How to Shop Sustainably No Matter Your Budget
You don't have to spend a lot of money to be a conscious shopper.
In fashion, sustainability is the word of the moment, and I get it: the amount of water consumption and waste created by the industry are absolutely absurd, and leave a huge carbon footprint. Unfortunately, some brands hike up prices and drop "eco-friendly" lines in an attempt to capitalize off of the trending conversation, all while maintaining business practices and supply chain procedures that are actually far from ethical, or sustainable.
The reality is that there are no enforceable, industry-wide regulations to measure and monitor the sustainability practices of brands, so deceptive marketing practices run rampant. As a shopper, it's difficult to figure out which brands are doing sustainability right, and thus deserve your hard-earned money. But don't worry. I've weeded out those sort-of, kind-of, eco-friendly lines and found some labels that are truly dedicated to cutting down on pollution. No matter your budget, you can feel confident about shopping from these brands that are constantly evolving and making a full-time effort to be as sustainable as possible.
Summersalt Under $100
Summersalt's philosophy is all about taking care of its customers and the planet. The brand specializes in creating eco-friendly swimsuits made with raw materials as well as recyclable shipping bags.
Allbirds Under $115
Here's where you'll find shoe soles made out of sugarcane from Southern Brazil. But the sneakers aren't the only item that's eco-friendly. The box that the shoes are shipped in is also the shoe box, cutting down the use of cardboard by 40 percent.
Bleusalt Under $180
From luxurious scarves to stylish joggers, everything underneath the Bleusalt label is 100 percent made in the USA. And the fibers of the brand's soft, cozy items are made from beech trees. A percentage of purchases are also donated to Sculpt the Future Foundation, which works towards global sustainability by promoting positive environmental change.
Athleta Under $200
Athleta has been very vocal and transparent about its efforts to do business responsibly. Not only is sustainability part of the company's core values, but you can literally track Athleta's progress to its lofty 2020 goals of minimizing waste, increasing water-saving techniques, utilizing more sustainable fabrics, and empowering women through P.A.C.E. and Fair Trade.
Everlane Under $250
Everlane has kept it real when speaking about the company's environmental impact — not just talking about the good, but also highlighting shortcomings. The brand took a huge stand last year, committing to completely removing new plastics from its supply chain by the year 2021.
Reformation Under $300
Not only is Reformation known for recycling fabrics and rating each one of its product's sustainability, the brand also has a neutral carbon footprint. Reformation also encourages all of its customers to switch their electrical bills (a major source of greenhouse gasses) to wind energy in exchange for $100 Reformation gift cards.
Doen Under $500
Here's a brand that's continuously working to provide sustainable fashions, from the fabrics used to create its pretty dresses to the packaging it's shipped in. Doen also creates small bags with any leftover fabric and gives them to customers.