When shopping for yourself or your family, it’s hard to not shop at big fashion brands. They are absolutely everywhere and make it extremely difficult to buy all of your clothing from smaller, more sustainable stores.
Little did you may have known that some of these big fashion brands actually do a pretty good job at being more sustainable than others. This article talks about the top 5 big sustainable fashion brands, and what makes them so sustainable.
The Top 5 Surprisingly Sustainable Big Fashion Brands:
- LL Bean
- Eddie Bauer
- Uni Qlo
Known for their high ethical-environmental commitment throughout every aspect of their company, Patagonia is the go-to of the sustainable big fashion brands. When there was a word of a possible labor discrepancy a little while back, Patagonia stepped in and expertly handled the situation. They fired all of their manufacturers not in compliance with their values and rewarded the ones that excelled.
Patagonia is primarily an outdoor gear and clothing company, but using their clothing as basics to your wardrobe will ensure that they are around for years to come… which is the most sustainable option. Jackets, shirts, pants, go to outdoor items are all staples in your wardrobe anyway. Might as well make them more sustainable.
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LL Bean has always been a favorite of mine. The whole store chain is based here in the United States. They treat their employees fantastically, with living wages, benefits, company perks, and major discounts for life. That being said, their clothing is on the more expensive side (which isn’t bad for its own sake.) The cost just reflects the fair price to make the clothing.
Going along the lines of basics for your wardrobe, this is a fantastic go-to. Their clothing doesn’t go out of style. Their clothing doesn’t wear down. If they do wear down, you can go back and get a replacement with free shipping.
A couple years ago, I wanted to get a winter coat that would last me years, so I went to LL Bean. Spent $200 on a coat (well more like $140 because they were having a great sale) and went home to wash it. For some reason, I pulled the coat out of the dryer and it had these strange blotches all over it. Someone before me must have put in bleach in the washer without me realizing it. I proceeded to cry. Then, I called back LL Bean to explain what just happened. Literally, no questions asked, they asked me to send back the coat and sent out another replacement free of charge.
When I say Target, a lot of people raise their eyebrows at me. Target, after all is one of the largest big-brand stores in the world. There is no way they can be sustainable. Well, prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
If you noticed that Target’s prices are cheap, but not as cheap as say Walmart, or ordering the item online. They are heavily committed to community building, ethical wages, and reduced impact on the environment. Target is not a cheap store, it is an essentials store which is similar to the difference between Facebook and Pinterest. They may seem the same, but are very different.
You go to Target when you need a specific thing. Target is so massive, that they receive all their products at a reduced rate, and passing on that rate to their customers. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there. After all, sustainability won’t be feasible unless we can scale it up on a large scale, and Target is one of the stores doing it rather well.
If you need to go to one of the super-big stores, Target is your best bet. Go for quality and timelessness, and don’t do it often.
Eddie Bauer is like an in-between LL Bean and Patagonia in terms of style. Focusing heavily on an outdoor lifestyle, it must focus on quality over quantity. That being said, there are a lot of basics you can get here that will last you for years. I needed a raincoat and found a fantastic weather-proof coat for less than $50 (also on sale – shop at stores when they are doing clearances, and plan in advance when you have a wardrobe that never goes out of style)
I went to a Uni Qlo for the first time in New York City during the Christmas season and it was a magical time. Uni Qlo is a Japanese-bases essential clothing store. There are only a few of these stores in the United States, but they are worth it. Similar quality to LL Bean, but for your average, everyday essentials.
While LL Bean has a more rural style, Uni Qlo focuses more on the Urban Lifestyle. Their clothing is ethically produced, and they have a commitment towards protecting the environment. All while producing super comfortable and affordable clothing that is built to last. They have a bunch of things online, but I can’t wait to go back to NYC next time to stop by their massive store.
If you liked this article, there are a ton more of the sustainable fashion companies through the ultimate list below.