April marks Earth month, and while we at ELLE.com believe the planet should be prioritized 365 days a year, we’ll take the timely opportunity to call extra attention to the issue. As more information and statistics about our impact on the earth comes to light, it’s no longer excusable to turn a blind eye. Fortunately, consumers are becoming more conscientious about the eco cost of their habits and are raising standards and demands for businesses.
There’s already enough fear-mongering and doomsday bemoaning on the internet; this isn’t that. But the simple fact is that are little things everybody can do that add up to make a big difference. Swapping out single-use plastics, for instance, is a major step. Another step in the right direction? Recognizing that your spending has environmental repercussions. Your dollar is your endorsement, so the brands you shop are the brands you support. Make it count by buying from mission-driven companies that are backed by ethical and sustainable practices. Limit fast fashion, and instead opt for labels that go above and beyond to do their part. You can do good by rewarding brands for doing good, all the while looking good. Ahead, find some of our favorite sustainable brands to support this Earth Day and every day.
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High Fashion, Low Impact
Deadwood River Leather Jacket
Turns out, this stylish jacket is actually made with recycled leather and water bottles. Amour Vert has developed its own high-quality, low-impact fabrics that are sustainable, and produced in limited quantities to cut back on waste. Through the ReAmour marketplace, customers can even resell items from the label. The brand has also planted more the 353,000 trees through their Tees for Trees program.
Lindy Knit Top
This top was made using sustainable practices that saved 10 pounds of CO2 emissions and 1,185 gallons of water. Fashion lovers everywhere ogle over Reformation pieces, and those who are sustainably minded can appreciate that the brand has been carbon neutral certified since 2015 and pledged to be climate positive by 2025. The label produces limited quantities of items using low impact materials, deadstock fabrics, and repurposed vintage garments in sustainable factories. Currently, Reformation recycles about 75 percent of its waste and offsets all carbon emissions. They even offset the energetic cost of you shopping on their website. Yes, seriously!
Good Curve Straight Natural Fray Hem
Good American’s Sustainable Denim collection includes more than 100 size-inclusive styles that are kind to our planet. Made with organic and recycled cotton, dyed via water-saving practices, and shipped without plastic, Good American definitely earned its B Corp certification.
A Champion for the Planet
Gaia Logo Canvas Platform Espadrilles
When it comes to famous fashion designers, Stella McCartney is one of the few known for ethical practices and a commitment to the environment. Since the label’s inception, it has never used leather, fur, or skins, and it’s dedicated time and resources towards engineering many sustainable textile alternatives. Stella McCartney recently committed to going plastic free and is currently partnered with Greenpeace to raise awareness against deforestation.
Pomellato is dedicated to protecting the ecosystems and communities where its gold is sourced. Since 2018, all of Pomellato’s gold has been obtained with the lowest possible environmental impact through its Responsible Gold program. This program also implements support for local miners and prohibits the use of mercury or cyanide in the gold extraction process. Pomellato also funds reforestation projects in French Guiana.
Pay It Forward
Road Tripper Tee
With every purchase of these tees, Pura Vida donates 5 percent to the National Parks Conservation Association. The brand offsets each shipment, which is packaged with eco-friendly, recyclable mailers, and offers the option of plastic-free shipping at checkout. In the past, Pura Vida has partnered with charitable organizations like the Surfrider Foundation, One Tree Planted, and the World Wildlife Fund to help protect the planet.
Hepburn Wide Leg High Rise Vintage
DL1961 has innovated denim production. The brand conserves water with efficient processes, has a vertical supply chain, and uses eco-friendly fibers. The process starts with old denim and post-consumer waste, which the company shreds and weaves into new fibers and yarns. The average pair of jeans requires about 1500 gallons of water to make; DL1961 jeans require less than 10 gallons, and it recycles 98 percent of the water that it does use.
Twisted Halter Floral Maxi Dress
Verandah produces its pieces in small batches made with fabrics spun from regenerated and biodegradable yarns, fishing nets, and carpet waste. Designer Anjali Patel Mehta also prioritizes fair trade and wage practices, working directly with local artisans. And for every purchase, Verandah plants a tree as a part of the label’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint.
Women’s European Collection Utility Overshirt
Classic Americana denim brand Lee has committed to being more eco-friendly with its sustainable line. At least 20 percent of the materials used in these collections are from certified recycled sources, and at least 70 percent of the cotton was grown with reduced water, energy, and land use. The “Back to Nature” items are even designed to biodegrade.
Be Mindful Turban
In honor of Earth Month, Louis Vuitton launched its own sustainable items. This hair wrap, for instance, was made with vintage LV silk prints that the designer upcycled.
A Pop of Color
Solid Blouson Sleeve Cutout Midi Dress
As a partner of the global reforestation nonprofit One Tree Planted, designer Farm Rio plants one tree for every purchase. This has already added up to more than half a million trees. Plus, the brand is 100 percent carbon neutral. Nature is one of Farm Rio’s greatest inspirations, as is evident in its floral and tropical designs and vibrant colorways.
Eco-Friendly Workout Sets
Black Luxe Legging
Girlfriend Collective is the sustainable response to the athleisure boom. These super-soft compression leggings spared 25 water bottles from landfills and saved over 18 pounds of CO2. Girlfriend’s packaging is also 100 percent recycled and recyclable, and items come in duster bags that you can repurpose (if you shop in bulk, they’re perfect for stocking up on things like rice, oats, or even bagels). On its website, the brand even sells a washing machine filter attachment to catch microplastics before they reach water streams. With its new ReGirlfriend program, you can earn store credit when you send in old Girlfriend items, which will be used to create new ones.
Lauren Maxi Dress
ELLE.com’s deputy editor Claire Stern swears by this dress made with a Recycled Repreve Jersey material that never wrinkles. It’s a style that always looks chic and polished, yet feels like athleisure. As a brand, Dudley Stephens only uses recycled materials and has redirected more than 5 million water bottles from oceans and landfills through its sustainable manufacturing practices.
The Easy Set
While many say shopping secondhand is the ultimate way to dress sustainably, even the most devoted thrifters will draw the line at secondhand intimates and underwear. Enter Parade, the size, gender, and skin tone inclusive brand with a mission to shake up the intimates industry. Using reclaimed, recycled, responsible, renewable, or regenerative fabrics, Parade has an action plan to become climate positive by 2025. All fabrics are OEKO-TEX certified, so you never have to worry about toxic chemicals leeching out of your bralettes or sleep shorts. Second Life, its recycling program, allows customers to recycle underwear—even from brands other than Parade.
The Brooklyn-Based Favorite
Gumball Pearl Ring
The pearl in this ring was harvested without contaminants or chemicals on a family-owned farm focused on keeping its waterways clean—it doesn’t get better than that. Brooklyn-based fine jewelry brand Catbird only uses recycled gold and responsibly sourced stones; the environment has been one of the brand’s top priorities since its founding back in 2004.
Saylor is all about circular fashion. The company recently launched a platform for shoppers to resell their Saylor purchases, keeping them out of landfills. Customers can even be eligible for a 10 percent discount if they can provide proof of donating old clothes. In addition to donating all fabric scraps, Saylor is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and is Bluesign certified, meaning it works to keep waterways clean. Saylor garments are also available on Rent the Runway, so you don’t have to purchase an item you only plan on wearing once or twice.
Meghan Markle-approved sneaker brand Veja prioritizes transparency throughout its supply chain. All of its items are made without hazardous chemicals, and 85 percent of its textiles and leathers are environmentally friendly. This particular style, the Esplar, is made with materials such as rice and sugar waste. A certified B corporation, Veja has conducted its own extensive research on the company’s own carbon emissions and environmental footprint.
Long Oversized Raincoat with Hood
Every item in Mackage’s spring/summer 2022 collection is made entirely of recycled or upcycled materials. But its sustainability efforts don’t compromise on quality. Made with the label’s E3- Lite and Re-Stop textiles, each durable garment is guaranteed to protect you from the elements.
Smocked Frill Top
Ayla swimwear is certifiably sustainable. Literally: pieces from its Taisho and Calypso lines are made with nylon spun from old fishing nets and other marine pollutants. Ayla also uses cupro, a silk-like fabric created from the byproduct of cotton production, which would otherwise be discarded, and Tencel, which is sustainable, biodegradable, and recyclable.
Great for Gifting
Gold Herringbone Chain Necklace
Aurate’s gold is 100 percent recycled, meaning the brand never mines new gold. All of the diamonds are ethically sourced, and all pearls are sustainably harvested.
Denim to Covet
70s Stove Pipe Straight Jeans
Re/Done does upcycling like you’ve never seen before. The brand has single-handedly diverted nearly a quarter of a million garments from landfills, giving each a second life as a new item. The company, known largely for its denim, is committed to its ethical mission, sustainability efforts, and circular fashion. In 2020, not only did Re/Done begin carbon offsetting for all orders shipped, but it went so far as to retroactively offset all the orders it has ever shipped. It also recently launched a resale platform.
The Demeter Dress
Fame and Partners creates made-to-order designs and focuses on ways to reduce waste. A slow fashion model like this one, in which the brand only produces the items that are ordered, is far more sustainable than the alternative fast fashion.
The Oversized Stroopwafel Turtleneck in ReCashmere
Everlane is so transparent with its production processes, it even breaks down pricing per item, so you can see how much of your money goes towards materials, hardware, labor, duties, and transportation. You can also get information on the factory your item was made in. A one-stop shop for basics, Everlane creates high-quality items that have a minimal impact on the environment. What’s more, the company remains upfront about its plans to continue reducing waste, contaminants, and emissions.
Long-Term Investment Pieces
Double Loop Bag
All of Cuyana’s artisanal leather goods are ethically crafted with recycled or sustainably sourced materials. Its bags and accessories are timeless high-quality staples, meaning they’re meant to last a lifetime. Plus, the brand offers repairs, so you can extend the life of your purchase rather than having to toss and replace it. Each order comes with a pre-paid shipping label intended for you to fill a box with clothes you want to get rid of. Cuyana recycles these items, saving them from landfills, and you receive a store credit. Everybody wins.
Your New Favorite Necklace
Pavé Diamond Bold Huggie Hoops
Mejuri is a go-to for everyday jewelry. With ethically sourced metals and stones, recycled gold, and a demand-driven supply, you can always feel good about your purchase. The brand is on mission to make each of its items 100 percent traceable with a transparent supply chain process from sourcing to marketing. Mejuri also recycles any products that are returned or defective. It’s no surprise that editors and influencers wear these pieces on the regular.
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