It should come as no surprise that many industries are responsible for the current state of our environment. This includes the fashion industry. Clothing dyes pollute our water, dangerous chemicals can affect workers and textiles negatively impact natural resources. All of these factors indicate just how fashion is bad for the environment. 

But many fashion companies are beginning to make a change to a more sustainable, eco-friendly approach. Thanks to conscious consumerism, retail brands are becoming much more transparent in the creation process. In the 2018 Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, over 70% of fashion retailers had significantly improved their environmental and social techniques.

conscious clothing shoppers

With all of the stats and information available, it can be hard to fully understand what sustainable fashion actually is. Here we’ll break down all of the important facts.

What is sustainable fashion?

Before we can really dive into the nitty-gritty of sustainable fashion, we have to define it first. Some people think that eco-friendly apparel means wearing unflattering items made out of hemp or burlap. But this isn’t true. Sustainable fashion is the process of providing new ways of producing clothing items. From using organic materials to recycling scraps, there are many options to implement a sustainable process.

t-shirt textile remnants

One of the most popular types of sustainable fashion is upcycling. This involves recycling and repurposing unused textiles and turning them into brand new pieces. Many times pieces either don’t make it to the runway or end up in shreds on the designing room floor. The pieces can be donated for recycling where they are stripped and dyed to be featured in a whole new way.

How does it help the environment?

Many companies in the past have opted to use less than ideal materials as a way to save money. Certain low-quality materials have impacted the rising pollution and waste problem. Cheaper or harmful materials can cause air pollution along with the potential of deforestation. With a sustainable process, companies are able to help lower the risk of these problems. 

planet earth in hand

Having eco-friendly options can cleanse waterways, increase air quality and keep our rainforests in tack—ultimately saving the planet.

What brands participate in sustainable fashion?

sustainable fashion brands

Getting involved in the environment isn’t just something that smaller brands are doing. Major brands are changing the way they produce garments to help keep our planet safe. Here are some of the top retailers who participate in sustainable fashion.

  1. Zara
  2. ASOS
  3. Levi’s
  4. H&M
  5. Eileen Fisher
  6. Reformation
  7. Patagonia
  8. Columbia
  9. Athleta
  10. ThredUP
  11. Everlane
  12. Alternative Apparel
  13. People Tree
  14. Lacausa
  15. Veja

How can consumers help?

Consumers are actually the ones who can have the biggest impact on promoting this movement. One of the ways consumers can help is by shopping local. Shopping local doesn’t just mean purchasing from local vendors, but it also means going to the mall to find your items instead of ordering online. This can reduce the environmental cost of shipping and packaging from receiving pieces by mail. 

zero-waste fashionable bags

Another way is—bare with us—shop less. While this might sound like a strange tactic, it’s really smart. When picking out new pieces, you should think about how often you will wear it. Will this be a staple piece? Will this work for every season? By asking yourself these questions, you’re actually making an environmentally conscious decision and saving yourself cash in the process.

Dona Bela joins the ranks of some of the industry's leading brands and is a proud participant in sustainable fashion. Every piece from our collection is handcrafted from upcycled textiles. We strive to help give customers the best experience and products—all while saving the planet. 

September 16, 2019 — Allison Davidson Motoyama