We have all heard the phrase “money well-spent”. And while it can be subjective and carry a different meaning to different people, everyone can agree that purchasing from top conscious brands that support sustainable initiatives is one of the most universally celebrated ways of “money well-spent”. These are brands that believe in finding a way to give back, whether that is to a local community, the environment or any way that creates a positive impact in the world.
Today we are going to share a list of the top conscious brands that support sustainable initiatives and we hope we inspire you to shop with resourcefulness and a conscious strategy. Before that, let’s take a quick look at what you can look for to easily identify if a brand is indeed sustainable.
1. Read the brand’s “About” page.
Discover the brand’s true unique mission. If the brand centers on sustainability, heading to their “about” page is where you’ll read all of the information regarding their efforts. Take a step further and notice the language the brand uses. The concept of sustainability should be sincere and a guiding principle of the brand. Therefore, you’ll read terminology such as “timeless,” “carefully curated,” “smaller,” “better,” “less,” and “created to last for a long time.” And because a sustainable brand is the farthest thing away from fast fashion, you’ll often hear them praise a slow-crafted process and reject speed and volume of modern consumption.
2. Find out where and how the brand’s pieces are made.
To do this, read the description of the individual pieces on the website. Here, you will be able to get a sense of the brand’s production practices and know whether the pieces are made in developing countries or here in the United States and whether the workers are compensated fairly and their safety is taken into high regards. If the brand’s collection is traded fairly and manufactured with a safe and sustainable process, you’ll read it throughout each product page.
3. Consider the materials the pieces are made from.
This is a particular area that speaks volumes when it come to sustainable brands. Because of the massive amount of clothing and accessories produced every year, a brand’s choices in the material composition of it’s pieces is essential to the health and sustainability of the environment. If a brand is responsible, they will create their products with materials such as silk, organic cotton and non-mulesed wool, linen, hemp, Tencel (lyocell) and alpaca.
Now that you have more of a gauge in criteria when shopping, you can use your knowledge as power in choosing the brands you think deserve your support.
1. Matt & Nat
This Montreal-based handbag brand offers a collection of accessories made from recycled materials and vegan leather. Each piece is sleek, modern and carries an aesthetic that would mesh perfectly with any personal style. Here is what the brand has to say about their initiative: “We live by a simple motto, “Live beautifully”. Living beautifully means appreciating the humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us. Our values include social responsibility, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, learning, authenticity and, of course, love. We are inspired by the textures and hues of nature and, to better protect it, we aim to constantly better our ways.”
2. Jesse Kamm
Jesse Kamm is the name of the brand and woman who runs the entire company’s operation from start to finish. The entire line is produced in California, where Kamm resides, because of her passion in supporting local manufacturing. In fact, she even does her own PR and sales. Perhaps the biggest aspect in this brand’s sustainability is the high quality textiles used to create the collection. Because Kamm believes in the longevity of her pieces, her clothes are made from modal, American-grown cotton and headstock fabric. Another impressive “one-woman-show” detail of the brand: If you email her company, she’s the one who responds.
It’s not everyday you come across a brand that is sustainable, charitable and supporting the community in more ways than one. Miami based fashion brand units art and style within their collection of clothing, hand printed silk scarves and handmade jewelry. The brand’s fabric of choice is silk, which is sustainable because of the near zero energy footprint of raising of domesticated silkworms and the life of wild silkworms is natural in it’s form. Artteca doesn’t stop there. To offer pieces such artistic pieces, the brand partners with both distinguished artists and artists on the rise to bring their collection to life, therefore, supporting the arts. Artteca also supports the arts in it’s backyard by teaming up with The Bakehouse Art Complex, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution who’s mission is to enable and encourage artistic creativity through diversity and collaboration.
4. People Tree
This brand pioneered “Slow Fashion”. For over 25 years People Tree has been producing Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable clothing by partnering with artisans and farmers in developing countries. Here is what the brand has to say about their sustainable mission: “We promote natural and organic cotton farming. And we avoid using damaging chemicals in production (where possible, we use recycled and biodegradable substances instead). Also, we try to recycle everything we can, and always aim to protect water supplies and forests in the environments we work in.”
When McCartney first launched her own label in 2001, she said she was “made fun of by people I worked with and looked up to. I was told I’d never have a successful accessories brand without leather.” McCartney today is working to instill in young designers that, “By investing love into a supply chain… you can still be successful and be sustainable.” With over 600 employees, she is living proof that a sustainable business can be a profitable one. Her collection of clothing and accessories is created with material such as vegan leather, wood, paper, organic cotton and regenerated cashmere.
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