Yes, indeed, sustainability is crucial to the City’s survival. NYC is built primarily on islands and with over 500 miles of shoreline, is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change: rising sea levels, storms, and so on. As such, the City and has set an ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and to eliminate landfilled waste by 2030.
And that’s not all! Many fashion brands born and raised in NYC are also playing their part. In this article, you can read about 16 brands carefully selected by us that ethically produce clothing from sustainably-sourced fibers. Can’t travel to NYC? That’s not a problem! Most brands offer international shipping and some are even working to offset the shipping emissions.
SiiZU ethically creates casual chic, affordable, beautiful, high-quality clothes in a wide range of colors and shapes you can wear day after day and, why not, embellish with a piece from their jewelry collections. Besides bracelets, necklaces, and rings, SiiZU designs stunning earrings you can’t help but adore. They even ground into powder oyster shells to create SeaWool, an innovative soft-touch fabric that keeps the body warm in cold temperatures.
Knickey makes size-inclusive undies and bralettes from GOTS-certified cotton in Fair Trade factories. Every piece is available in different colors and is meant to be comfortable yet stylish on every body. Unlike synthetic fibers, organic cotton actively regulates heat and maintains airflow thus preventing infections and irritations. Knickey is also working to become carbon neutral by the end of 2021 by offsetting the shipping impact.
Categories: everything – from jeans and tops to boots and fragrances Materials: cotton, recycled plastic bottles, polyester, nylon, wool For: women, men Price range: $57 – $2,475
Rag & Bone (R&B) combines classic tailoring with NY aesthetic, modern, and urban style. Do we think R&B is a 100% sustainable brand? No, we definitely don’t. Is the brand playing its part in the sustainable transition? Somehow it’s on the right way. Since 2017 they’ve been participating in a denim recycling program. In a nutshell, you can drop off your old denim at any R&B store, get a 25% off, and your pre-loved denim is reprocessed into cotton fibers which are then reused in buildings as insulation.
Valani is all about timeless, feminine, and flowy styles pieces you can wear forever. Their clothing is fun and flirty with the smallest footprint possible and is handmade both in the USA and in an Indian GOTS-certified facility by talented tailors. And yes, you got it right! Valani also uses banana fabric, a luxurious, cruelty-free alternative to silk that upcycles stems. Plus, they plant a tree for each sold item.
Angela Roi is a luxury and PETA-approved designer that creates handbags from high-quality vegan leather. The brand strives to transform the way we look at fashion accessories: nothing – and luxury is not an exception – is worth other creatures’ sufferance. No matter what bag you’re looking for: if you want it vegan, with elegant lines, in bright or neutral colors, wearable on shoulders or crossbody, they’ve got you covered.
Categories: everything – from activewear and maternity wear to handbags and bridal accessories Materials: wide range For: women Price range: $67.50 – $2,430
Rent the Runway (RTR) is a secondhand fashion site built on the idea of renting out formal dresses and accessories for special occasions. You can still buy your favorite secondhand item, but by renting it you’ll save a lot. RTR offers thousands of styles from over 700 designers to choose from and from monthly membership options (which you can pause or cancel at any time) to one-time rentals.
Categories: fine jewelry Materials: recycled gold, diamonds, pearls For: women Price range: $68 – $5,700
When in 2015 Sophie and Bouchra founded Aurate, they had a dream: create fine jewelry with a contemporary spin and at a reasonable price. And that’s exactly what Aurate is today, a brand that doesn’t make you choose between looking good and doing good. Indeed, all their gold is 100% recycled, diamonds are mined under ethical, fair, and safe working conditions, pearls are cultivated and harvested sustainably on family-run farms.
Aurate jewelry is manufactured locally in their New York studio, creating local jobs and reducing carbon emissions.
Aday designs minimalistic and classy essentials for women in a range of natural colors that are perfect for every season and that never go out of style. Our suggestion is to go and check out the “capsule” section on their website to explore 5 combinations of staples perfectly paired in styles and colors at a very convenient price.
Categories: handbags, jewelry, watches, small leather goods Materials: wide range For: women Price range: $165 – $65,985
We landed in a wonderful place: secondhand luxury fashion. Buying (and selling) secondhand is always a great choice to give new life to something that has already been produced. That’s why we’re so happy to recommend Rebag for your luxury shopping. Yes indeed, Rebag is an online platform for selling and buying luxury accessories with over 50 designer brands – from Chanel to Hermès to Rolex and many more – and tens of thousands of items.
390 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012
185 Greenwich Street Suite LL2053, New York, NY 10007
Categories: fine jewelry Materials: gold, precious stones, diamonds For: women Price range: $85.40 – $8,940
On Etsy, you can find Envero Jewelry, a gorgeous brand that sustainably handcrafts stunning pieces of fine jewelry with a marvelous vintage vibe. There’s not a single piece we don’t like and wouldn’t buy… trust us, their rings have a royal look and won’t make you go unnoticed.
Mara Hoffman collections are truly unique and ethically made from the highest quality fibers. The brand is committed to creating size-inclusive and colorful clothes with bold designs inspired by and in celebration of women. In the “Full circle” section, you can find Mara Hoffman pre-loved essentials in great shape and at a very reasonable price.
Categories: everything – from dressed and sleepwear to shoes and ponchos Materials: organic cotton, linen, recycled nylon and polyester, Tencel,wool, recycled cashmere For: women Price range: $68 – $698
Eileen Fisher creates everyday basics – tops, denim, gloves, and even socks – with feminine, versatile, and timeless silhouettes in a small range of neutral and pastel colors. All of their garments are made in workshops and factories that ensure fair treatment and working conditions, and most of them are also dyed without hazardous chemicals.
This brand deserves a special mention. As the name says out loud, Zero Waste Daniel (ZWD) is a one-of-a-kind brand that turns fabric scraps sourced from the NYC garment industry – otherwise destinated to landfills – to handcraft unique clothes. Their genderless clothing and accessories have bold and colorful patterns and appliqués. Each piece from ZWD diverts nearly one pound of fabric from landfills.
Another Tomorrow combines contemporary and classic styles to create iconic and luxury clothes. The brand realizes the staples you can’t help but have in your wardrobe for your formal outfits. Their garments are ethically manufactured in Italy and Portugal in factories that treat workers with respect.
Store location: 384 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
When Brave GentleMan was founded by Joshua in 2010 it quickly became the first vegan lifestyle menswear brand in the world. It has also been named “Menswear Brand of the Year” and “Most Influential Designer” by PETA. Today they produce stylish, high-quality, expertly-crafted vegan footwear – in a range of colors, styles, and for different seasons – along with a few clothing items, small accessories, and made-to-order suits.
Enda is a PETA-approved vegan fashion brand founded in 2015 by Japanese designer Ran Enda. Enda is on a mission to help people to be effortlessly ethical and effortlessly fashionable by creating clothes in a variety of styles and designs. From casual basics and prairie chic dresses to minimalistic jumpsuits and velvet pajamas, Enda creates clothes for all tastes.
Alberta Bernardi is a Ph.D. in Management, Innovation, and Sustainable Development. She likes to call herself a “sustainability warrior” because she aims to spread knowledge on the environment, ethics, and plastic pollution day after day. Her love of nature and battle against plastic around the world are on Instagram @together_no_plastic