Category Archives: Green Fashion

Feel Good Fashion: Three Clothing Brands That Give Back to Charities

During the stress of the holiday season, I rarely give back to others more than dropping the occasional pocket change into an iconic red Salvation Army tin. After New Years, a wave of guilt usually starts to creep in and I begin to wish I had been more giving during the time of giving.

Luckily, there are year-round options for combining my love of fashion with helping others. These three clothing and accessories brands make donations to charities with every purchase. Now I just have to decide what to buy. Shopping never felt so good.

TOMS

Perhaps one of the best-known companies for its “giving back” ideology, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child in need with every shoe purchase through its One for One campaign.

[These delicate silver and white shoes are vegan-friendly (made with no animal products.) Photo Courtesy TOMS.]

TOMS offers a range styles of women’s shoes including lace-up shoes, slip-ons, wedges, botas (similar to high-tops) and vegan boots. Most styles range between $54 and $70.

Kayu

This ethically minded company started with a line of bamboo sunglasses. For every purchase of its sunglasses, Kayu donates $20 to fund a sight-restoring surgery in a developing country.

[These handcrafted retro bamboo sunglasses from Kayu offer 100 percent UV protection. Photo Courtesy Kayu.]

Bamboo artisans in China handcraft Kayu’s line of sunglasses. The line includes four styles all priced at $180. While this seems expensive, these sunglasses have great features that make the price worth it. They’re made from sustainable materials; bamboo, a fast-growing grass, is a more eco-friendly alternative to wood; the lenses offer 100 percent UV protection; and the company gives back to those less fortunate.

Today, Kayu’s collection also includes a line of straw and shell handbags. For every clutch sale, Kayu donates $15 to purchase a backpack and school supplies for a child in need.

[This clutch, made from natural and sustainable straw, features a funky turquoise clasp and works well for day or night. Photo Courtesy Kayu.]

Women’s cooperatives in Asia handcraft Kayu’s purses. The three styles of shell purses are made from mother-of-pearl and pen shells that are by-products of the food industry. These styles cost $280 to $320.

Kayu’s other line of purses, made from natural and sustainable straw, come in four distinct styles and cost $135 each.

Out of Print

What’s your favorite book? Out of Print lets its customers wear their favorite stories through its t-shirts and sweatshirts that feature classic, and often out of print book covers.

[This ultra feminine t-shirt references my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Photo Courtesy Out of Print.]

For every shirt sold, Out of Print donates one book to a community in need through its partnership with Books for Africa, a nonprofit that distributes books to children in Africa.

The book covers featured on Out of Print’s t-shirts include my personal favorite, Pride and Prejudice, along with everything from The Great Gatsby and Moby Dick to Nancy Drew, Fahrenheit 451 and The Outsiders. Out of Print’s t-shirts cost $28.

Out of Print’s sweatshirts, which cost $38, feature 1984, The Catcher in the Rye, Moby Dick, and Pride and Prejudice.

What do you think I should buy? Do you have any other favorite ethically-minded brands? Tell me about it in the comments section.

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

Want to know more about sustainable fashion?

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Filed under Accessories, Bags, Clothes, Fashion, Green Fashion, Purses, Shoes, Sunglasses

Green Fashion: Five Reasons Why It Matters

Long before I knew about reducing my own carbon footprint beyond turning off the water while brushing my teeth or switching off the lights when I wasn’t in the room, I was already dressing myself in sustainable clothes without even realizing it. Through my middle school and high school years (and today!) I loved visiting Goodwill, the D.A.V. and thrift stores to find unique clothes.

[Green your wardrobe for a healthier planet and a more personalized style. Photo courtesy jodigreen/Flickr.]

The idea of reusing an old fashion in a new way always appealed to me. Plus I always love a good bargain! Not only does buying others’ unwanted clothes create a personal wardrobe unlike any other, but it exemplifies living a sustainable lifestyle. And that’s just one of the reasons you’ll see listed here about why sustainable fashion matters.

1) It’s environmentally-friendly

To get that perfect outfit onto the racks, the fashion industry creates a huge carbon footprint. The energy, toxic dyes and pesticides used to produce the clothes plus the landfill waste after they get tossed all have a negative impact on the environment.

Choosing sustainable fabrics is an important first step to creating an eco-chic wardrobe. Twenty-five percent of all pesticides in the U.S. are applied to conventional cotton. But certified-organic cotton requires that no pesticides or chemicals be used to grow the plant. Choosing green fabrics such as those made from hemp and bamboo is also an eco-friendly choice. Both hemp and bamboo are renewable resources because they grow so quickly. They also are resistant to weeds and pests, which allows them to grow well chemical-free.

2) It’s people-friendly

Buying sustainable clothing also contributes to making sure the workers creating the clothing are treated fairly with safe working conditions and reasonable wages. Although clothing doesn’t have Fair Trade certification yet, you can check to see if the company you’re purchasing clothes from is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.

3) It’s animal-friendly

Even though that cute pair of leather boots may be tempting, cruelty-free clothing makes a better statement. Cruelty-free clothing means wearing no leather or fur, and for some, no wool or silk. This “vegan” clothing may seem difficult to find, but there are options out there. Jade Planet sells vegan accessories including leather-like purses and bags made from rubber-tree sap and The Vegan Store offers winter wear, shoes and belts. Feel better about what you’re wearing when you pull on cruelty-free clothes.

4) It’s local

Carry that “go local” methodology you use for shopping for food over into your clothes. Search for local designers or boutiques to minimize the impact of buying clothes that get shipped all over the country.

5) It gives you a unique, personal style

Make your own eco-fashion statement with vintage clothes. Great thrift store or Goodwill finds create a personal and sustainable wardrobe. Or if you’re a savvy sewer, break out the sewing machine and repurpose old clothes into new fashions.

How do you make your wardrobe eco-friendly? Leave me a comment and tell me about it.

This blog post was originally published on Natural Home magazine’s blog, Leafy Greens. View the original post.

For more fashion inspiration, follow me on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

Want to know more about sustainable fashion?

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Filed under Clothes, Fashion, Green Fashion, Vintage Clothes