Courtesy of Nanushka; Courtesy of Ninety Percent; Courtesy of Filippa K; Courtesy of Themoirè;
Take a second and think… how do you define what’s sustainable? If we’re being honest, the collective definition has been watered down over the past few decades. What once was a call-to-action to combat the environmental impact of various sectors has been co-opted by corporations hoping to cash in on the “trendiness” of the social movement without making any fundamental changes. Sadly, that’s an even more relevant phenomenon within the fashion industry. Clothing production accounts for 10% of all global carbon emissions, which is more than the sum of maritime shipping and international flights combined.
Yet, more fashion brands than ever claim to be “vegan” or “eco-conscious” without actually having the receipts to back up their claims. Basically, there’s a whole lot of greenwashing happening right now. And while we can’t discount some of the genuine shifts happening—e.g., more brands than ever are addressing textile waste, and consumers are adopting a more minimalist approach to their wardrobes. Still, though, there’s more confusion than ever on what makes a brand actually sustainable.
Some of that confusion comes from a lack of transparency around how things are made, but it is also the myth of sustainable fashion itself. As much as we’d all like to believe anything can be defined as “sustainable,” when over 100 billion garments are produced in a single year, being in the business of making anything new is unsustainable. But before you lose all hope, there are some sustainably-minded brands out there aiming to do better, for real.
By no means is any brand perfect, but with a focus on mitigating impact—albeit through minimizing water waste, opting for biodegradable fabrics, or investing back into the community—they are, in fact, better for the environment. So without further ado, here are 35 fashion brands that have adopted more sustainable production practices.