Sustainable Clothing Brands: 5 Gorp-Friendly Labels Making Recycled Clothing Good for You and the Planet
Let’s start with the obvious: buying new clothes is not good for the environment. If you’re shopping with sustainability in mind, the best thing to do is…stop. Close all your browser tabs and take a long look at your own wardrobe. Chances are you already have more than enough. (The goal is to reduce consumption, not to do more, right?)
But sometimes the occasion and real the need (not the lure of a short-lived dopamine fix) justifies buying something new. So if you’re planning on spending some quality time reconnecting with Mother Nature this Earth Day – and you need the proper gear to do so – there are plenty of options to help you explore the (mostly) guilt-free wilderness. .
Over the past few years, a handful of our favorite outdoor brands have stepped up their efforts to reduce their environmental impact by introducing programs with a simple penchant for circularity. Not all take the same approach – some focus on buying second-hand goods, others simply upcycling your worn-out clothes for you – but all offer a viable alternative to cutting another black puffer or downcycling. ditching your slightly scuffed kicks in favor of an all-new pair.
With that in mind, we’ve cut through all the marketing hype to bring together five initiatives that we’re digging into that promise to equip you in good faith. Aside from the global water crisis, there is no shortage of drip here.
Patagonia authentic durability needs no introduction. It therefore follows that the mark Worn wear program is one of the most comprehensive in the industry. Trade in your lightly used ‘Gonia gear for credit on future purchases, or shop directly from its groovy selection of repaired or fully recycled apparel.
The north face
The north face and its Clothes the Loop initiative (pun intended!) lets you drop off unwanted clothes at select TNF stores across the country, but the company’s online store also offers a range of products for the public made almost entirely from from recycled materials.
You can exchange your Bow clothing on store credit, but the brand Used Equipment section is where the real action is at. It’s regularly replete with the kind of famous shell layers that have made the brand an engineering design powerhouse – and catnip for a certain type of TikTok star.
Confused about what to do with the dusty running shoes you bought in a motivational slump at the start of the pandemic? Good news: Nike will take them back and recycle them for you. If you can’t wait to find a replacement as soon as you let them go, the Portland-based operation also offers plenty of sustainable products made from upcycled fabrics from its archives.
You can exchange your used clothes at some REI stores too, or skip the IRL interaction altogether and shop the retailer’s used section on line. Fair warning, the gear on offer is capital-C crunchy, but if you’re looking for budget camping gear with plenty of life, there are few better places to turn.