Eco-friendly brands and sustainable styles that not only make you look good but feel great

By Julia McEwen and Ivy Tang

Eco-friendly brands and sustainable styles that not only make you look good but feel great


Happy Earth Day! Conscious clothing is having a moment.

Join HELLO! Canada as we take a look at some of the eco-friendly brands and sustainable styles that not only make you look good but feel great!

Carpe Denim

From the use of pesticides to grow cotton to the massive amounts of water (it takes about 6,800 litres to produce a single pair of jeans) and chemicals used to process the materials and turn them into denim, jeans are one of the least eco-friendly clothing items to make.

Abigail High-Rise Girlfriend Jean in Tomcat, $235, outlanddenim.ca

In March, sustainable fashion brand Reformation debuted FiberTrace technology in its denim line which embeds a first-of-its-kind traceability technology into the fibre, showing you the whole lifecycle of your jeans. A simple swipe on your smartphone can track a garment’s entire journey, from the cotton farm to the finishing stages.

Granny Pants, $175, theseriesny.com

Slow fashion brand The Series NY takes a different approach to sustainability. Each pair of jeans are handmade in New York and created entirely out of recycled materials.

Cynthia High Rise Straight Jean in Bone, $182, thereformation.com

Soul Mates

Everyone loves a good trainer, but finding a sustainable one can be challenging. Most sneakers are made from virgin plastics and use harmful dyes. The good news is many brands are moving towards alternative materials and changing their manufacturing processes.

Jazz Court RFG, $160, saucony.ca

With 120 years in the sneaker biz, Saucony is taking a big step in launching their most sustainable shoe which only uses seven natural materials (cotton, jute, wool, wood, gardenia, beet and rubber) and no plastic.

IBI Slip-On in Cream Rose, $122, cariuma.com

Cariuma, a Brazilian brand of sustainable footwear, creates shoes from low-impact materials and manufactures them using ethical factories.

Stan Smith Shoes in Cloud White / Green / Chalk White, $120, adidas.ca

Material Matters

A major factor to consider when shopping sustainably is choosing the right fabric – one that’s plant-based, doesn’t deplete or harm our environment and is biodegradable. Canadian designer Hillary MacMillan recently added Cupro to her collection.

The 'Mustard' Blouse, $220, hilarymacmillan.com

It is a regenerated cellulose fabric made from cotton waste. Plus, the Cupro she uses gets its colour from natural vegetable dyes, making it more eco-friendly and biodegradable.

V&A Neha Print V-neck Dress, $250, peopletree.co.uk

A pioneer in conscious fashion is People Tree, which uses Tencel Lyocell, a plant-based fibre derived from wood pulp. This V&A (an ongoing capsule collection with the U.K.’s Victoria and Albert Museum) dress was made by Creative Handicrafts, an organization that supports women in India by providing employment and fair wages.

Ariana Tailored Pants, $1,195, stellamccartney.com

All in the Details

You've probably heard about ethical and fair-trade practices in jewelry, but when it comes to sustainability, the focus is on up-cycled and reusable materials that are eco-friendly. Toronto-based demi-fine jewelry brand Soft and Sticky strikes a perfect balance between sustainability and style. Each piece is handmade using recycled sterling silver.

And New York City brand Aurate, which sells directly to consumers, ethically sources gold, diamonds and pearls for its sustainably made jewelry line. Actress Kerry Washington, 44, an Aurate investor, has co-created her own capsule collection featuring the lioness, an emblem of power.

Left to right: Squish Ring, $145, softandsticky.com; Aurate X Kerry Lioness Pendant Hoop Earrings, $615, auratenewyork.com; Lee Necklace in Rhodium, $250, wolfcircus.com

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