There's no time like the present to start being more conscientious about the ways what you wear and how you shop may be affecting the environment. If, like the rest of the internet, you read New York Magazine's truly terrifying cover story on global warming, then you probably feel the urgency now more than ever before. Let's face it: Fashion can feel like a competitive sport at times. Just think about the last time you raced to hop on the latest trend bandwagon or took pride in scoring the best deals from fast-fashion brands.
With the fashion industry being one of the biggest perpetrators of global pollution (second only to oil—yikes), choosing brands that go the extra mile—sourcing textiles that limit the use of chemicals in their production, using vintage or recycled materials, and keeping production local to reduce carbon emissions—is a responsible step in the right direction. You're likely already familiar with a few popular brands that do take care to protect the environment already, most notably Reformation, who's made it its goal to marry sustainability with a cool It factor.
But Reformation's just one of many brands producing wares using conscious, eco-friendly methods. Below, get to know five sustainable fashion brands doing their part to make fashion a little kinder to the earth (and making seriously cute clothes while they're at it).
The name stands for A Mindful Use of Resources, and that's exactly what designer Sofia Shannon hopes to achieve with her recently launched line. Not only does the brand use eco-friendly textiles like GOTS-certified organic cotton and silk, Cupro (a yarn made from a part of the cotton plant usually wasted in production), and regenerated fibers and commit to seeking out mills and artisans that employ sustainable techniques, but it also manages to make party dresses, crop tops, and more that we really want to wear.
This young line may be based in New York, but it has an undeniably laid-back West Coast vibe to it. Through partnerships with craftspeople in India, Guatemala, and Bolivia, Where Mountains Meet sources unique, handmade textiles and trims, transforming them into wearable wrap tops, wide-leg pants, and cool jumpsuits.
There may be no luxury brand quite as globally minded as Maiyet. With a diverse product range that includes handbags, jewelry, sunglasses, ready-to-wear, and more, the New York–based team works with artisans in countries like India, Indonesia, Italy, Bolivia, and Mongolia, where it's established a nonprofit that works to support cashmere herding communities.
If "ethical feminist fashion" sounds up your alley, you've come to the right place. Named after Lolita's titular character, Dolores Haze uses vintage textiles and produces in New York to keep its environmental footprint to a minimum.
There's perhaps nothing easier to wear than slip dresses (well, maybe sweatpants, but you know what we mean), and AwaveAwake excels at them. Another strength? A pretty, unexpected color palette—the result of all-natural, plant-based dyes on its ethically sourced materials.