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9 Leading Sustainable Fashion Brands for Ethical Shoppers

sustainable fashion brands

In recent years, sustainability has emerged as a pivotal concern within the fashion industry. One of the most common examples is H&M, an affordable brand which has successfully integrated sustainability within its fabric through around-the-year awareness campaigns and concrete steps towards waste reduction.

Isn’t that great news? As environmental and social consciousness continue to shape consumer behavior, the demand for eco-friendly and ethically produced clothing has soared. In response, top sustainable fashion brands worldwide are reevaluating their practices to align with sustainable principles. 

As champions of sustainable living, Ecowiser keeps an eye on top fashion brands that are making strides in this space. And if you, like us, want to be in business with top fashion brands that meet your ethical standards, then this is the right place for you. 

In this article, we’ve selected the top nine sustainable fashion brands from around the world that have achieved notable progress in sustainability. These leading sustainable fashion brands demonstrate a dedication to environmental stewardship in ways such as fair wages, ethical manufacturing processes, eco-friendly material sourcing, etc. 

Let’s jump right in.

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9 Leading Fashion Brands Doing Sustainability Right

As per a 2020 survey, 67% of customers consider the use of sustainable materials to be an important factor in their purchasing decisions. If you belong in this category, then here are the top 9 leading fashion brands that you can shop from:

1. Patagonia 

patagonia sustainable fashion brand
Source: Patagonia

In the ethical fashion sector, Patagonia is one of the top sustainable fashion brands that prioritizes sustainability through the use of eco-friendly materials, moral hiring practices, and environmental campaigning. Patagonia, a pioneer in ethical fashion, invites colleagues in the business and consumers to embrace sustainability as the standard for fashion’s future.

The business exemplifies the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach with its strong commitment to environmental preservation, social responsibility, and long-term financial survival.

2. tentree

tentree Sustainable Fashion Brands
Source: tentree

Tentree uses eco-friendly and lower-impact materials, including GOTS/OCS-certified organic cotton, GRS-certified recycled polyester, hemp, and TENCEL™️ Lyocell to maintain its sustainability promise.

Although the brand manufacturing is primarily based overseas, it doesn’t cut corners or saves pennies when it comes to manforce or working conditions. The brand enforces ethical labor practices and sustainability.

Another feather in the brand’s sustainability cap is promotion of sustainable fashion consumption through responsible, eco-friendly packaging. The brand’s commitment towards the environment shines through its actions, on and off the market. Within the last 10 years, tentree has planted over 100 million trees around the world. It’s also worth mentioning that tentree is ready to double its efforts towards sustainability and circularity by launching Full Circle Traceability in 2025. This one-of-a-kind program will use a blockchain-based fiber tracing software to keep track with its other recycling and resale programs.

3. Outerknown

outerknown Sustainable Fashion Brands
Source: Outerknown

In stores since 2014, Outerknown is known for its use of recycled polyster to give customers “Towel Soft Sustainability.” Being one of the top sustainable fashion brands in this vertical, Outerknown believes in promoting smart, sustainable way of living through its clothing and its business model. With 90% of its fibers sourced from organic, recycled, or regenerated sources, and all trunks made from recycled or renewable fibers, the brand is setting new standards for eco-conscious fashion enjoyers.

85% of all textiles end up in dump every year. In 2021, Outerknown introduced Outerworn, a recycle-focused campaign to revitalize pre-owned Outerknown garments with the to keep their garments decent, wearable clothes out of landfills and in circulation indefinitely.

4. Girlfriend Collective

girlfriend collective Sustainable Fashion Brands
Source: Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective, launched in 2016, offers a size-inclusive range of activewear made out of discarded water bottles. How cool is that? The brand uses a zero-waste, zero-emission facility to make its yarn, which is then crushed into tiny chips and infused with eco-friendly additives. Entering the market as the “sustainable alternative to LuLulemon” is no easy feat, but Girlfriend Collective has lived up to its promise of offering smart clothing that doesn’t take a toll on nature. The brand has also been featured on Oprah’s Favorites List of 2022.

The packaging is made from 100% recycled materials and is fully recyclable, reducing waste. This innovative approach demonstrates that sustainability and style can coexist, proving that eco-friendly fashion can be a sustainable solution.

5. For Days

for days Sustainable Fashion Brands
Source: For Days

For Days focuses on eco-friendly practices and circular fashion while being ranked as one of the top men’s sustainable fashion brands. They produce 100% recyclable clothing, promoting zero-waste practices and closed-loop systems. The brand offers high-quality basics that can be repurposed into new pieces, which is good news for your pocket and for the environment.

Do you think you should get points for recycling? Well, For Days does. For Days encourages customers to return old clothes for swap credits, promoting a fresh start to wardrobes and contributing to the circular economy. Their commitment to sustainability is not just a trend, but a way of life.

6. Naadam

nadaam Sustainable Fashion Brands
Source: Naadam

We had to include a high-end luxury cashmere brand to the list, and Naadam, founded in 2013, matched our standards. Nadaam’s promise is simple: Sustainable, locally sourced cashmere sweater that can last you a lifetime. The brand committed to transparency, ethical practices, and environmental preservation. Nadaam sources the finest natural fibers in the likes of Mongolian cashmere, organic cotton, merino wool, and silk to produce top-quality knitwear that can be passed down generations.

Founders Matthew Scanlan and Diederik Rijsemus also aim to minimize the brand’s environmental footprint by achieving carbon neutrality through emissions reduction, offset investments, and instilling intentionality into the advertising and marketing of their knitwear.

7. Cotopaxi

cotopaxi Sustainable Fashion Brands
Source: Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi makes goods that last for a really long time. It is among the best top sustainable fashion brands, promoting good business practices through its “Gear for Good” ethos. It produces durable apparel ethically and sustainably, and uplift communities in need. Cotopaxi’s mission is to promote sustainability for both people and the planet. They consider every product’s lifecycle, partnering with factories that uphold fair labor practices and sourcing materials that adhere to sustainable practices.

This commitment demonstrates that businesses can be a force for positive change, not only producing high-quality outdoor gear but also making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and communities worldwide.

8. People Tree

people tree Sustainable Fashion Brands
Source: People Tree

Since 1991, People Tree has been a pioneer in sustainable fashion, while being ranked as one of the top sustainable fashion brands prioritizing ethical and environmental considerations. As one of the first sustainable fashion brands, People Tree has maintained reliability and consistency in its practices and products. Each product offered by the brand adheres to the highest ethical and environmental standards throughout its lifecycle.

By upholding these principles, People Tree sets a standard of excellence in sustainable fashion, demonstrating that stylish and high-quality clothing can be created while minimizing harm to the planet and its inhabitants. As a trailblazer in the industry, People Tree continues to inspire positive change and pave the way for a more sustainable future in fashion.

Also Read: A Guide To Elevating Your Style Sustainably

9. Unspun

unspun Sustainable Fashion Brands
Source: Unspun

Unspun’s mission is to reduce global carbon emissions by 1%. How? By instituting intentional, automated, and localized manufacturing processes across their apparel production process. This is one of the top fashion brands that uses high-quality materials like GOTS-certified organic cotton and GRS-certified post-consumer materials to reduce its carbon footprint and water usage. All factories adhere to Bluesign® or Oeko-Tex STD 100 certification, ensuring strict environmental and human health standards.

Unspun’s supply chain is transparent and accountable, with 80% of materials suppliers holding OEKO-TEX certification or being registered on the ZDHC gateway. The brand’s manufacturing processes take place in China and Turkey, prioritizing fair labor practices and ethical treatment of workers. Unspun also uses 100% FSC-certified recycled paper for eco-friendly packaging.

Also Read: 20 Must-Have Organic Kids Clothes Brands for Conscious Parents

How Ecowiser Spots Top Sustainable Brands in Fashion

In an age where sustainability is increasingly becoming a priority for conscientious consumers, navigating the vast landscape of sustainable fashion brands can be daunting. The solution? Ecowiser. Your go-to platform for discovering brands that are truly committed to environmental and social responsibility.

Here’s how we spot top sustainable brands in fashion, based on certain key indicators and practices.

Transparency: To find sustainable brands, consider transparency in their supply chain, sourcing practices, and production processes. Look for brands that provide detailed information about their materials, production methods, and environmental and social impact.

Certifications: Check for certifications like GOTS, Fair Trade Certified, and Bluesign® to demonstrate commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.

Materials: To minimize environmental impact, sustainable brands use eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, TENCEL™ Lyocell, hemp, and bamboo.

Ethical Labor Practices: These are crucial for sustainable brands, ensuring fair wages, safe working conditions, and respect for workers’ rights. They often partner with Fair Trade Certified factories or adhere to other ethical standards.

Circularity: Sustainable brands design products for longevity, repairability, and recyclability, offering repair services, take-back programs, and upcycling initiatives.

Community Engagement: Community engagement is essential for sustainable brands, as many actively support social and environmental initiatives. Look for brands that give back to local communities, support environmental conservation projects, or advocate for social causes aligned with their values.

Innovation: Innovation is another key aspect of sustainable brands, as they invest in sustainable technologies, research new materials, and adopt innovative solutions to environmental and social challenges.

To find sustainable fashion brands that align with your values and preferences, conduct research and consider factors beyond marketing claims. Look for brands that demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability throughout their operations.

Conclusion

The clothing industry, historically linked to environmental degradation and pollution, is now undergoing a shift towards sustainability. A growing number of global brands are implementing practices that prioritize the planet and its people, demonstrating a shift in the industry’s approach.

Want to make better choices for your family and our planet? Check out Ecowiser. Our platform provides a curated list of the world’s most sustainable clothing companies, empowering you to shop with confidence and align your purchases with your values.

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What is a sustainable fashion brand

Sustainable fashion brands are apparel companies that prioritize ethical and environmentally friendly practices throughout their entire production process. This includes sourcing sustainable materials, reducing waste, and ensuring fair labor conditions for workers.

How can I identify sustainable fashion brands?

Look for brands that transparently communicate their sustainability efforts, such as their use of eco-friendly materials, ethical production methods, and certifications from recognized organizations like Fair Trade or GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). Additionally, research the brand’s track record and read reviews from other consumers.

What are some examples of sustainable fashion brands?

There are many sustainable fashion brands across various price points and styles. Some popular examples include Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Stella McCartney, Reformation, Veja, People Tree, and Everlane. However, it’s essential to research each brand individually to ensure their sustainability claims align with your values.

What is greenwashing in sustainability fashion brands?

Greenwashing is the misleading promotion of a product or service’s environmental friendliness or sustainability, often through vague language, minor environmental initiatives, or exaggerated features’ benefits. This deceptive practice undermines genuine sustainability efforts, leading to consumer confusion and mistrust.

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Shavy Jain

Shavy Jain is the content manager at Ecowiser. Boasting five years of experience in the content marketing industry, she is focused on presenting information about sustainable alternatives so buyers can make the wisest choices.

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