The RLS Guide to Sustainable Fashion

Posted on April 7, 2018

In case you hadn’t heard, green fashion is red hot! So what exactly is sustainable fashion? Well, there are multiple angles here, including: transparent and ethical labor practices, using recycled or organic materials, less-toxic dying and manufacturing processes, and green building infrastructure.  Some brands focus on one mark, others hit many. If you are looking to make more intentional fashion purchases, we’ve compiled an updated, expanded list of sustainable fashion websites for your shopping pleasure with explanations of what let’s them make the sustainable claim.

Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Happy Sustainable Shopping!
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Brands that Focus on Quality and Transparency

Everlane has developed a bit of a cult following for it’s fairly priced, high quality clothing. They put an emphasis on their transparent pricing and manufacturing, ethical factories and premium materials. They also don’t follow every trend, and instead try to create designs that will transcend them, allowing you to wear their clothes for years.

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Grana is similar to Everlane in their commitment to high-quality fabrics at reasonable prices in timeless designs. Think Italian wool, Peruvian pima cotton and Chinese silk. Ethical clothing for the office? We’ll take that!

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Nisolo has been featured on our blog a few times before, as we’re totally in love with the design of their shoes. They’ve also always been totally transparent about their factories, the wages of their employees, and the impact of their supply chain.

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Brands that Focus on Eco-Friendly Practices

Reformation is a favorite of young cool celebrities like Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift. It definitely has a cool, L.A. early 20s girl vibe, but there are a few pieces that work for any age group. And you’ll be inspired to wear the clothing, because they truly prioritize sustainable practices. Between green building infrastructure and recycling the water from dyes, they are doing everything possible to bring their environmental impact down to zero.

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Nau focuses on the versatility of their products in addition to sustainable fabrics and a smaller footprint. Their slogan is that their apparel does more so you need less. To read more about their technical fabrics, click here to see where they  source every material that they use.

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Amour Vert means Green Love in French, which speaks to the brand’s founding principle. Everything is manufactured in America using non-toxic dyes and sustainable fabrics. The clothes are also very casual chic French girl.

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Brands that Sustain Third-World Ecomonies

Zuri has been written about in the blog before, and we’re still just as obsessed as we were last year when we read about it in the NYT! After the founders spent 8 years in Nairobi, they decided they wanted to create a uniform for women using the beautiful textiles from Kenya. All of the labor and materials are sourced from Africa, with the goal of supporting a long-term, sustainable economy. They originally started with just one style, focusing on the many ways you can wear it. Now they have the original dresses as well as a shirt style. They also carry an extended size range, with new patterns appearing all the time!

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Raven + Lily employs at-risk women in impoverished countries to make garments with sustainable and recycled materials. That’s a magical combination! Click through the slider to see their perfect silk tee and accessories.

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Kotn uses only one material in their designs (hence the name): authentic Egyptian cotton. Because of the move towards cheaper fabrics in the last decade, there has been a decline in demand for the cotton farmers and weavers in Egypt. Kotn works directly with the cotton farming families to provide a fair wage. They even built a school in the Nile Delta in order to stop the cycle of child labor. I am obsessed with the black turtleneck I bought from them this winter!

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Mata Traders is another fair trade company made by artisans in India and Nepal. Look no further for fun prints in western silhouettes! We got one of our clients the Kimono Jacket from Oak boutique in Kensington, MD and it was beautiful on her!

 

 

Brands that Resell Used Clothing

Because clothing is tossed so frequently, purchasing gently used clothing is always a way to support giving clothing a longer lifespan. A few of our favorite resell sites are Poshmark, The Real Real, Ebay, Thread Up, and Swap. At the end of the day, the most sustainable moves you can make are to buy higher quality clothes you can wear longer, dress intentionally, and wear everything in your closet.

Need help with the process? Email me for a free phone consultation about our different services at lani@real-life-style.com.

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Lani Inlander is a personal stylist who has been working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day for 20 years. You can find her in the Washington, D.C. and New York metropolitan areas. Are you looking for professional training to become a personal stylist? Learn how you can train with Lani at The Stylist Studio

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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