Top 11 Best Sustainable Clothing Brands

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In this day and age, every small step you can take to be kinder to the environment counts. Innovative entrepreneurs come up with new ways to approach life in environmentally friendly ways, from electric cars to biodegradable straws. With all these new ways to be eco-friendly, it is no wonder clothing brands and designers have followed suit. In this modern era, shoppers look at the material a brand uses just as much as the price tag.

Clothing producers have taken notice, with many popular brands starting to market sustainable clothing lines. With several brands on the market that prioritize sustainability, we no longer have to choose between being stylish and being environmentally conscious. In this article, we discuss eleven sustainable clothing brands that have made their mark through fashionable clothing items and ethically sourced materials.

FAQs


shirts on a hangar

image source: Pexels

1. What Makes a Clothing Brand Sustainable?

Sustainable clothing brands use materials and production practices that are environmentally friendly. Sustainable materials are often plant-based, like hemp or linen. These materials are eco-friendly, as they require little water to turn them into a fabric. The materials are typically plant-based and require limited fertilizers and chemicals to make grow them. Sustainably sourced clothing items should be durable and long-lasting to avoid a quick turnover rate. These clothing items should be biodegradable.

2. Why Is Sustainability Important?

Everyone wants to live in a healthy environment. We want livable communities, clean air and water, thriving natural resources, and diverse ecosystems. Sustainable business practices support the continued existence of these things. By supporting sustainable clothing brands that prioritize environmental responsibility, consumers send a message to businesses that they value the environment. When consumers and producers both value sustainability, our world can make real changes toward environmental health.

3. Where Can You Shop Sustainable Clothing Brands?

Many of the sustainable clothing brands we mention have brick and mortar storefronts throughout the country. While some do not, all of the following brands have extensive online stores where clothes can be bought and shipped to you. Some of the popular clothing lines are also carried by various department stores and can be bought all over the world.

How We Reviewed


black and white photo of clothes

image source: Pexels

The following sustainable clothing brands have been reviewed based on their various features and their pros and cons. Some features we consider are the brand’s history, the variety of clothes it offers, the quality of its clothes and the price range of its products.

What We Reviewed

  • Eileen Fisher
  • Alternative Apparel
  • DL 1961
  • Amour Vert
  • Conscious Collection by H&M
  • Everlane
  • Patagonia
  • PrAna
  • Tribe Alive
  • Threads 4 Thought
  • Reformation

Eileen Fisher


Eileen Fisher Scoop Neck Full-Length Dress in Viscose, Black, Size...
  • Fitted through the bodice, straight through the hem.
  • Banded neckline and arms.
  • The polished knit. Our Viscose Jersey is light and lustrous with just the right...

Last update on 2019-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Details

Features
Eileen Fisher is an American clothing brand founded by designer Eileen Fisher. Eileen Fisher pieces are known for their simplicity and sustainable practices. This brand emphasizes its focus on environmental and social issues to create elegant and timeless women’s clothing items.

Eileen Fisher has a goal of exclusively using organic cotton and linen and recycled materials for its clothing by the year 2020. The various dyes used for Eileen Fisher clothes are responsibly sourced and limit the requirement for harsh chemicals and excess water. Eileen Fisher produces entire women’s wardrobes. This includes clothing lines for all seasons and all occasions. It also includes petite and plus sizes. The Eileen Fisher brand also carries various shoes and accessories to complete any look.

PROS

  • Committed to responsible business practices
  • Timeless looks that will never go out of style
  • Carries petite and plus sizes

CONS

  • Does not carry men’s clothing
  • Clothing is expensive

Where To Buy

Alternative Apparel


Last update on 2019-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Details

Features
Alternative Apparel is a fashion lifestyle brand founded in 1995 and owned by Hanesbrands. Alternative prides itself for being a sustainable clothing brand that is committed to eco-friendly practices. Today, Alternative can proudly say that 80% of its clothing garments are made through environmentally friendly materials and practices. The brand uses organic cotton and biodegradable shipping packaging to support its mission of sustainability.

It employs low-impact dyes, reclaimed water and biodegradable fabric softeners to treat its clothes along with other eco-friendly fabrics that have been produced from recycled plastic bottles. Alternative also prides itself on running WRAP-certified factories that strictly adhere to ethical labor standards. The clothing brand carries men’s and women’s clothing and accessories along with a youth line. Its clothing style features premium quality basics that are well suited for everyday wear.

PROS

  • Reasonably priced premium basics
  • Sells clothes that are very wearable
  • Eco-friendly packaging is a nice touch

CONS

  • Lack of petite and plus sizes
  • Lack of formalwear
  • Does not sell shoes

Where To Buy

DL 1961


Features
DL 1961 is an American denim brand based out of New York. The company stands out from many leading denim brands by exclusively selling jeans. DL 1961 uses sustainable methods to produce its denim products. Like many sustainable clothing brands, DL 1961 uses homegrown fibers and plant-based dyes to make its clothes. What makes this brand stand out is its eco-friendly manufacturing plants.

DL 1961 factories are powered by solar energy and feature an on-site water recycling plant. Making a pair of jeans usually requires around 1,500 gallons of water. DL 1961 has found a way to make its jeans with less than ten gallons of water per pair, while recycling and reusing 98% of the water it uses. DL 1961 also uses Environmental Impact Measurement software to track how much water and dye its factories use. This denim brand carries a variety of different sizes and styles of jeans for men, women, children, and infants. It also carries a few denim jacket styles for pets.

PROS

  • Solar-powered factories
  • One of the few sustainable denim producers
  • Carries jeans for all ages and sizes

CONS

  • Only carries jeans
  • Items are expensive

Where To Buy

Amour Vert


Features
Amour Vert is an American fashion brand with an expansive online store along with brick and mortar locations throughout Northern California, Southern California, and one Atlanta. Amour Vert prides itself on its sustainable and ethical production methods, displaying its Bay Area-based factories and the fair wages and equal treatment that its workers receive. Amour Vert uses unique materials like mulberry silk, beechwood fabric and organic cotton for its different clothing pieces.

Each of these materials is grown and sourced without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides or other GMOs. The brand has also partnered with American Forest to plant trees throughout North America. Amour Vert advertises that with every tee purchased, a tree is planted.

The brand has been responsible for over 200,000 planted trees and has supported 21 reforestation projects. This fashionable clothing brand has a trendy Californian influence and carries full clothing lines for men, women, and babies. Amour Vert also sells a line of home goods that includes cookbooks, kitchenware, and art.

PROS

  • Unique tree for tee program
  • Ethically run factories
  • Full catalog of clothes for men, women, and babies

CONS

  • No children’s line
  • No petite or plus sizes available for women

Where To Buy

Conscious Collection by H&M


Features
The Conscious Collection is a sustainable clothing line produced by the global fashion brand H&M. The Conscious Collection differs from many of the sustainable clothing brands we discuss in this article in that it keeps its price tags low and comparable to the rest of the H&M catalog. H&M abides by a Material Ethics policy that sets rules for the company’s suppliers goals for the company’s production methods, including a vow to use cotton exclusively from sustainable sources by the year 2020.

The Conscious Collection is a fraction of H&M’s clothing that comes from 100% sustainable sources and practices, but the company is in the process of creating all of its clothing in the same way. The Conscious Collection includes a variety of men’s and women’s clothing, from undergarments to outerwear.

PROS

  • Inexpensive eco-friendly clothing
  • Wide variety of clothing offered
  • Includes athletic wear

CONS

  • Vast majority of H&M’s clothing is not yet sustainably sourced
  • Limited size offerings

Where To Buy

Everlane


MIHOLL Womens Tops Short Sleeve V Neck Shirts Tie Front Knot Casual...
  • Material: Waffle Knit Shirts. Very Soft and Comfortable tops
  • Sexy V Neck, Short Sleeve, Long Sleeve, with Buttons(Can be unbuttoned), Loose,...
  • Loose fit, suitable for a variety of occasions: Casual, Daily wear, Outdoor activity,...

Last update on 2019-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Details

Features
Everlane is an American based retailer that is based out of San Francisco. The brand does not advertise its eco-friendly materials and practices explicitly, but it does prioritize its ethical approach to producing clothing. Everlane is extremely transparent about the way its factories are run and how its employees are treated. The Everland website features an interactive cost breakdown of how much its various clothing items cost to manufacture, including materials, labor, transportation, and taxes.

Everland wants its customers to know they are buying high-quality clothes made in ethical factories and made out of high-quality materials. One way in which is clothing is eco-friendly is that they are made to last. Everland also has a line of fleece and outerwear for men and women called ReNew that is made out of recycled plastic bottles. The brand creates timeless products that will not end up in a landfill for several decades. Everlane produces full lines of tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories for men and women.

PROS

  • ReNew line
  • Ethically run factories
  • Reasonably priced clothing items

CONS

  • No kids clothing line
  • No plus or petite sizes

Where To Buy

Patagonia


Features
Patagonia, Inc. is a well-known clothing brand based in Ventura, California. The brand’s recognizable logo is often found on different clothing items that are made for the outdoors. Patagonia was founded by a group of climbers and surfers, outdoorsy people who wanted to create clothes that are durable and functional. The brand has long used its popularity to advocate for various social and environmental issues.

The business’s mission statement read: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”. Patagonia practices what it preaches by monitoring its carbon footprint closely and ensuring that all of its brick and mortar locations are green buildings. The brand’s clothes are built to last so they do not need to be replaced as often, and they use natural and recycled fibers as much as possible. Patagonia also voluntarily pays what is called an Earth Tax to grassroots environmental advocates. This means Patagonia donates 1% of its sales every year to the preserving and restoring nature. Patagonia carries full lines of outdoor clothing for men, women, and children. Some of its most popular items are its fleece jackets, down jackets, and hats.

PROS

  • Supports various environmental and social causes
  • Voluntarily pays an Earth Tax
  • Produces stylish and durable outdoor gear

CONS

  • Does not offer petite sizes
  • Expensive clothing

Where To Buy

Check Prices

PrAna


Features
PrAna’s makes clothes for those aspiring to maintain an active and adventurous lifestyle. The stylish brand caters to travelers, yogis, and climbers from around the world. PrAna uses organic cotton, hemp, and recycled plastic bottles to create durable pieces of clothing. PrAna has partnered with Bluesign, an organization that has helped the brand use sustainable textile production methods that forego the use of toxic chemicals. PrAna carries lines of clothing and accessories for men and women. PrAna clothes typically versatile pieces that you can wear anywhere and do anything in.

PROS

  • Reasonably priced clothing
  • Carries plus sizes
  • Includes active wear

CONS

  • Does not carry formal wear
  • Does not carry youth sizes

Where To Buy

Tribe Alive


Features
Tribe Alive is a women’s clothing brand made by women for women, founded by designer and activist Carly Burson. The brand has partnered with women in various countries, including Guatemala, Haiti, India, Honduras and in the United States to create great clothes and employ at-risk women. Tribe Alive’s mission is to empower women throughout the world to bring themselves out of poverty. The company is committed to using ethical practices to produce handmade products that women will love. Tribe Alive sells unique women’s clothing items along with accessories like jewelry and bags.

PROS

  • Empowering mission statement
  • Ethical employment methods
  • Sells unique and fashionable clothing

CONS

  • Its specific eco-friendly practices are unclear
  • Does not carry men’s or children’s clothing

Where To Buy

Threads 4 Thought


Features
Threads 4 Thought is a lifestyle brand founded in 2007 that started from a small collection of environmentally friendly t-shirts. This is a brand that recognized the importance of sustainable clothing brands before it was popular to do so. Over a decade later, Threads 4 Thought has expanded its clothing catalog to full lines of clothing for men and women.

The brand’s focus on eco-friendly clothing is as sharp as ever, as it continues to support environmental advocacy initiatives and use organic cotton for all of its clothes. Threads 4 Thought carries a large catalog of clothing for men and women including active wear, athleisure apparel, and basics.

PROS

  • Produces comfortable and versatile clothing
  • Long-standing commitment to sustainability
  • Emphasizes sustainably sourced clothing

CONS

  • No youth or children’s apparel
  • Expensive catalog of clothes
  • Does not carry formal wear

Where To Buy

Reformation


Features
Reformation is a trendy women’s clothing brand that emphasizes the importance of making fashion sustainable. The sustainable clothing brand uses innovative design methods to produce fashionable and feminine clothing that women look good in. Sustainability is a central part of Reformation’s mission. Reformation has high standards for the materials it uses, sticking to eco-friendly fabrics like linen, recycled cotton, organic cotton, Recover yarns, regenerated nylon, recycled cashmere, alpaca wool, deadstock fabrics, and various TENCEL brand fabrics.

Last update on 2019-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API Details

The company also makes sure that its brick and mortar locations and factories stick to sustainable practices by sourcing electricity from wind power and using Energy Star-rate appliances. The brand puts an emphasis on manufacturing locally, with over 80% of its manufacturing work done in Los Angeles. Reformation also prides itself on employing a workforce that is over 75% female or individuals from under-represented minority groups. With ambitious goals and deep commitments to the environment, this brand has truly made a name for itself in fashion.

PROS

  • Committed to diversifying employment
  • Uses several eco-friendly fabrics
  • Creates fashionable women’s clothing items

CONS

  • Does not carry men’s clothing

Where To Buy

The Verdict

Fashion is one of the world’s largest industries, and it is very encouraging to see so many brands care about becoming more environmentally friendly. These eleven sustainable clothing brands vary greatly by the clothes they carry and the target audience they serve. What they all have in common, however, is their commitment to producing high-quality clothes that are made from sustainably sourced materials and manufactured in ethically run factories.

If treating factory workers with respect and minimizing the carbon footprint is the next move in fashion, it is a move that should be welcomed. While all of these sustainable clothing brands deserve praise for the incredible work they do, our pick is Patagonia. This large and well-known clothing brand established itself years ago as a company that is committed to social and environmental responsibility. It is likely that brands like Patagonia set the trend of eco-friendly clothing into motion. In addition, Patagonia produces high-quality clothing that is built to last through the years. While many of Patagonia’s products come at a high price point, shoppers can rest easy knowing that 1% of the company’s revenue goes to environmental advocacy groups.

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