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Want to Feel Good About How You Spend? Start With Your Clothes.

Last updated: 04-15-2019

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Want to Feel Good About How You Spend? Start With Your Clothes.

Allbirds
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Most sneakers are constructed from a variety of different panels and fabrics, which makes them a difficult piece of clothing to keep produced responsibility at every step of the way. It's what, first of all, makes a knit sneaker so good—there's fewer moving parts to cause damage—and especially what makes a brand like Allbirds work. You see, the mastery is all in the fabric, which makes up the majority of the shoe. Allbirds's bread-and-butter is its fabric, of which it makes two: a responsibly sourced wool and a eucalyptus tree-based fabric. Plus, Obama loves them so you know they're good.
Faherty
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Faherty comes from a love of the land and of the sea. The brand makes pieces that have a laid-back, surfer vibe to them. And because of the founders' love of the environment, they wanted to make clothes that were sustainable and caused minimal harm. The brand leans into sustainable cotton and garment-dyed coloring.
Outdoor Voicse
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Workout clothes can be sustainable, too! Such is Outdoor Voices' plan. The brand, which has a huge following on social media, has a line of purposeful clothes for optimal workouts. The fabrics, like mossed jersey and stretched crepe, are not your typical chemical-laden, mass-produced kind of functional fabric. In fact, it's one of the best brands you can head to for clothes that work for both working out and also for not.
Feit
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Shoes are very hard to make harmless, but Feit is out here trying. The brand uses vegetable-dyed leathers to make handcrafted shoes. The result: shoes that cause minimal harm, are expertly formed, and will last you forever. The longevity is one such element that improves what makes something kinder to the earth; if you're not having to discard and replace items all the time, you too are minimizing the impact your clothes can have.
Oil/Lumber
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When it comes to sustainable clothing, one of your best bets is to look to companies that produce on a smaller scale. This lets them have more access to every aspect of the manufacturing process, which in turn minimizes its potential room for harm. Oil/Lumber produces almost all of its items in Nashville, TN, and leans into local production as much as possible.
Alternative Apparel
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Alternative Apparel is known for its very soft T-shirts and sweats, all of which are made with fabric that has been tediously refined to cause minimum damage during production—non-toxic, low-impact dyes and a less-water usage wash—and once it's worn through. More than 80 percent of Alternative's clothes are made with sustainable materials and processes, according to the company website.
Apolis
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Apolis's main aim is social change, something it pursues in its local manufacturing and production process and far-reaching initiatives. It's a Certified B Corporation, too, the certification meaning the company has met (according to B Corp ) "rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency." Basically, it's the stamp of approval to confirm that the company is actually doing what it says.
Bombas
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Bombas is best known (besides for being awesome) for its donation of socks for every pair purchased. Sure, the idea of a buy-one-give-one company isn't an anomaly, but Bombas has such a no-B.S. approach to its giving strategy that we can't help but shout it out. A lot of times, companies with this strategy do indeed donate, but they donate a product of much lower quality and value than the product they sell. Bombas, on the other hand, donates socks that are in fact of a better quality than the ones they sell. The donation socks are thicker, darker, and specially crafted to withstand less washes and harder wearing by folks that can't afford to buy their own. It's a truly thorough way to give back.
Columbia
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Columbia's penchant for the outdoors is not without its compassion for it. Columbia is open about its practices, standards, and impact on the environment—and what the company does to best minimize it. It's also involved with conservation and allying with local communities.
Everlane
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In a world of fast fashion, Everlane's streamlined, quality-driven approach to clothes cannot go unnoticed. The brand's main mission is transparency in its manufacturing process. When shopping, you can see what a product cost to make, what comparable brands would buy it for, and what gets marked up. It holds itself accountable to its customers—something that is a major influence in the fashion community right now. Plus, it makes some of the earth-friendliest jeans on the market .
Naadam
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Cashmere can be a hugely controversial fabric. While animals might not be killed for it, that's not to say they aren't always treated without cruelty. Naadam's cashmere process is trying to change that: nomadic herders hand-comb the hair, rather than shear it. It's also "cradle-to-cradle" in its transparency approach, a buzzword you should know. It means the company don't just tout how it manufactures a product, but what happens to it when you throw it out, too.
Nau
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Nau has a huge focus on sustainable fabrics, like organic cotton and recycled polyester. The company is also big on building partnerships with members of Partners for Change, which works on environmental and social changes. According to Nau's site, the brand started under the codename UTW as an acronym for "Unfuck The World," which just about sums up its goal.
Nudie Jeans
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It used to be a struggle to find eco-conscious clothing that was also very stylish. That is a problem no longer. Nudie Jeans has a traditional love for quality denim that you'd want in your jeans, but with a focus on social responsibility and sustainable fabrics. The company also has an entire program in place to keep environmental impact down, including recycling jeans you're done with.
Oliberte
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Oliberte makes sustainable shoes, often a difficult garment to make in such a way. Its main mission: support workers' rights in sub-Saharan Africa. The brand believes in social enterprise over charity, so that an area can build itself up. The brand uses suppliers, farmers, and its own factory in Africa.
Outerknown
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Outerknown makes its clothes consciously, paying attention to how it can transform previously harmful practices or craft more impactful relationships with its manufacturers. It makes laid-back, surfer-esque clothing out of things like recycled fishing nets and hemp. (Fun fact: famed surfer Kelly Slater is one of the co-founders. Explains the surfing feel.)
Pact
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Pact has a knack for very soft T-shirts and socks made sustainably. The cotton base is grown without pesticides or dyes, and the company leans on global partnerships to keep its practices as checked and low-impact as it can.
Patagonia
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Patagonia is one of the few brands that has its clothes resonate with many disparate style tribes. And that's because the quality product—made with an emphasis on corporate responsibility and environmental awareness—serves many purposes. Perhaps as notable as its practices is Patagonia's map of transparency clearly displayed on its website. From sourcing the plants, to making the clothes, to innovating new, more sustainable materials and practices, the brand leaves nothing in question. And that's not to mention the ever-increasing Fair Trade program.
United by Blue
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United by Blue is an outdoorsy brand that actively preserves the great outdoors. The main game here: conservation. For every product sold, the brand removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. It even hosts cleanups to get it done.
Veja
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Sneakers can be sustainable, too! Veja doesn't use money on advertising or marketing, but instead turns its attention to investing in its production sources. It uses raw materials from organic farms, and doesn't use any polluting dyes.


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