So awesome that you’re looking for sustainable clothing brands! Our planet needs people like you. Maybe you already know this, but 60% of all clothing is discarded within one year after production and ends up in incinerators or a landfill. Plus, the fashion and footwear industry is responsible for about 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Fortunately, as consumers, we have the power to change this.
We decide what to do with our money. We decide what brands we support. And we decide whether or not to stick our heads in eco-friendly clobber.
Many people think that sustainable clothing brands are expensive. And yes, they aren’t cheap. After all, producing clothes in a sustainable way is more costly.
Do you have to break the bank then? No, there are plenty of brands that are highly affordable. For only a few dollars more you have a rad shirt made of organic cotton.
(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission if you make a purchase – at no additional charge to you. Keep in mind that I only link to products or companies I support or believe in.)
What are sustainable clothing brands
Sustainable clothing often gets confused with Fair Trade clothing. Although they are connected, the concept of sustainability refers to the effects of production on the environment.
Fair Trade refers to the working conditions. The goal of sustainable clothing brands is to ensure that the production process causes as little pollution as possible.
In recent years, there have been many changes in the fashion industry. Major brands such as H&M and Zara are all too keen to market themselves as sustainable.
Although they definitely do good stuff, like their green energy stores and their Conscious Collection, they are not polluting any less. Unfortunately, sustainability is oftentimes merely a marketing strategy.
So, I’ve compiled this list of real sustainable clothing brands for you. You’ll find sustainable sweaters to keep you warm after a cold surf session, gorgeous yoga pants, socks that you won’t ever have to replace, and swimsuits to take with you to a tropical surf destination.
Yoga Pants & More
1. Niyama Sports
Buy for $73 on Amazon
Niyama, an awesome Californian brand, has the most comfortable yoga pants ever. I have one of their eco-friendly yoga pants made from recycled materials (wearing one on the featured pic). They’re super high quality and keep their shape no matter what thanks to their non-slip waist.
2. Yoga Democracy
Buy for $75 on Amazon
So far, Yoga Democracy has recycled around 300.000 plastic bottles for their leggings. 95% of what they produce is made from recycled fibers. And all of their recycled polyesters are dyed using a waterless transfer process in their own workshop.
Buy for $72 on Amazon
And also Teeki uses recycled plastic to create their beautiful yoga pants. Each yoga pant is made from 79% recycled plastic and they’ve set up their production process in such a way that it is the least damaging to the planet.
Surf & Adventure
Shop Patagonia on Amazon
Patagonia is the ultimate sustainable clothing brand. Not only do they sell beautiful, rad and adventurous clothing for men and women, but they also committed to creating a better world since day one. It’s literally their mission to “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Love for the sea and respect for the environment are key to Finisterre. This brand was founded by English surfers. In their apartment above a surf shop, they made their first innovative fleece in 2003 to get warm after a cold surf session. The ocean is their playground and that’s what inspires them. They use environmentally friendly materials and work with environmental activists on various projects.
Swimsuits & Bikinis
Not the cheapest but definitely one of the most beautiful! allSisters is a green swimwear brand that uses the highest quality recycled fabrics to produce high-end swimsuits and bikinis. Their philosophy is to create comfortable and fashionable swimsuits that respect both the female body and the environment.
7. Zealous Clothing
Shop Zealous Clothing
I love this brand. They not only sell awesome surf bikinis, but they are also very conscious of their impact on the planet. Zealous is a member of 1% For The Planet, supports Fair production in Bali, sells swimwear made from recycled material, and the owner is an awesome surf chick from Germany (totally not biased here).
Buy for $70-80 on Amazon
Volcom uses recycled PET bottles for their swimwear. Fun fact: one boardshort requires about five plastic bottles. Their other sustainable bikinis and boardshorts are made from recycled fishing nets, which you can recognize by the ECONYL® logo.
Apparel & Watches
Shop Alternative on Amazon
I will take the sweater and the kitten, please! Alternative sells anything from comfortable sweaters to accessories such as scarves, bags, and socks. All products are made from recycled, non-toxic, and eco-friendly material, and are “as soft as a kitten”. They also exercise Fair Trade and pay their workers well.
10. Armed Angels
Shop Armed Angels
This is a German eco-friendly fashion brand that not only believes that it is possible to take responsibility and protect the environment but also considers it a necessity. Their mission is to fight against ‘Fast Fashion’ and instead promote more timeless designs.
SOLOSOCKS cares a lot about where we stick our cold toes in – and also about our planet. The entire SOLOSOCKS production process is designed in a sustainable way so that they create as little waste as possible. The organic cotton socks are sold in packages of seven (per foot) instead of in pairs. So if you lose a sock, there are six more! You can even reuse the box (made from recycled material) for your accessories.
12. WeWOOD Watches
Buy for $105 on Amazon
These watches are incredibly beautiful. WeWOOD creates all of its watches from recycled wood and reclaimed materials. The watches are non-toxic and for each watch sold, they plant a tree. So far they’ve planted more than 600,000 trees.
13. People Tree
Shop People Tree
As an active member of many Fair Trade, social justice, and environmental networks, People Tree is a pioneer among sustainable clothing brands. Their mission is threefold: to be 100% Fair Trade, to support producers in developing countries, and to protect the environment.
14. Citizen Watches
Buy for $123 on Amazon
The ECO-DRIVE collection of Citizen uses light to generate power. It doesn’t matter what kind of light, even if it’s dim light. I don’t know how sustainable their production process is but I’ve included them anyway. Maybe you know more? Then please leave a comment below.
15. Kings of Indigo (KOI)
Shop Kings of Indigo
Kings of Indigo is a Dutch jeans brand and according to Rank a Brand it’s one of the most sustainable! Not only do they have beautiful jeans, but they also use 50% less water than normal jeans brands. Besides that, 90% of the material they use is recycled and they provide excellent working conditions.
16. Mud Jeans
Shop Mud Jeans
Maybe you’ve seen Mud Jeans before. They got a lot of media attention because they were the first jeans you could rent. They even won the Sustainability Leadership Award. Mud Jeans started as a lease service, but now you can also buy clothes there. Had enough of your jeans? Just bring them back and they make something new out of it.
17. Nudie Jeans
Buy for $30-100 on Amazon
This sustainable clothing brand has been around for a while and you may have seen it before, as a lot of big shops sell them. What makes Nudie Jeans special is that they not only use organic cotton but also have a free repair service. Did you rip your jeans and it’s too difficult to fix yourself? Bring your pants to Nudie Jeans and they’ll help you out for free.
What can you do for a greener world?
Besides choosing to spend your money on sustainable clothing brands instead of cheap fast fashion, you need to take good care of your clothes so that they last longer. Wash your clothes at low temperatures, repair them if necessary or make someone else happy by giving them to the thrift shop.
Are there any sustainable clothing brands that I forgot? Of course there are! Let me know in the comments below and I’ll update the post later.