You may have heard the term “fast fashion” before, used to describe trendy clothing at a cheap price. Fast fashion giants like Zara, H&M, and Forever 21 are constantly producing new styles at super low prices for consumers, wreaking havoc on people, precious resources, and the planet. From water, air, and soil pollution, to a tremendous use of energy, and overuse of toxic chemicals, from growing the crops for fiber to textile waste in landfills, the $3 trillion dollar fashion industry is one of the world’s most polluting industries.
“Fast fashion focuses on speed and low costs in order to deliver frequent new collections inspired by catwalk looks or celebrity styles.” (The Independent, Patsy Perry)
Fast fashion brands produce 1 million garments every day. According to Responsibility in Fashion, “the most destructive effects of the global fashion industry result from pesticide overuse in cotton production, dumping of hazardous chemicals used in leather tanning, water pollution and emissions from textile dyeing and finishing, toxic chemicals used in dry cleaning & widespread exploitation of workers.”
Good news is, as a consumer, we have the power to vote with our dollars. We can change our consumption habits to match our values. We can choose to purchase second hand, buy less, opt for higher quality items made with sustainable fibers, all while supporting companies that are doing good across their supply chain.
“Ethical Fashion describes ethical fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing. It covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare.” (Victoria & Albert Museum in London)
Turning Green works with brands and designers that reflect our values and demonstrate that shopping ethically is fashion forward.
Check out Turning Green’s Ethical Fashion Lookbook, featuring our Project Green Challenge 2018 Finalists. We showcase looks from designers that we think are awesome, intentional, and eco-fabulous!
Turning Green’s Ethical Fashion Lookbook
Curated by Taylor Murphy
Hair and Makeup provided by Lytle’s Beauty School and Credo Beauty
Boody makes basic essentials that are versatile, timeless, and sustainable. All Boody garments use viscose made from bamboo and are produced adhering to the highest standards for both the planet and their workers. Their objective is to maximize positive outputs and minimize negative impacts throughout the entire supply chain.
Deux Mains is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand handcrafting sustainable footwear, handbags, and accessories in Haiti. They strive to pay its workers a living-wage, minimize their environmental footprint, preserve local craftsmanship, encourage local leadership, and contribute to the growth of the local economy.
Earth Shoes keeps the planet in mind by using water-based non-toxic glues, vegetable tanned leathers, and glue-free shoeboxes. Since 2015, They have partnered with Trees For The Future to plant over 200,000 trees and have donated over 13,000 shoes to those in need.
etik & co.’s mission is to curate the best ethical fashion items that meet the highest standards for human rights and the respect for the environment. Farmers and workers receive a fair price for their work, as well as a social premium that they democratically invest in community projects in education, health, food, or to improve their working conditions.
Everlane believes that the right choice should be as easy as putting on a great T-shirt, so they partner with the best, ethical factories around the world to produce just that. Their clothing is timeless and made from quality materials, so it’s made to last for decades. They share the story of their clothing with consumers down to the true cost of every product they make, calling it “Radical Transparency.”
Fortress of Inca has worked with family-owned and operated factories and workshops to maintain the quality and craftsmanship that first inspired Evan more than ten years ago in Peru. They always ensure safe working conditions and fair wages for the people who create their shoes.
Funky Kalakar is the conception of a long journey fueled by enthusiasm and devout respect for ingenious art forms. They value hope for sustainability, a vision for empowerment, and a sanctuary for the artistic temperament. They understand just how important it is to not indulge in inefficient practices, so they aim to adopt safe and sustainable methods to create their products.
A clothing brand inspired by a trip to Peru, Indigenous makes organic and fair trade clothing to the ancient traditions of Peruvian textile design, and a path out of poverty to the dynamic people who live there. Indigenous has a commitment to all natural fibers and low-impact dyes to ensure the clothing manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and never harms water tables and local communities. Their purpose is simple: to be the most ethical, transparent, and sustainable fashion company in the world.
Industry of All Nations is determined to combine environmental and social awareness while promoting fair trade and open borders for all nations. They believe shopping is like voting, and strive to represent the future of our planet through their practices.
Jungmaven is built from activism, simplicity, and sustainability. They want to make products that reduce their impact on the planet while creating quality goods that get better with age, so they utilize hemp as one of their textiles in clothes. Hemp regenerates in months, helps maintain clean water and air, anchors and aerates the soil, produces oxygen, and consumes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Mara Hoffman maintains an open conversation about its approach and encourages consumers to reevaluate the relationship society has with clothing. The company focuses on sustainable materials, processes, and production in order to improve and extend each garment’s life. Their goal is to design and manufacture clothes with greater care, reduce their impact, generate awareness, and encourage customers to take action.
Nau follows the philosphy, “It’s always possible to make things better,” and applies it to everything they do, from apparel design to their business model. For over a decade, Nau has pioneered sustainable fabrications, retail concepts, giving programs and philanthropic partnerships. They believe in versatile, durable pieces that leave a small footprint.
Nudie Jeans’ environmental philosophy was present even before the first collection was designed. The share of sustainable materials increased over the years, and since 2012 all Nudie Jeans denim is made with 100% organic cotton. They promise free repairs to help reduce textile waste and use second hand material towards new clothes.
Oliberté is a sustainable brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. They believe in empowerment, transparency, and doing right by all. This means making premium quality products with a lifetime warranty, and it means treating every employee, everywhere in the world, with respect. In September 2013, they became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory.
Outerknown aspires to engage with civil society, governments, the private sector, and peers to affect systemic change of labor and environmental challenges in countries where we live and work. They aim to create deep and lasting changes in labor and environmental practices all over the world. They manufacture globally with makers who share these values and abide by the strict guidelines of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) & Bluesign.
Po-Zu are creators of sustainable and ethically sourced shoes; made from carefully selected natural and sustainable materials (including organic cotton and fair trade rubber) that are healthy for our feet, kind to the environment and safe for all our workers throughout the supply chain. ‘Po-Zu’ stems from the Japanese ポーズ, meaning to pause, and it is their mission to provide feet with unique respite from the frantic pace of busy lives, and to halt the damage that modern footwear manufacturing often causes to people and the planet.
Prairie Underground designs their pieces to be durable and adaptable. They’re committed to ensuring their garments are ecologically and ethically sustainable. They aim to empower their customers to articulate their singularity while nurturing their bodies and the ecosystem.
PrAna creates versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, every day. They support the environment by investing in people committed to making a fundamental change in the way clothing is made, and forging partnerships with dedicated organizations like Fair Trade, bluesign®, Textile Exchange, Responsible Down Standard, and many more.
Reformation puts sustainability at the core of everything they do. They invest in green building infrastructure to minimize our waste, water, and energy footprints. By providing on-the-job training and opportunities for growth, they also invest in the people who make this revolution possible.
Sseko Designs is an ethical fashion brand that hires high potential women in Uganda to make sandals to enable them to earn money through dignified employment that will go directly towards their college educations and ensure they will continue pursuing their dreams. They believe that good business can be an incredibly powerful force for positive social change, so they empower artisans and help end the cycle of poverty by building healthy communities and economies.
Veerah, derived from warrior in Sanskrit, is a mission-driven luxury shoe company founded for women to make a positive impact as they conquer the world in impeccable style. Luxuriously crafted and responsibly sourced with cruelty-free materials, they are committed to always, “Do Good. Look Incredible.”