In honor of Earth Day, shop these sustainable fashion brands

Anna Hecht
April 9, 2018

Story highlights

  • To honor Earth Day, consider fashion that's produced with an eye on the environment
  • These brands use eco-friendly manufacturing processes and more

When is Earth Day, you ask? This year, it falls on April 22 — which means now is the perfect time to reflect on how you affect the environment and what you can do to contribute to a healthier planet. One great way is to invest in brands that follow sustainable procedures when they manufacture their products.

Why not start with your clothing? In recent years, choosing sustainable fashion has become a popular way to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Several environmentally friendly clothing brands have caught our eye as we look ahead to Earth Day. These brands fit the bill when shopping for the fashion enthusiast who's also passionate about the planet.

It's cool now to live green — and these brands are definitely on trend.

Note: The prices below reflect the listed retailer's price at the time of publication.

1. Alternative Apparel

About the brand: Alternative Apparel specializes in making comfortable everyday clothing for men and women. The brand's aesthetic skews toward casual lounge wear with soft T-shirts, leggings and hoodies. For women, there are dresses, sweatpants, and stylish skirts. For men, there are cool online exclusives and soft terry shorts. Alternative Apparel also makes unisex pieces — all of which make great staple wardrobe pieces.

How it's environmentally conscious: Alternative Apparel is a fabric-first company. This means it prioritizes the materials used before considering the aesthetic of a garment. According to the retailer, over 80% of Alternative Apparel garments are made using sustainable resources and processes. Additionally, it's committed to using a G2 wash (which uses 60% less water and energy than traditional finishing methods), organic fabrics, nontoxic low-impact dyes and recycled materials.

2. Outdoor Voices

About the brand: If you're big on Instagram (or most any social platform), you've probably heard about the trendy active wear brand Outdoor Voices. Its leggings are equally functional and fashionable. Each season the brand comes out with all new colors — a clever tactic to keep us coming back for more.

How it's environmentally conscious: Outdoor Voices promises to produce its products ethically by manufacturing them in facilities that minimize environmental impacts, such as water waste and emissions into the air. OV works with specialists to source high-quality fabrics in a sustainable manner. For instance, the brand's lightweight Rec Poly (recycled polyester) is crafted from post-consumer water bottles that are melted down and turned into fibers. The Merino Gear is made using sustainably raised wool. And each piece in the Seamless collection is knitted in a tube — rather than being cut and sewn together — so less fabric is wasted.

3. Patagonia

About the brand: Patagonia started as a small company dedicated to creating minimalist but effective gear for climbers. Its brand mission statement is "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis." From there, Patagonia has become a top sporting brand. Online, it offers gear for every sport from skiing to fishing, trail running and more. And even if you aren't into outdoor sports, you should most definitely snag one of Patagonia's fleece pullovers — an item everyone should own.

How it's environmentally conscious: Patagonia is a certified B Corporation, meaning its processes meet rigorous social and environmental standards. On top of delivering high-grade clothing and gear for serious outdoors enthusiasts, Patagonia is passionate about reversing the "steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet." To do so, it donates time, services and at least 1% of sales to hundreds of grass-roots environmental groups. You can read more about how Patagonia sources its resources here.

4. Allbirds

About the brand: Marketed as the "world's most comfortable shoe," Allbirds is the stylish, sporty sneaker brand that has taken the shoe industry by storm. What makes the shoes so great is that they're made from wool, which provides temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking properties. While it may be strange to think of wool shoes, that's actually where the beauty lies. They're itch-free on the inside and dirt-resistant on the outside. Plus, the material is breathable, flexible and reduces odor. Some of our favorite pairs, which cost just $95, are the Tree Runners in Kauri Stone, the Tree Skippers in Kauri Navy and the Wool Loungers.

How it's environmentally conscious: Allbirds is also a certified B Corp company that uses eco-friendly practices during production. A majority of its designs use wool as an eco-friendly choice, since producing wool uses 60% less energy than synthetic shoe materials. More specifically, Allbirds uses ZQ Merino wool that "meets the highest stands of farming, land management, and animal welfare." Other materials that are used during production include recycled bottles in the laces, castor bean oil in the shoe's insole, and recycled cardboard when shipping out orders.