I have long been a lover of Mother Earth. I was thrilled when I was crowned president of the environmental action group on my college campus, started a recycling club at the school in which I worked and was equally glad that my family opened their arms to their, sometimes extreme, crunchy granola daughter. Over the years, I have transformed in many ways, but have always stayed true to my green living ways.
With my environmentally-friendly sensibilities, I have been thinking a lot about the one area in which I could improve my "green"ness...my closet. Whereas once filled with clothes from consignment, vintage and thrift stores, my closet isn't so representative of my passion for green and natural living. Ironically, my children are dressed almost solely in "hand me downs" and organic cottons. I am super conservative as to what I put on them but somehow strayed when choosing my own wares. Sure there's a few organic cotton t's & jeans in there but in no way indicates how committed I am to preserving, conserving and protecting the environment.
I know it has a lot to do with fashion. I love seeing the latest trends, trying out a few and sometimes give in to the temptation of purchasing a new piece for my already drowning wardrobe. But as I peek into this colorful capacious space, I can't help but thinking about the lack of "green" in there.
So I went on a serious mission and decided if I am going to make a new purchase, it's going to be from a company, store or brand that practices environmental stewardship. Eco -fashion is becoming all the rage, and I am so happy that being green doesn't have to mean sacrificing wearing the latest looks or trends.
The following companies represent only a handful of the companies that are committed to going green. I chose these companies because they ticked many of my required boxes including being accessible and affordable.
Unisex organic cotton t's, American Apparel
American Apparel: For all of your staple t's, you can't beat American Apparel for its prices, and softness! With a variety of basic yet colorful organic cottons, and the first ever "vertical integration," AA is a pillar of environmentalism for a host of reasons. Vertical Integration means they create, design, sew, market, and ship all from basically one roof. This softens their impact of their corporate carbon footprint as there is no needless shipping back and forth, over thousands of miles to check on production.
All the levels of manufacturing are under one roof where the quality, working conditions, and adherence to environmental practices can closely, easily and more efficiently be monitored. Not only do they encourage riding bikes to work (free loaner helmets and locks), they reuse, re-purpose and recycle every scrap they produce. I loved reading that they hand off scraps from their production department to the maintenance staff to use for cleaning purposes. They produce many clothes right here in the USA and offer fair wages and safe conditions to those in manufacturing plants around the world. They believe strongly in a "no sweatshop" policy and work hard to support humanitarian causes like gay rights and immigration.
bamboo, organic Pima cotton, Beyond Yoga
Beyond Yoga: From yoga class to preschool drop off to a casual lunch with friends, Beyond Yoga has a full line of eco-friendly clothes this mama can appreciate. Being a mom can make achieving that "pulled together" look quite challenging. I don't always have time to "glam" it up as my hubby puts it, Beyond Yoga makes it easy to dress for comfort, and fashion all while being ecologically responsible. Their green line offers low impact dyes, trims and pieces made from recycled polyester as well as plenty of organic cotton pieces and a line of bamboo and hemp. Beyond Yoga is a good choice for those looking to go a little greener while maintaining a versatile, high style look.
H&M: I love H& M for their affordable, on-trend fashions. There is always a huge selection to fit any style and personality and now this green fashionista has found a full line of high fashion, low impact pieces to satiate all of my fashion loving desires. Made from eco-friendly, safe materials, like organic cottons, bamboo and recycled polyester, not only are the clothes healthier for you, they are better for the environment.
H & M not only offers a more sustainable line of clothing, but they use many eco-friendly practices such as using less water, donating clothing to needy families, imposing quality tests, and mandating safe, fair and healthier working conditions as well as supporting woman in leadership roles! Yes, H&M is an international company, that mass produces clothing, but buy purchasing clothes from their "green" line of clothing, you're sending a message to them that how their clothes are produced matters just as much as how cute, affordable and available they are.
Levi's: Denim is a staple in all our wardrobes. You can wear jeans to work, to play and fulfill all your tasks on your to -do list. Processing denim uses copious amounts of water and can have a huge effect of the environment. Clean water is a luxury that most Americans take for granted, but could you imagine not being able to take a refreshing drink whenever you wanted? or better yet, grow fatally ill because you did? Levi's is committed to not only using less water while processing some of their products, but also ensuring that people who need fresh water have increased access to it. Their Water< Less program uses up to 96 % less water in the finishing process and encourages all of us to wash our jeans once per week instead of twice, saving an approximately 858,000,000 liters of water!
Patagonia Shoes: A girls gotta have shoes, right? Since I love all types of shoes, (who doesn't?) I started to look for footwear that was eco-friendly, fashionable, fun and of course functional. Patagonia has long been a name that is committed to caring for the environment while creating wearable, stylish and functional gear.
Patagonia uses recycled material when creating their shoes, and since 1985 are part of the 1% for change movement which means they donate 1% of their annual net sales to grassroots environmental groups. They have some of the most stringent manufacturing regulations that are routinely examined, checked and updated. They are an full disclosure company where they share how and where their goods are made, the materials they use and how they manufacture their goods. I was happy that even the way my new shoes were packed was eco -friendly; with all recyclable materials.
Michelle is a SAHM and self-described '??green'? fashionista. She is a NYC woman, turned burbs mama, raising her 2 B'??s in an eco conscious manner. She blogs about natural parenting and green living at www.everythingsabuzz.com. Find her on twitter @queentob.Have a fashion question? Look for the new Syncing Your Style section on the Momtrends facebook page or tweet us your fashion questions at @momtrends!
Momtrends was not compensated for this post. Beyond Yoga loaned us pieces to review and Patagonia sent us a pair of Advocates as a "thank you!"