5 (Affordable) Sustainable Fashion Brands

Beauty & Style

Many of us want to purchase clothing that is from a sustainable clothing brand - because they are conscious of their eco-footprint and pay their workers a reasonable wage. Unfortunately, most fast fashion companies do not care about the harmful effects their clothing has on local communities and the environment.

Sustainable fashion brands are at a higher price because they use more organic materials, pay their workers a 'fair wage' and take extra steps to reduce their carbon footprint. While their higher price point is justifiable, it tends to deter the average consumer from purchasing ethically made and sustainable clothing.

Additionally, there has been a rise in ‘green-washing’, which is when a company tries to appear sustainable to attract more customers but essentially has no or minimal impact. This has left many customers weary of brands who try to promote an eco-friendly image.

The prices are an estimate of the average cost of a product by a brand! There will be pieces from brands that are cheaper or more expensive than listed. Here is my selection of cute & affordable eco-friendly brands.

ALTERNATIVE APPAREL $

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One of the most notable things about Alternative Apparel is that they do not use sustainability as an excuse to increase the price of their items. They are owned by Hanes Brands Sustainability, who also own Champion and JMS. Their items range from 10-50$ and normally cost the same amount as you would typically expect from H&M or ZARA. Because of their commitment to ecological sustainability, their clothing is made out of recycled textiles, that would otherwise go to landfills. Additionally, they exclusively use biodegradable mailer bags, so that you can shop online guilt-free!

EVERLANE $$

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Everlane is all about minimalism and transparency. To promote the concept of sustainability, they have a focus on timeless pieces that will not go out of style. Timeless clothing is important because it prevents your closet from filling up with a clutter of pieces that do not go together and will contribute to wastefulness. After all, the best way to be eco-friendly is to buy as little clothing as needed. To promote this idea, they have a focus on quality materials and making clothing that is durable. So that they have a transparent brand that can be trusted by customers, they break down how much it costs to make and transport each clothing item they sell and compare it to how much it actually costs. While the average brand marks up their item by 5-6x the manufacturing cost, Everlane only marks up their items by 2-3x!

MI MUNDO MEXICANO $

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All of Mi Mundo Mexicano’s items are handmade and carefully hand embroidered by Mexican artisans from small indigenous communities. Often these artists have to give up their craft because of a lack of sales. However, Mi Mundo provides an online platform so that people from all over the world can purchase their gorgeous products! All of their products display authentic Mexican culture, and often have bold colors and patterns! Each artist is featured on the website along with their story, and why they love their craft! They utilize recycled materials and make their handbags out of reused plastic or leather. Overall, Mi Mundo Mexicano has unique and bold accessories that are sure to make you stand out!

HAPPY EARTH $$

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Happy Earth sells cute, trendy and affordable clothing. Their t-shirts and tops have cute graphic designs in pastel colors that look chic while also raising awareness about climate change. They prioritize sustainability over profit and are committed to helping repair our planet. Whenever you purchase an item from them, you can choose which campaign you want to support. Some of their campaigns include preventing GHG admissions, planting trees and collecting trash from the ocean. Finally, Happy Earth only sources ethical material that has the lowest impact possible on the planet and are constantly trying to find ways to reduce its waste in the supply chain.

URBAN RENEWAL $$$

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Urban Renewal is a line of clothing run by Urban Outfitters. All of their clothing is manufactured in the USA from remnant materials and small batch fabric rolls. They are focused on taking old pieces and repurposing them to look vintage. The Urban Renewal team carefully looks through worn pieces and repurposes them to look one of a kind. There is a wide array of clothing that can fit all types of styles, and new pieces are added every Monday and Wednesday.

Diya Mehta
1,000+ pageviews

Diya Mehta is a freshman at University of Toronto Schools and an aspiring writer. She is currently a writer for The Teen Magazine and a columnist for The Incandescent Review. She is passionate about writing, reading, mental health advocacy and history and has national awards from Access To Justice, Technovation and Moonshot TKS. When she is not writing she enjoys playing the piano, skiing, baking cupcakes and binge-watching Suits.