18 Sustainable Fashion Brands

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

image: @veja

So if you have kept up with my blog posts, you know that sustainable fashion is one of my favorite things to talk about. I wrote one blog about why a minimalist / ethical wardrobe is amazing and another about how I began to pare down my wardrobe to only have clothes that I absolutely love.

This blog post is an extension of those! Listed are some of my favoriteeee ethical / sustainable brands. 0% of this is sponsored- I'm just trying to give you a good list of resources for sustainable fashion.

What makes normal fashion companies unsustainable?

To put it simply, marketers have changed the way we view clothes in the last decade. There used to only be 4 seasons for new clothes, but now companies are getting new looks every single week (aka, 52 seasons) to make consumers feel like they constantly need to have more. They WANT us to feel behind. Horrible, right?

Fast Fashion companies also started outsourcing their labor in order to make clothes cheaper for their consumers so they could buy more often. This means that many fashion companies' labor is located in third world countries where their conditions are rarely monitored by the company. Along with this, companies use a lot of hazardous chemicals and synthetic materials in order to make our clothes cheap and fast.

What's the outcome of outsourcing labor and using synthetic materials? I've said it a million times and I'll say it again- WATCH THE TRUE COST ON NETFLIX. It explains everything. BUT in short these poor labor conditions in third world countries are costing the health and sometimes lives of the workers. All so we can have a shirt for $8 that we won't wear in a month. It's a horrible, horrible situation and we need to prove to our western world that we care about these human lives that make our clothes. The synthetic materials? Our synthetics in our clothes (micro plastics) break down in our washing machine and drain straight into waterways. Animals eat this plastic mistaking it for food. Also, the hazardous chemicals in dying clothes and making goods are ruining habitats across third world countries.

What makes a fashion company sustainable?

Sustainability in fashion means different things to different people, but ultimately it means caring about the social and environmental impacts that fashion has on the planet. Ethical companies either have their factories in western countries to ensure quality labor conditions, or they have factories in third world countries that focus on giving these people good working conditions and a livable wage. Ethical companies focus on using natural resources and no hazardous chemicals to help lessen the environmental impacts that the fashion industry has on the planet.

REMEMBER: I always say that the most environmental thing you can do is to use what you already have. Don't feel like you have to buy new clothes! Buying clothing from ethical companies isn't the number one answer for living sustainably. I started by reducing my wardrobe to figure out what my style truly is. I started having clothing swaps with my friends to save money- my favorite shoes were once my roommate's! Also, I shop second hand. This one is important because you're giving a product a second life and preventing this product from ending up in a landfill or worse- in third world countries where our abundance of second hand clothes are destroying local economies. Want to learn more? Watch The True Cost on Netflix.

If you're wanting to know how to start a sustainable wardrobe that doesn't cost money, read my post on HOW I started a minimalist wardrobe. If you're wanting to know why I switched to a minimalist wardrobe in order to love my clothes more, spend less money, and become more confident in my style, read WHY I started a minimalist wardrobe.

BEFORE YOU GO TO THE LIST OF BRANDS: Yes, I know they are more expensive than fast fashion brands. And to put it simply- they should be. These brands are paying their workers a livable wage and are using resources and materials that are less harmful to the planet. Also, these brands aren't perfect, but they're making an effort to reduce their impact on the planet while accounting for the lives' of their workers-which deserves to be celebrated.

1. Nisolo

Leather Shoe Brand

2. Tradlands

Credit: @nisoloshoes

Fashion focused on essentials that will last years.

3. For Days

T-Shirt brand

4. Able

Women's apparel.

5. OuterKnown

Women and men's apparel.

6. Veja

Sneaker Company.

7. Mate the Label

Fashion company making vintage Californian inspired clothing.

8. Everlane

Women and men's apparel.

9. Kotn

Women and men's apparel.

10. Madewell

Women and men's apparel.

11. Reformation

Great brand for essentials as well as some eye catching clothes!

12. Mimi & August

Women's apparel that has some quirky items (love the cat T shirt)

13. Smart Wool

Outdoor attire made from merino wool. GREAT products for camping, skiing, and sport activities.

14. Patagonia

Outdoor focused brand. I love their jackets and shorts!

15. Whimsy and Row

Beautiful fashion brand for women.

16. The Nude Label

Underwear brand for women.

17. Organic Basics

Underwear brand for women.

18. Pygoscelis

Underwear brand for women.

Thanks for reading and I hope this resource helps you find ways to be sustainable with your fashion!


Impact for Good


Impact For Good