Turning off lights, unplugging electronics, utilizing public transportation and using reusable shopping bags: It’s trendy to be environmentally conscious. Incorporating these sustainable habits into our lifestyles is essential for the planet, but there is much more that we can do.
For the past ten years, the fashion industry has taken major strides to improve its impact on the environment by refining the process and materials our clothes are made of. Dozens of designers and brands have introduced collections that are eco-conscious.
Adios to the days where dressing environmentally friendly literally meant wearing hemp. The following brands have created looks made of recycled and eco-friendly materials that have diverged away from the stereotypical crunchy granola looks, making room for all types of fashionistas to embrace “green” looks.
CLOTHES: H&M CONSCIOUS
The H&M Conscious collection started last year and offers styles and silhouettes similar to the runway but made of sustainable and recycled materials. The latest extension of the line, H&M Conscious Exclusive, added more evening and going-out appropriate pieces. Clothes from the collection have been worn on the red carpet, including a blue gown worn by Helen Hunt at this past Oscars, but the collection also offers pieces between $20 – $150.
Dedicated to fair trade and the environment, People Tree has been selling environmentally sustainable clothes since 2001. The clothes are made by 50 Fair Trade producer groups in 15 developing countries, ensuring that these people are given the skills to earn a living and each person is given a fair salary.
JEWELRY: 31 BITS
These incredible, easy to pair and colorful jewels are actually made from 100 percent recycled paper. After service trip to Uganda, owner and founder Kallie Dovel started 31 Bits in 2008 to help women earn a living who have been displaced from their homes because of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. The proceeds currently benefit 108 women in Uganda who make the jewelry from recycled paper. Prices vary between $10 and $150 dollars.
SHOES: SSEKO DESIGNS
Sseko Designs prides itself on their unique and customizable sandals, which have straps that can be readjusted and rearranged in dozens of ways. Proceeds fund scholarships for young women in Uganda who work in the program during their nine month gap period before university. Individual pair prices vary between $40 and $60 dollars, but kits with multiple lace colors can be purchased for anywhere between $65 and $80.
BAGS: COLLINA STRADA
Bright-colored, fashion-forward bags that are eco-friendly? Yes. Hillary Taymour started the brand Collina Strada while still a student at FIDM and makes all of the bags by hand. Bags come in multiple shapes and sizes and all are made of sustainable and recycled materials such as organic cotton and veggie-tanned leather. Prices vary between $50 and $500.
MAKEUP: JOSIE MARAN
Actress and supermodel Josie Maran loves using and playing with different makeup techniques, but couldn’t find a brand that didn’t use harmful chemicals or eco-friendly ingredients. So she started her own makeup collection, Josie Maran, which only uses natural ingredients such as apricots, avocado, chamomile, cucumber, mango seeds and coconut cream. Products include cosmetics designed for face, lips, eyes, skin, body, and hair. One of the most popular products is Argan Oil, which hydrates and nourishes dry skin and damaged hair similar to Moroccanoil products. Prices vary between $15 and $100 based on product type.
I WANT IT ALL!
Can’t decide what you are looking for? ASOS Green Room lets you shop all eco-friendly and recycled clothing and accessories.