7 Eco-Friendly Clothing Essentials Every Woman Should Own
In the past, fashion hasn’t exactly been an eco-friendly industry. In fact, the unsustainable nature of the fashion industry has inspired protests, media storms and international summits. The bad news is that the state of the environment is becoming direr. The good news is that, in response, consumers are becoming more conscious of how we shop. Eco-friendly clothing is a huge part of that.
So what exactly is eco-friendly clothing? Essentially, it’s clothing that’s kind to the environment. It wastes less water, emits less CO2 and pollutes less soil during its production. Ideally, the best thing for the environment would just be for us to consume less clothing. But we’re realistic. We know there are a few items you just need to have in your wardrobe. So we’ve created a list of eco-friendly clothing alternatives to your wardrobe-essentials. So that next time you need to replace your favourite white t-shirt, you don't have to waste 2,700 litres of water.
Here are our eco-friendly clothing options for your wardrobe essentials:
Little Black Dress
Karl Lagerfeld once said, “One is never overdressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.” It’s the perfect look for any situation. But is it perfect for the environment? We’ll be honest with you; most little black dresses aren’t. The cotton ones are water-wasters. The polyester ones are ocean-polluters. And suddenly your perfect day-night look isn’t looking so perfect anymore. But we’ve got you covered. If you’re in search of an eco-friendly LBD, we recommend the Almora Black Dress (£38) from Know the Origin. It’s made of 100% modal, a type of rayon fabric constructed from fibres of the beech tree. Then it’s dyed using GOTS certified non-toxic dyes. This type of dying process allows wastewater to be recycled for agricultural irrigation.
If your passion for eco-friendly clothing extends to your love of animals, then we also recommend the Black Vegan Canvas Dress (£134) from TAUKO. A casual jersey dress that’s 100% vegan. This dress combats another environmental problem: textile waste. It’s made of surplus fabrics from Finland that would otherwise have been thrown away. You can shop the rest of our eco-friendly LBD collection here!
Plain White T-Shirt
Of course, the plain white T is another wardrobe must-have. But the simplest plain T-shirts can also have terrible environmental impacts. The cotton farming industry relies on a lot of toxins and wastes a lot of water. If you’d rather construct a wardrobe of eco-friendly clothing, then here are some t-shirts you can trust. The White Organic Cotton & Bamboo T-Shirt (£42) from Zola Amour is 46% Bamboo, 46% GOTS organic cotton, 8% elastane. The whole Zola Amour collection is produced locally in the UK, reducing any carbon emissions that would come from international transport.
If you feel like adding a little crop to your classic white top, we’re loving Mayamiko’s Reclaimed Jersey Crop Top in Cream (£21). It’s made of 100% reclaimed cotton jersey. Again, saving fabric waste from the landfill. It was also ethically-made in Malawi following Mayamiko’s zero-waste principles. These t-shirts totally earn their place as eco-friendly clothing essentials. But if you're not feeling the plain white and you'd rather spice up your outfit with a fun slogan, check out these recycled and organic cotton looks from Blonde Gone Rogue.
The denim jacket is the jacket you wear with everything. It’s the jacket that has your back on the windy summer nights. It’s the jacket you throw on over your sweatshirt in the fall. But the denim industry can be pretty murky. Denim is usually made from cotton, which is grown with a lot of pesticides and toxins. Those toxins then leak back into the environment, polluting soil and water. Your denim jacket has your back, but it should also have the earth’s back.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly denim jacket, look no further than the Kalahari Denim Jacket (£95) from VILDNIS. It’s 98% organic cotton and 2% elastane. This cotton was grown using natural fertilisers rather than pesticides, so this jacket is definitely an eco-friendly piece of clothing. VILDNIS also uses recycled paper and polythene bags for their packaging. So the jacket’s journey to your doorstep will also be eco-friendly.
If you want to jazz up your classic denim jacket with an unexpected colour, check out the Frayed Pink Cotton Denim Jacket (£133) from Blonde Gone Rogue (also in light blue). This jacket is made of 100% end of roll cotton. In other words, it’s made of leftover fabric that otherwise would’ve been thrown away. Reducing waste in the most fabulous way possible with the perfect summer jacket.
If you’re worried about the environmental impact of your denim jacket, then that impact is only magnified when it comes to your actual jeans. Jeans are all about comfort. So when you’re wearing them, you should feel comfortable about your relationship with the earth. Eco-friendly jeans are the answer, and we have some suggestions. The Coogee boyfriend jeans (£34) from VILDNIS are 98.25% organic cotton and 1.75% elastane. Again, the benefit of organic cotton over conventional cotton cannot be underestimated. These are real feel-good jeans. And they’ll also let you feel good about the environment.
If you’re looking for a more straight-leg option, Blonde Gone Rogue is a haven of eco-friendly denim options. Their Sustainable Blue Cotton Mom Jeans (£97) are made of 100% end-of-roll cotton. And they also come in pink, because why not. If you’re on a journey toward more eco-friendly clothing, then opting for sustainable jeans is an important part of that journey. If boyfriend or mom jeans aren’t your style, shop our full range of eco-friendly trousers here.
An amazing pair of yoga pants are quickly becoming a wardrobe essential. What began as clothing for the gym has now quickly transitioned into clothing for the everyday. But if you’re going to wear your athleisure all the time, you want to make sure it’s eco-friendly. You can definitely count on the eco-friendly factor with MYMARINI’s All Day Black Leggings (£104). They’re made of Oeko-Tex certified recycled fabric. MYMARINI also manufacture in Italy using innovative techniques that reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In other words, these leggings are doing their part to reduce waste and air pollution.
For a cropped legging, we love the Gina Black Sports Legging (£53) from RubyMoon. They’re 78% recycled polyamide and 22% lycra. They’re keeping waste out of the ocean and conserving energy. We also love RubyMoon’s entire Gym to Swim collection. Check out their whole line of totally versatile and eco-friendly clothing here!
Your typical swimsuits are probably made of polyester or nylon. Unfortunately, nylon is a significant contributor to water pollution and also requires extensive amounts of energy (3 times that of cotton) to produce. You should be able to take a dip in the ocean without worrying about your suit harming marine life. So if that's your goal, here are some of our picks for eco-friendly swimwear:
If you’re looking for a classic flattering one-piece, we’re loving Deakin and Blue’s line of swimwear. They manufacture three specific versions of each suit to fit different body types. Their sleek black Signature Swimsuit (£105) is made of one of our favourite fabrics, ECONYL. ECONYL actually works to keep waste out of the oceans; it’s made of regenerated waste like old fishing nets. While other swimsuits are polluting, this one is helping to end pollution.
If you’re ready to show off in a bikini, we’re loving the Poneloya triangle bikini top (£18) and bottom (£18) from VILDNIS (on sale!). This look is made of 70% Oeko Tex certified recycled polyester. Recycled polyester requires 70% less energy to produce than conventional polyester. And, as a bonus, it’s keeping old polyester out of the landfills. If you want to save the earth, this is the bikini to wear while doing it. Check out more of our eco-friendly swimwear picks here!
Have your favourite pair of trainers lived a full life? It happens. But when you go to replace them, it’s worth thinking about the environment. An appreciation of eco-friendly clothing has to extend down to an appreciation of eco-friendly footwear. Choose shoes with low environmental impacts, like Komodo’s Tibet Squash Grey Organic Cotton Trainers (£67.50). These snazzy trainers are made of 100% Organic Cotton, 60% Recycled Eva, and 40% Natural Sustainable Rubber. Organic on the inside, Upcycled on the outside, these shoes are bursting with eco-friendly vibes.
If you prefer high tops, we’ve also got you covered. Resole has an amazing line of handmade eco-friendly trainers. The Resole Gbg White (£137) are partially Upcycled from old train, tram and bus seats. Resole also donates a portion of their profit to support environmental initiatives around the world. In other words, this may be the most eco-friendly pair of shoes you ever own. You can also check out our full selection of eco-friendly shoes here!