Fashion is one of the most wasteful industries on the planet, consuming far more than its fair share of the earth’s precious resources. Slow fashion may sound like a contradiction in terms but it’s one of the hottest trends out there. Responsible action taken by top-tier companies has the potential to trickle down and transform the industry. Want to shrink your carbon footprint? Read on to learn about five high-end brands that embrace sustainable practices.
Sustainability is a broad category, but it generally means reducing energy consumption, waste and pollution while maintaining biodiversity. The fashion behemoth that controls Givenchy, Christian Dior, and Louis Vuitton is revamping their supply chains, including ethical sourcing of materials like leather, working conditions, and environmental practices. They are also creating a carbon fund that supports eco-conscious projects, such as transitioning from traditional lighting to LEDs.
The fashion icon has been making some major earth-friendly changes, including developing a non-toxic leather tanning process and replacing leather altogether with polyurethane. Their eco-conscious Off the Grid collection of apparel, bags, and footwear made from recycled, upcycled, organic, and sustainable materials launched in 2020.
McCartney not only promotes sustainable fashion, she lives the lifestyle. A lifelong vegetarian, she does not use fur or leather in any of her designs. She has also created a line of faux silk apparel with a fabric known as Microsilk that is strong, durable, and soft, yet produces a lower environmental impact and is biodegradable. The materials and manufacturing process of her FW sneaker collection are eco-friendly and 100% recyclable. Additionally, McCartney has created a video with tips on apparel management to help consumers extend the life of clothes.
For more than three decades, Eileen Fisher has held the vision of durable, practical, timeless clothing. All of her shapes are classic and work with one another to create a clean, minimalist capsule wardrobe. The company has long used organic, ethically-sourced fibers, and avoids harmful dyes. Additionally, EF offers a buy-back program for all unwanted items, then cleans, repairs and resells them in her Renew program.
Another company that has held an earth-conscious vision since its inception, Patagonia focuses on high-performance with the lowest possible environmental impact. Rather than encouraging people to toss and buy new, the activewear giant created a handbook on how to repair damaged clothes. They also have a Worn Wear program for customers to trade in and buy used items. The company shares information on how its clothes are made and the impact their manufacturing process has on the environment. They also have a self-imposed 1% ‘Earth Tax’ on all their sales that is donated to environmental preservation.