These Sustainable Clothing Brands Are Making a Big Impact

Published on May 4, 2022

Illustration of two people managing clothing rack.

Last updated: Sept. 15, 2022. It’s no secret the fast fashion industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to carbon emissions and unsustainable practices. In fact, the apparel industry is responsible for 10% of all carbon emissions worldwide, and uses 1.5 trillion liters of water annually, despite millions of people around the world still not having access to clean drinking water. That’s why we’ll be sharing sustainable clothing brands you can support that are making a big impact in the fashion industry.

Change Needs to Happen to Fight Climate Change

Climate change experts have long been urging industry leaders to change their ways, while encouraging consumers to opt for eco-friendly alternatives like shopping vintage or thrifting. But many of the world’s biggest brands aren’t showing signs of slowing down — the production of fossil fuel-based clothing continues and is expected to grow over the next 20 years.

While some progress has been made, experts say we’ll all need to reduce our consumption significantly to help mitigate the harmful effects the fashion industry has on climate change. Of course, not shopping for new clothes at all would be ideal, but this isn’t always realistic for everyone.

Sustainable Clothing Brands Making a Big Impact

If you’re hoping to be a part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem, you may want to support one of these sustainable clothing brands the next time you need to make a purchase:

1. Patagonia

Patagonia is one of the sustainable clothing brands that’s made a real commitment to transforming its impact on the environment. Through its robust environmental, animal welfare and social responsibility programs, the company has set a positive example when it comes to minimizing its overall footprint. But they also walk their talk — 94% of their line uses recycled materials, 100% of their energy needs in the U.S. were met with renewable electricity, and 85% of the line is Fair Trade Certified. UPDATE: The Patagonia founder announced on Sept. 14, 2022, he’s giving away his entire company to a charitable trust, that fights climate change, proving beyond a doubt that he sticks to his values.

2. Kotn

Kotn is an apparel brand designed to honor “the people who make them and the places they’re made.” The company was born while its co-founder Rami was living in a cotton-farming community in Egypt and had the ambitious idea to create “the perfect t-shirt” that wouldn’t compromise on price, quality or the integrity of its creators. Now, Kotn is a certified B corporation with one of the highest B Impact Score of all North American apparel brands.

3. Reformation

Known for its feminine silhouettes and timeless designs, Reformation has also earned a reputation for its commitment to sustainability. With the simple yet powerful mission of bringing eco-friendly fashion to everyone, Reformation is one of the sustainable clothing brands keeping ethical practices at the core of everything they do. Today, the company is certified Climate Neutral, and is on track to become Climate Positive by 2025.

4. Levi’s

You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that everyone’s favorite denim brand is committed to sustainability. In fact, since introducing its Water<Less collection in 2011, Levi’s has saved over 4.2 billion liters of water. Plus, three-quarters of its cotton now comes from more sustainable sources, and they’re working to make it 100% by 2025.

5. Hass

Another certified B Corp, Hass is another one of the sustainable clothing brands helping to bring responsible fashion into vogue. Every purchase of Hass’s line of soft, cozy loungewear and pajamas feeds one person in need through non-profit organizations City Harvest and Food Forward, so you can literally rest assured you’re making a positive impact on the world when you support this company.

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Lead graphic by VectorMine/Adobe Stock.

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.