Sustainable fashion that’ll make you feel as good as you look


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Photo: Aday/Leeor Wild

Ashlee Piper started wearing sustainable fashion nearly a decade ago—way before faux fur was everywhere and you could buy eco-friendly clothing at H&M. She was not what you’d have called a conscientous consumer at the time…to put it mildly.

“I was a fast fashion disaster,” says Piper, who is now a sustainability expert and the author of Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet“When I got into sustainable fashion, I spent a few months working with what I already had, paring down by selling or donating items, and strategizing what I wanted to acquire and the most ethical way to get it.”

It was a pain-staking process made more challenging by a lack of options. Times, though, as they say, have changed and sustainable fashion has come a long way. The category that, for a long time, only conjured images of oatmeal-colored clothing and shapeless burlap sack dresses is evolving at a rapid clip with brands from indie to mass delivering on modern designs with ethics.

Everlane, Reformation, Eileen Fisher, and Stella McCartney have all planted flags in eco-friendly fashion—each company is proof that social responsibility and style can go hand in hand, whether you’re shopping for a luxury bag or wardrobe basics like jeans and tees. But they’re only the tip of the sustainable fashion iceberg, so to speak.

There are more eco-friendly labels today than ever before, and Rachael Wang, a stylist and brand consultant (who transitioned to a vegan wardrobe this past year), says the increase in sustainable clothing brands is helping the fashion industry at large become more mindful about manufacturing processes and standards. “I love that Outland Denim provides ethical employment opportunities, that Mara Hoffman uses environmentally friendly fabrics like Tencel, and that Everybody.World uses recycled cotton to make their tees,” she says.

“I love using what’s already made instead of creating more stuff for the world to deal with.” —Rachel Temko, founder of Whimsy & Row

As Wang points out, there are lots of ways a fashion company can become more sustainable—from the fabrics it uses, to how its clothing is manufactured, to how it’s shipped, and so on. Because of this, sustainable fashion isn’t just environmentally friendly, it’s endlessly inspiring for a growing number of designers like Rachel Temko, founder and creative director of the clothing brand, Whimsy & Row. “We’re taking these unwanted goods and making something beautiful from them,” says Temko who uses deadstock fabric (which is excess fabric from brands that have to buy into large fabric minimums) to design her collections, eliminating waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. “I love using what’s already made instead of creating more stuff for the world to deal with.”

All of this is good for the planet, sure. But not everyone is shopping with mother nature in mind; therefore, the success (and scaling) of sustainable fashion can’t be explained by altruism alone. A big reason why sustainable fashion is becoming so buzzy is that it also looks good. And that’s making it easier for women to embrace eco-friendly fashion who might not have otherwise. Most sustainable brands say they don’t take trends into account, preferring to focus on seasonless staples. Still, so-now silhouettes abound, too—from voluminous blouses to feminine midi dresses; nubby winter jackets to utilitarian bottoms and tops; luxuriously versatile knits you can repeatedly layer or style as the focal point of an outfit; and jeans that look and feel as luxe as styles from premium denim brands.

Whether you’re new to the eco-friendly fashion game or a seasoned pro, shop stylish sustainable clothing from Where Mountains Meet, Whimsy & Row, and more, below.

sustainable fashion
Photo: Amour Vert

1. Amour Vert Cosima Long Sleeve Tencel Jumpsuit, $198
Available in sizes XS to XL

sustainable fashion
Photo: Aday

2. Aday Shore Thing Turtleneck, $98
Available in sizes XS to L

sustainable fashion
Photo: Amour Vert

3. Agolde Riley Hi Rise Jeans, $198
Available in sizes 24 to 32

sustainable fashion
Photo: A Peace Treaty

4. A Peace Treaty Aleila Dress, $450
Available in sizes S to L

sustainable fashion
Photo: AYR

5. AYR The Aloe Jean, $295
Available in sizes 24 to 32

sustainable fashion
Photo: Everybody.World

6. Everybody.World Boxy Trash Tee, $25
Available in sizes XS to XXL

sustainable fashion
Photo: For Days

7. For Days Modern Crop Sweatshirt,$38
Available in sizes XS to XXL

sustainable fashion
Photo: Girlfriend Collective

8. Girlfriend Collective Indigo Compressive High-Rise Legging, $68
Available in sizes XXS to 3XL

sustainable fashion
Photo: Kala

9. Kala The Bikini, $30
Available in sizes 1 to 6

sustainable fashion
Photo: Kamperett

10. Kamperett Geissel Jumpsuit, $725
Available in sizes XS to L

sustainable fashion
Photo: Kotn

11. KOTN Cropped Sweatshirt, $58
Available in sizes S to XL

sustainable fashion
Photo: Kowtow

12. Kowtow Merino Grace Dress, $389
Available in sizes XXS to XL

sustainable fashion
Photo: Lacausa

13. Lacausa Astaire Jacket, $198
Available in sizes XS to L

sustainable fashion
Photo: Mara Hoffman

14. Mara Hoffman Helena Sweater, $350
Available in sizes XXS to XL

sustainable fashion
Photo: Miakoda

15. Miakoda The Organic Bralette, $58
Available in sizes XS to XL

sustainable fashion
Photo: Outland Denim

16. Outland Denim Abigail High-Rise Jean, $195
Available in sizes 23 to 34

sustainable fashion
Photo: Where Mountains Meet

17. Where Mountains Meet Josephine Blouse, $345
Available in sizes XS to L

sustainable fashion
Photo: Whimsy & Row

18. Whimsy & Row The Joan Dress, $158
Available in sizes XS to L

Because there’s no such thing as too much sustainable fashion inspo—read up on the eco-friendly sneaker brand that counts Meghan Markle as a fan

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