The fashion industry keeps growing every year, with its revenue worth billions of dollars and millions of workers across the globe.  Today, it’s possible to mass-produce trendy clothing items at low cost, which is also known as fast fashion.

However, many people don’t consider the environmental impact of the processes involved in this business model.  To avoid these downsides, going for sustainable fashion is a viable alternative.

If you’re looking to know more about why you should go for sustainable fashion, the benefits, as well as the top sustainable fashion brands, and other helpful tips, then this guide is the right step for you. Continue reading to learn how you can build an eco-friendly wardrobe.

What is Sustainable Fashion?

Sustainability is a common term buzzing around. It has been used in different industries, including fashion. However, it’s important to understand the nitty-gritty if you’re eager to play your part in reducing the environmental impact of fast fashion.  

Sustainable fashion is often referred to as ethical fashion. Basically, sustainable fashion refers to the adoption of methods that reduce the negative environmental and ethical impact when sourcing, manufacturing, and designing clothing items. 

Sustainable fashion involves using natural and organic materials such as cotton, silk, hemp, or linen fibers in the production of clothing items. These items are biodegradable and they’re also easily compostable. Sustainable fashion can also be described as the production of clothing materials that can be recycled without causing harm to the environment.

In sustainable fashion, factors such as water consumption, energy emissions, and chemical usage are considered.

For it to be sustainable, it must not put a drain on resources like in fast fashion. Also, it shouldn’t involve toxic chemicals in the production, use, or disposal of clothing items. 

In summary, the essence of sustainable or eco-friendly fashion is to produce clothing materials using renewable and environmentally friendly materials, as well as in an ethical manner.

The Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion

As we’ve mentioned in the introduction, fast fashion involves the mass production of trendy clothing using low-quality materials. Though fast fashion offers certain benefits, such as making trendy styles available to many people at a cheap cost, there are some negative environmental effects that come with the practice.

Below are the negative effects of fast fashion on the environment.

  • Depletion of Non-renewable Resources: Fast fashion massively contributes to the depletion of non-renewable resources. For example, a lot of energy and water are used in the production of textiles.


Textile dyeing uses large amounts of water which is then dumped inside rives or ditches. Also, certain synthetic materials used are made from fossil fuels, which puts a huge strain on a limited energy source.

  • Pollution: Pollution is one of the major disadvantages of fast fashion. Microfibers, microplastics, dyes, and other toxic chemicals are dumped into the environment during the production of fast-fashion clothing. These toxic chemicals and dyes are also dumped into waterways and inside the ocean, which causes harm to marine life.

Some of the contaminated water is also ingested by humans, which can result in health problems. Also, some synthetic textiles do not biodegrade but continue to contaminate the environment when they are disposed of.

  • Greenhouse Emissions: According to research by UNEP, the fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of the carbon emissions produced by humanity.  Because of the manufacturing and distribution process, fast fashion has a large carbon footprint which also contributes to global warming.

Benefits of Choosing Sustainable Fashion

Having explained the impact of fast fashion on the environment, here’s why you should go for sustainable fashion:

1.       Reduced Carbon Footprint: When you choose sustainable fashion, you’re playing your part in reducing the carbon footprint. The more sustainable brands are patronized, the more the reduction of carbon emissions generated by fast fashion. Fashion brands that are devoted to sustainability use natural and organic materials that do not place a strain on fossil fuels.

2.      Preserved Animal Life: One of the impacts of fast fashion is the negative impact on animals. This happens as a result of the toxic chemicals produced during fabric dyeing and treatment.

When this is dumped back into water sources, animals come into contact with these dangerous chemicals. However, sustainable fashion involves processes that are safer for the environment, and by extension, animal life.

3. High-Quality Clothing: With sustainable fashion, the aim is to produce quality clothing that will last for a long time. These eco-friendly materials are designed to be durable, which also reduces textile waste.


Instead of low-quality clothing that gets worn out fast, you can get higher-quality clothing with sustainable fashion. This also saves money in the long run, while reducing the drain on non-renewable resources.

4.      Saves Natural Resources: Unlike fast fashion, sustainable fashion aims to minimize the impact on the environment. Sustainable fashion also makes use of recycled materials instead of the continuous production of new clothing materials. Many sustainable brands only use renewable energy sources. Sustainable clothing manufacturers also use less water in the production of eco-friendly fabrics.

5.      Ethical Labor Practices: In fast fashion, the focus is on quantity, which can lead to certain unethical labor practices. Often, the clothing materials are produced or sourced from developing countries, with workers working under poor conditions. However, sustainable clothing brands offer better labor practices and working conditions.


Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Sustainable Fashion Brands

It’s important to know what really matters when it comes to choosing a sustainable fashion brand. For a fashion brand to be truly sustainable(LINK), it must meet certain standards which we’ll explain below.

1.       The Materials Used During Production

When choosing a sustainable fashion brand, it’s important to know what to look out for in eco-friendly materials. First, look out for brands that use natural and organic materials in their pure blends. The end product should be biodegradable and compostable.

This includes organic cotton, recycled cotton, hemp fabric, linen, bamboo fabric, and protein fibers. If the brand makes use of synthetic or semi-synthetic fabrics, they should be recyclable and must not contain toxic chemicals. To confirm the type of materials used, there are third-party organizations that issue certifications to sustainable fashion brands.

These include the Global Organic Textile Standard, OEKO-TEX, USDA Organic, and the Forest Stewardship Council. Lastly, ensure you look out for a fashion brand that uses eco-friendly dyes in the production of their fabrics.

2.      Commitment to Carbon Reduction

This is also important when choosing eco-friendly(LINK) fashion brands. Look out for a brand that is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by utilizing energy-efficient methods. The brand should have fulfilled set targets when it comes to carbon reduction and sustainable fashion.

3.      Low Resource Consumption

This is one of the key factors to consider when choosing a sustainable fashion brand. Look out for a brand that maintains a conscious use of resources. This involves reduced water consumption, the use of recyclable materials, and waste reduction.

For such a brand to be truly a sustainable fashion brand, it must focus on renewable energy and resources during production.

4.      Green Business Practices

Apart from the other points we’ve mentioned above, it is also important to consider the operational practices when choosing a sustainable fashion brand. Look out for brands that focus on durability rather than quantity.

The end-of-life outcome also matters. This means the clothing materials should be compostable, recyclable, or repairable if there’s a need. The clothing items should be packaged using eco-friendly products, with minimal waste production.

5.      Ethical Business Practices

Last but not least, look out for a brand that follows ethical practices such as good working conditions, diversity and inclusivity, and a commitment to planet-saving programs. The company should truly respect the environment and must put this first.

Top Sustainable Fashion Brands

Based on the factors we’ve listed above, here are the top sustainable fashion brands you can choose from.


Known as one of the most popular sustainable outdoor fashion brands, Patagonia is a certified eco-friendly fashion brand with a notable commitment to sustainability. The company offers a range of organic, recycled, and regenerative fibers. They also offer a buyback program, as well as repairs, and are Fair Trade certified. Even better, they regularly invest in two non-profit environmental organizations.


Pact offers soft sustainable clothing for both children and adults. They are Fair Trade and GOTS certified and are committed to carbon reduction. Pact employs organic cotton, as well as recyclable and biodegradable packaging, and a donation program for used clothes. This company is committed to making sure its production and distribution processes are as clean as possible.


This brand is best known for its sustainable and regenerative fabrics. They offer trendy clothing items that are made from sustainable and upcycled materials. On their website, each item has a description of the environmental footprint in clear terms. Also, the company boasts of fair and safe working conditions for its workers.


Everlane offers affordable eco-friendly clothing and accessories that are also durable. According to the brand, they’re committed to meeting the carbon emission goals of the Paris Agreement. This brand is GOTS-certified and all the shipping bags used for their products are made from FSC-certified paper or recycled plastic.

Hunza G

Now known for its inclusive sustainable swimwear, Hunza G is dedicated to the eco-friendly production and distribution of swimwear and other clothing items. Their signature knit pieces are spun and dyed locally, using safe materials. Also, to reduce waste, they produce headbands and scrunchies from excess fabric. This brand makes use of recyclable packaging and maintains a healthy environment for its workers.

Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective offers amazing sustainable swimwear. Using fabrics made from recyclable materials such as water bottles and fishing nets, the brand creates high-performance activewear in different styles. They also make use of 100% recyclable packaging, eco-friendly dyes, and reusable products.

Tips for Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

Here are some actionable steps you can take to create a sustainable wardrobe.

·       Sort out your closet

To ensure your wardrobe is sustainable, you can clear out your wardrobe and sort them out carefully. 


Choose clothes that will be kept, resold, or donated based on their condition. Keep clothes that are made from natural fabrics and quality materials.

·       Invest in high-quality clothing

Instead of going for low-quality clothes in bulk, go for high-quality sustainable clothing that is designed to last for long. Invest in high-quality pieces you’ll wear frequently.

·       Choose a sustainable fashion brand

Based on this post, you’ll have an idea of what to look out for when choosing sustainable fashion brands. When looking to build a sustainable wardrobe, ensure you make some effort to research and connect with eco-friendly fashion brands. Choose brands that are truly dedicated to sustainable fashion.

·       Maintain your wardrobe

After choosing a sustainable fashion brand, it is also important to take care of what you’ve purchased. Ensure you are properly informed about how to maintain the longevity of the clothing items. Fold and store them properly, and when you no longer need them, you can donate or recycle them.

Supporting Sustainable Fashion Beyond Purchasing

Apart from purchasing sustainable clothing items, there are other ways to support healthy fashion(LINK). First, you can donate old clothes that are still in good condition instead of throwing them out.

Also, you can learn some DIY techniques on how to turn your old clothes into new styles. Apart from these, another way to support sustainable fashion is to keep yourself updated while also educating those around you on the benefits of sustainable fashion. You can help others identify sustainable fashion brands.

You can lend your voice to non-profit organizations that are focused on carbon reduction and green practices across various industries. 


Lastly, instead of fast fashion, always maintain a slow fashion mindset. Slow fashion is concerned with the production and use of clothes with the environment in mind.


While the fast fashion industry has contributed to environmental pollution and global warming over the years, sustainable fashion serves as a better alternative. Its benefits include reduced carbon footprint, preserved animal life, reduced pollution, and many more.

You should keep in mind the important factors to consider when you’re choosing a sustainable fashion brand, as well as the other ways you can support sustainable fashion beyond purchasing. What matters most is to maintain your commitment to sustainability in the fashion industry.