How to shop for sustainable clothing on Amazon
Sustainable Fashion

How to Shop for Sustainable Clothing on Amazon

Why choose sustainable clothing? 

Our fast fashion empire is NOT sustainable. Sustainability is something that can be maintained over the long run. Our “want it fast, want it now” is hurting our planet and our people.  

The manufacturing process contributes to major pollution as well as excess water and energy consumption and the spread of microplastics (Earth.org). Many manufacturing countries either do not have labor and environmental regulations (making labor very, very cheap) or straight up ignore them. 

(Have you heard of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh? Super scary, super sad, and totally avoidable.)

All of this is awful, but what puts the icing on the cake? 

The fast and frequent production means an excess of low-quality clothing both in our homes and in stores. How do we dispose of it?  

The quality is so poor that it usually cannot be donated in good faith. We can use it as rags or upcycle it for different projects…but how many of us actually do that? So… it gets thrown in the garbage.  

The clothing companies and garment districts are no different. Any excess either gets burned (terrible for our environment) or gets shipped off to giant landfills of fast fashion (yes, this is a real thing).

Read more in my blog post: How to Sort Out Fast Fashion Vs Slow Fashion

How do we help?

By choosing sustainable clothing and brands whenever possible.  

Sustainable clothing is clothing made from sustainable fibers, either natural or recycled. We also need to be concerned with sustainable business practices to remedy this horrendous fast-fashion operation to which we’ve given so much power.

What materials are sustainable?  

Natural, sustainable fibers include organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, linen, and wool. Anything that is a recycled material product would be considered sustainable, too. If we can get the material without further depleting the earth’s resources, it is considered sustainable and eco-friendly. 

What are cellulose fibers?

Cellulose technologies include materials made from plant fibers like banana plants and wood pulp. Have you heard of Modal or Lyocell? These are examples of plant-generated, sustainable fibers.  

We see them more and more nowadays and for good reason. These materials are more sustainable, more breathable, and softer than their synthetic counterparts. These are options you can look for in addition to natural fibers like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, linen, and wool. 

(https://goodonyou.eco/most-sustainable-fabrics/)

Where to shop for sustainable clothing

There is a multitude of storefronts, both brick and mortar and virtually-based, that prioritize sustainability and ethical business practices. I’ll share my favorites, but I also want to touch on the fact that so many of us turn directly to Amazon to shop for clothing these days.  

Good news! There are ways to shop for sustainable clothing on Amazon if you prefer that route! 

But first, my favorite sustainable companies right now: 

Wool&Wool& is absolutely top of my list. They are a US-based company that sells primarily wool clothing. The quality is amazing and their business practices are top-notch. You can actually trace the wool from one of your dresses back to the farm where it was harvested! 

Have you heard of the 100-day dress challenge? (PS – I did this. You can read about my journey here.). They believe so completely in their products that they promote a challenge in which you wear one of their dresses for 100 days straight and you receive a $100 voucher toward another purchase once the challenge is completed. They are so confident that the quality will hold up and you will fall in love with the versatility, ease, and comfort of Merino Wool.  

PactPact is a clothing company that promotes organic cotton, going carbon neutral, and fair trade practices. Their business practices are transparent and can be found right there on their website. They offer easy-wear staples for men, women, and kids.  

IMBODHIIMBODHI is “onesie-centric” (their term) athletic wear. They strive to make a positive impact on our planet while providing customers with the comfiest, most breathable clothes. They boast of using renewable fibers from sustainably-harvested beech trees and eucalyptus trees.

How to find sustainable clothing on Amazon

We all love Amazon. It’s easy. It’s fast. It has everything. Even sustainable fashions! This is the checklist you need to follow if you want to find sustainable clothing on Amazon. 

You will most likely not check off every single item on this list, but it gives you some guidelines.  

Checklist for shopping for sustainable clothing on Amazon

  • Materials used
  • Company practices
  • Climate Pledge Friendly
  • Small business
  • Imported or made in the USA (Fast fashion vs. Slow fashion)
  • Price

Let’s look at these more in-depth

Materials used

We talked a bit about sustainable materials in this post so you should have an idea of what to look for. Read descriptions and look for clothing that includes: organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, linen, and wool. Sustainable cellulose fibers include Lyocell, Tencel, Modal, and Viscose. The higher the garment percentage of any of these materials, the better. 

Sustainable clothing

Company practices

Does the company have transparent practices? This is harder to find on Amazon, but worth checking. Most eco-friendly companies will highlight this in their product description. Bigger companies that sell on Amazon will be easier to do a quick research on.

Climate pledge friendly

Amazon has that nice little filter for “Climate Pledge Friendly” and gives products an extra icon right in their search results. This Amazon certification recognizes products that are making efforts in at least one aspect of sustainability, such as using recycled content and meeting environmental requirements. 

Sustainable clothing

Small Business

While not inherently necessary for sustainable practices, Amazon also lets you know if a company is a small business. Small businesses will usually (but not always) talk more about their practices and can be easier to get in touch with if you have specific questions regarding their products or business model. 

Made in the USA

Whether a piece of clothing is made in the USA or Imported may not be a big deal to you. However, the United States has to adhere to strict ethical business practices. You will not find a sweatshop-type situation in the United States! That is not to say that everything imported is automatically unethical. Absolutely not. But, it’s a quick thing to look for to guide you toward the right questions and research. 

Price

This one is totally up to the consumer. In general, higher-quality items will have a higher price tag. You need to be honest with yourself and know your budget. Amazon is great at comparison shopping, but if you’re just not finding what you’re looking for in terms of sustainability, try checking out a non-Amazon website that specializes in what you need. You may have to pay for shipping (the horror!) but at least you’ll have peace of mind.  

Again, this is just a checklist of things to look for. You may not find a single item that meets all of the above criteria, but at least it gets you in the right mindset. Be a conscious consumer!

Eco-friendly fashion

Going sustainable in your wardrobe

In general, a good rule of thumb is to look for transparent business practices and materials used. A lack of transparency means a company has something to hide. Most eco-friendly companies boast their sustainability practices and take great pride in them. 

Remember! If you’re looking to make changes to the way you live and incorporate more sustainable ways of living, don’t do an overhaul! Take small steps and little-by-little you can build up your eco-friendly wardrobe (or lifestyle).

What do you think? Will you pull up this checklist the next time you’re searching for a wardrobe staple? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly newsletter so you never miss a blog post!

Looking for more fashion-related posts? Check these out from The Peaceful Burrow:
Minimalism and Fashion: How to Embrace a Wardrobe with Less
How to Curate an Eco-Friendly Capsule Wardrobe
How to Create a Daily Uniform and Save Your Sanity
How to Sort Out Fast Fashion Vs Slow Fashion
Secrets of the 100 Day Dress Challenge
How to Shop at a Thrift Store: 8 Essential Tips

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *