In recent times, an increased focus on the effects of manufacturing practices on the environment and our health have increased demand for more sustainable fashion options, and a handful of established brands are following suit. As the third most polluting industry in the world, the manufacturing of fabric alone uses huge amounts of energy, chemicals and water. Fortunately, brands like Reformation, Everlane and MATT & NAT are tackling this problem with responsibly-made, ethical manufacturing decisions.
Reformation, for example, which boasts sustainability as their core business model, has been carbon neutral since 2015 and produces a quarterly sustainability report. Every product page on Reformation’s website informs shoppers of the impact each garment has on the environment, thus, allowing consumers to make empowered choices.
Everlane’s philosophy is straight-forward—they believe everyone can make a difference, and the way they make a difference: through exceptional quality, ethical factories, and radical transparency. From finding the best factories around the world; sourcing the finest materials, to revealing the true costs of all their products, Everlane leaves no stone unturned.
Most recently, they addressed the 8 billion tons of plastic on the planet by committing to no new plastic in their entire supply chain by 2021. Their latest collection, ReNew, is the first step towards this commitment—a line of outerwear and bags made entirely from recycled bottles.
MATT & NAT which stands for MAT(T)ERIAL + NATURE is a Canadian vegan leather goods company. Since its inception in 1995, they’ve committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in their designs. Their collections have been comprised of their signature vegan leathers and other eco-friendly materials such as cork, rubber, recycled nylon and bike tires. Additionally, they only partner with factories who qualify for the SA8000 standard certification—which encourages companies to develop, maintain and apply socially acceptable workplace practices. MATT & NATT pride themselves on quality control including use of the products in their everyday lives—testing wear and tear to ensure their designs are “as functional and resistant as they are fashionable,” according to their website.
In an industry where the demand for sustainability is occurring, big and small brands alike will be required to be more transparent in their practices; fast fashion must prove sustainability. This shift is also taking us back to a more simple time in fashion —think 90’s—thrifting, re-purposing, swapping, vintage. How’s that for sustainability?