Earth Day 2015: More Than Eco-Chic for Sustainable Fashion Brands

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Levi Earth Day

In honor of this year’s Earth Day on April 22, the sustainable fashion movement is seeing more brands than ever support the industry’s move toward sustainability with environmentally conscientious practices including recycling:

Levi Strauss & Co., a leader in the category, has identified 13 action steps consumers can pledge to adopt, such as planting a tree, picking up litter, riding a bike to work and buying local. The brand also offers 17 steps to conserve water, supporting its corporate commitment to sustainably-produced apparel such as its Water<Less collection, and is challenging wasteful habits this Earth Day by suggesting people wash their jeans less often.

Levi WaterLess

Victoria Justice, star of MTV’s Eye Candy and an active recycler, is working with H&M‘s Conscious eco-collection and DoSomething.org’s Comeback Clothes campaign to urge people to recycle old and worn-out clothing.

Comeback Clothes

Eileen Fisher’s new Vision2020 platform pledges to make all of the brand’s products environmentally sustainable by the year 2020, and to convert its US operations to carbon positive within five years. “It’s really about two words,” said Fisher. “No excuses.”

Eileen Fisher

JetBlue Airways has partnered with Manhattan Portage, a pioneer in the original New York City bicycle messenger bags, to launch a “fashion-forward, recycled bag collection” from its old uniforms. The limited-edition upcycled unisex JetBlue Uniform Bag collection is available online (where you can sign up for a sweepstakes) and at Manhattan Portage stores.

adidas has teamed up with the Parley for the Oceans “Plastic Age” initiative to clean the world’s oceans by developing materials made from marine plastic waste to be used in its clothing and potentially shoe uppers. The brand also pledged to phase out plastic bags in its 2,900 stores. (Read more on the adidas/Parley partnership here.)

Plastic Age

Freitag has evolved from recycled billboard bags from discarded truck tarpaulins to creating a patented sustainable range of materials. Its F-ABRIC includes buttons that can be screwed off and reused.

In the UK, Marks & Spencer is a strong supporter of recycling as part of its corporate Plan A platform (witness its “shwopping” campaign with Oxfam) is partnering with UNICEF to promote clean cooking—and is also cleaning up beaches in the UK this spring.

German design studio Blond & Bieber is using microalgae as a sustainable fabric dye called Algaemy. The brand is also employing a textile printer that produces its own, fast-growing pigment.

American Eagle and MakeItRight.org have launched a national recycling program so consumers can trade-in old denim at any of its 823 stores in the US and Canada. The unwearable denim that is collected will be shredded and recycled into UltraTouch Denim Insulation and other building materials for use in Make It Right’s affordable homes founded by Brad Pitt in 2007 to rebuild homes for Hurricane Katrina victims. In exchange for dnations, customers receive a 20 percent discount on a new pair of jeans.

American Eagle

The North Face has extended its Clothes the Loop initiative so consumers can recycle their unwanted or worn-out apparel or footwear at any of its retail or outlet location.

Clothes the Loop

To celebrate its 40-year history of environmental stewardship, Patagonia is currently sending its Worn Wear repair vehicle across America to help its customers salvage their better-than-new clothing.

And in honor of Earth Day, we encourage you to check out the LA Times article on the “slow fashion” movement, highlighting up-and-coming designers committed to sustainability. Featured designers included Ryan-Roche, Calleen Cordero, South Street Linen and Ana Hagopian.

Slow Fashion

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