In honor of Earth Day this year I wanted to highlight some of the brands in our directory who make eco friendly practices a part of their company ethos. Because the fashion industry is one of the top polluters in the world, and every effort to reduce that is appreciated and vital. Of course all the companies on our site manufacturer locally, which helps cut down on transport related emissions; as well as additional packaging used for overseas shipping. But many also use natural and/or sustainable fabric, recyclable containers (beauty and home brands) and they try to run their businesses in a conscious way (everything from dye choices, to hang tags, packaging and waste management). Additionally many of the beauty brands use organic ingredients and all of them are cruelty free/no animal testing (because animals are part of Mother Earth too).
Below is a sampling of some of the sustainable clothing brands in the directory, there are many more listed but I didn't have time to gush about them all. On the site there is an Eco tag under brands who go the extra mile, you can also enter it in our search to pull up a list of companies with the tag. Note, please bear with me I am in the processing of updating brand bios so some info isn't up to speed yet (I hope to have it finished soon).
Brand Christy Dawn
Location Los Angeles, CA
Offerings Dresses, tops, outerwear, bags and bridal.
Style feminine, vintage inspired, known for floral prints and easy to wear dresses.
Sustainability Christy Dawn's collections are all made using only deadstock fabric. I have mentioned deadstock a lot, but for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, it is surplus material. Large fashion brands tend to over order their fabric, either intentionally or to meet minimum order requirements. They generally end up with a ton (millions of tons collectively) of surplus. An estimated 40 billion square feet of potential waste. Not only is Christy Dawn helping to save this fabric from the landfill by utilizing it in her designs, but she is cutting back on the environmental impacts associated with manufacturing new material (an area where much of the fashion industries pollution happens). Using deadstock also means that all of Christy’s dresses are small batch, creating a higher demand for the looks while further reducing the possibility of fashion waste from unsold goods. In addition to the smart fabric choices, Christy Dawn has also eliminated plastic from her packaging. Orders instead come in a reusable wooden box.
Personal favorites The Dawn Dress, Lennon Dress, Phoebe Jumper and Daisy Dress.
Additional fan mail I love that the brand openly talks about environmental issues, raising awareness with their gorgeous designs. Christy's dresses also happen to be those perfect dream pieces that you can just throw on and immediately feel put together and beautiful in.
Brand Botanica Workshop
Location Los Angeles, CA
Offerings Underwear, swim and loungewear.
Style Minimal, fuss free, feminine but not overtly girlie, vintage inspired.
Sustainability Designer Misa Miyagawa creates her gorgeous pieces using organic cotton, silk (both biodegradable and renewable resources) and recycled nylon for her swimwear (excellent UV protection and OEKO-TEX certified for safety). Additionally fabric is dyed using low impact dyes. Eco friendly practices are a big part of Botanica Workshops ethos, she tries to implement them in every part of her business; by reducing waste, recycling/using recycled supplies and even composting lunch scraps.
Personal favorites Calla Cami, Astra Hi-Waist Brief, Kona Dress, Nami Swimsuit.
Additional fan mail I have always been a big fan of Misa's choice of colors and her ability to design pieces with a grown up and sophisticated femininity. I also love the versatility of her loungewear pieces, great at home or out in the world.
Harvest & mill
Brand Harvest & Mill
Location San Francisco, CA
Offerings Eco basics for women and men.
Style Casual, easy, comfortable.
Sustainability Harvest & Mill is truly USA made, every step from the growing of the organic cotton, the milling of the fabric, to the sewing of the garments. It all takes place domestically. Lets talk about why organic cotton is so great, it is grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Additionally organic cotton is non GMO (it is estimated that 90% of conventional cotton is GMO) and it requires less water. Conventional cotton is one of, if not the most pesticide reliant crops in the world, accounting for almost 1/4 of the planets pesticide usage. Despite the fact that less than 3% of farmland is used to grow cotton. Additionally herbicides and harsh chemicals are used in both the harvesting and processing of cotton fibers. The organic cotton used by Harvest & Mill avoids these toxins in both the growing and processing steps; and they use plant based or low impact dyes to color their fabrics. Another bonus with organic cotton, its fully compostable as are all the packaging and labels used by the company. You can read more about the benefits of this material and the environmental strain created by conventional cotton on the Harvest & Mill site.
Personal favorites The Raglan, Women's Crew and the Original Crew (unisex).
Additional fan mail Their shirts have a soft, broken in feel and are great dressed up or down. Plus I love the fact that they are an entirely USA made brand!
Brand Town Clothes
Location Los Angeles, CA
Offerings Womenswear, dresses, pants, tops, outerwear and pantsuits!!
Style Modern, minimal and clean, with retro inspirations.
Sustainability Designer Krista Bachmeier Fox uses either deadstock fabric, organic cotton or hemp for her slow fashion label. The SS18 collection is made up of deadstock linen (dream fabric), an organic cotton poplin and a hemp/organic cotton blend. Hemp is a great sustainable fabric option because it comes from a renewable resource that doesn't require pesticides or herbicides to grow. It also returns nutrients to the soil essentially giving back to the earth.
Personal favorites Salima Dress, Market Blouse, Pontoise Pant and Williams Blouse.
Additional fan mail I am always so excited to see what Krista is going to make next, it is constantly something unexpected and beautiful. Her pieces exude a feminine strength and confidence; and they are always unique.
Location San Leandro, CA
Offerings Undergarments and lounge.
Style Simplicity at its finest.
Sustainability Pansys undies, bras and lounge wear is all made using organic USA grown and milled cotton. The cotton is grown in Texas, milled in North Carolina, the fabric is then dyed with non toxic dyes and sewn in California. While the natural rubber and cotton elastic is from South Carolina, meaning every step of the process a domestic affair. Items are shipped in cotton bags to avoid unnecessary plastic waste.
Personal favorites Their classic Bra and Low Rise brief are closet staples for me, the newer Full Bra is great for a little more support too. Everything they make is so soft and comfy, currently coveting their Socks and Crop T-Shirt.
Additional fan mail They are a very body positive brand and always have the most beautiful images that show women of all shapes, sizes and colors. Their pieces also remind me of photos I have seen of my mom from the 1970's, they have a similar cut to vintage swimsuits she use to wear. And I love nostalgia.
Go Gently nation
Brand Go Gently Nation
Location Los Angeles, CA
Offerings Womenswear, kids and babies.
Style Easy, wearable, comfortable and minimal.
Sustainability Go Gently uses all organic cotton or hemp/organic cotton blends. They have a gorgeous light and breezy gauze fabric made from 100% organic cotton, the material is used on both kids and womenswear pieces. We love the eco friendly factor and the texture of the fabric, It is a personal favorite especially for LA's hot summers! In addition to sustainable fabrics the brand also uses recycled paper hang tags, water based inks, low impact dyes, recycled fabric remnants, eco packaging and implements eco friendly practices in every aspect of their business.
Personal favorites All of their gauze pieces (both mama and baby styles) especially fond of the Gauze Frock and Gauze Maxi Sundress. All of their kid pieces are adorable!! Really love the Sleeveless Prairie Dress (hemp/orgnaic cotton blend), Woven Snap Down Dress and the Stripe Woven Short (also a hemp blend) this season.
Additional fan mail I am always a fan of eco fabrics, but feel that they are especially great for baby and kids wear. Littles have such sensitive skin/bodies so the use of organic fabrics that avoid unnecessary chemicals and toxins is wonderful. I also love that they make mama and me dressing easy and stylish with their matching styles.
Location Vancouver, WA
Offerings Jersey basics for women and men, plus woven jumpsuits, button ups, dresses, bottoms and more.
Style Great everyday pieces, wearable, comfortable and versatile.
Sustainability Founder Robert Jungmann was inspired to promote hemp as a renewable resource after witnessing the devastation caused but logging (specifically clear cutting). As mentioned before not only does hemp require no pesticides or herbicides to grow but its cultivation is actually beneficial to the environment. Through phytoremediation hemp plants can help remove toxins and heavy metals from soil and groundwater. Prized for its strong fibers and used throughout history the fabric has countless benefits.
Personal favorites Taos Top, Button front Jumper, Moab Dress, 100% Hemp Canvas Jumper and the Aspen Dress.
Additional fan mail Great neutral, earthy colors + soft fabrics.
Location Los Angeles, CA
Offerings Women’s swim.
Style Simple flattering cuts in a modern color palette.
Sustainability Not only is the nylon fabric used by designer Blakely Wickstrom recycled but it is made from discarded fish nets. Fish nets make up 10% of the oceans pollution and they are incredibly harmful to sea life, which naturally gets entangled in them. Removing the nets and recycling them is beneficial for us all, and as an added bonus it makes a strong fabric with great fit retention (prolonging the life of your swimwear). Galamaar extends their eco practices to other areas as well, with recycled hang tags and packaging. They also fulfill orders and ship form both coasts in an effort to further reduce carbo emissions.
Personal favorites Simon High Waist Two Piece and the Neeve High Waist Two piece.
Additional fan mail Can't get over the fact that they are making swimwear that actually benefits the ocean! Also love the placement of seams on Galamaars suits, they flatter the form beautifully.
As mentioned above this is just a sampling, there a lot of other sustainably minded lines in the directory. And in my opinion all of the brands are making a conscious effort to design better. In addition to Earth Day this Sunday, Fashion Revolution Week starts the 23rd, an event/organization helping to raise major awareness about the ethical and environmental issues within the fashion industry. Check them out for more info on why we need to do better and how you can help. I am forever thankful for the brands I work with who are giving people a better alternative to fast fashion, while simultaneously creating an example for other companies.
*photos all courtesy of the designers. Header photo from the Town Clothes SS18 lookbook, shot by Michelle Slater.