What to Look for
The fashion industry was responsible for at least 4% of global greenhouse-gas emissions in 2018 – more than that of France, Germany and the United Kingdom combined.
This is why it is so important to shop for clothes responsible and be part of, what is now being called, the slow fashion movement.
Firstly, shopping second-hand is great. It reduces demand from clothing stores and gives an item of clothing a new lease-of-life. It also often works out a lot cheaper!
After that, be conscious of clothes you are buying. Buy clothes that will last a long time and you know you will wear over and over. Purchase from brands who have clear sustainability policies and avoid returning items. According to one estimate, US returns alone create 5 billion pounds of landfill waste and 15 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, equivalent to the amount of trash produced by 5 million people in a year.
Our below recommendations take into account the materials companies use, their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint and their policies on their clothings’ end-of-life.
The Brand: BAM was founded 14 years ago with the environment and sustainability at the heart, and it still prevails in the business today.
BAM use bamboo to make all their clothing and the reason for this is that bamboo absorbs 5 times more carbon than hardwood trees, it needs half the land that cotton needs to produce the same amount of fibre and it doesn’t require irrigation or pesticides.
Moreover, determined to show that clothing doesn’t have to kill the environment they are aiming to have net zero carbon footprint, zero waste to landfill and zero wasted water by 2030! This applies to every single process from the growing of the bamboo, to the manufacture of their clothes, to the way they are recycled.
The Product: BAM’s clothing focuses mainly on adventure/active wear. They provide durable clothing for activities ranging from yoga, to running and hiking. They also have some cosy loungewear for rest days!
For a price guide, their women’s yoga leggings range from £39-£59 and men’s base layers range from £39-£49. We also love their socks, which are extra soft and come in a range of styles!
The Brand: Patagonia are one of the leading companies in the clothing industry that are kind to our earth. They have a self-imposed Earth tax of 1% which provides support to environmental nonprofits working to defend our air, land and water around the globe.
Patagonia select materials carefully, with 68% of their line being recycled materials and 100% of the cotton they grow for their clothes is grown organically.
They are ambitiously aiming to become carbon neutral by 2025, including throughout their supply chain.
Their clothes are made to a very high-standard to survive the test of time. For any clothes that do become damaged or maybe you just stop wearing, Patagonia have launched Worn Wear. A website where you can fix your clothes yourself using their DIY repair guides, send an item in for them to repair, or even trade in an old item for credit to spend at Patagonia or Worn Wear, where you can purchase second-hand Patagonia.
Furthermore, if the item is too damaged to be sold second hand, Patagonia will recycle it and it can be purchased from the ‘Recrafted’ area of Worn Wear. Whilst this is currently only available in the US, it’s an incredible initiative that we’re sure will soon spread globally.
The Product: Patagonia sell a huge range of clothing for both men, women and children with the main focus being on outdoor wear.
The company are well known for their men’s fleeces which can be lightweight for layering or thicker for keeping you warm in winter. These range from £80 to £180 and come in many different styles.
The Brand: A fashion company that are carbon negative, what’s not to love?! They mitigate 10 times their knitwear’s carbon footprint.
Not only this, the company strive for transparency in telling the entire story of their products. Each jumper has an NFC tag inspired by the tags used on farmer’s flocks. Using your phone you can see the unique provenance of your knitwear and its environmental impact. Even better, you can track your sheep! Which brings us onto our next point, their knitwear quite literally includes a sheep!
To remind customers that all clothing starts somewhere, when you buy their knitwear you become an adoptee to one of their sheep in New Zealand, they even give you updates on how it’s doing.
Additionally, all their clothing comes with a For-Life Guarantee. This means that should any damages appear, from wear and tear to faulty materials or poor workmanship, you can send it back for maintenance.
The Product: The company offer a range of knitwear including jumpers, a cardigan and a beanie. All products come in a great range of colours and range from £50 for their beanie to £180 for their cardigan. The Cashwool® Merino yarn spun from hand-selected fleeces, makes their knitwear as soft as cashmere, with the technical benefits of Merino. It’s 100% biodegradable too.
We try our best to research and find the best environmentally-friendly companies to recommend here. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future.