Happy First Day of Spring! If you’re anything like us, the changing of the seasons has you craving a wardrobe refresh. And we’re all about making some strategic updates, a shopping spree isn’t exactly aligned with our goal to make more environmentally conscious choices. You probably know by now that the fashion industry is a major source of pollution. (Not to point fingers—the beauty industry has a long way to go, too.) As individuals, we can all help to mitigate that by making smarter purchasing decisions, including shopping less—and shopping smarter. Pre-owned is best, and fortunately, the rise of online retailers like Poshmark and Tradesy have made buying secondhand easier than ever. But sometimes, you need something new. That’s where these brands come in. While, like all of us, they could always do more, they’re paving the way toward a more sustainable future by taking meaningful steps to produce more conscious clothing.
FOR YOUR DENIM: EVERLANE
Everyone’s favorite direct-to-consumer darling isn’t just a great place to stock up on affordable basics. In 2017, they took on one major source of fashion industry pollution: denim. It can take up to 10,000 liters of water to make a single pair of jeans, according to some sources—and much of that untreated water runs back into the rivers and oceans, leading to dangerous pollution levels. Everlane is taking a different approach. They recently partnered with a LEED-certified factory in Vietnam that, according to their website, takes several steps to reduce the pollution caused by denim production. These include recycling 98% of the water used, air-drying rather than machine-drying the jeans and filtering the water leftover from the manufacturing process until it’s clean enough to drink.
In terms of style, Everlane denim offers something for everyone. Styles include high-rise skinnies, relaxed boyfriend jeans and their now-iconic “Kick Crop”. Perhaps best of all, every pair costs less than $100. It’s also worth noting that, even outside of the realm of denim, most of Everlane’s pieces are classic staples that you’ll reach for years (another factor worth considering when it comes to ethical shopping practices).
FOR SPRING WEDDINGS: REFORMATION
Since it launched in 2009, this cool-girl brand has been a model for eco-friendly clothing that doesn’t sacrifice sartorial appeal. According to Good on You, a website that rates fashion brands’ sustainability efforts, Reformation make a meaningful difference by (among other things) minimizing their use of packaging, using eco-friendly and recycled materials and manufacturing close to their primary retail locations. They also actively work to offset carbon emissions and have been carbon-neutral since 2015. Customers can even get involved: Reformation offers a $100 credit when you switch to wind energy.
For these reasons and more, Reformation has our vote when it comes to outfitting yourself for the biggest events on your spring calendar. Fortunately, they have a dress for just about every event wedding season can throw at you. Need something for breezy beachside nuptials? A
FOR YOUR WORKOUT: PATAGONIA
With a mission statement that includes a commitment to “cause no unnecessary harm” and “use business to protect nature”, this longtime purveyor of outdoor essentials has environmental responsibility built into its foundations. They back up their words with action: all of their
And while you might think of Patagonia as your go-to spot for puffy down jackets and cozy ski baselayers, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that they also offer eco-friendly, Fair Trade Certified workout gear. These share the same features as all our favorite leggings—compression fit, wide waistband, hidden key pocket—and come in all kinds of patterns and shades.