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Sustainable clothing brands to shop for Earth Day 2023

Dress for success this year — for yourself and for the future of the planet

Fast fashion is fun, but it’s time to slow it down and really consider the environment when shopping for new clothes and accessories. Especially during April, as Earth Month is a great time to discover new eco-friendly brands, and many with sales going on in honor of Earth Day.

With so many sustainable and eco-friendly brands flooding the market, it’s not hard to budget for the health of the eco-system while you shop. But, it doesn’t have to be expensive.

“Ethical” and “sustainable” can be confusing terms, as they mean different things for different brands and shoppers.

To put it simply, sustainable practices may involve making the dyes from eco-friendly materials that are chemical-free, using renewable energy in the production process, using durable fabrics so clothing lasts as long as possible and recycling old materials like scrap fabric and even plastic bottles into new garments. Basically, the less harm to the planet, the better.

-Ashley McCarthy

Choosing sustainability isn't the easy route, it's the only route.

The apparel industry is the fourth largest polluter of air and water on Earth. The solution? Go sustainable, or go nude.

Minimizing our environmental impact and helping clean up the apparel industry is an integral part of our business ethos.

These days, there are lots of ways to make sustainable living part of your everyday life. One of the easiest? Using your purchasing power to support sustainable clothing brands that prioritize ethics and use earth-friendly manufacturing processes. When you spend your dollars on eco-friendly brands, you tell everyone around you what you care about and create the foundation for the world you want to live in.

Sending a message matters

Making a tangible difference matters even more. After all, each of us has a responsibility to fight against climate change and reduce our carbon footprint, and a huge part of that comes from changing our consumption habits.

To make your sustainability journey easier, we’ve rounded up the best sustainable clothing brands. Before you get started, know that no fashion brand is 100% eco-friendly. Still, there are plenty of brands working hard to mitigate the effects of manufacturing on our earth. And don’t feel like you have to buy new things to go green. If you can’t purchase new from one of these sustainable clothing brands, you can learn how to upcycle clothes in creative ways or look for brands providing sustainable product shipping and packaging. When you’re ready to trade the pieces in, find out where to sell clothes online.

What is fast fashion?

Fast fashion is cheaply made clothing that is usually very trendy. It’s meant to have a short lifespan in your closet before it gets tossed. When you factor in what it took to make that item and then the waste of it being thrown out so quickly, you start to understand how it really takes a toll on the planet.

For starters, fast fashion brands often use synthetic fabrics derived from fossil fuels like oil and gas. Why does that matter to the climate? Well, the burning of fossil fuels is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Synthetics cost less than natural fibers,” explains Anika Kozlowski, PhD, assistant professor of fashion, design and sustainability at Ryerson University. “Brands that use synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon and acrylic are ultimately creating products that will take hundreds of years to biodegrade.”

This kind of pollution, especially at its current scale, is incredibly dangerous.

And you might be unknowingly supporting it. Some so-called sustainable clothing brands are fast fashion in disguise, tricking you with greenwashing. In other words, fast-fashion companies create the illusion that they’re green when it comes to their supply chain and products’ lifecycles, but in reality, they’re not providing any transparency to back up their claims. That’s why it’s important to fully understand what fast fashion is and to closely read clothing labels and brand websites.

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