10 Fashion Brands That Will Keep You and Planet Earth Looking Good
By Mary Mazzoni
In 2013, shoppers were reacquainted with the tragic story of their clothing when a massive factory collapse claimed the lives of more than 1,100 Bangladeshi garment workers.
The nonprofit Fashion Revolution, formed in response to that disaster, continues to track the apparel industry's progress on environmental stewardship and human rights. But four years later, big brands are still not doing enough to disclose their efforts to customers, the organization concluded in a recent report.
Some former corporate bogeymen like Adidas, Nike and H&M are moving in the right direction, but big labels are playing catch-up compared to newcomers and competitors that were sustainable from the start. Before you refresh that summer wardrobe, consult our list and spend your dollar where it counts.
Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds founded Indigenous more than 20 years ago with a big dream and a steep uphill climb. Inspired by the women's weaving collectives of South America, the pair envisioned a scalable fashion line based on ancient techniques and fair labor.
The company employs around 1,500 artisans working in groups of three to 30, which made quality control and consistency a challenge at the outset. "We're dealing with a unique production model—it's diversified, it's spread out—and we had to create a new systems model," Reynolds told RSF Social Finance. "That took a lot of time and collaboration and money."
After years of work, the company's supply chain runs like a well-oiled machine. Indigenous was among the first in the apparel sector to adopt Fair Trade certification. It now works with more than a dozen Fair Trade field organizing teams to source its cozy sweaters and everyday basics for men and women, which are made from organic and other natural fibers.