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Every April when Earth Day rolls around, you may start thinking more about how you can give back to the planet that we all call home. There are plenty of ways to live more sustainably, whether you opt for reusable straws over plastic ones or start your own backyard garden. You can also make your wardrobe more eco-conscious by shopping brands and retailers that are trying to reduce their environmental footprints.
While all fashion produces at least some negative impact on the environment, we've rounded up 14 style brands that focus on sustainability, from Patagonia with its dedication to environmental legislation to Rothy's with its recycled materials. Whether you’re searching for shoes, activewear, or jeans, you'll look and feel good shopping these brands.
1. Cariuma Credit: Cariuma
Cariuma sneakers are made of bamboo and sugarcane.
Every inch of Cariuma’s minimalistic kicks offers maximum TLC to Mother Earth. The memory foam insoles are made from fast-growing cork and mamona oil, the laces are derived from recycled plastic bottles, and the natural rubber sole is harvested from trees through "ethical tapping." For every pair of sneakers purchased, Cariuma says it will plant two trees in the Brazilian Rainforest.
Our style editor, Amanda Tarlton, is a big Cariuma fan girl. She currently owns four pairs of the sneakers—including the OG Ibi sneaker, which once had a 12,000-person waitlist—and swears they're the most comfortable shoes she's ever put on her feet.
2. Girlfriend Collective Credit: Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective's ReGirlfriend program recycles your used pieces into new ones.
Girlfriend Collective may be best known for its inclusive sizing—its activewear comes in women's sizes XXS to 6XL—but the brand is also famous for its environmental efforts. So far in 2021, Girlfriend Collective says it has recycled 2,743,474 water bottles into bras, leggings, dresses, and shorts. The Lite leggings are made from recycled fishing nets and other waste, while the recently-launched Undress claims to have saved 21 water bottles from landfills. Girlfriend Collective will also take back your old pieces to turn them into brand new ones through its ReGirlfriend program.
One of Reviewed's writers is a big fan of the brand, raving that the Girlfriend Collective leggings are some of the softest and most durable she's ever owned.
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3. Patagonia Credit: Patagonia
Patagonia is famously passionate about the environment.
Patagonia was one of the first mainstream brands to adopt recycled materials and organic cotton as its M.O. Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged 1% of its sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment, which has led to a reported $89 million in donations to grassroots environmental groups.
Most people may know the brand for its durable and stylish outdoor gear—like the Better Sweater, which is made of recycled yarn and is "Fair Trade Certified"—which means factory workers are paid a premium they can use for healthcare, for example—but Patagonia also has a large selection of spring dresses, button-downs, rompers, and more.
Shop Patagonia at REI
4. Everlane Credit: Everlane
Everlane uses organic cotton in many of its T-shirts and sweats.
For basics that are comfortable and conscious, hit up Everlane. The brand makes some of the coziest T-shirts, sweat sets, underwear, and more. And it does so with materials that claim to be better for the environment. Everlane has pledged that by the end of 2021, it will eliminate all "virgin plastic" from its supply chain, using only recycled plastic for everything from its products to its packaging.
Currently, Everlane says that 97% of its apparel made with nylon and polyester use recycled fibers and 100% of its shipping bags are already made of recycled plastic or paper.
5. Allbirds Credit: Allbirds
Allbirds is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint.
"Light on your feet, light on the planet." That's the motto of Allbirds, the footwear brand that took over social media with its washable Wool Runner sneaker. Allbirds doesn't use just any old wool for its shoes. The brand says that its wool-making process takes 60% less energy than that of synthetic materials. Allbirds also partners with ZQ Merino, a wool certification organization, to ensure that its materials are ethically sourced from sheep who are raised under humane conditions and given free pasture to roam and graze.
According to one of Reviewed's writers, the Allbirds sneaker is worth buying, thanks to how easy it is to clean and how comfortable it is for all-day wear.
6. Rothy's Credit: Rothy's
The Instagram-famous Rothy's flat is also environmentally-conscious.
Celebrities like Meghan Markle, Mandy Moore, and Gwyneth Paltrow have all been seen sporting Rothy's signature flats and sneakers. The accessories brand prides itself on its "circularity," which it describes as its quest to make every step of its process better and more earth-friendly. Rothy's uses recycled plastic bottles to make the fiber it uses for its shoes and bags.
We tried the popular Rothy's flat here at Reviewed and found it to be worth the $145 price tag—if you don't mind a breaking-in period. Our tester found the shoe to be comfortable and durable once her feet got used to them.
7. Reef Credit: Reef
Reef cares about the beaches where its flip-flops are worn.
Reef, the popular, surf-inspired, flip-flop brand, now crafts many of its sandals with a sustainable focus. The laidback, go-with-anything styles are made with eco-conscious materials including recycled PET derived from plastic bottles, renewable sugarcane, unprocessed cork, and recycled paper.
Reef is making even more waves as the founding partner of the Reef x Surfrider Foundation Better Beach Alliance, which is dedicated to reducing the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean through environmental legislation and coastline cleanups. To date, the partnership is responsible for cleaning over 1,500 beaches across the country.
8. Venus Credit: Venus
Many pieces from Venus are made with recycled materials.
Venus' Sustainability Swimwear Collection is designed with fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, which is then digitally printed to reduce water waste. There are ruffle-trimmed racerbacks, high-waist bikinis, and waist-defining sash ties, all covered in eye-catching patterns (or solids, if you please).
The company also says that by 2022, it plans to produce all of its rayon/spandex material using fiber derived from wood and pulp. Venus' Florida-based headquarters is already working to reduce its environmental footprint—the building boasts 2,000 solar panels.
9. Revtown Jeans Credit: Revtown
Revtown makes its jeans via a process that uses less energy and water.
Revtown infuses premium Italian denim with flexible athletic yarn, a nod to its founders’ Under Armour background. To keep things earth-friendly, the brand dyes its cotton fabric—which is used for its popular "Decade Denim"—with shrimp shells, orange peels, and nut shells. The cotton used is certified by the Better Cotton Initiative, a non-profit that promotes eco-friendly cotton production. The technique reportedly uses 30% less energy, 50% less water, and 70% fewer chemicals than traditional dyeing.
All jeans cost $79, no matter the style, and reviewers say the denim is soft enough to rival your comfiest sweats.
Shop Revtown Jeans
10. Stella McCartney Credit: Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney only uses faux leathers and faux furs.
Long associated with eco-conscious fashion, Stella McCartney was one of the first designers to embrace sustainability from concept to catwalk. "I believe in creating pieces that are not going to landfills or damage the environment," Ms. McCartney once said. Since the day the high-end label was founded in 2001, Stella McCartney has never used real leather or fur in its designs, which have been worn by celebs Kate Hudson, Karlie Kloss, and Rihanna, to name a few.
The brand also says it uses environmentally conscious materials where possible, whether it's recycled cashmere for its knitwear pieces or rayon fabric that comes from protected forests to help reduce deforestation.
Shop Stella McCartney at Nordstrom
11. Noize Credit: Noize
Noize is a big proponent of animal welfare.
This animal product-free outerwear brand is making some noise—pun intended—with pieces that "champion positive contributions towards a better tomorrow." Noize is known for its chic puffer coats and bombers that are made of PETA-approved faux fur and insulation made from recycled water bottles.
Noize also sells loungewear, shoes, and accessories, along with adorable pet outerwear, so even your pup isn’t left in the cold. Through April 30, the brand says it will donate $1 from every order to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which protects animals from poachers and illegal trade.
12. Ética Credit: Etica
Sustainability is at the forefront of Etica's processes and products.
With a tagline of "ethically made," Ética uses technology to produce its jeans that the brand claims reduces water usage by up to 90% and energy usage by 63%. Its cotton pieces (like the Layla Hooded Knit Dress) are part of the Better Cotton Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the environmental impact of cotton production. Ética is also leaning into alternative fibers like Tencel and Refibra sourced from renewable wood sources and, as of 2021, the company reports that all fabrics are free of microplastics, which are tiny pieces of plastic that often end up in oceans and waterways.
Shop Ética at Nordstrom
13. Cariloha Credit: Cariloha
Cariloha grows its own bamboo for its apparel.
You've likely heard about farm-to-table food but what about farm-to-fabric fashion? That's what Cariloha practices. Best known for its super soft sheets, the brand also sells loungewear and activewear and even face masks. All of the rayon fabric for said pieces comes from the 61 million bamboo stalks on Cariloha's bamboo farm in China, instead of deforested trees that some rayons originate from.
Cariloha's popular Athletic Cropped leggings, which have a high 4.8-star rating, claim to be a "carbon-neutral product." The brand explains that it strives to offset the CO2 emissions during production with other CO2 savings, which come from practices like using wind power and investing in reforestation.
14. Minimalist Credit: Minimalist
You can recycle your Minimalist clothing instead of tossing it in a landfill.
Because Minimalist founder Tamara Daydova is a big proponent of eco-friendly fashion, she pays attention to every "ingredient" that goes into her garments, from elastic made of recyclable rubber to zipper finishes that are free of controversial chemicals. Even the packaging has the earth in mind, with compostable garment bags and boxes and stickers made of recycled paper.
The collection includes sleek jumpsuits, basic tops, and silky pants, all of which are produced in women-owned factories in New York.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.