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My top 5 sustainable brands I’m loving for ‘granola girl’ fall

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

I’ve recently fallen in love with “granola girl” fashion. I guess I’ve always loved it but never got the chance to put a name to the aesthetic. If you don’t know, granola girls are girls who love hiking, being outside and exploring all the things that life has to offer. They wear flannels, Birkenstocks and National Park gear. But another thing these girls are concerned about is keeping nature clean. So, I’ve done my research on different outdoorsy brands that have a good environmental footprint. 


If you’re a casual outdoorsy person or if you’ve ever asked a girl about the cute fleece she was wearing, you’ve definitely heard of Patagonia. It’s a very mainstream brand being sold at most activewear stores. Patagonia does not only sell absolutely adorable clothes, but it also takes a very active role fighting against waste. With their Worn Wear program, Patagonia gives buyers the option of trading in old clothes, getting them repaired, or buying used Patagonia attire. All of these products are at discounted prices. So, while still being able to buy some of the cutest outdoor clothing ever, you get a cheaper price and the knowledge that you are helping with defeating fast fashion.


Skida started out as a girl making hats for her cross-country ski teammates. Now it has grown into a huge business carrying headwear and other outdoor accessories. All around, the brand presents itself as being for everyone and being women-made. But what’s even better is they vow to try and use every scrap of fabric with what they make. All of the hats and accessories are made local in Vermont by a collaborative group of sewists. So, here’s what to take away from this brand before buying: They’re women-made, local, sustainable and uniquely wonderful. Feel free to read more about Skida’s story and their company’s thoughts on inclusivity and sustainability. 


Cotopaxi is an outdoor brand that strives to “improve the human condition” and lives under the motto “Gear for Good.” They sell jackets, pants, shirts, backpacks and other needed hiking gear for a good walk. The colors are bright so they’re safe for hiking in the woods and the clothes are so cute. Their Gear for Good mission fights poverty and fights to remain ethical and sustainable. Cotopaxi allocates 1% of their revenue to nonprofits and they go through different cycles to ensure their giving is effective. As for ethical and sustainable, they remain a carbon neutral company fighting against negative impacts their company could cause. They source almost all of their materials ethically and have individual stories of all their different companies all over the world. Cotopaxi is a wonderful brand if you are looking for a brand that loves giving back to people, or you just love adorable and colorful clothes for a hike. 


Outerknown is a super cute outdoorsy brand that caters to outdoor wear. They even offer dresses, skirts and jumpsuits. There are so many different options — you can find something to wear for any occasion. Outerknown also boasts a program called Outerworn. Similar to Patagonia, Outerworn lets you sell old and used products and buy those products as well at discounted prices. We all know, as college students, we’re always hunting for a good deal. Outerknown is also a super sustainable brand. They’re concentrated mostly on fair labor and protecting and cleaning up our environment. They have a full page about all of their sustainability goals and their eventual goal for 2030. They’re fighting to keep their clothes out of landfills, donating money to help workers and using sustainable materials in their clothes. Yet another awesome brand fighting against waste. 


Our final company to round out this list is Coalatree. This brand has jackets, pants, shirts, and, of course, my favorite fashion accessory, sweatshirts. Their t-shirts are super cute too. But what’s even better is this company supports eco-friendly materials for their clothes. They use recycled materials, sustainable facilities and production, and they also use coffee grounds in the fibers of their clothes. It’s an extremely cool process, which is just one of their sustainable practices. They have other super cool initiatives like donating blankets to the homeless and making sure canyons and trails in and around Salt Lake City are left better than they were found. They have a long list of different people they support

All of these companies have such great opportunities and have been making a real difference in the world. I especially like the different companies offering chances to buy their used products for less money. It’s such a good idea to keep waste out of landfills. So, if you’re looking for a good Christmas or birthday present for that friend who likes hiking or if you just want some cute new clothes, any of these places are great ideas.

Rylee Clark

Bradley U '27

My name is Rylee! I'm a freshman at Bradley University.