Welcome to Qwear Environment Month! What a better time than now to feature our favorite brands with amazing eco-friendly practices.
We've rounded up our favorite brands with environmentally conscious practices, such as using organic raw materials, and not using of harmful chemicals and bleaches to color fabrics. Some of these brands may use recycled and reused textiles and some are completely vegan, meaning they don't use any animal products. Read more about vegan fashion here! Each of these brands create designs we love with ethics we approve of.
The Brave GentleMan label is a high-end, sustainable and ethically-made Men’s Collection offering a fusion of future-textiles with centuries-old production methodology. Utilizing “future suede,” “future leather” and “future wool,” which are superior to problematic animal-fibers*, Brave GentleMan offers luxury New York made suiting, premium footwear produced in Portugal and hats hand-made in Los Angeles, along with “future-leather” accessories made in New York’s Historic Garment Center.
Deadwood is a Swedish brand of Leather Jackets, Tees, and other leather goods. of All jackets from Deadwood Leather are made from recycled materials, which not only gives the jackets a soft worn-in feel but also makes it a far more sustainable alternative to the average newly produced leather jacket. Jackets average about $270.
Forage creates hand crafted neckwear in limited numbers using cotton fabrics. Their packaging is made in the US with recycled materials and hand printed by them. Aside from your every day tie and bow tie designs, they also carry "lady bows" (think private school girl outfits.)
In God We Trust, creates apparel, jewelry and accessories designed and handmade in New York. Their designs feature unique details including men's shirts with half- length shirt plaques, pea coats with contrast collars, and women's shirts with contrast cuffs and collars. We love the natural colors they use with different shades of beige, forrest green, and cream.
LUSH is one of those brands you need to be careful with, because the delicious scents emanating from every store makes you end up leaving with an empty wallet and 10 samples. They carry a range of natural handmade bath and body products and are 100% vegetarian. They are 83% vegan and about 60% preservative-free.
Matt & Nat in Montreal creates beautiful vegan bags that will satisfy any minimalist's dream. They state, "we’ve been experimenting with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007, we’ve been committed to using linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. We have also recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to our collections."
Moo Shoes is a vegan-owned business that sells an assortment of cruelty-free footwear, bags, T-shirts, wallets, books and other accessories. You never knew faux leather looked so good.
Nice Laundry fixed a problem when they saw that too many people were walking around with boring socks, missing opportunities to make their outfits pop. But they are also solving an even bigger problem, that "The US is on track to generate 35 billion pounds of textile waste by 2019, one of the fastest growing waste products in the world," They say. "Fortunately, textiles are also one of the most recyclable waste products. A pair of socks can save up to 17 gallons of water and 66 BTU's of energy. We send your socks directly to our recycling partner." Check out Bing's review of Nice Laundry.
For those who love their bright sportswear, PUMA will also leave you guilt free about the environmental impact of your purchase. Bjørn Gulden, CEO states “Sustainability is and remains a key value of the PUMA brand – and forever faster is how we are working towards a more just and sustainable future, accelerating positive change in the industry and the world.” Read more about PUMA's environmental strategy.
Riz Boardshorts is truly brilliant in design and concept. They create gorgeous swim shorts that I would just wear every day if I could. "Every pair of our shorts are crafted from Eco-Friendly 100% recycled and recyclable fabric as well as being digitally printed in the UK using earth friendly inks. What's more, our pioneering Rizcycle scheme allows you to return your old shorts in return for a discount off your next pair; focussing the entire product life into a perpetual 360 degree process."
Timberland is a New England based brand that makes "boots, shoes, clothes and gear that are comfortable enough to wear all day and rugged enough for all year." But what you may not know about their timeless classics, is that they are also good for the outdoors you are enjoying them in. "From shipping our products, to running our offices, to lighting our stores, there are many things we do that contribute to global warming." Read more about Timberland's environmental responsibility.
High fashion doesn't have to include throwing ethics out the window. VAUTE is based in "HIGH ETHICS: vegan, made of recyclable and recycled fibers, and produced locally, HIGH FUNCTION: warmer than wool, windproof, snow resistant, rain resistant, and heat retaining, and HIGH DESIGN: with the look and feel of a winter dress coat, but kinder to the world, and yourself, for those bitter cold days."
Veja creates a supply chain of sneakers that respects both humans and the environment. Veja works directly with small Brazilian producers, who are organized into cooperatives of organic cotton and wild rubber from the Amazon.
We Three Leaves, founded in 2012 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, provides cruelty free, socially responsible, eco friendly, organic menswear* clothing and vegan boots, shoes, and sneakers. I got the chance to visit them and try on some of their clothes along with Rachel Tutera (The Handsome Butch/ Bindle & Keep) and Phoenix Velásquez (Autostraddle writer)
Additionally, we will hear from future queer lingerie brand Bluestockings. With an interest in sustainability and serving the queer community, we are excited to follow them as they grow their brand and open their store.
Stay tuned for more in-depth features throughout the month. And make sure to add your favorites in the comments!
As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.