Happy Earth Day! Let’s Celebrate Mother Nature in Style.

Tips for Sustainable Fashion and Health

04.22.15

Happy Earth Day, fellow dwellers! In celebration of today’s 45th anniversary, we’re sharing sustainability tips from some of the fashion, music and health industry’s eco-conscious influencers.

Elana Rosenblatt, The Reformation

“98% of clothing bought in the US is imported, causing up to five pounds of CO2 per garment — the equivalent of driving an SUV for five miles. As much as 80% of a garment’s energy footprint happens during garment care and nearly 90% of clothing is tossed before the end of its life.”

Tip: “If you live in the US, choose US-made clothing and practice smart washing. Only wash as needed and opt for line drying. In the next few weeks, The Reformation will be introducing Ref Cycle, a clothing recycling program that aims to give life to old garments. We want to encourage reusing and recycling. Give your clothes a chance to fall in love with someone new!”

Mike Del Ponte, Soma

“Some people mistakenly think of Earth Day as the one day to be extra nice to the planet. In reality, Earth Day exists to remind us to be nice to the planet every day.”

Tip: “Try to incorporate recycling into your daily routine. Switching to a sustainable water filter is a relatively low cost and effective way of making a small change for a meaningful impact.”

Danielle DuBoise & Whitney Tingle, SAKARA Life

“It’s so important to tap into Mother Earth’s rhythms. Granted, it can be hard to do while living in the concrete jungle, but eating fresh, organic foods is definitely one way to stay in touch with her.”

Tip: “Go barefoot! There’s a grounding effect that happens when you do, and it’s super reenergizing. We grew up near red rocks and vortexes, so the importance of tuning in with nature is not lost on us.”

Vanessa Bley, Musician, Twin Danger

“Fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world, and the second largest consumer of fresh water. Being conscious about where you shop is more important than ever. Consider buying vintage or second-hand; it’s zero waste and proves to be very cost efficient, plus you’ll find some serious gems.”

Tip: “When in Brooklyn, I tend to shop at Beacon’s Closet. I also love organizing clothing swaps with friends. Sustainable style sites and shops like Modavanti, The Reformation, and Campos Bags are all great resources for where and how to shop eco-consciously.

I used to wander in and out of mass market ‘trendy’ stores with cheap quality clothes and always felt tired and disappointed afterwards. They never fit quite right and basically disintegrated after a few washes. It’s amazing how shopping second-hand and from conscious, sustainable brands not only offers you a unique style, but invites you into a community that cares deeply about our planet and future. To me, there’s nothing more stylish than that.”

Clare Vivier, Clare V.

“We try to be generally thoughtful people at CV, which means we need to think of the consequences of our actions, especially as we continue to grow as a company. Our office is certified Green by the City of Los Angeles — we had to have a city official come out and see that among other things, we recycle, use the appropriate light bulbs and cleaning materials. As a policy, we always try and use all parts of the hides of leather to minimize our waste.”

Tip: “Look out for clothing and accessories that are created domestically. The fact that we produce everything in LA is very important to us as it lowers our carbon footprint considerably.”

Flo Morrissey, Musician

“Staying away from mass produced items is both eco-friendly and friendly towards your purse. To have a couple of items that are specially made so that you know where they come from is, in my opinion, better than having the same t-shirt as everyone else.”

Tip: “Opt for sustainable and long lasting pieces that mean something. Ruffle though your mother, father, sister, or brother’s old wardrobe. You never know what you might find!”

Rachel Kibbe, Founder of HELPSY

“If it seems too good to be true, it most probably is. If a pair of jeans cost $10, someone in the supply chain is being abused. We need to stop priding ourselves on getting the most items for the least amount of money. If we knew the atrocities going into getting those prices so low, we’d want nothing to do with them.

On HELPSY, I’ve developed a metric system which includes  13 different ethical qualities. Everything we sell falls under at least four of those qualities. I know ethical shopping can be very personal — some people are more concerned with animal rights than they are with environmental preservation. Out of respect for those differences, I make these facts transparent and searchable by ethical category.”

Tip: “75% of energy used in the life of a garment is how you care for it. So washing less and air drying is huge. If you wore your garments for just nine months longer, you’d save 20-30% more energy!  When you’re shopping, look for brands who go out of their way to tell you how and where their products were made. If they don’t, chances are it’s because they’re hiding something.”

Morgan Bogle, Freedom of Animals

“Being more sustainably minded in the fashion world is easier than you think.”

Tip: “Look for items that are made in the USA, items that contain organic cotton and/or recycled cotton and environmentally friendly materials like low chemical, post-consumer polyurethane with vegetable based dyes, or even tinsel and bamboo (sustainable fibers).

Also, seeking out companies that are partnered with earth friendly organizations is a good way to give back! We donate to wildlife conservation, for example, and Amour Vert plants a tree when you purchase from them.”

Now it’s your turn: what are your Earth (Every)Day tips?

Image via Glamour Magazine.

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  • Amelia Diamond

    Amelia here! I’m trying to stop using plastic bottles. It’s a really bad vice. And considering making the mason jar move for iced coffee. Does anyone else do this? I made fun of my sf friends for a while but now I’m like…shit. ALSO NO MORE PLASTIC BAGS!!

    • Aydan

      BKR glass water bottles Amelia!! I have one at work and one at home. Depending on the size of the lip you may need a brush to clean the inside, but they are a fabulous change to plastic bottles and come in many different sizes and colors! You can get them at whole foods and obvi Amazon!!

      • Bella Charlwood

        I have one and it was the best 30 dollars i ever spent!

    • Rachel Wong

      Hey Amelia, check out trashisfortossers.com ! She is the queen of mason jar-ing.

      • Amelia Diamond

        ok i’m going to!!!

    • I used to make fun of the mason jar move, too! Now I just bring my own thermos or mug to coffee shops so that I don’t have to use any of their plastic cups. Most coffee shops that I go to actually give discounts if I bring my own mug/jar.

      • Any time a coffee shop refuses to fill my reusable mug I go super side eye and then make a mental note never to frequent them againnn. Or at least until they change their mind.

    • Recyle VOSS bottles, and I use glass containers at home from IKEA and MUJI.

      http://charmystique.com/

    • Catalina

      ALSO – Plastic bags! If you’re checking out with a couple of goodies, throw them in your OTHER bag and forgo the plastic bag! Great for the environment & an easy habit to pick up 🙂

  • Leandra Medine

    Leandra here! I’m buying a Brito

  • Esther Levy

    Cannot recommend the SWELL enough. Keeps cold liquids ice cold for 24 hours and hot liquids piping for 12.

  • where to begin…oy

  • Yeah I mean the biggest crime is plastic water bottles. They should be made illegal. Truly an atrocity to the earth. Also bottled water is generally far less regulated than tap water (which is checked incredibly frequently at municipal water facilities). So you’re paying a premium for the water that becomes tap water — although the stuff in bottles just happens to be far less monitored. Plastic water bottles = biggest marketing ploy known to mankind. They seriously anger me.

  • I’m going to start repurposing more things. And of course selling and wearing almost all VINTAGE!

  • monkeyshines
  • Bow’s mom

    Do you think “eco-friendly” clothing/products are as durable as their counterparts? I sometimes feel like an “Organic” tee or a refurbished water bottle breaks/wears faster.

    • Rachel Kibbe

      Hi Bow’s mom, Rachel here from HELPSY. Great question! I’ve often wondered the same thing. But eco-friendly should have no impact on quality with garments. If it’s low quality it wasn’t made well, and that could go for either mass produced clothes or ecofriendly. For example, organic cotton is actually much softer and just as durable as normal cotton, but if the tee shirt wasn’t sewn well, then it might fall apart quickly just like any garment that isn’t produced well. The thing is, most independent ethical fashion garment retailers are not mass producing, which often means they make fewer garments of better quality. They might cost a bit more but, for a garment that is made ethically and lasts longer, it’s worth it the extra price. In terms of recycled plastic, it should have no impact on quality. Plastic doesn’t decrease in grade when it’s recycled and reproduced. However if it’s reproduced poorly, then yes. This would depend on the company though. Hope that helps.

    • I’m a little late to the party but wanted to share: I have loads of thrifted and vintage clothes that are 100% linen, organic cotton, silk, wool and other natural materials (like tencel and bamboo, too!) and they last MUCH longer than synthetic blends. Some of these are 20+ years old and wear just fine. The key is gentle washing, and washing less 🙂

      Not sure on refurbished plastic bottles (other than those super lightweight crushable Dasani ones that are meant to be recycled after one use), but using some kinds of plastic long-term can leech chemicals, especially if you’re washing in a hot dishwasher then reusing. Glass bottle like BKR or Amelia’s Mason jars are a great alternative!