If you’re trying to do the right thing, your best bet is to shop more sustainably. Buy fewer, better pieces of fashion, so that your future closet clean-outs yield fewer, better donations that people actually want. But in the meantime, if you’re trying to dispose of a garbage bag full of Forever 21 that you just Kondo’d, here are the best ways to do it.Read More
Brands are shifting away from traditional leather alternatives like PVC, but an eco-friendly substitute that doesn’t involve animals is still some way off.Read More
If you want an unusually cozy scarf or sweater made of natural fiber, merino wool or alpaca is the usual choice. But what about guanaco, the alpaca’s little-known cousin, which grows even finer fleece? For Adriana Marina, the guanaco’s time has come to be South America’s finest source for sustainable textiles.Read More
“Zero waste” isn’t just an influencer meme, it’s a movement whose practitioners share the serious goal of sending as little to landfill as possible. They studiously avoid the plastic packaging, disposable coffee cups, and paper towels that many of us never give a thought to before stuffing in the trash. They are experts in refusing, reusing, and recycling.Read More
In 2018, the healthy meal-kit service Sun Basket swapped out their recycled plastic box-liner material for Sealed Air TempGuard, a liner made of recycled paper sandwiched between two sheets of kraft paper. Fully curbside recyclable, even when wet, it allowed Sun Basket to reduce its box size by about 25 percent and reduce the carbon footprint of shipping, not to mention reduce the amount of plastic in their shipment. Customers were pleased. “Kudos to your packaging folks for coming up with this concept,” one couple wrote in.Read More
In my snow day fantasy, I’m nestled under a blanket on the couch, my cat sleeping on top of the pile of mending. I’m digging through my box of spare buttons, picking out the correct one and serenely sewing it back onto my favorite sweater, pausing occasionally to sip from a hot mug of tea. So hygge, right?Read More
A few months ago, my husband and I took a four-day tour of the mountainous Matagalpa region of Nicaragua. The itinerary, which was designed to immerse us in the local culture while benefiting the community, included almost no restaurant meals. Our Nicaraguan guide brought us to the homes of small-scale farmers, where home cooks would emerge from their dirt-floor kitchens, a plate in each hand filled with some variation of freshly made corn tortillas, plantains, rice, beans, salty white cheese, and chicken, with a side of fruit juice.Read More
Customers say they want brands to be more environmentally conscious — but eco-friendly marketing campaigns fall flat.Read More
Nobody can seem to agree on how to dress sustainably.
Some people advocate for organic cotton and Fair Trade fashion, while others criticize how expensive those types of pieces are for most people. Some advocate for only buying vintage, but shouldn’t indie designers also be supported in their efforts to be eco-friendly? Certain experts cheer for the huge ripples that international brands send across the supply chain with seemingly small improvements, while others decry said small improvements as straight-up greenwashing.Read More
Anti-fur advocates have come a long way since the days of slinging red paint on the fluffy-clad fashion elite. Instead, they now count some key luxury fashion players as their advocates. In just the past nine months, Gucci, Michael Kors, Versace, and the entire Yoox Net-A-Porter universe, not to mention InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown, have all committed to being fur-free, many of whom have expressed a deep interest and dedication to sustainability. But brands aren’t exactly eschewing fur as an aesthetic choice, as some animal rights advocates would hope. Instead, they’re switching to lavish faux fur options — cue up Burberry’s giant happy rainbow cape.Read More
Andras Forgacs started getting calls from the last group of people he imagined would be interested in his company--fashionistas.
It was 2011, and he had just stepped away from his leadership role at Organovo, a startup that 3-D-printed skin tissue for medical use. It turned out, the fashion executives told him, leather is a gnarly industry. Livestock create one-fifth of the world's greenhouse gases, and an estimated one-third of leather hides produced end up in landfills. The demand for leather goods was booming, yet there were shortage issues, and synthetic leather alternatives performed poorly.Read More
We all know that, as far as holiday gifts are concerned, it truly is the thought that counts, but as more shoppers wake up to fashion’s damaging effects on the environment, people, and animals (the industry is responsible for an estimated 5 percent of the world’s global carbon emissions and 4 percent of the world’s waste), the "thoughtfulness" of gifting has taken on a whole new meaning.Read More
Visitors who stepped into fashion retailer H&M’s showroom in New York City on April 4, 2016, were confronted by a pile of cast-off clothing reaching to the ceiling. A T.S. Eliot quote stenciled on the wall (“In my end is my beginning”) gave the showroom the air of an art gallery or museum. In the next room, reporters and fashion bloggers sipped wine while studying the half-dozen mannequins wearing bespoke creations pieced together from old jeans, patches of jackets and cut-up blouses. This cocktail party was to celebrate the launch of H&M’s most recent Conscious Collection. “H&M will recycle them and create new textile fibre, and in return you get vouchers to use at H&M. Everybody wins!” H&M said on its blog.
It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s a gross oversimplification.Read More
For most women like me, when a fine, silk blouse catches our eye in a clothing store, we don’t think much about the worms that made the silk. If you do, here’s the story you will typically find: A few days after silkworms disappear inside their cocoons, right about the time they finish spinning, the little pods are collected and submerged in boiling water. To make a pound of raw silk, up to 5,000 worms must die.Read More
Rayon, viscose, and modal have a dark secret: They’re often made from old-growth trees from endangered rainforests.Read More
If we agree that mass-produced fashion is awful, that garment workers shouldn’t die making our clothes, that rivers should not be poisoned just for a cheap T-shirt, and that 1.715 billion tons of CO2 released a year (or about 5.3 percent of the 32.1 billion tons of global carbon emissions) is way too much, what can we do to change it?Read More
“I was urged to stop paying my bills to invest in more inventory. I was urged to get rid of television. I was urged to pawn my vehicle. I just had to get on anxiety meds over all of it because I’ve started having panic attacks.”Read More
My journey down the rabbit hole started with this fact: “The global fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world.” You’ll hear this repeated at panels, on blogs and news sites, and anywhere else sustainable fashion is being discussed. Intuitively, it sounds true. But when I searched for the source, I couldn’t find it. No study, no official report. I asked every sustainable fashion industry expert I knew. Several said they would get back to me. A couple of experts pointed me to the Danish Fashion Institute, which in turn disavowed the fact.Read More
As a sustainable lifestyle blogger, my job is to make conscious consumerism look good. Over the course of four years Instagramming eco-friendly outfits, testing non-toxic nail polish brands, and writing sustainable city guides, I became a proponent of having it all—fashion, fun, travel, beauty—while still being eco-friendly. So when I was invited to speak on a panel in front of the UN Youth Delegation, the expectation was that I’d dispense wisdom to bright young students about how their personal purchasing choices can help save the world.Read More