The Rise of Sustainable Clothing and Shoes

published Oct 07, 2021
2 min read

As climate change continues to impact our daily lives, more and more people find themselves looking for ways to make a difference. 

Because of this, more companies have now begun to shift their priorities to match those of their customers – especially clothing and shoe businesses who are seeking ways to use recycled materials in their products and packaging.

Clothing Brands That Use Recycled Materials

At EcoEnclose, we want to make sustainable shopping and shipping as accessible and easy for ecommerce brands as possible. That’s why we offer a wide variety of plastic-free and eco-friendly packaging for companies to ship their products in. 

We work with thousands of incredible brands, many of whom are at the forefront of sustainable innovation in the apparel and accessories industries. Here, we have curated a list of different clothing and shoe brands that emphasize green, sustainable initiatives in their work and utilize recycled content in their goods.

But first, why is using recycled content in clothing such a sustainability win? Goods made with recycled content use less energy, water, and create less pollution than virgin counterparts. And incorporating recycled content into new goods is the only way to make it feasible for all of us to recycle at home, because it allows our recycled waste to be resold and remade into something new.

1. Patagonia

Patagonia is an outdoor clothing brand that prioritizes being sustainable and eco-friendly. In fact, Patagonia is often credited with being one of the pioneers of emphasizing eco-friendly clothing. From jackets to wetsuits to underwear, Patagonia has a wide range of green clothing that customers can feel good about buying, including a broad line of recycled clothing. Their line of recycled polyester apparel is made from used soda bottles as well as unusable manufacturing waste. In many ways, Patagonia has helped pioneer the movement of utilizing recycled content in apparel as a key strategy in helping to mitigate the climate change and plastic pollution crisis we are facing. 

2. Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective is an up-and-coming brand that sells eco-friendly workout and lounge clothing. Their goods are made from post-consumer recycled water bottles from Taiwan, a nation which used to be called Garbage Island and is now a world leader in recycling. They didn’t stop at their use of recycled bottles though. Even the small details – like the dyeing of their fabrics – are industry leading in terms of sustainability. Girlfriend Collective has gained a great deal of popularity recently from their high-quality materials and charming pieces that have spread across social media. From sweatshirts to compression shorts, Girlfriend Collective has you covered on sustainable workout gear and comfy clothes. (You can even check out their impact on the environment on their website, which shows that almost 8 million water bottles have been recycled to create their products.) 

3. Rapanui

Rapanui is a popular sustainable clothing brand for men and women that creates its products from all-natural materials so that they can be used again at the end of their lives. While the previously described companies are focused on recycled bottles, Rapaui has a line of recycled organic cotton apparel, made from old t-shirts and clothing. Given that 99% of apparel ends up in the landfill, this investment in fabrics recycling is a major step forward in a more circular economy. Rapanui is also a brand that has shifted to plastic-free packaging, something that can make a big difference in eCommerce and the waste it produces. They have a wide range of clothing for both men and women and even sell bundles for when you’re feeling indecisive.

4. Wolven

Wolven is a popular workout and loungewear company that’s main mission is to create sustainable clothing. Their slogan “make sustainability sexy” has driven interest across the world, along with their adorable workout sets and loungewear pieces. When visiting their website, their homepage boasts that each sale removes one pound of trash that would normally go into the ocean. In addition to their line of recycled clothing made from post-consumer water bottles, Wolven also has a modal line, which is a cellulose fiber derived from beechwood pulp that’s twice as soft as cotton and much more friendly to our lands and waterways.

Unfortunately, today, fast fashion is still the mainstream norm. However, we are energized by how rapidly the slow, ethical, sustainable fashion movement is growing and how many more consumers are demanding recycled fabrics than ever before. Ultimately, sustainability and eco-friendly clothing have to become priorities if we want to buy and create at this same pace. With millions of pounds of plastic and other waste going to landfills and into our oceans, both companies and customers need to go green to help save our planet.