24 August 2021

5 fashion brands who aren’t greenwashing

With the environmental impact of fast fashion causing growing concern, many brands are covering up their emissions rather than taking meaningful action. Here are 5 who aren’t greenwashing.

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By Bridget Tiller
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We all love a new outfit. But did you know that the fashion industry uses up more energy than shipping and aviation combined? When we found out, we wanted to clean up our wardrobes — but quickly discovered that this isn’t easy.

Once you start looking into the world of sustainable fashion, it can seem like a minefield — and a lot of that is down to greenwashing.

Brands know that for buyers, sustainability is an increasing concern. But being eco-friendly takes time, effort, and money, and a lot of fast fashion brands don’t really want to put any of that in. Instead, they spend more resources on appearing eco-friendly than actually cleaning up their carbon footprint — and this is what we call greenwashing.

A study by the EU Commission concluded that half of brand claims of sustainability weren’t substantiated by enough evidence, and other studies, including this one by Terrachoice, show that that figure could even be much higher. And in fashion, 60% of eco-claims by big brands don’t stand up to new guidelines on avoiding greenwashing.

Greenwashing is a nightmare for those of us who want to be more ethical consumers, so we’ve put together a handy list of some of our favourite fashion brands who aren’t greenwashing — they’re committed to sustainability right through their supply chain.

1. Patagonia

Here in the UK the weather might have us believe that summer is already over, but there’s still plenty of time to get outside and have fun. And what better way to do so than with some sustainable outdoor-wear from one of the best-known sustainable clothing brands out there? Patagonia have clothes for all outdoor occasions, from hiking to rock climbing, to (our favourite) sitting by the campfire with a hot chocolate.

Even better than this are Patagonia’s eco-credentials. They’re currently at 100% renewable electricity in all their US facilities, and have ambitious targets to get to 100% globally by 2025.

For other sustainable summer switches, check last week’s blog here.

2. Girlfriend Collective

Providing some wardrobe staples — think leggings and sports bras — Girlfriend Collective are a classic go-to. But did you know that their clothes are almost entirely made from recycled bottles? According to their website, they’ve recycled more than 5 million so far. Given that only 1% of clothes are recycled, this brand’s commitment to smashing the fast fashion cycle of waste is inspiring.

3. People Tree

People Tree are on a mission to make fashion more sustainable, and they have been for some time — in 2014, they were voted as the number one best buy for alternative consumer by Ethical Consumer. People Tree’s cotton is 93% Global Organic Textile Standard Certified Cotton (or GOTs — a great certification to look out for if you’re after organic cotton). Their organic farming practices are designed to sequester carbon in soil, and their close work with small producer groups who use traditional handmade techniques in Bangladesh and Nepal helps to reduce their carbon footprint whilst supporting these communities.

4. Seek Collective

Seek Collective work with communities in India to create clothing that aims to blend art and fashion. Not only are their clothes unique, but the brand is sustainable all the way through. First-hand relationships with everyone in their supply chain allow Seek Collective to maintain high environmental standards. Their portfolio of brilliant environmental initiatives places this brand as one of the most credible sustainable fashion lines out there — they have a zero waste policy, use natural dyes, and all their packaging is compostable or recyclable. What’s not to love?

5. Lucy & Yak

One of the most fun and iconic brands out there, Lucy & Yak’s classic dungarees are an exciting wardrobe addition. You’ll be pleased to hear that they’re also committed to ethical and sustainable practices — from their recycled and compostable packaging to their trialling of fully traceable cotton in their dungarees, we get the sense that this brand place sustainability at the heart of what they do.

These brands are providing us with inspiration on making Greenpixie sustainable through and through. But perhaps what they don’t realise is that the internet is actually responsible for a huge portion of our carbon emissions — every visit to a website leaves a mark.

But the good news is this: we are working to make websites more sustainable and put the problem of digital carbon on the map. We audit websites’ CO2 footprint, and then work with them to reduce emissions without affecting the user experience — a bit like magic!

For more sustainable fashion help, check out Good On You, who provide handy summaries of brands’ ethical and sustainable credentials. We know it’s often tricky to blend affordability and sustainability, so this is a brilliant resource to help you find your perfect match.