton.

Under the accordance of sustainability, recycled clothing upholds the principle of the “Three R’s of the Environment”: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, as well as the “Three Legs of Sustainability”: Economics, Ecology, and Social Equity. (Wiki)

 

Alternative fiber materials

From PDX with Love // Sustainable Clothing

  • Organic Cotton: grown without the use of any genetically modifying the crops, without the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and other synthetic agro-chemicals harmful to the land.
  • Soy: are derived from the hulls of soybeans and can be blended or made entirely out of soy fibers. Soy clothing is extremely  biodegradable, which jas a very minimal impact on the environment and landfills.
  • Hemp: just like bamboo, is considered a sustainable crop. It requires little water to grow, and it is resistant to most pests and diseases which means no pesticides. And just like bamboo, it grows and spreads fast.
  • Bamboo: made from pulped bamboo grass. Making clothing and textile from bamboo is considered sustainable due to the lack of need for pesticides and agrochemicals.
  • PET Plastic: Clothing can be made from plastics, mainly from recycled water bottles. Seventy percent of plastic-derived fabrics come from polyester, being polyethylene terephthalate (PET) the mostly used. 
  • Tencel:  is a natural fiber engineered from wood pulp cellulose in a waste-free production process. It offers a unique combination of fabric properties : soft as silk, cool as linen, warm as wool and as absorbent as cotton.

 

Sustainable Apparel Brands

These are just a few clothing brands that caught my eye. Of course, and lucky to us all, there are thousands of companies that have decided to base their missions around the environment.

 

Sustainable Clothing // Amour Vert

Amour Vert proves that it is possible to be both fashionable and environmentally responsible. their eco-apparel is both stylish, and most important, affordable. Their collections offer casual to elegant eco-friendly styles that are high in quality, without the designer price tag.

Amour Vert, Parisian in name and aesthetic but born in the US, stands for the “Green Love” we should all feel and express in our fashion choices.

‘We love the earth we wear’

 

SustainU

Sustainable Clothing //  Sustainu
SustainU is a company based solely in the USA, which means jobs and re-opening textile factories. Their clothing is made from two types of staple yarn: post-costumer recycled polyester (PET) and recycled pre-costumer cotton waste. SustainU clothing requires  zero-virgin growth and minimal transportation, reducing both costs and environmental impact.
SustainU maintains high standards regarding fabric, construction and printing processes, including 100% inspection throughout the entire manufacturing process and a quality assurance guarantee for all customers.

 

Eco Swim

Sustainable Clothing //  Eco Swim

Eco Swim has recently received a Good Housekeeping endorsement for being the only swimwear collection on the market that is taking steps to lower its impact on the planet. Eco Swim uses Repreve, a brand of fabric that is made in its entirety out of recycled materials. Using innovative technology, Repreve combines post-costumer waste, such as water bottles, with industrial waste, like nylon. This combination creates high quality yarn, and limits the carbon footprint.

We all share one planet. We don’t get another shot. We want the world to be a better place for future generations, and so with every new sunrise, we take one step closer to reducing our carbon footprint in the sand.

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Loomstate

Sustainable Clothing // Loomstate 321

Loomstate came to be as an answer to the demand of certified organic cotton. Loomstate uses socially and environmentally repsponsible methods of production. This company is fully committed to organic farming, which avoids/excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and livestock feed additives. They use 100% certified organic cotton from Turkey, Peru, Africa, India, and the USA.

Organic cultivation requires managing and preserving the sensitive ecosystem as opposed to stripping the land of its resources as conventional farming does. 

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NAU

Sustainable Clothing // Nau

Nau (pronounced “now”) is based in Portland, Oregon (yei!!). Nau is a sustainable urban+outdoor clothing company, and just for being from my weird ol’ Portland (which I miss) I had to feature them here. Nau was envisioned to be a brand that would not only be the to-go brand for all active individuals (lets remember that Portland is bicycle-city) but would also rely on their goal to make a positive environmental impact.

We design for ourselves, first. If we won’t wear it, why should you. The same goes for business: if we can’t stand behind the decisions we make, why should you. So, in that sense, we’re a little self-absorbed.

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It is possible to wear high quality and sustainable clothing. Lets all try to make a positive environmental impact and support companies like these in hopes for a better world!

 

Do you have any favorite sustainable clothing brands I should check out?
Share with us! 

 

19 Comments
  • Tom Shewbridge
    September 13, 2012

    Definitely going to share this with my sister-in-law, she would love some of these!

  • Jennifer @ Healthy Kitchen Guide
    September 13, 2012

    I have to admit that although I am really passionate about sustainable food, I don’t pay much attention to the clothes I wear. I really should start making better choices in that area. Thanks for sharing those companies. I will definitely be checking them out!

  • Holly (Woman Tribune)
    September 13, 2012

    Sustainability is so important! I don’t know of nearly as many sustainable clothing brands as I should, but thanks so much for the recommendations in your post! Nau looks particularly intriguing (and comfortable!) to me. I’m definitely going to be checking them out.

  • Gena
    September 13, 2012

    I love learning new stuff like this! Thanks for researching and providing this info, I’ll be on the look out for Nau and companies like it!

  • julieann r
    September 13, 2012

    I had never even heard of this before….will definitely need to check out some of these websites.

  • kim
    September 13, 2012

    Very very nice and I like that they are made in the USA. Also, like roominess and comfortable (that’s what I see)!

  • Celebrate Woman
    September 13, 2012

    Sofia, what a beautiful post. Love anything and everything green and eco-friendly. Will definitely check upon those brands!

  • Tara
    September 13, 2012

    Wow, I’ve never thought about sustainable clothes! Thanks for the links to the different sites…definitely going to check them out!

  • Tina @ My Highest Self
    September 13, 2012

    Thanks for sharing these companies, I look forward to when sustainable clothing is just a wee bit more affordable. I understand why it is priced higher though!

  • mel
    September 13, 2012

    I never knew about sustainable clothing. I am off to check off all the sites you listed ! THanks so much!

  • Kelley Johnsen
    September 13, 2012

    WOW, I love the style and looks, but absolutely over the moon that they are all eco! I am checking out more now, and going to do a little shopping! Thanks

  • Theresa
    September 13, 2012

    Thank you for sharing this. I often think about how to lesson my carbon footprint, but never even thought about sustainable clothing. This is such an interesting read!

  • Deanna - mommyGAGA
    September 13, 2012

    This is pretty cool. I have heard of sustainable foods, but clothing? Very awesome. I really like the Organically Grown kids brand.

  • Kira
    September 13, 2012

    Great list! Something to note is that there are multiple ways to process bamboo and one of the most common ways actually uses a lot of toxic chemicals making it actually pretty bad for the environment. If you want to be sustainable, you just need to do your research when buying bamboo. A good link:
    http://www.ecouterre.com/how-eco-friendly-is-bamboo-fabric-really/

    • Sofia
      September 13, 2012

      Thanks so much for the link! 😀

  • Elizabeth B
    September 13, 2012

    those are really cute clothes thanks for showing them to me im going to check them out

  • Susan Bewley
    September 14, 2012

    I just shared this on Budget Earth’s fan page! Fantastic article!

  • Mary Walker
    September 14, 2012

    Great article. Never thought about sustainable clothing.

  • Kimberly Listrud
    November 25, 2012

    Interesting and informative article. I am trying to live a greener life and although it is getting easier to find eco-friendly and green products more and more locally, it is nowhere near where it should be. Therefore I find myself turning more often to the internet to find green products. Most of my green clothes at this point contain hemp or bamboo and a small bit of recycled plastics. I need to focus more on this area and your links to the clothing sites look very promising! Thanks so much!