In just the past 25 years, eco-sustainability has come a long way in the fashion world. It’s now possible to combine cutting-edge design with sustainable practices. Here’s a look at some of the top eco-conscious brands that make the world a better place to live.
- Patagonia – In many ways, Patagonia was one of the first eco-conscious clothing companies. Founded in 1973, the company pioneered the use of clothing, such as the company’s trademark outdoor fleeces, made out of recycled items. The company continually comes up with new eco-friendly initiatives, like Patagonia Provisions (food from sustainable farmers) and Worn Wear (an e-commerce initiative that keeps gently used clothing in use around the world). For rugged, eco-friendly outdoor wear, Patagonia is a clear leader.
- Leafwood – This new Canadian fashion brand is emblematic of just how far we’ve come in 25 years. The company specializes in wood grain watches that blur the line between high fashion and sustainability. Each wood watch is made from recycled wood, and the company pledges that for every wooden wrist watch sold, it will plant a new tree in the Canadian forest. These watches made of wood – including the new Leafwood bamboo watch – are a perfect mix of style, high-end fashion sensibility and a dedication to the natural environment.
- DL1961 – In today’s fashion world, denim is one area that could use an eco reboot, and that’s exactly what this hip New York City fashion brand founded by women is trying to do – create chic denim fashion using cutting-edge sustainable practices. The company has been able to reduce water, dye and energy use by 50%. It’s all proof that eco-sustainability is moving clearly in the direction of premium fashion.
- Eileen Fisher – It’s possible to be a huge commercial success by embracing eco-sustainability. Eileen Fisher has retail stores across the United States, including several locations in New York and a mix of other stores in premium shopping malls. The company specializes in ethical and sustainable fashion that embraces simplicity. The clothes are so simple that they are elegant. And now the company has a new Vision 2020 mission statement, in which the company pledges to be a carbon-positive and no-waste business operation by the year 2020.
- People Tree – In the UK, People Tree has been a long-time pioneer in the ethical and sustainable fashion space. The company has been working with Fair Trade workers for more than 25 years, and routinely picks up industry awards for its work with biodegradable materials and Fair Trade artisans. At the same time, the company’s clothes pop up in fashion magazines like Vogue.
All five of these eco-conscious fashion brands are proof that the blurring of eco-sustainability and great design is a successful business strategy. For many brands, it is now part of the overall mission statement. Eileen Fisher, for example, has a mission statement that focuses on “Simplicity, Sustainability and Great Design” – with sustainability being more important than design. So the next time you’re shopping on one of these e-commerce websites, take a closer look at some of the amazing eco-friendly initiatives currently underway at these companies.