These 16 Clothing and Accessory Brands Are Helping Save the Environment—Here's How
With Earth Day (April 22) just around the corner, we've started thinking about more and more ways we can live environmentally friendly lifestyles beyond the three Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle). For those of us who strive to be eco-minded and fashion conscious at the same time, there are plenty of opportunities to do so with help from some of your favorites, like Levi's, Timberland, and H&M.
Other clothing and accessory lines (especially those with an outdoorsy bent), too, have pledged to be more green, including brands The North Face and Patagonia—both of which have adopted recycling programs—and Rimowa, the luxury luggage maker that supports environmental education. Ahead, you will find 16 companies doing eco-good. Join them this Earth Day.
AG – Waste reduction is a priority for AG. The denim brand cuts its patterns to maximize fabric yardage. Excess scraps are collected for weekly recycling, and are repurposed as home and car insulation. Additionally, many of its garments incorporate natural fibers, like Tencel and modal.
Amour Vert — As part of its Plant a T(r)EE program, the brand plants a tree in the U.S. for every one of its tees sold. (In 2015, 100,000 trees were planted.) But that's not all. This Earth Day, Amour Vert plans to plant a tree for each person who posts a picture of a tree on Instagram and tags #PlantATreeAV and @AmourVert.
Burton – To say that Burton does a lot is an understatement. Currently, the snowboard and sportswear company works with Mountain Dew to transform recycled plastic bottles into thread to create fabric that is used in snowboards and apparel. For Earth Day, Burton is partnering with the Earth Day Network’s Canopy Project to plant trees in areas in need of reforestation. Burton will donate $5 for every flagship store purchase, which will, in turn, allow the Earth Day Network to plant five trees for every item.
Eileen Fisher – Eileen Fisher is big on recycling through its Green Eileen program. Customers can donate gently worn pieces back to any retail store, and they will be re-sold. People who donate receive a $5 reward card for each piece donated.
Havaianas — Each year Havaianas releases three new designs, in which 7 percent of the proceeds go to Conservation International, an organization whose mission is to promote a stronger connection between people and their environments.
H&M – The retailer is known for its fashion-focused pieces at an affordable price point, and with its Conscious collection, the brand offers equally trendy items made from sustainable materials. To mark World Recycle Week (April 18 to 24), they joined forces with M.I.A. with the goal to collect 1,000 tons of unwanted or worn pieces of clothing in its 3,600 stores.
John Hardy – As part of its Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo initiative, John Hardy sows bamboo seedlings with every purchase from the brand’s Bamboo collection. Celebrities, such as Emma Watson and Freida Pinto, are fans, and nearly one million seedlings have been planted thus far.
Levi's – At Levi's, customers can donate any brand (yes, any brand!) of clothing and shoes at a local store in exchange for a 20-percent voucher off a single regular-priced item. The discarded items will be re-worn, repurposed, or recycled.
The North Face – Like Levi’s, North Face encourages people to drop off unwanted clothing and footwear at its in-store collection bins. They are then carefully sorted into more than 400 categories and are repurposed and recycled into new clothing.
Outerknown – The brand’s signature evolution trunk is made from fast-drying ECONYL regenerated nylon, which is constructed from reclaimed fishing nets and other waste. The United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization estimate that there are more than 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets in the oceans, which are often responsible for the capture and death of marine life.
Patagonia — Since 2005, Patagonia has recycled more than 82 tons of clothing. Patagonia-branded product that’s beyond repair can be dropped off at a store or sent over through mail to be recycled into something new or repurposed. Salvageable clothing is also sold at their Portland store through a trade-in program.
The Reformation – All of Reformation’s clothing is made from vintage pieces, recycled deadstock fabric, and sustainable materials. Not only that, the brand lists a RefScale on each piece, which shows the amount of water, carbon dioxide, and waste emitted Reformation saves versus the average retailer.
Rimowa – The luxury luggage maker donates a portion of its Bossa Nova collection's profits to Saúde e Alegria, a Brazilian non-profit organization committed to promoting environmental education in the Amazon region. Its Active Forest program supports 22,000 local residents dealing with the forest as an ecosystem.
Timberland — The footwear brand tries to use renewable, organic, and recycled materials whenever possible. For example, its authentics open-weave boot is made with a unique ReCanvas fabric, which incorporates 100-percent recycled PET (the material used to make plastic water bottles).
True Religion — Come Earth Day (April 22), the denim brand is introducing (D)Hydrate Denim, an innovative fabric that requires less water, waste, and energy, but without compromising quality. On top of that, their hang tags are made from sustainable forest paper.
Uniqlo — Since 2006, Uniqlo has collected more than 24 million pieces of branded clothing in eight countries, including the U.S. The clothes are donated to people in need, such as the homeless and disaster survivors.