By Melissa Jenkins & Destiny Nolan
Fashion companies have gotten the message loud and clear: sustainable practices, hiring choices, materials selection, growing of plants needed to make materials, and disposal and recycling of waste and used product is not only all the rage, but also entirely necessary for staying in business in the 2020s.
Sustainability Today looked at many sustainable fashion companies, and found 10 that stood out for their innovative sustainability practices:
Boody is a sustainable apparel brand known for making easy on the skin, hypoallergenic, and highly breathable everyday essentials made from either 100% bamboo yarn or a blend of bamboo and other yarns such as cotton, hemp, spandex, and nylon. The bamboo used to make the yarn is grown in China and is grown in accordance with the international organic standard of OCIA/IFOAM and the USDA National Organic Program, so as to ensure each bamboo stalk is of 100% natural growth and free of any chemical pesticides.
Every day, 38,356,466 pounds of trash are dumped into our oceans and that is why United By Blue came up with a way to resource these materials in their outerwear, accessories, and single-use products. Some of the sustainable materials they use are hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester, corozo, micro modal, wool, and tencel. For every product purchased, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. So far they have removed 3,430,466 pounds of trash.
Nube is a proud woman-owned company that turns recycled plastic into responsible and fashionable activewear using recycled polyester. They partner with artists and designers around the world to create prints motivated by the environmental crisis that inspire connection and action. They work with artists, fashion students, and rag traders (companies that buy scraps to make their products, like mops) as a way to turn their fabric scraps into something new. All of their dyes are nontoxic, low impact, and lead-free. All of their shipping materials are plastic-free, made in the USA, and 100% recycled and recyclable.
All of the virgin cotton in Patagonia’s line has been grown organically or has been recycled, without the use of harmful chemicals. 72% of their materials are also made from recycled fibers. With Provisions, they sell deeply flavorful, nutritious foods under the widespread adoption of Regenerative Organic Certification, which ensures that food is produced in ways that build soil health, ensure animal welfare, and protect agricultural workers.
Every piece of ARTICLE22 jewelry is locally handcrafted in Laos using recycled materials from Vietnam War bombs, plane parts, military hardware, and other aluminum scraps. Between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. dropped 2 million tons of ordnance on Lao PDR, averaging one B-52 bombload every 8 minutes, 24/7, for 9 years. Each bracelet purchased clears 3m2 of bomb-littered land. Since ARTICLE22 began working with the village in 2009, there are now 15 husbands and wives that make Peacebomb jewelry with hopeful messages that inspire action toward our future.
In 2014 legendary 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater teamed up with acclaimed designer John Moore and started expanding his sustainable brand Outerknown. Over 90% of Outerknown’s products are made from organic cotton and hemps, recycled, or regenerated materials. If you look closely at the buttons of their S.E.A. LEGS jeans you will find the coordinates of where the plastic was harvested. The buttons are made from recycled ocean plastic, corozo fruit, or nuts.
Rothy’s is inspired by the remarkable women of today, and proudly craft sustainable styles that help them effortlessly move through their day. Their signature thread is spun from repurposed plastic water bottles and transformed into stylish, sustainable, washable must-haves. Every minute, one million water bottles are sold globally. Their specialized 3D knitting technology allows them to minimize waste while maximizing their impact on the planet — and look great while doing it.
If you’re looking for organic hemp sneakers, then you should check out Etiko. They were the first fashion brand in the southern hemisphere to become fair trade certified. Etiko’s engagement with fair trade certified suppliers means they are working with raw material and factory suppliers who are investing in the economic and social development of farmers and workers. Through its fair trade purchasing model, Etiko ensures that each product it sells reduces inequality and tackles poverty. The business’ commitment to organic and FSC certified inputs also means its products create a cleaner, greener world.
Everything they make at Pact starts with Earth’s Favorite™ Fiber, organic cotton. Growing cotton organically saves vast amounts of water and uses no toxic chemicals. At Pact, they choose to use organic cotton because it sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people by using natural farming processes. That means no toxic chemicals and 91% less water than non-organic cotton.
Arms of Andes makes sustainable outdoor clothes from the Inca’s most functional fiber: alpaca wool. Once the alpaca fiber has been produced, it is processed into yarn, dyed and woven into a specially designed fabric, which is then used to create our high-performance garments. From the Peruvian factories, your garments are shipped to a regional distributor and then straight to you, reducing the number of flights involved in the production process and overall carbon footprint from transport. ■