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