Fashion carries a heavy environmental price, but it does not have to. With spring and summer coming, you may be thinking about refreshing your wardrobe. But before you shop, consider these five fashion lines that have increasingly sustainable approaches to making and distributing clothing for women.
No fashion brand has achieved net-zero CO2 emissions, and most are still using far too much water and chemicals to be environmentally friendly. The other challenge with fashion is its throwaway culture, which leads to massive waste and warehouses full of used clothing that is too often shipped overseas, where it ends up in landfills.
If you’re going to shop, choose well-made sustainably produced clothing and, when you’re done with it, donate it to a local charity or consignment shop, or resell it on thredUP, Poshmark, or TheRealReal. If you can’t donate or resell, consider reusing old clothing in your home instead of tossing it in the trash. As a last resort, consider recycling your clothing although many locales do not support textiles recycling. About 5.8% of U.S. landfills are packed with old clothes and organizations like Goodwill have warehouses stuffed with used clothing it cannot sell.
With spring around the corner, green shoppers are looking to up their fashion sustainability game. Here are five fashion lines for women seeking eco-friendly options that are on the path to more sustainable clothing.
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1. Karen Kane’s Asymmetric Hem Wrap Top
Karen Kane has embraced transparency, ethical and low-energy production practices, and the reuse of hangars, among many changes to reduce its environmental footprint.
The Asymmetric Hem Wrap Top pictured above has roll-tab sleeves and an asymmetric hem that delivers the signature Karen Kane style. The 100% Tencel soft chambray cloth makes this top an ideal outfit for spring and summer. Tencel is a fabric made from the wood pulp of trees grown in specialized tree farms. It’s produced using recycled, earth-friendly solvents, making it eco-friendly and sustainable compared to other cellulosic fabrics.
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2. Ash & Rose’s Maxi Wrap Dress and Recycled Roses Acacia Top
The Maxi Wrap Dress from Ash & Rose is an excellent pick for women looking for something elegant for the warmer months. The dress is made of cotton jersey remnants blended with natural, plant-based fibers and produced using a zero-waste production process. The cotton is sourced from fair trade workshops in Cambodia. Buying this dress will also support the fair-trade movement.
And the Roses Acacia Top is made of 17% recycled polyester and 78% percent organic cotton. It is part of the Synergy Organic Clothing line. The company is in the early days of sustainable and ethical production practices, including the use of bamboo and hemp fibers, fair trade and labor practices, upcycling of waste fabrics, and a selection of vegan products. A nice feature of the site is its “shop by impact” filter, so you can pick the values your clothing should represent.
3. Mango’s Dart Slouchy Jeans
The 100% organic cotton Dart Slouchy Jeans by Mango let you don the vintage slouchy look while lowering your pesticide impact. You can pair it with a top of your choice or go all denim with a denim shirt. The jeans are available in three colors: Ecru, Pastel Purple, and Light Blue. The cropped design, dart details, high waist, and side pockets make these jeans an ideal fit for women looking for a casual but elegant look.
Organic cotton is not completely sustainable. Organic cotton farming does not rely on synthetic fertilizers or pesticides but typically uses as much water as industrial cotton farming. Mango describes its journey to sustainability as a work in progress. It has committed to use 100% organic cotton and 50% recycled polyester in its clothing by 2025 and 100% cellulose (wood- and paper-based fibers) with controlled origins by 2030. You can also see the details of its efforts to reduce chemical use in its textiles in this report.
Browse Mango’s complete collection to find your style.
4. The All-Day Cardigan Sweater from UpWest
Pledging to deliver “conscious comfort,” another casually elegant outfit on the list is the All-Day Cardigan Sweater by UpWest is long, lightweight, and made with yarn that contains 55% recycled polyester. The duster-length sweater is available in oatmeal heather and dark heather gray to build your look on a spring palette. It’s not an obvious summer choice but these days we’re entitled to pick the look we like any time of the year.
Save 20% when you complete your first order using the code “FIRSTORDER” during checkout.
5. Warp + Weft’s Wide Leg Dakota
Warp + Weft bills itself as the “world’s cleanest vertically integrated denim company,” which means they make the denim in addition to using it in their clothing. They’ve already reduced their water usage in the manufacturing process by more than a half-billion gallons and eliminated chemical bleaching.
If you’ve had enough of your skinny jeans, check out the Wide Leg Dakota. These versatile and timeless Dakota jeans widen through the leg after sculpting through the midsection. The slight destruction at the knee and hem adds more character to the Dakota.
The Dakota is made of 20% recycled cotton, plastic, and denim. Each pair of Dakota jeans is treated with HeiQ Viroblock, which turns the fabric into a germ-repellent surface.
Save 15% off the Warp + Weft Women’s Collection with your first order.
We can each make an impact on the fashion industry by shopping consciously for more sustainable options. While the industry has a long way to go, these fashion lines for women present an opportunity to vote for sustainability with your spring and summer clothing purchases.