16 Eco-Friendly Fashion Brands That Are (Stylishly) Saving the Planet
We've long proven that style and sustainability can happily co-exist, but we'd never turn down an opportunity to spotlight the designers who are trying to make the world a better place. That's why we put together a refresher course on our favorite eco-friendly brands—there are some established classics (that just keep getting better and better) and newcomers that we're welcoming with open arms.
Below, you'll find a few who are reducing their carbon footprint with locally sourced materials, those who are making an effort to reduce waste (and excess water) with sustainably sound manufacturing processes, some who pride themselves on upcycling (denim made of plastic from the ocean? Yes, all the way), and others that spearhead eco-friendly initiatives. So the next time you're drafting your shopping list (summer will be here before you know it), consider these do-good, feel-good brands that we love.
Founded by power couple Ali Hewsonand Bono (yes, the one and only), Edun was created with the goal of sustainability in mind. Not only is the brand helping the growth of Africa's economy by encouraging trade and sourcing production from the continent, but it's committed to building opportunities for ecological-minded practices—all in the chicest way possible.
Reformation has truly reformed the industry. Everything is made in-house at its Los Angeles-based sustainable sewing factory, where complete transparency and eco-friendly practices can be instated every step of the way. Need proof? Each piece is listed with a RefScale that measures exactly how much water and carbon dioxide was saved in the making of the garment.
Shop It: Off-the-shoulder dress, $278; thereformation.com
Stella McCartney's eponymous line is, essentially, eco-fashion at its finest. The brand has always been upfront about its animal-free products and its goal to be more sustainable. To start, her London stores are powered by wind energy, and her highly coveted platform brogues are made from certified-sustainable wood and renewable resources.
United by Blue
The brand's mission is to clean up water pollution. For every product sold, United by Blue will remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organized and hosted cleanups. On top of that, each piece is made from recycled goods.
The brand's motto reads, "With every stitch a purpose," and that couldn't be any more true. Amour Vert (which translates to "Green Love" in French) boasts a zero-waste design philosophy, which includes local, made-in-the-USA manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, and sustainable fibers. Plus, for every tee purchased, Amour Vert will plant a tree.
Shop It: Stripe tee, $58; amourvert.com
WHERE MOUNTAINS MEET
Designers Genevieve Saylak and Corissa Santos are bringing their socially and environmentally conscious vision to life with a range of on-trend pieces that hit all the style notes we've been feeling for the season (and next season), with easy slip dresses, slinky camis layered over turtlenecks, and culotte jumpsuits.
We may not know the origins behind Study NY's name, but if we had to venture a guess, we'd say it's because the brand is a study in zero-waste pattern-making methods. Designer Tara St James has effectively fused sustainability and design with a line-up of streamlined pieces cut from hemp, organic cotton, ethically sourced alpaca, or recycled materials. Its motto, "Making Fashion without Making Waste," pretty much sums it up.
Shop It: Tank jumpsuit, $265; study-ny.com
ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO
Zero + Maria Cornejo has been ahead of the curve—when the brand launched in 1998, it had zeroed in on the goal to create timeless pieces that are (by and large) made in N.Y.C. and from ecological and sustainable fabrics.
In just one year, Australian-based founder Kit Willow's line Kitx has garnered some major attention with her chic eco-friendly designs. "I strongly believe in a better world, through the simple mantra of making women look and feel beautiful, without harming our planet, so everyone can win," she says. To achieve that, she consciously sources quality materials, like this naturally organic silk that's free of chemical pesticides.
Shop It: Linen skirt, $330; kitx.com
Hand-made by a group of artisans based in Los Angeles (and with eco materials to boot), you know you can feel good about stepping into any pair of Rafa shoes. The style we have our eye on? These super-chic sandals with their dainty straps and chunky block heel. So good.
The line prides itself on using 99 percent less water, selecting sustainable fabrics, and paying 2,000-percent higher in factory wages. Every piece listed on the site includes an informative key that illustrates how many gallons of water were saved and how many yards of sustainable fabrics were used. This one angled skirt saved 790 gallons of water, was created from two yards of sustainable fabric, and paid 4.5 hours of ethical labor to American factory workers.
Shop It: Angled skirt, $98; stylesaint.com
AMUR is based in NYC and believes that good style does not have to compromise the environment. Creative director Sofia Shannon firmly believes that "nature" is our "ultimate luxury." This brand is all about fabric: organic, natural, reclaimed, and of course, stylish.
Cienne designers Nicole Heim and Chelsea Healy were finalists in the 2018 CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative because of their runway-worthy shapes and celeb-following, which includes Gigi Hadid and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Environmental responsibility is at the heart of Bleusalt, the most comfortable clothing (it's 2x as soft as cotton!) you'll ever put on that (added plus) leaves minimal impact on the Earth. The key to the cloth? It's made from sustainable botanic fibers of the beech tree. Now that's chic.
Shop It: Classic button-up; $210; bleusalt.com.
Eighty percent of Alternative Apparel's products are made with sustainable materials and through sustainable processes. By using 60% less water to wash garments, eco-friendly fabrics, non-toxic dyes, and recycled materials, they're certainly doing their part.