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Sustainable Swaps: Fashion

The best sustainable swaps you can make in your wardrobe.

Written by: Peyton Hosier

Recently, sustainable fashion has been on the rise and become extremely trendy because of the fashion industry's harmful effects on the environment. However, it is still not everyone’s first choice when it comes to shopping. As more companies work to incorporate sustainable practices in their clothes, packaging, and manufacturing processes, it is important as a consumer to not only be aware of these changes but to also follow the change. Being in college, the easier option is to buy a $7 top from popular fast fashion brands like Shein. But if we all made sustainable swaps in our wardrobe, we could help be a part of the change.

There are many ways that you can adjust your wardrobe to be less harmful to the environment, but it is important to first understand what sustainable fashion is and what you should be looking for. Sustainable fashion is a full lifecycle. It must be incorporated into each part of the process when designing, producing, and selling products. It is crucial for companies to look at the bigger picture and understand ways the product will impact the environment, workers, and communities. There are five main issues that the fashion industry has become aware of, including water usage, hazardous chemicals, short lifecycles, waste, and agriculture. Many companies are taking these problems into consideration and have put in the effort to make a change. Understanding the five main issues will allow you to better recognize what sustainable fashion entails and make your wardrobe swaps easier.

Second, research sustainable brands and find your favorites to shop from. Here are some of my go-to ethical brands:

1. Everlane

Image by: Brands by Ovo

Everlane includes women's and men's apparel, denim, shoes, and accessories, allowing multiple sustainable options for the consumer. They are open about the materials and fabrics used to create their clothes, which makes them a trustworthy brand.

2. Verloop

Image by: Verloop Knits

They repurpose unused fabric scraps to create scarfs, slippers, bags, and wraps. This company would be a perfect starting point to shop from if you are just beginning your sustainable wardrobe journey.

3. Athleta

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If your wardrobe consists mostly of activewear, then Athleta is your brand. Athleta is an athleisure brand, comparable to Lululemon or Outdoor Voices. Sixty percent of their products are made from sustainable fabrics including organic cotton and other recycled materials. Athleta includes leggings, joggers, shorts, sweatshirts, tops, and anything else you might need when it comes to activewear.

4. Girlfriend Collective

Image by: Inside/Out Women

Girlfriend Collective is another well-loved sustainable activewear brand. This brand utilizes waste such as water bottles, fishing nets, and other trash to create their products. Girlfriend Collective is the perfect place to shop if you are needing new leggings, shorts, or outerwear. This brand is very ethically-centered and a perfect example of sustainable fashion.

5. Veja

Image by: UNBRAND

Not only is it important to make sustainable swaps in clothing, but it is also important to swap your shoes too. Veja uses rubber harvested in the Amazon for the soles of their shoes. The top of the shoe is made from organic cotton, which also makes them very comfortable. Veja has a wide variety of sneaker options that pair well with just about any outfit. This brand is also working on exploring leather alternatives, so be on the lookout!

While fast fashion labels have caused a significant amount of damage, brands like these have made a commitment to being a part of the change. Be sure to add more sustainable products to your closet to be a part of the movement towards a greener future and ethical wardrobe.


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