Who Says Sustainable Fashion is Bland?
That’s so 2008… Cute Vegan + Sustainble Fashion is Here to Stay!
Sustainable fashion, much like vegan fashion, is misunderstood. Many consumers conjure images of green burlap ponchos and shoes made from recycled rubber tire. What’s up with that?
2018 is a promising year for head-turning sustainable fashion brands. And as people open their eyes to the toll of fast-fashion, the interest in conscious-fashion will continue to grow. Buying from companies that put our planet first means a brighter future for everyone. And, on a more personal note, I’ve made it a goal to buy from these brands whenever I can. Sure, purchasing something ethically made will mean it costs more because people are being paid a fair wage to make it. (That’s the price of doing things right!) But all the brands on this list specialize in high-quality manufacturing and reducing fashion waste. I can vouch for each of these brands because I own them, wear them, and plan to buy more from them in the future.
I was first introduced to Girlfriend Collective back in 2010. They were a new brand with big goals: reducing fashion pollution, recycling plastics, and promoting body-positive messaging. Well, it’s 7 years later and they are doing phenomenally well. Girlfriend Collective is adamant about reducing the amount of plastic waste in our landfills and oceans. They divert tons of plastic water bottles each year to make shockingly high-quality active wear. I could literally write an entire blog post praising their ethics. If you want to read more about Girlfriend Collective, check out this page about their manufacturing story.
If you read my article about high-quality, ethical leggings then you know that they make some of my absolute favourite leggings. The fabric is thick, hugs your body in a very flattering way, and absolutely refuses to stretch out. I’ve had my Girlfriend leggings for four years now. And they still look brand-spankin’ new.
At first glance, the fashion-forward pieces produced by Reformation seem too stylish to be sustainable. However, take a deeper look at their process and prepare to be impressed!
Sustainability is the main goal of this LA-based clothing brand. They focus on diverting waste and counter-acting pollution. Many of their gorgeous tops, dresses, and jeans are made from dead-stock fabrics which were once bound for the landfill. Everything made in-house by this brand is ethically made in downtown LA; which not only ensures workers get a fair wage but also greatly reduces shipping pollution.
Reformation takes environmental impact so seriously, that they invented something called the RefScale. Their RefScale measures just how much carbon dioxide and water are used to manufacture each piece, so you know the environmental toll of each piece you are buying. Wowza!
3. Matt + Nat
Anyone who’s been into vegan fashion for a while has most likely heard of Matt + Nat. Their bags, shoes and accessories feature timeless designs that are super durable. But did you know that this uber-futuristic brand is also laser-focused on sustainability?
Montreal-based Material + Nature, or Matt + Nat for short, uses 100% recycled plastic water bottle linings in all their bags. They ensure ethical manufacturing in their factories. Plus, they are always experimenting with new materials like cork and rubber in an effort to explore other sustainable options. They are basically the O.G. brand of fashion-forward vegan + sustainable fashion accessories.
You’ll be hearing more and more about bamboo from now on, trust me. The drape and feel of bamboo-viscose fabrics are truly amazing. It breaths like organic cotton and yet also remains cool and slinky like refined silk. I myself used to work for a brand that worked exclusively with bamboo-viscose fabric, so I’m very familiar with its versatility. The fabric has a long shelf life and doesn’t pill due to the very long fibers. (Cotton fibers are quite short, which is why cotton can become “fuzzy” or worn easily.)
Like all brands that utilize bamboo, Leave Nothing But Footprints has massively reduced their environmental footprint by using this easy-growing, sustainable plant. They make luxurious every-day basics with beautiful silhouettes. The company is also based in Canada, so naturally I’m keeping an eye on them 😉 LNBF also uses a closed-loop manufacturing process—”which re-uses the chemicals and byproducts created during manufacturing to prevent any toxic chemicals from being released into the environment.” How awesome is that?
Leggings: Girlfriend Collective
Bag: Matt + Nat