Sustainability has become a trending topic for fashion brands that want to appeal to environmentally-conscious millennial shoppers. According to Business of Fashion, 66 percent of millennials are willing to spend more on brands that are sustainable, and the demand from customers that brands be held accountable for waste and carbon footprint is projected to skyrocket. As a fashion lover and someone who Googles things like, “Great Pacific garbage patch news” (here’s where your trash ends up, btw), I’m breathing a small sigh of relief that people—and companies—are starting to care more.
Stella McCartney was a sustainability pioneer in the luxury sector (she launched her fur-free, leather-free business in 2001, despite many skeptics), and labels including Everlane and Reformation are leading the charge in creating eco-friendly, fashion-forward clothes, proving that you can look nice and be nice to the planet. But these brands are not alone in tackling the issue of sustainability in fashion. More and more companies are setting out to do the same, and I’ve rounded up 14 I love. From footwear to handbag labels, these retailers are changing the planet…and the way you shop.
Founded by Kalen Emsley and David Luba in 2012, Tentree offers a bit of everything, including easy-to-wear dresses and sweatpants and joggers, for both the lounge lizards and outdoor enthusiasts. The brand’s latest release is a four-in-one eco-friendly backpack made from sustainably sourced materials including recycled polyester, BLOOM algae, and post industrial waste. The backpack is perfect for hiking and traveling…or holding your laptop for work. In addition to making sure its products are sustainable, Tentree also plants 10 trees (get it?) for every item purchased. To date, they’ve planted more than 25 million trees around the world.
Our pick: The mobius modular backpack, $118
World Surf League Champion Kelly Slater and designer John Moore founded Outerknown in 2014. It’s rooted in creating pieces with long-lasting materials while providing fair wages to factory workers. Outerknown first launched with a sustainable menswear line, but the company officially made the jump into womenswear last month. The line offers a variation of tees, tanks, dresses, and pants made from fibers that are 100 percent organic, recycled, and/or regenerated, with prices ranging from $48 to $168. The brand is completely transparent in its method of crafting these pieces, from a “meet the suppliers” section and a “code of conduct” for its customers.
Our pick: La Luna cami dress, $168
3 Taylor and Thomas
Fans of Stella McCartney will want to welcome footwear label Taylor and Thomas into the fold. After noticing a gap in the sustainable luxury space, Jessica Taylor Mead and Elizabeth Thomas James launched their eponymous shoe label in 2018. The first collection, a curated mix of flats and booties, are inspired by the ’60s and ’70s. The shoes are all crafted by hand in a small, ethical family-run factory in Italy. Meanwhile, the insoles are made from castor beans and recycled rubber from a factory in Japan, while the lining is made from renewable (inedible) corn. The vegan footwear are all, not surprisingly, super comfortable and stylish.
Our pick: Patti boot, $565
The brainchild of Rebecca Migirov, who wanted comfy yet sustainable undergarments, Kala is an eco-friendly intimates brand based in New York. Its bras, underwear, and sleepwear are made in NYC from all-natural and biodegradable materials. In addition, each piece is created by local artisans who are paid a fair wage. Though the collection, for now, remains small with few pieces, expect this earth-friendly label to pick up steam. I, personally, could live in the label’s terry tee and bottoms for the rest of my life.
Our pick: Terry tee, $60
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5 Indigo Swim
Philippa Brenninkmeyer founded trendy swimwear brand Indigo Swim with the mission to create swimsuits that would give back to the world—instead of polluting it. To do this, every piece from Indigo Swim is made with 100 percent regenerated nylon and ECONYL yarn (old fishing nets and ocean waste). It’s packaging, from drawstring bags to boxes, hangtags, and thank you cards, are also all eco-friendly. On top of that, the brand gives back to beach cleanups in Indonesia and California. Get ready to replace last year’s summer bikini with a trendy, earth-friendlier one from this label.
Our pick: The sophia top, $68
If you believe that great style doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment, Amur will resonate with you. The New York City–based brand uses organic and natural fibers, like hemp and linen, in their clothing; they also use recycled polyester and PET fibers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If you thought eco-friendly clothes were all neutral and boring, think again. Amur’s designs are vibrant and playful. The label is proof that trend-driven styles and sustainability can go hand-in-hand.
Our pick:, $419
This handmade jewelry brand has the royal stamp of approval: Kate Middleton has worn Mirabelle earrings on several different occasions! The label, founded by Veronique Henry, uses only fair trade suppliers to source its sterling silver, 22k gold-plated metals, brass, bronze, and semi precious stones. With necklaces ranging from $52 to $200 and earrings from $14 to $125, your guilt-free shopping isn’t even an indulgence.
Our pick: Talia stud aquamarine earrings, $86
This Scandinavian brand, launched in 2006, produces sustainable cashmere knitwear and cotton basics. Designer and founder Maija Arela runs her namesake label with her two daughters, Anni and Viivi. In keeping with its environmentally-friendly approach, the brand will take back any used garment to be up-cycled to make new products. Arela also ships out online orders in reusable packaging.
Our pick: Tove pale pink jacket, $193
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9 Matt and Nat
Montreal handbag label Matt and Nat was founded in 1995 and from the start, was committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in their minimalist designs. Over the years, the brand’s experimented with various recycled materials, like cardboard and rubber, and since 2007, has used only recycled plastic bottles to line its bags.
Our pick: Weekender bag, $235
Instagram sensation Allbirds created a sneaker that’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but also environmentally friendly. They even offer flip-flops with soles made from sugar cane. The brand dubbed it SweetFoam, a material more earth-friendly than plastic foam EVA, which is often used in the production of footwear. (FYI, even Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in this brand. If that doesn’t make you want to purchase a pair of Allbirds, I don’t know what will.)
Our pick: Women’s wool runners, $95
By now, you’re probably
familiar thoroughly-obsessed with Everlane. The millennial-driven brand has amassed a loyal group of shoppers by being transparent about how and where its clothes are produced. In fact, on the website, you can select a factory from around the world and get a glimpse of what life is like inside the space. The brand’s forthright message and minimalist fashion aesthetic makes it one of our favorite online shopping destinations.
Our pick: High-rise skinny jean, $68
If you’re looking for sustainable clothes with west coast vibes and a celebrity following, Bleusalt is your brand. The luxury athleisure apparel line is made in Los Angeles out of fabric sourced from beechwood trees in Austria. Though Bleusalt shot to prominence with its soft hoodie, it now offers everything from slip dresses to “Cindy Crawford pants:” The model reportedly requested pants that were designed for long legs and featured big pockets and a relaxed fit. (She got them.)
Our pick: The Boyfriend Hoodie, $126
Related Article: Burberry Pledges To Eliminate Plastic By 2025
Footwear brand Nisolo produces shoes that are all sustainably and ethically sourced. The leather for the shoes comes from tanneries committed to the ethical treatment of animals, and the brand works with fair-trade factories in places like Peru and Mexico, while also enlisting small, independent artisans to create shoes and jewelry. On top of all this, the label is affordable, with prices ranging from $70 to $248.
Our pick: Isla slide sandal, $88
14 Brother Vellies
Founded by Aurora James, Brother Vellies has quickly become one of my favorite fashion brands for its out-of-the-box creations (see the hairy goat bags, above). All the products are handmade in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco and adhere to the practices of slow fashion (the farm-to-table of the fashion world). The company even has a full section online detailing its sustainable practices, from who makes the accessories to where they’re produced. While the prices are rather high, you know your money is ultimately benefiting a community that needs it—and the planet.
Our pick: Cloud pouch, $585
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.