By now, most of us know that fast fashion contributes to climate change, and we’ve warmed up (pun unintentionally) to buy sustainable clothes. But that label can be a misnomer: many fashion brands claim to be eco-friendly, even when they’re not.
It’s a double-edged sword: consumer demand for inexpensive disposable garments made from non-biodegradable petroleum-based synthetic materials is very high and has stymied many industry efforts to go green.
“The urge to sell more and get consumers to buy more is still in the industry’s DNA,” said Michael Stanley-Jones, co-secretary of the UN Sustainable Fashion Alliance recently. , to the Harvard Business Review.
At the same time, many so-called “sustainable” clothing companies fail to live up to their promises. Sure, many encourage us to take our clothes back for recycling, but if they’re selling materials that aren’t recycled or biodegradable, it doesn’t matter. And almost every apparel company deals with a supply chain that masks just how big their suppliers’ carbon footprint is.
But there are companies that are going the extra mile and making far greener decisions than ever before. Additionally, many of the following manufacturers create clothing that is just as stylish as non-eco clothing.
For example, the OAK Refined Boston which has just opened at the Prudential Center. OAK + FORT’s eco-friendly capsule collection features minimalist pieces made from organically grown or recycled fibers and fabrics, closed-loop processes and fair labor partnerships.
Grab the extremely cute collared zip top ($88 on www.oakandfort.com), a close-fitting ribbed model in durable cotton, with a two-way zip fastening. It is harvested sustainably to reduce the production of greenhouse gases, reduce the extraction of new materials by 20% and minimize water consumption.
There’s New York designer Chelsea Claridge’s CAALO label, a collection of outerwear meant to be worn for as long as possible. Thanks to a zipper and a clever design, they can be worn in many ways over several seasons. CAALO manufactures its pieces in small factories in the Garment District of New York that use recycled fabrics. For spring, don’t miss the Durable Water Resistant Hooded Trench ($1,090 on caalo.studio) – in a soft, dreamy blue.
Yasmina Q’s designs are also built to last, who uses unsold fabrics, recycled polyesters and organic cottons to create all kinds of fantastic summer wear, including the Sky Kaftan ($321 on yasminaq.com) in Ditsy Mist Iris Sky.
And then there’s Sheep Inc.’s Metamelt collection — classic sweaters made from 100% merino wool from regenerative New Zealand farms. They’re all knitted using solar-powered, zero-waste machines, and are available year-round like the V-Neck ($230 on us.sheepinc.com). It’s especially welcome in fun color-blocked design choices like Coastal Waters – perfect for everything from breezy bike rides and forest hikes to beach parties. You know, the types of natural decor that green fashion will help hold onto for a little longer.