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As the weather changes, so too do the pieces that we turn to in our wardrobes. While some pieces are trans-seasonal- a button-down shirt with the right amount of slouch or the perfect bum-complimenting pair of jeans- there are some items that are strictly reserved for the cooler months. Sustainable fashion brands have reenvisioned these fall weather pieces- buttery soft wrap sweaters, classic ankle-grazing wool coats, and sneakers that are perfect for walking instead of driving to work- in ways that are both sustainable and ethical. Some focus on using recycled materials. Other brands look to certifications to ensure that their leather, wool or silk materials are sourced as ethically as possible. And, all of these brands work to ensure that the artisans and garment workers along their supply chain are paid fair and living wages. So, if you’re in the market for a new sweater or coat, or even wear everyday jewelry for fall, here are a few sustainable fashion brands to shop.
“Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. Sustainable option #2 is buying and wearing sustainable clothes.” California-based designer Yael Aflalo launched Reformation in 2009. In less than a decade, it’s become one of the most buzz-worthy sustainable fashion brands. While the brand has had its fair share of controversy, the company has moved forward with a new president and clearer metrics for its clothing is sustainably and ethically made.
Environmental Impact: For years the brand has used natural and biodegradable fibers for their signature print dresses. Other items see the brand using recycled cashmere or cotton in an effort to reduce waste. All packaging is made from 100% consumer waste materials. Textile scraps and other organic waste are recycled to help them reach their goal of zero-waste production. All of their Los Angeles stores are green business certified. That means that they save energy, are water efficient, and reduce carbon emissions.
In 2018 Environmental Leader questioned whether Veja had created the world’s most sustainable sneaker. In fact, that’s what Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion set out to create in 2004. Since the launch of their first “responsible” shoe design, the French sustainable brand has gained a loyal following.
Environmental Impact: The brand sources raw materials from native Brazilian communities that focus on organic agriculture. Other materials used are made from recycled PET plastic and recycled cotton. They upcycle whenever possible and even work with a tannery that is certified GOLD by the Leather Working Group.
Outland denim is on a mission to clean up denim’s dirty reputation. After watching Taken in 2008 and volunteering in Asia with anti-trafficking groups, James Bartle began Outland Denim as a sustainable fashion brand and an avenue to train, employ, and educate women who have experienced human trafficking. Today the brand supports a staff of one hundred women from various backgrounds of vulnerability.
Environmental Impact: The Australian brand blends innovation- water purification, zero-waste production and carbon footprint reduction- with traditional seamstress techniques. Toxic dyes that continue to plague water sources are banned and the brand creates career opportunities for women who have been exploited.
Zuly Wool Twill Coat
Amour Vert is one of the sustainable fashion brands on this list that you can wear head-to-toe. With clothing that is both timeless and effortless to style from day to night, their collections are staples that you’ll pull out time and time again.
Environmental Impact: For Amour Vert sustainability begins with the materials. GRS-certified recycled polyester, bluesign silk (traceable and washable), TENCEL, regenerated wool, and certified organic cotton are a few of the sustainable materials used.
Elegance. Simplicity. Fair wages. London-based Bar Jewellry is centered around creating beautiful pieces consciously made to provide economic security for the people who make them.
Environmental Impact: 85% of pieces are cast locally in London. Only 100% recycled silver is used for pieces made in Bali. All other metals like gold and palladium are certified to be conflict-free. Adding to the desirability of this brand is that each piece is lovingly packaged in 100% recyclable and plastic-free boxes.