I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm committed to becoming more thoughtful about what and where I shop, taking into consideration which brands I support and the impact my purchases have on the environment. More than ever, I want to feel good about my shopping choices.
Although it's not talked about as much, the reality is that the fashion industry remains one of the world's top contributors to climate change. The good news? There have never been more brands that are committed to lightening their carbon footprint and creating a circular fashion economy than there are today. Between the number of emerging labels using upcycled materials, larger brands switching to deadstock fabrics, and the rise in popularity of the made-to-order model, it seems as though zero-waste fashion is taking over the industry. And I'm so here for it.
So this Earth Day, I'm not only highlighting some of these cool sustainable brands, but I'm also showing you that staying on-trend and being a conscious consumer don't have to be mutually exclusive. Ahead, you'll find six overarching spring trends that are happening in fashion right now and plenty of Earth-friendly ways to try them out yourself. Sure, these looks are current now, but I think these silhouettes, colors, and prints should also earn a spot in your forever closet because, at the end of the day, the most sustainable item of clothing is the one you already own.
Shop the matching Brooklyn Cashmere Pants ($220).
How it's sustainable: Public Habit operates on an on-demand basis, so the brand only makes what it sells. This approach eliminates waste and warehousing costs. It does an excellent job building its community around transparency, and its website clearly explains the pros and cons of each fabric and shares specific details about its factories and supply chain.
How it's sustainable: According to Reformation, this set is primarily made from Tencel Lyocell, a fiber processed from Eucalyptus trees. Also, it only takes half an acre to produce one ton of fiber.
As always, the brand shares the sustainability impact of each purchase. In the case of this little knit duo, it saves 20 pounds of carbon dioxide and 4045 gallons of water.
There's one trend we're not waiting another minute to get on board with: vibrant colors. If ever there were a time to have a little fun, it's now. Instead of a single standout hue, though, we're seeing all manner of saturated shades—from tangerine to hot pink to electric yellow.
Stop, rewind, play. It may be 2023, but according to the wardrobes of fashion people lately, it might as well be 2001. That's right—the late '90s/early '00s are trending hard with everything from baggy denim to printed mules to shield sunglasses, proving that what goes around always comes back around. The best way to shop this trend is through the plethora of vintage and secondhand sellers offering up genuine items from the era. If you we're wise enough to hold onto any of these silhouettes, go ahead and raid your own closet.
How it's sustainable: Shopping vintage not only cuts down on the significant impact that the fashion industry has on the environment, but the influence of your purchase can also help curb the appetite for fast fashion and overproduction.
"Alexa, play 'Funkytown.'" Joyous dressing is going way beyond the saturated colors we touched on above. It's time to get a little weird, and the funky prints on deck this spring are making fashion fun again. Since indie labels are the ones largely credited with sparking this trend, shopping it from an ethical and sustainable source is a no-brainer.
How it's sustainable: The new L.A.-based brand was born when the founder felt she lacked sustainable, long-lasting garments in her essentials closet. Ever since its launch in 2022, Dal the Label has quickly gained a fanbase for ethically made basics with a European sensibility.
How it's sustainable: This dress—and the whole of Wray's fun-loving, size-inclusive offering—is made ethically in Hong Kong and designed and developed in NYC. For Wray, sustainability means working with responsible factories, utilizing closed-loop production, and sourcing recycled fabrics and compostable packaging.
How it's sustainable: Spanish twin sisters Sayana and Claudia Durany work with artisans from around the globe, collaborating with NGOs in Senegal and Nepal to promote local craftsmanship and work toward building long-term relationships with social projects where artisans have an important role for change.
That's right—skin is in. Between cutouts, lace-up ties, and G-string pieces, there's never been a better time to take a little fashion risk—exactly how much skin you choose to expose and where is entirely up to you, but based on the risqué offerings we're seeing, a little risk equals a high reward. (The reward being an A+ outfit, of course.)
How it's sustainable: The buzzy brand is committed to sustainability and uses deadstock and biodegradable fibers in its core fabrics. All garments are manufactured in Los Angeles, and materials are sourced locally to minimize the brand's carbon footprint. Miaou uses digital printing to reduce energy and water consumption, and all packaging and mailers are made from biodegradable eco-poly.