Discovering The Best Sustainable Clothing
Let’s face it -- shopping for authentic sustainable clothing is no simple task.
This is because the online clothing marketplace is saturated with fast fashion brands and other clothing brands that are deceptively marketing to the public that their clothing, mission, and even policies are environmentally friendly, when they are absolutely not.
This new, misleading marketing ploy is called greenwashing, and unfortunately, greenwashing has made it much more difficult for eco-conscious consumers, like you, to find authentic sustainable clothing, especially when shopping online. This is where we come in to help you out.
Below, we list several different ways to find the most authentic sustainable clothing brands. From asking, “Who made my clothes? to shopping at secondhand online marketplaces, we’ve got you covered on how to find the most legit sustainable clothing.
The 5 Best Ways To Shop For Sustainable Clothing
1. Ask, “Who made my clothes?”
The easiest and most direct way to figure out if a clothing brand is actually sustainable is to contact them via phone or email and ask the hard questions, like:
- Who makes your clothing?
- Where is your clothing made?
- Is your clothing made in a safe environment using fair labor practices?
- What sustainable materials do you use to make your clothing?
- Does your brand support or give back to environmental friendly organizations or programs?
Any or all of these questions are a good conversation starter to learn if a brand is actually sustainable or not. The brands who have their sustainable credentials covered, are going to love that you’re asking these questions and will give you believable, passionate responses.
The brands who aren’t sustainable will hopefully tell you that they aren’t sustainable or give you some nonsense reasons that make you believe that they are stretching the truth . Nonetheless, contacting brands is one of the best ways to differentiate between the true sustainable clothing brands and the posers.
Keep in mind, a majority of the best sustainable clothing brands will manufacture their clothing in the U.S, use fair labor practices, or use sustainable or recycled fabrics in their clothing and/or packaging. There are many important reasons why you should opt for made in usa clothing if shopping sustainably is your top priority.
2. Buy Less & Buy Better
460 billion dollars worth of wearable clothes is thrown away every year. The more clothes you buy, the more you contribute to the negative environmental impact of the disposal of clothing.
Generally, the clothing that fast fashion brands manufacture are cheaply made and have a short lifespan. Instead of buying 3 cheap t-shirts, consider buying just one quality, made in USA t-shirt from a sustainable clothing brand. Sustainable clothing has a all-star track record for quality and will last you for years. Ultimately, sustainable clothing embodies quality while fast fashion clothing embodies cheap and wasteful.
Keep in mind, sustainable clothing may cost more, however this higher price tag reflects the cost of using more expensive eco-friendly materials, quality control, safe working conditions for employees, and manufacturing locally in America.
3. Shop at Secondhand Online Marketplaces or Thrift Stores
Lately, there are clothing companies that don’t manufacture at all and host secondhand clothing sites for users to sell and purchase gently worn clothes. The most popular secondhand online marketplaces right now are Depop, Poshmark and ThredUp. These marketplaces are sustainable because they are the reason for hundreds of thousands of clothes being recycled instead of disposed.
Another great perk of shopping secondhand clothing is that it is more affordable than buying new sustainable clothing. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford new sustainable clothing, shopping secondhand is a great option for you.
4. Discover The Best Sustainable Clothing Brands via Discovery Websites
As mentioned earlier, it’s hard to determine the brands who are actually sustainable versus the ones who are greenwashing. Since sustainable fashion has become the latest trend and can be difficult to find, there are many different websites popping up that act as directories in helping visitors discover legitimate sustainable clothing brands. For men’s sustainable clothing there is IndieGetup and for women’s sustainable clothing there is BICBIM.
Also, by simply googling “men's (or women's) sustainable fashion brands”, you can find so many blog posts and articles from reputable resources that will list the newest, best sustainable clothing brands. Other great sustainable synonymous to search in Google are: ethical clothing brands, eco-friendly clothing brands, etc.
5. Take Part in Clothing Swaps
Similar to shopping for secondhand clothing, clothing swaps are another excellent way to shop for sustainable clothing in person. The whole idea behind a clothing swap is meet up with a group of friends (or friends of friends) and exchange your valued, but no longer worn clothing for someone else's clothing up for grabs.
Clothing swaps are a great way to refresh your wardrobe without having to purchase new clothes. This is not only saving you money, but also lessening your environmental footprint. Furthermore, partaking in clothing swaps is a great way to spend time with friends and also an opportunity to meet new friends.
Wrapping Up: The 5 Best Ways To Shop For Sustainable Clothing
Today, finding authentic sustainable clothing is not a simple task. Since brands are greenwashing, the online clothing marketplace is saturated with marketing ploys that make finding legitimate sustainable brands difficult.
Luckily, there are simple ways you can determine whether a brand’s product, policies, and mission are aligned with sustainable and ethical practices. The simplest way to determine if a clothing brand is sustainable is to reach out to them and ask the hard questions like, “Who made my clothes?”.