Whether we like it or not, the world of sustainable fashion is one that is riddled with inconsistencies and misinformation. What does sustainable actually mean? What should we be looking out for when we shop? Even as a shopping editor who is keen to champion a more conscious approach to consumption, I often struggle to separate meaningful action from dreaded greenwashing. All I can say is thank goodness for Good on You, a sustainability rating platform I use on a regular basis to help to break down this knotty subject into more digestible chunks.
"Our individual choices play a central role in driving the kind of systemic changes that the fashion industry urgently needs. But with frequent greenwashing and the lack of transparency across supply chains, it's often too time-consuming for one person to do all of this research for themselves. That's why we've built the leading and most comprehensive sustainability platform in fashion," explains Good on You co-founder Sandra Capponi. "Today, millions of shoppers all around the world use Good on You to check more than 3000 brand ratings. Our robust ratings methodology scores brands based on their impact across three key areas: planet, people and animals. As well as pushing more brands to be transparent and accountable, we also celebrate the designers and retailers who are doing good."
Of course, any rating system in this area is never perfect, but it's certainly a starting point for consumers to educate themselves and, hopefully, a motivating factor for brands to take steps in the right direction. For me, it also acts as an invaluable online tool for finding new brands that are offering up innovative fashion solutions: everything from eco-friendly fabrics to shorter production runs. It's essentially demystifying the sector and making our decision-making as consumers so much easier.
"Sustainability issues are inherently complex, that's why we consider more than 500 data points in scoring brands. But for consumers, these ratings also have to be clear and actionable, which is why we provide a simple five-point scale ranging from 'We Avoid' on the low end to 'Good' and 'Great.' And we provide plenty of resources and guides for those who want to dig deeper into the issues behind those scores," says Capponi.
In the spirit of actionable change, I joined forces with Good on You to put together a shopping edit of WWW-approved brands that the site rates as either Good or Great. So whether you're a dress fanatic or denim devotee, I've got a label for you. Also, note that some of the brands are U.S.-based, and where possible, we encourage readers to shop locally, but we wanted to take a moment to celebrate brands across the globe that are leading the way in this area. Ready? Scroll down to see and shop our edit.
For Dress Devotees
For Denim Lovers
Rated Great by Good on You, Armedangels' mission is to create circular denim by using textile waste and organic cotton.
Best for Basics
Based in Denmark, Organic Basics is an underwear, activewear and essentials brand that uses eco-friendly materials to limit the number of chemicals and amount of water and wastewater used in production.
Rated as Great, The Classic T-Shirt Co makes its collections out of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton and manufactures all products locally to reduce its carbon footprint.
Proclaim is an L.A.-based brand that creates inclusive lingerie out of eco-friendly materials including recycled fabrics.
For Outwear Fanatics