Six Companies Creating More Sustainable Fashion

By Maggie Freleng

The fashion industry has been in need of a makeover, but not in the way you may think.

Environmentally, fashion takes a toll. To make one pair of jeans requires thousands of gallons of water. Likewise, cotton requires massive amounts of water and pesticides.  

And then there are the human costs. Exactly a year ago this month, 1,133 people were killed and more than 2,500 injured when a clothing factory complex in Bangladesh collapsed.  

Since then, the industry has been under scrutiny to create more sustainable work environments, as well as eco-friendly clothing.

Brands like American Apparel have been at it since their beginning, creating clothing right here in the U.S, sweatshop free, but now other companies have started to give them a run for their money.

With days like Fashion Revolution Day, in which people wear their clothes inside out to create awareness for where their clothing was manufactured, it has become pretty obvious that consumers have become a lot more conscious, and cautious, of what they choose to buy.

Here are just six different kinds of companies, depending on what you are looking for, that strive to create environmentally friendly clothing. Want some cool hemp clothing? Or maybe haute couture? Or do you need ethically produced wholesale products for your bachelorette party? Check out these companies, they may be right for you.

Braintree Clothing

"We aim to run an ethical fashion company in a responsible way that cares for other people and the world around us." Braintree Clothing uses products like best hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton, and only works with suppliers who agree to have safe conditions, a living wage, and are free from harassment.

Ethix Merch

Since 2002, Ethix Merch has been making wholesale products made in America, which support union workers and the environment, and are sweatshop and unfair labor practice free.

Industrial Revolution II

Founded by notable people in the fashion world, including the CEO of Diesel Canada, Inc., Joelle Berdugo Adler, Industrial Revolution II is a garment factory seeking to create social advancement for workers and their families. Fifty percent of the profits go to the workers, their families, and the local community, investing in healthcare, education, training, and infrastructure, and "geared toward improving social conditions and promoting economic development in the region."

Master & Muse

Created by actress and model Amber Valletta, the clothing company "bridges the gap between cutting-edge fashion and mindful manufacturing." Valletta has also partnered with H&M to create their "Conscious Collection."

People Tree

People Tree, based in the UK, is a pioneer in Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable fashion. "When you wear People Tree, you look good and feel good knowing your unique garment was made with respect for people and the planet."


Zady is a high end clothing brand providing "an alternative to today's 'fast-fashion,' a fad demanding consumers buy more and more instead of buying 'good.' We should not be compelled to accept throwaway goods as a way of life; we can instead take pride in the style and integrity of each and every piece we own."


Photo via Sweatshop Project on Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)