Sustainable Fashion, Upgraded

As much as we love fashion here at OliviaPalermo.com, the sad truth is that the clothing industry is also the second largest polluter in the world, second only to oil. In particular, fast fashion is wreaking havoc on our environment, as pressure to reduce cost and the time it takes to get a product from design to shop floor means that environmental corners are being cut. These negative impacts include water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste.

So what can you do to help save our planet? Well, as a consumer, you have the option to make smarter choices when it comes to your wardrobe and that means choosing brands that consider the planet and their workers. The free Good On You app gives you access to information for more than 1,200 fashion brands rated on how they treat people, the planet and animals – helping you make a difference every time you shop.

To get you started, here are four of our favourite eco-friendly brands…

Cienne

Founded by designers Nicole Heim and Chelsea Healy, Cienne is a ready-to-wear collection for women who value pieces that are both interesting and necessary. Each piece is designed to be unique yet enduring, subtle yet distinct. Cienne focuses on doing more with less, and is dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of their business and promoting a more responsible way to experience fashion. They commit to sourcing natural and sustainable fibers and work with high-quality, low minimum suppliers, allowing them to reduce waste through small-batch production. Cienne is also committed to transparent practices by providing information about supply chains, enabling customers to make informed choices about their purchases.

Naja

Naja is an eco-friendly lingerie company that makes beautifully designed underwear and bras. Their products are made from recycled plastic and printed using digital or sublimation printing technologies in order to reduce water consumption and the amount of waste waster returned to the environment. As part of their Underwear for Hope program, Naja employs women in the slums of Colombia to make lingerie bags that are offered with each purchase. This programme allows marginalized women, who would otherwise have difficulty finding employment opportunities, to work from home and become their own “micro-entrepreneurs”. Two percent of Naja’s revenue is also donated to local charities that provide continuing education to these women.

 

Reformation

Los Angeles based fashion label Reformation has earned a cult following thanks to its modern silhouettes and eco-conscious sustainability. The brand aims to put sustainability at the core of everything they do. Their factory uses the most efficient, eco-friendly and pro-social technologies and practices available. They invest in green building infrastructure to minimize their waste, water, and energy footprints. At Reformation they also think about all the costs in creating fashion—not just the price tag. RefScale tracks their environmental footprint by adding up the pounds of carbon dioxide emitted and gallons of water they use, and pounds of waste they generate. This information is shared on every product page of their website and tells you exactly what impact each garment has on the environment.

 

Citizens of Humanity

Having maintained a commitment to creating the highest quality denim for nearly two decades, Citizens of Humanity have gone to great lengths to use the most ecologically sustainable technology and practices. The company has invested in new machinery and technology that actually uses air to reproduce ozone gas conditions and give garments the look of vintage—using less water and energy in the process, and eliminating the need for processes such as bleaching. This lets them create a product that uses less time, less energy, less chemicals, less water and creates less pollution. Citizens was also one of the first brands to adopt laser technology, they began using a laser machine to add abrasions to denim, a process which saves multiple water steps and reduces their gas consumption by 20-30%.

 

About the Author

Having started her career in New Zealand as a fashion and beauty assistant, she then moved on to edit the online beauty magazine, BeautyBible. Since then she has created her own blog, The Refined Edit. Now based in the United Kingdom she has contributed to countless print and online publications including Style.com/Arabia. Follow her musing on Twitter and Instagram @gracieastewart.