You could say I'm pretty eco-conscious. My partner and I regularly recycle as much as we can and walk or bike nearly everywhere. You won't find paper towels, toxic chemical cleaners or a non-LED lightbulb in our home. But I'll admit that I'm not very ecologically minded when it comes to clothing. I don't often think about the planet when I'm shopping (other than refusing another shopping bag, if I've already got one in hand). Thankfully for me and others simply looking for stylish goods, brands are taking such matters into consideration.
Last month, Burberry announced their decision to reuse, repair or recycle all of their unsaleable products. It was a welcome step towards environmental responsibility in an industry that's often okay with indulgence and waste. As they say, if you don't want to be part of the problem, be part of the solution. And the solution to this global crisis of disposability, wastefulness, pollution and climate change isn't going to come easy or quickly. But that doesn't mean you can't do your part. That includes supporting the brands that have made "going green" less hippie and more hip.
Everlane, the direct-to-consumer retailer known for its deep-rooted commitment to radical transparency in pricing, ethical manufacturing and social responsibility, just launched a capsule collection of cool weather staples made from recycled plastic water bottles. It's the first collection as part of the brand's recently announced commitment to eliminate all virgin plastic from its supply chain—from clothing and components to packaging—by 2021. And it's not just the big labels or indie brands doing the right thing. Here are a few of our favorites, all made using eco-friendly materials and sustainable practices that will make you look as good as you'll feel for being such a responsible consumer.
This collection consists of 13 remarkably soft and cozy cold-weather essential styles from fleece sweatshirts and parkas to insulated winter puffers, made from over three million recycled plastic water bottles. In a process reminiscent of a pasta maker, the molten plastic is then pressed through perforated dies, forming long strands that are then diced into small crystals and spun into yarn and woven like traditional fabric. The next step in their process is to partner with vendors to develop new trims and components that are entirely free of virgin plastic.
Since 2011, when Levi's launched this innovative initiative, they've saved more than two billion liters and recycled over 200 million liters of water. They incorporate nearly two dozen water-saving finish techniques, and the brand shares the methods with others to inspire industry-wide progress. As of today, more than half of all Levi's products are made with WaterLess techniques, with a goal of 80% by 2020.
501 WaterLess jeans,
$59.50 by Levi's
These environmentally friendly trainers are made with raw materials sourced from organic farms and ecological agriculture, without chemicals or polluting processes. This pair has a lining made from organic cotton and rubber trims and gripped soles tapped from wild grown trees in the Amazonian rainforest.
V-10 leather sneakers,
$150 by Veja
This cool and comfortable puffer jacket is made with 100% recycled down and feathers from discarded pillows and duvets. Each one is washed in natural thermal water and sterilized without the use of chemicals.
ReDown puffer jacket,
$226.10 by Arket
Citizens of Humanity
This Los Angeles-based brand manufactures everything at their own eco-friendly sewing and laundry facilities. This means prototypes are fine-tuned to minimize fabric waste and they're committed to lowering water consumption in the wash and dye process.
Japanese stretch twill pants,
$198 by Citizens of Humanity