Contributing to climate change tops our list of fashion don’ts. Luckily, we no longer have to sacrifice style for sustainability, thanks to a new wave of trendsetting designers and retailers who are showing the world that "eco-fashion" is no longer a contradiction in terms.
These ecoistas are reducing their stylish carbon footprints through alternative energy consumption and carbon-offset purchases. By supporting their businesses, we can actually do our part to fight climate change—one purchase at a time.
The much-anticipated arrival of warm weather—finally!—has inspired hours of daydreaming about new spring frocks and accessories. But, we remain much less excited about another kind of warming of the global variety—which is why we're over the moon about these seven designers and retailers who have made it possible for us to indulge our love of fashion while also fighting climate change. And really, what could be more fabulous than that?—Meg Donohue
Be Carbon Neutral Jewelry
Imprinted with the slogan "Be Carbon Neutral," this line of rings, pendants, bracelets, earrings, and pins are made from reclaimed metals and packaged with recycled materials. Better still? The company offsets its manufacturing and shipping emissions, and a portion of the proceeds from each sale is used to purchase offsets that effectively make each consumer carbon neutral for one month. Bling it on!
Cri De Coeur Shoes
Once you get a load of Cri de Coeur's stylish kicks, yo'll never think of "vegan footwear" in quite the same way again. But this collection of strappy flats and chunky heels are hip in more ways than one: No animal products are used to produce the shoes, and the company plants a tree for each pair sold and offsets its carbon emissions through the Carbon Fund.
Fin's most recent collection of romantic dresses and pared-down classics garnered rave reviews during London Fashion Week's Estethica this past February. Even more impressive is how this Nordic label backs up its winning style with substance: It's committed to using environmentally friendly textiles, and is the first high-fashion house to produce a completely carbon-neutral collection.
Online fashion boutique Greenloop carries eco-friendly clothing lines by conscientious labels like Edun and Stewart & Brown, but its commitment to the environment goes further than just hooking you up with a fab, green wardrobe. Greenloop offsets all shipping-related carbon emissions and donates at least one percent of each purchase to environmental causes.
Nau's outdoor clothing line has a smart, minimalist vibe that appeals to both envi urbanistas and crunchy rock-climbers. This trailblazing Portland-based retailer has also set the green standard with its holistic approach to running an environmentally responsible company: It's committed to using only organic and recycled materials, offsetting all shipping-related carbon emissions and purchasing renewable energy for its retail shops and office spaces.
The only thing more perfect than zipping yourself into the world's plushest hoodie is knowing that said hoodie is also good for the planet. Patagonia—the go-to retailer of organic cotton and recycled and recyclable fleece apparel—receives electricity from solar power, wind power and renewable energy plants, and offsets its carbon emissions. The company also donates one percent of sales to environmental organizations.
Having made its name with active wear made from sustainable materials like organic cotton and other natural fibers, the prAna collection is a perennial favorite of eco-chic yogis. Having earned a place on the EPA’s Top 10 list of Retail Green Power Purchasers in 2006, this company remains committed to offsetting 100 percent of the carbon emissions of its 400 retail locations, corporate offices and full-time employees’ homes.