As humans, we understand that clothes are an important necessity to living, but we often purchase these items overlooking what each item represents. We see clothes everywhere and we are able to recognize the different brands and stores, but we tend to associate more importance to what these clothes physically look like rather than where, how and under what conditions they are made.

With lots of light shining on the fashion industry, consumers have started to be exposed to the sad reality of the clothing industry and how fast fashion consumes the earth’s resources and uses unfair working conditions to pass on a “modest” cost to the end shoppers. This has resulted in consumers becoming more conscious about where their clothes are made and in what conditions the workers are working in. In contrast to what most people believe, the way to end fast fashion is not to stop shopping necessarily but rather promote to think before yo

For the sustainability you don’t yet know.

How To: Sustainable Fashion Brands

Written by Victoria Paul and Olivia Lafreniere

2021-10-24

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As humans, we understand that clothes are an important necessity to living, but we often purchase these items overlooking what each item represents. We see clothes everywhere and we are able to recognize the different brands and stores, but we tend to associate more importance to what these clothes physically look like rather than where, how and under what conditions they are made.

With lots of light shining on the fashion industry, consumers have started to be exposed to the sad reality of the clothing industry and how fast fashion consumes the earth’s resources and uses unfair working conditions to pass on a “modest” cost to the end shoppers. This has resulted in consumers becoming more conscious about where their clothes are made and in what conditions the workers are working in. In contrast to what most people believe, the way to end fast fashion is not to stop shopping necessarily but rather promote to think before you shop and encourage slow fashion! By being conscious of what we are buying, asking ourselves if we really need these items and buying from quality brands that are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices when we decided that we really do need these items. Below, you will find a list of fashion brands that are very well known that you wouldn’t believe are more sustainable than most and some others that you may have never heard of! 

It is important to note that some of these brands may have increased prices when compared to the most popular fast fashion brands and that these prices may not be available to everyone. Fear not, there are multiple ways to go about dismantling the fast fashion industry! Decreasing our overconsumption of clothing is a great starting point and many resources can be found online on how to start a capsule wardrobe with timeless pieces that you will get the most of! The idea of having fewer items but that are of a higher quality and that you love can be beneficial to those looking to improve their closet’s carbon footprint and ethical standards. Another option is buying items second hand to give these items a longer life and reducing the need for new items to be produced in the first place! Even better if you find the items from these sustainable brands!

Patagonia is a pioneer when it comes to sustainable fashion made to last. They try to create their products to last as long as their customer and even offer repair services and resale options for used items to ensure they last as long as possible and reduce the need for new materials. The transparency of their supply chains and desire to implement sustainability as far into their supply chain is encouraging. Their main goals are reducing their impact on the environment and knowledge sharing which they work to achieve through the use of recycled materials, donating 1% of their sales for the planet, instigating research on microplastics and other environmental effects of the fashion industry. If you are at all curious on these topics, we suggest you check out Yves Chouinard’s (Founder of Patagonia) books Let my people go surfing or The responsible company!

Veja Shoes offers sneakers made from recycled materials including a lot of organic cotton which reduces the amount of chemicals and water they need to make their products. They offer vegan sneakers and sneakers made from leather audited by the Leather Working Group. They are able to monitor the payment of a living wage and working conditions in their entire supply chain which is very rare in the fashion industry. 

Reformation uses a large amount of recycled materials, minimizes its waste by reusing a lot of its textile “waste” and reduces its water and chemical use in their production processes. They have an extensive working conditions code of conduct and trace their suppliers regularly to ensure it is respected. 

Kotn uses 100% organic Egyptian cotton in their clothing items and they trace their entire supply chain. As a certified B corporation, they work towards their social responsibility to the Egyptian communities of the farmers they work with to make their products. What’s more? They are Toronto-based!

Girlfriend Collective offers activewear made from mostly recycled materials and recycled water bottles. Their supply chains follow a certified working conditions code of conduct and get audited by third party organizations to ensure the transparency in their reporting.

Organic Basics offers exactly what their name implies, closet basics made from organic materials like organic cotton. This allows them to reduce the water and chemicals used to produce their products all while reducing their carbon footprint. They recently launched the low impact version of their website which reduces the carbon footprint of the website by 70% which is an innovative way the fashion industry can implement sustainable practices!

Frank and Oak uses recycled materials and packaging to limit their waste and audits their supply chain for wage and labour abuse. They also limit the amount of chemicals and water used in the production of their products through their use of natural and organic materials. They are not perfect but they are definitely working to become even more sustainable every day. 

Levi’s has increased its environmental impact in the last few years by reducing the amount of water used to make their denim and their overall greenhouse emissions. If you didn’t already know, it is estimated that it takes around 1,800 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans but with their new Water

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The word sustainability is often just thrown around by brands and it can be hard to know whether they are or not because of all the greenwashing in this industry. There are no perfectly sustainable brands, but rather brands that are constantly working to be more sustainable because the notion of sustainability is not a stage or classification but rather a way to operate that brands adopt. If you are interested in learning more about how your favourite clothing brands compare in terms of their sustainability, the Good On You website and app are a great resource to look into. Each brand is given a rating based on three categories: People, Planet and Animals. They also have a great blog with tips and guides for a sustainable wardrobe! Check them out here!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Palma Humbert

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