By nature, fashion is not exactly "good" for the planet. With the constant
environmental and ethical challenges the industry continues to face, it's safe to say there's a lot of work to be done when it comes to sustainability. But at a time when people seem to (finally!) be realizing how important it is to lessen their carbon foot print, it can definitely be difficult to weed out brands that are true change-makers from ones that are simply green-washers. So, in honor of Earth Day, we're spotlighting a few labels that are actually doing their part.
As much as we love a good fashion-fashion steal, it's time we start paying attention to where the pieces we wear come from, and to be a bit more mindful about the companies we choose to shop from and support. Don't know where to start? The equally cool and conscious brands ahead will have you adding many-a pieces to your virtual shopping cart
and feeling guilt-free. Kowtow
The only way to know your product is
ethical and sustainable? Get involved from the start. Kowtow watches the entire process of its pieces from the very beginning, from the seeds that grow its cotton, to the making of the thread, to the sewing of the clothing. And, it's done this all since before being "green" was trendy (the company launched over 11 years ago).
Notebook Dress, $359.00
Buy Von Holzhausen
We're not kidding when we say this brand's vegan leather shopper has become our go-to for everyday laptop-lugging. Even the liner is made from Technik-Suede, which is a 100% animal-free, technical material.
The Large Shopper, $450.00
Buy The Break NYC
Our favorite Brooklyn vintage store to hit up on the weekends also has a stellar selection online that we recommend checking out. We've fallen in love again and again with its off-kilter finds and lovable prices.
Craving denim that won't hurt the planet? Seen on girls like Stella Maxwell, Olivia Culpo, Rocky Barnes, Paola Alberdi, Marta Pozzan, Patricia Manfield, and Olivia Perez (to name a few!), Boyish jeans are made with sustainable fabrics through an environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free process. It's led by designer Sage Matthews, who brings more than 20 years of denim experience in the fashion industry to the brand.
The Toby | The Honey Pot, $188.00
Buy Christy Dawn
It's simple, really: deadstock fabrics turned into easy, vintage-inspired dresses in limited quantities, made ethically and sustainably in Los Angeles. What's not to love?
The Bijou Dress, $288.00
Not only does Nisolo hand-produce in an ethical factory they own and operate in Peru, but it also just launched a new initiative to prevent deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon.
Ecuador Huarache Sandal, $118.00
Supermodel Liya Kebede was inspired to launch Lemlem following a trip to her native Ethiopia, where she met a group of traditional weavers who no longer had a market for their craft. Today, Lemlem is committed to elevating artisanship and expanding production and jobs across Africa.
Fiesta Pants, $325.00
Buy Sydney Brown
Sydney Brown is making major moves in terms of cruelty-free shoes. She launched the world's first biodegradable heel (it took four years to create), and did her first collaboration with a winery in Porto, Portugal, where she's based, to dye the heels of the shoes. Major.
Low Mule Black, $330.00
Modern fashion brand fans rejoice! Theory has updated their linen (and wool) to be updated with certified organic linen and recycled elastane. Good Linen is woven in an environmentally-conscious mill in Italy. We love light summer suiting that you can feel good wearing.
Classic Blazer, $495.00
Buy Back Beat Rags
This California-based, skate-inspired label makes affordable basics out of low-impact GOTS-certified organic cotton, recycled hemp, and tencel. And speaking from experience, they're all buttery soft. Talk about a win-win.
Back Beat Rags
Tie Dye Tomboy Hemp Tee, $48.00
Buy H&M Conscious Collection
You probably think of H&M for fast-fashion first, but have you checked out its offering of pieces made from more sustainable materials, like organic cotton? Scope out the brand's Conscious Exclusive line, which is eco-friendly, trend-forward fashion at a bit of a higher price point.
Lyocell Blend Skirt, $19.98
Buy Bario Neal
Just in time for Earth Day, ethical and sustainable jewelry brand Bario Neal has released six stunning new styles of engagement rings with responsibly sourced gemstones. Because who doesn't need a little bling?
Burst Cluster Champagne Diamond Ombré Ring, $4355.00
AMUR, standing for A Mindful Use of Resources, is stocked with styles that are wearable, but are also sourced with an eye towards environmental good. For its debut collection, the label had a partnership with Nest (a non-profit organization that connects artisans in developing countries to New York-based designers and helps them build their businesses) and has also worked with New Life Fabrics, using water bottles and consumer waste to create the fabric for a lot of its Guipure laces. You can read more about its efforts and philosophy
Virginia Top, $398.00
Remember when we told you about the
comfiest sneakers, ever
? It just so happens they're sustainably-made, too. Plus, the brand meets stringent standards for the production of its super-soft merino-wool kicks.
Women's Wool Runners, $95.00
Buy A Peace Treaty
This is one of those brands that has been devoted to high-fashion and sustainable production
before being eco-friendly was "cool." For luxurious, handmade pieces that truly stand out from the crowd, it's all you need.
A Peace Treaty
Misia Short, $295.00
You're likely no stranger to Reformation's sexy dresses and vintage-inspired separates. But, all these duds do minimal damage on the environment, too. For Earth Day, the brand is kicking up its Ref Scale — a feature that informs customers of the environmental impact of their purchases — by offering personalized dashboards on each customer's account page. And, it's dropping a line of easy-on-the-Earth tees, to boot. Talk about doing the most.
Nikita Dress, $248.00
Bkr's water bottles are BPA- and phthalate-free, and made from 100% recyclable materials — plus, each glass bottle has a silicone sleeve in colors inspired by the latest runway trends. Hydration in style? Sign us up.
Spiked Lala 1L, $58.00
Buy Melissa Joy Manning
Admittedly a go-to for us when it comes to eco-friendly jewelry, Melissa Joy Manning's innovative designs feature antique charms, upcycled stones, and other ethically sourced materials that make her stand out in a sea of baubles.
Melissa Joy Manning
Mexican Jelly Opal Ring, $1080.00
Forget the trends — this brand creates modern-yet-timeless and trend-transcending clothing with mindful sourcing and local production. Plus, it's always researching new ways to reduce its impact while still providing modern staples.
$345.00 $295.00 Buy BreeLayne
Who says sustainability can't feel luxe and fancy? BreeLayne, a sustainable brand based in LA that uses luxury recycled fabrics, proves that it totally can. So if you're ready to splurge, make this shopping stop a priority.
Fortuna Watercolor Top, $425.00
Buy Mara Hoffman
At Mara Hoffman the clothing isn't just incredibly beautiful, the designer is extremely careful about who she partners with in the manufacturing process. They're constantly exploring other options and alternatives to innovate how to manufacture responsibly. It's all about organic, recycled, and regenerated materials here. You can feel like you're en route to somewhere tropical whilst still being sustainable.
Mischa Dress, $525.00
Buy Hackwith Design House
We always turn to
for tons of indie, sustainable brands all in one place, and for Earth Day, the site's teamed up with Hackwith Design House and Minneapolis' Parc boutique on an exclusive LBD made by-hand of 100% tencel in Minnesota.
Hackwith Design House
Ada Dress, $170.00
Utilizing high-quality bamboo fibers, this minimalist loungewear and intimates line makes clean, cool basics for the fashion crowd.
Gene Camisole – Silk Satin, $158.33
Buy Gräf Lantz
Before you acquire one more canvas tote bag, consider scooping up one of this brand's chic and honestly produced accessories. The designers were even inspired to minimize their footprint by utilizing the extra scraps of fabric to create fun extras, like coasters, wallets, key chains, and luggage tags.
Saku Tote, $228.00
Buy Carcel Clothing
Made with 100% natural materials, Carcel work with incarcerated women to create extra soft silk and knit separates. The brand ensures that the women in production earn fair wages and sources their materials locally, dramatically minimizing shipping costs.
Milano Classic Trousers, $2277.42
One of this indie brand's signature products is a T-shirt called the
, made entirely from recycled cotton, which is the first ever of its kind. To make the top, they challenged a factory in South Carolina to make yarn entirely out of recycled cotton waste (usually used to make Q-tips and band aid pads). When the recycled cotton is put through the yarn process again, the result is 100% waste-free. Pretty amazing, right?
Recycled Cotton Long Sleeve Trash Tee, $32.00
Buy Free People
We are major fans of Free People's activewear line FP Movement, but lately they've leveled up an introduced Econyl. The material is made of 100% recycled fiber sourced from discarded waste collected from landfills and oceans. Super soft while saving the world with a smaller energy footprint and less CO2 emissions? Eco-yes.
ECONYL® Crop, $68.00
This past year, Everlane launched the ReNew line that aims to have no new plastic in their supply chain by 2021. This collection is created almost entirely out of recycled plastic. While ethical manufacturing practices has always been in the DNA at Everlane, now so is sustainability.
The ReNew Fleece Sweatshirt ,
$110.00 $55.00 Buy Baggu
These are bags that you definitely won't forget on your way out the door to the grocery store. Since the brand's start they've been on a mission to get rid of plastic bags altogether. The bags are durable and ripstop so you won't have to be constantly replacing them.
Standard Baggu Thank You Poppy, $12.00
Buy Mata Traders
Employing and partnering with fair trade organizations is the foundation for Mata Traders. After a trip to India, the founders were so enamored with the country’s prints and designs that they started their own company employing local artisans.
Mondrian Dress Pastel Stripes, $98.00