By: Chloe Kekedjian
Photos By: May Tan
For all of us who love clothes, the unfortunate truth is that fashion is the world’s third most polluting industry. Garment production and textile processing use tons of water, contribute to deforestation for growing raw materials, release copious amounts of greenhouse gases, and use chemicals that are extremely harmful to the environment. A lot of times, this environmental impact occurs just for the clothing item to be ditched after a season.
While there are lots of great things we can all do to decrease our environmental impact – by buying from or donating to thrift shops, repairing old clothes instead of getting rid of them, avoiding buying clothes made with synthetic plastic materials, and only buying things we’re sure we’ll wear – there are times when we do need to buy new clothes. In that case, consider this your guide to a few brands and clothing stores in Georgetown that are doing their part to make eco-friendly fashionable.
Reformation’s claim to fame is being the most sustainable clothing brand that still offers cool and stylish clothes. All of their fabric is made from repurposed vintage clothes, leftover deadstock, or signature plant-based fabrics. Their materials minimize pesticides as well as land and water usage and carbon dioxide output. Their products are a bit pricey, but certainly live up to their mission! Bonus: they have size-inclusive lines and all their goods are ethically produced in their factory in LA.
Madewell and J Crew
J Crew and its offshoot, Madewell, have adopted a program to decrease their environmental impact and monitor their supply chain for ethical worker treatment. They have increased the energy efficiency of their storefronts and have committed to recycling all paper products used in store. While they certainly could do much better for increasing their environmental impact in clothing manufacturing, Madewell has launched a cool jean recycling program through which old denim is used as housing insulation for Habitat for Humanity-built homes. Bonus: when you recycle your jeans, you get $20 off of a new pair of Madewell jeans!
For 19 years in a row, Adidas has been listed as one of the most sustainable companies by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. They have launched large scale efforts to conserve energy and water in their production of goods and development of new sustainable materials. Overall, they use fewer materials in manufacturing, emphasizing ones that can be reused. They have even embraced dry dyeing, a process, which saves water. While there technically isn’t an Adidas store in Georgetown, there are certainly lots of outlets where you can buy their products!
Nike uses their “Nike Grind” material, which is made from recycled shoes and textiles, in 71% of their products. The yarn in their Flyknit shoes are actually made from recycled plastic bottles. Even better, they’re working towards using 100% renewable energy by 2025, reducing and reusing water for their textile dyeing, while moving towards using chemicals without a harmful environmental impact!
The fashion industry has big changes it needs to make, but now you can be a part of them by being eco-conscious about the brands you buy from and looking great doing it!