The Modern Muse takes pride in her commitment to caring for herself and her surroundings. She loves luxury, but not at the expense of other fellow human beings. She's responsible and real, standing up for the social and environmental issues plaguing our world. While ethical production and sustainable practices are hardly the norm in fashion, all it takes is a conscious effort to influence clothing companies to change their practices for the better. This is why we've put together a list of our 10 favorite sustainable clothing brands that will make you, our muse, want to ditch fast fashion for good.
The essence: High standards, Low maintenance
Reformation is created for the ethically conscious fashionista in mind, who refuses to sacrifice the Earth in the name of fashion. Find fabrics like tencel and viscose in their collections, made from renewable plant materials. Not only that, 10% of products are created from dead stock fabrics, which would have been sent to landfills. Coupled with the company's RefRecycling program, Reformation has a sustainable hand in every step of your clothing's life cycle.
The essence: Recycled fabrics, accountability
What started off as a luxury line in 2000 has recently taken a major turn toward a more sustainable, responsible way of production. After realizing that her son and his generation would be left to deal with the aftermath of the fashion industry's standard to keep fashion flowing fast, Mara Hoffman has taken a 180 degree turn, now using recycled polyester and nylon for all her swimwear, certified organic cotton, and other recycled fabrics. Manufacturing focuses on the ethical treatment of factory workers and artisans, and prints are even engineered in a way that creates the least waste possible. Who said luxury and sustainability couldn't go hand in hand?
The essence: Sustainable, luxury fashion
The daughter of animal rights activist Linda McCartney and Beatles member Paul McCartney, it's no wonder Stella McCartney's focus is on love and respect for nature, people, and animals. Stella McCartney pushes boundaries to create beautiful, luxurious, sustainable products with no compromises. Find fabrics like regenerated cashmere and fibres from forests, with carefully selected small manufacturers, artisans, and an animal-cruelty-free ethos. That supple leather bag? All vegan. That wool coat? Sourced from a hand-selected animal welfare farm. Shopping responsibly never looked so damn good.
The essence: Ethically made, radical transparency.
Carrying both women and men’s apparel, Everlane touts Radical Transparency as being the new way to purchase clothing online. Everlane partners with only the best, proven ethical factories around the world, spending months building close relationships with each of their 22 factories. Each location meets Everlane’s standards of fair work wages, hours, and environment. That $10 t-shirt from Forever 21 that falls apart within two weeks? Forget it. Everlane’s clothing is timeless, using fine cashmere, genuine leather, and Peruvian pima cotton. The brand then shares all costing and markups with their customers, so you can make an informed decision on how to spend your hard earned cash.
Threads 4 Thought
The essence: Eco-friendly, sustainable fashion
What started off in 2006 as the brain child of two college graduates trying to make fashion just a little more sustainable, has now expanded into a full blown lifestyle brand. Threads 4 Thought produces responsible clothing made of organic cotton, recycle polyester made from plastic waste, and Lenzing Modal fibres from beech trees. Garment dyes are a low impact eco-friendly alternative to regular dyes, and 80% of water used in one of three factories are re-used. Producing a women, mens, and active wear line, Threads 4 Thought will keep you looking stylist and feeling guilt-free.
The essence: Fair trade, ethical and sustainable fashion
Effortless style has never been so easy with UK brand People Tree, whose mission is to be 100% fairly traded from the beginning to end of the supply chain. People Tree purchases most of its Fair Trade products from marginalized groups in developing countries, and guarantees that most of its purchasing follows World Fair Trade Organization and Fair Trade standards. People Tree goes one step further in the production process, utilizing hand skills such as embroidery, knitting, printing, and weaving by workers in developing countries. Rest assured, your garment will be coming from a place of love and morality.
HOPE Made In The World
The essence: Principled style, child labour free
HOPE holds itself to the highest standards, committing to make less of a footprint, and more of a positive impact. All suppliers are thoughtfully and meticulously picked, based on their environmental impact, working conditions, and product quality. Every material used is not only luxurious, but kind to Mother Earth. Find materials like organic cotton, low-impact dyes, and biodegradable baby alpaca wool in HOPE’s repertoire. HOPE is also child labor-free certified, setting the standard for more fashion brands to follow suit. Our favorite item? Their baby alpaca pullover sweater, perfect for cozy winter days.
The essence: Organic fabrics, ethically made
PACT founder Brendan Synnott originally started out wanting to create comfy clothes that didn’t destroy the earth or harm people. A simple goal, which has now escalated into a clothing brand designed for women, men, and children, using sustainable ingredients and Fair Trade certified, child labour free factories. Using only 100% organic cotton and non-toxic dyes, PACT apparel’s clothes will make you look good, and feel good about saving the earth one t-shirt at a time.
The essence: The wardrobe of the future
While many companies create large collections using sustainable practices, ADAY takes it a step further, creating small capsule collections - all sustainably manufactured, of course. Founded by a yoga instructor and professional gymnast, ADAY came to be for the love of simplicity. The idea here is that with a few, high quality pieces that transition through all seasons, consumers can reduce waste caused by constantly buying new pieces through the year. Fun fact, ADAY's factory also created Michael Phelps' olympic winning swimsuit.
The essence: Sustainable, easy to wear clothes
Formerly Braintree Clothing, Thought started off in 1995 as a desire to wear natural, cool clothing. Today, Thought has over 1000 stores around the world, pushing the boundaries of creative design and showing that contemporary fashion and sustainability can go hand-in-hand. Everything from fabrics used (naturally grown bamboo, cotton, hemp, and tencel) to the design process (pieces that are instant classics, intended to last) to how your clothing gets to you (slow shipping to reduce harm on the environment) is carefully Thought out so you can shop guilt free.
When you look good, you feel good, and when you look good without harming people, animals, or the environment, the payoff is even better! Do you have any favorite sustainable clothing brands? We'd love to know in the comments below.