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. Where Mountains Meet Everyone needs a few solid, crisp wardrobe staples, and Where Mountains Meet is just as stylish as it is socially and environmentally conscious. Original prints and textiles are hand-loomed by artisans in remote communities including Varanasi, Guatemala, Bolivia, and more, while its denim is American-made all the way down to the organic cotton that's been harvested and dyed right here in the States. While its textiles and fabrics originate from different areas of the world, the full collection is then locally produced in New York's Garment District. More Maiyet Big news: Sustainable luxury brand Maiyet just launched eco-friendly sunglasses, just in time for Earth Day. The capsule consists of three styles, retailing for $195, and is available on www.maiyet.com as well as at its New York flagship store in Soho. The shades are constructed of a unique, high-quality, 100% biodegradable frame, which cuts down on waste and promotes sustainability. More 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. More 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. More Öhlin/D We know, this brand so on-trend you can hardly believe it's sustainable. From recycling fabric scraps whenever possible (currently, the brand recycles about 75% of all leftover textiles and upcycles 80% of leftover fabric rolls, with a zero-waste goal), to conserving water and employing the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index, Öhlin/D is aiming to check all the boxes (and looks good doing it). More 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? More Amour Vert It's all in the name: Amour Vert means 'Green Love' in French, but for this brand, it also means American manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, sustainable fibers, innovative fabrics, and a zero-waste design philosophy. Plus, for every one of this particular limited-edition tee sold, a tree will be planted. More AMUR 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 here. More Allbirds 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. More A Peace Treaty This is one of those brands that has been devoted to high-fashion and sustainable production way before being eco-friendly was "cool." For luxurious, handmade pieces that truly stand out from the crowd, it's all you need. More Reformation 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. More Bkr 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. More ASOS Made In Kenya Another fast-fashion powerhouse you may not think of as being totally sustainable, but with ASOS' Made In Kenya collection, it's making some solid (and stylish!) strides in the right direction. The brand has worked with SOKO Kenya, a Kenyan clothing manufacturer that provides fair and safe training and employment for some of the country’s poorest communities, since 2010. This collection is designed by the ASOS in-house team, then cut and manufactured at SOKO Kenya. More 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. More SVILU 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. More 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. In honor of Earth Day, for all first orders, the designer is giving 10% off the order. And, for every purchase, a tree is planted in association with the National Forest Foundation. More Hackwith Design House We always turn to Garmentory 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. More Baserange Utilizing high-quality bamboo fibers, this minimalist loungewear and intimates line makes clean, cool basics for the fashion crowd. More 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. More Everybody One of this indie brand's signature products is a T-shirt called the Trash Tee, 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? More Cienne NY We're always looking for cool clothes no one else will have, and Cienne is the first place we hit. The standout fabrics are ethically sourced from places like Ethiopia, Japan, Peru, and India, and then they're made into fashion magic here in New York City. More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? The Best Panties For Tasteful VPL (Visible Panty Lines) Your Spring Break Packing List, Solved This Cool-Girl Activewear Line Dropped Some Amazing New Pieces