Easy Ways to be Eco-Friendly and Ethical
A few months ago I put out a list of companies that are making strides to better the fashion industry. (You can read that post here).
It quickly became one of my most popular posts that I've published - which is encouraging because that means that people want to be educated about their clothing so that they can make better purchasing decisions!
Because of it's popularity, I wanted to add a few more companies to the list and I also wanted to talk about great places to donate your used clothes as well as where you can recycle your textiles/fabrics.
COMPANIES TO PURCHASE FROM
i:Collect Brands: i:Co brands have upped their sustainability/environmental initiatives since 2013. They have made sure that their employees have a place to recycle their unused clothing and their main goal is to be a zero waste office within the next few years. i:Co brands include American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie.
VF Corporation (VFC): This manufacturing company ensures that their employees are paid fairly and have a clean and safe work environment. They have one of the fashion industry's most efficient supply chains and they want all of their owned and operated facilities to be run on renewable energy by 2025. VF Corporation brands include Vans, North Face, 7 for all Mankind, The Lucy Store, Timberland, JanSport, Lee, Nautica and Wrangler.
Adidas: : Although it was known in the early 2000’s as a consistent offender in both the environmental and ethical arenas, it has quickly turned its company standards around since 2011. With a heart for people, passion and planet, Adidas has created a Six Step Sustainable Strategy Sport program which splits its focus between people and the product. Under the product heading they highlight water consumption, being mindful about the materials they use and making sure they are conserving energy. Under the people tab, they list empowering individuals, inspiring action and improving health. Their brands include all Adidas products as well as Reebok.
LA Relaxed: Based off the idea that the fashion industry needs to start “designing, sourcing, producing and selling with more responsibility and accountability,” LA Relaxed is very open about where their materials come from, why they use the materials they use and what they stand for. They have simple, yet timeless, everyday pieces and their prices (especially the sale items) are more affordable than some fast fashion companies prices.
Girlfriend Collective: What I love most about this company is that they took a problem in one nation and they turned it into a positive business. Originally known as "Garbage Island," Taiwan was the leader in plastic pollution. Because of the wisdom of the Taiwan government, and the creation of the Girlfriend Collective brand, Taiwan is now the world leader in recycling (they recycle 55% of their plastic - as opposed to America, who only recycles 35%) and GC now has one of the most sustainable brands in the world! The plastic is then separated into 4 groups, which they use to create their clothing. I have attached their info page here because their sustainability efforts are so detailed that there is not enough room to include all of the info in this one blog!
PLACES WHERE YOU CAN DONATE AND BUY GENTLY USED CLOTHING
So maybe you already have clothing hanging in your closet (or lets be honest, piled on your floor) and you don't know what to do with it. Here are a few places I would suggest:
Nationwide: Goodwill and Salvation Army are great organizations to donate to (yay for prolonging the life of your garment!) and a majority of the funds they receive go to helping the homeless as well as job training programs for those who are mentally or physically handicapped or to those who do not have access to good education.
In the Twin Cities area/Local: Stone Soup, Style Encore, Lost and Found and Buffalo Exchange are all great companies that accept gently used clothing and accessories. I also found that they have higher standards for the pieces that they sell because all of them have a great variety of current styles, not just old logo t-shirts from 2006 or old shorts with random stains and rips. I would also recommend Dress 4 Success and Clothes Mentor for donating and buying gently used work clothing.
PLACES WHERE YOU CAN RECYCLE YOUR OLD CLOTHING AND TEXTILES
St. Vincent de Paul, H&M, Planet Aid and USAgain are both brick and mortar shops where you can donate clothing and old textiles from past sewing projects (St. Vincent de Paul also takes household items and, at some locations, old cars. H&M gives a 15% discount to clients who donate their clothing!) as well as clothing bins that are located nationwide. You can look at the Panet Aid and USAgain websites to find your nearest location.
So that, my friends, is my updated list! Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post and educate yourselves! If there are any other places that you would recommend that are not listed above, please leave a comment on this photo on my Instagram page.
Photos are by Ivy Christina Photography!
She is seriously such a joy to work with and came well prepared with different inspiration photos and cool ideas. I had a blast and would recommend her for any event.