These cool ethical fashion brands are perfect to highlight this Earth Day – and long beyond!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
We all know that on April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day. And it’s usually a day that inspires most of us to be more eco-friendly.
However, taking your first steps towards doing so can be a bit daunting! We all know by now to reduce, reuse and recycle as part of our daily habits. But investing in a more sustainable wardrobe is also a great way to be a bit greener.
Unfortunately, defining what sustainable fashion is can be a bit overwhelming, too. There’s a lot of misinformation and greenwashing out there, right? Nonetheless, there are a few simple steps that can help you navigate the sustainable fashion sector.
We’ve tried to make this navigation a bit easier for you. Asking questions like how a garment is made, the materials it’s made with, and who and what is impacted in the manufacturing process, is a great start.
10 Cool sustainable fashion brands for this Earth Day
1. The Series
The Series is truly an inspiring label. Founder Ella began to realise the immense impact that images of unhealthy and unrealistic bodies had on her personally, and on society as a whole. Simultaneously, she began educating herself on the enormous environmental impact the fashion industry has on the planet. To protest these hurtful and dangerous practices, Ella founded the Series. This label works with pre-existing and found materials to create clothes for all sizes.
- Each garment is one-of-a-kind. It’s made from upcycled, vintage and deadstock materials found at flea markets, thrift stores, and secondhand online marketplaces.
- Made locally for a lower carbon footprint
- All materials are cleaned with non-toxic, hypoallergenic cleaning products
SVNR was born from the union of ethics and aesthetics. Founder Christina Tung pairs a commitment to sustainable production practices and conscious consumption with a collector’s love of fashion in her company. Svnr is one of those cool ethical fashion brands that makes mainly jewellery and silk garments.
- Made from found, re-used, upcycled and natural materials.
- Each season, they produce less than a Ziploc bag full of waste.
- The jewellery is handmade to order locally in Brooklyn to minimise emissions and excess inventory.
- All materials not used can be re-imagined as new pieces.
KOTN holds the fourth-highest B Impact score of all apparel brands in North America. Wow, right? They gained that accolade because they focus on only biodegradable and natural fabrics. KOTN is also socially responsible, though. They’re proud to work directly with the farming communities in Egypt. There, they reinvest profits into local NGOs that then help fund education systems.
- KOTN only uses OEKO-TEX non-toxic certified dyes to colour its clothing.
- Certified B Corporation
- The brand only uses biodegradable fabrics
- Socially responsible
In Peru, Ayni is a concept of mutual help. And that’s exactly what this cool, ethical fashion brand is all about!
Ayni aims to conserve ancient textile traditions whilst supporting female artisans and their communities. Peruvian artisans create their collections using handmade methods, including macramé, crochet, needlework, and hand-weaving. In 2012, Ayni Certify was established in partnership with Peru’s Ministry of Employment and offers formal weave training to men and women to help them create their own businesses.
- The brand was created to help support female artisans
- They use only locally sourced alpaca, organic Pima cotton, and yarns made from recycled plastic.
- A socially responsible brand
5. Factor Bermuda
Why pollute the oceans with sunscreens when there’s swimwear that exists with a UPF of 50+ ?
This sun protective and sustainable swimwear brand is truly unique. Factor Bermuda offer somewhat modest styles that not only look great, but protect your skin from harsh rays, too.
- Made from a luxurious Italian Lycra, derived from rescued ocean plastics.
- A fresh perspective on swimwear, combining timeless, elevated design with skincare and sustainability.
- Ethically and locally made in New York.
6. Flare Street
Vintage inspired brand Flare Street is a zero-waste, closed loop label out of Melbourne, Australia. They specialise in flares and bell bottoms with an emphasis on sustainability within every aspect of the supply chain.
We love how each piece is an alternative to mass-production fashion, meticulously designed to last and be cherished for decades.
- Ethical manufacturing within Australia
- Biodegradable packaging
- Giving pieces a second life with the option to rent or re-sell through Flare Street’s new partner, Air Robe.
- Flare Street recycles all its unused textiles
- They use deadstock fabric where possible
Hong Kong-based knitwear label YanYan is the brainchild of two best friends, Suzzie Chung and Phyllis Chan. The latter was the former Knitwear Director at Rag & Bone. Her clear talent for design comes through in her cheerful, trendy styles, with a vintage touch.
- Dedicated to using leftover yarns from larger brands
- Knitwear by nature is low waste as compared to cut and sew
- Designed to maximise the quantity of yarns they have, through colour blocking and patterns, in order to minimise the amount of expired yarns destined for landfills.
8. Geraldine Garcia
Floaty, pretty, romantic. These three words best describe one of our favourite new, cool ethical fashion brands: Geraldine Garcia.
The El Salvadorian native launched her sustainable luxury fashion label partly to help her country women gain fair, gainful employment. The result is a line of nature-inspired dresses, skirts and blouses built for comfort and versatility.
- The brand uses sustainable fibres like Tencel, linen, recycled lycra and viscose
- Geraldine Garcia is committed to providing fair, steady jobs to women in her home country
This is an upcycling design studio based between Lima, Peru and Los Angeles. They reuse materials that would otherwise fill landfills and give them a much-deserved second life. Each item is handcrafted by a small team of well-paid, independent Peruvian seamstresses in Lima.
- Each garment is made by reusing materials that would otherwise fill landfills and giving them a second life.
- Loti only sources and reuses natural fibers such as cotton, alpaca wool, wool, and silk.
- The brand uses zero waste packaging
10. The Ugly Duckling Club
The global launch of The Ugly Duckling Club is this month! This is a cozy unisex “soft-wear” brand. It’s made from 100% recycled cotton knits from reclaimed manufacturing waste. The socially conscious brand partners with organisations to develop elevated capsule collections beyond typical “non-profit” merchandise.
- Each genderless garment is made from 100% reclaimed cotton manufacturing waste
- Made locally in LA
- 100% of profits go to Wide Rainbow, a NYC-based 501c3 contemporary arts after-school program.
Which of these cool ethical fashion brands will you be supporting this Earth Day?
Main image: Ayni Second image: Geraldine Garcia
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