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5 Things I Wish Sustainable Fashion Designers Knew

Sustainable, eco-friendly fashion is more than just trying to avoid sweat shops that create so many of the clothes found in most stores today.

pink t-shirts hanging on a clothing rack

It’s also about wrapping your skin in healthier fibers that don’t have residues from toxic chemicals and dyes.

It’s also knowing that your money went to a company that cares about the Earth and its people, and believes in the same passions you do.

So why don’t more people shop sustainably for fashion? I know why I don’t, and I’m sure you agree with me on most points listed below.

woman wearing orange pants and orange sweater holding flowers

How Sustainable Fashion Needs to Improve

Here’s five things that I wish sustainable fashion designers would figure out, so that eco-friendly fashion could grow and not be a fringe movement in the fashion world.

Make Sustainable Fashion More Affordable 

Yes, I know organic cotton and sustainable materials cost more. So do organic, non-GMO foods, non-toxic personal care products, etc.

I don’t have a bankroll to spend unlimited amounts on all of the things that I want to. So clothing is last on the list.

Want me to continue my green living mission to your clothing line, too? Give me a top for less than $50.

That’s why I get so excited when companies such as PACT and Synergy Organic are able to offer organic and/or Fair Trade clothing at prices that are way more affordable to most people!

I also love these sustainable fashion brands on Amazon, where you can buy eco-friendly fashion at a place you’re probably already shopping.

Use More Color!

If I see one more plum, oat or black piece of organic clothing, I’m going to scream.

grey and white sweaters stacked on a white chair

I want to save the world, and I’m happy to do it. So don’t put me in clothing colors that scream of gloomy days.

I’m happy and optimistic that we can make a change, and I’d like my wardrobe to show it. Yes, I know that eco-friendly dyes are another challenge of sustainable fashion, but there’s only so many people that actually look good and healthy in a drab colored t-shirt.

Make Tailored Clothes

I don’t care about loose clothing. I’m not working out in my clothes. I want to shop and party and enjoy life in these clothes.

So stop trying to dress me in a shift dress that resembles a paper bag.

Just because I’m earthy doesn’t mean I want to hide behind my style. And don’t be afraid of zippers and buttons.

I have a lot of nicely tailored clothing from prAna, which is a great sustainable fashion brand, so be sure to look them up!

Skip the Scoop Necks

I rarely ever see a top or dress with something other than a scoopneck or boatneck.

Did you know that V-necks are more flattering for many body shapes, especially those with fuller faces and heavier on top? Why is this cut rarely ever used in sustainable design?

Have size charts, return policies and GREAT customer service

A sustainable fashion brand’s clothes are probably not in stores where I shop.

If you want me to hop  onboard your fashion line, then I need to know what sizes work best for me.

I want to know that the colors run true to the pictures online.

And I won’t take a chance on you if your return policy is horrendous. I’ll move on quickly, and I won’t return.

What’s your favorite store or website to shop for eco-friendly, sustainable fashion on a budget? Everyone wants to know, so please share!

woman wearing orange hue clothes

More Sustainable Fashion Brands

While there’s a lot that sustainable fashion designers could improve on, there are also a lot of companies doing good things already! The eco-friendly clothing that I have from TenTree is among my favorite pieces. 

PrAna is among my favorites, too.

If you are looking to buy gifts for someone, here’s some of our favorite presents for a sustainable fashionista.


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Wednesday 25th of September 2019

Everlane is a great sustainable company with reasonable prices and color!


Thursday 22nd of October 2015

While I understand the author wholeheartedly, their points speak to some major issues in modern fashion and hurdles of sustainable fashion.

1) Cost of sustainable fashion is exceptionally high when compared to standard retail. Simultaneously, the mantra of the trend is "Shop Well, Not Often". As a cost-benefit analysis, it should even out: you buy better made clothes and wear them far longer. Our greatest impediment is how forcefully the fashion industry churns out "new trends". Person may balk at the idea of buying ONE SHIRT a year, but think of benefits beyond even your local water shed. Purchasing a wardrobe over time and with longevity in mind may promote a more distinct knowledge of your own style and reduce buyer's remorse. I'm saving up for an outrageously expensive coat made from alpaca, because I believe this may be my only coat for at least a decade.

2) Color, yet again, comes down to cost. There's a reason only the aristocracy (and rich merchants) of Europe wore bright reds and purples. Do I believe companies should invest in more colors? Absolutely, but it is a gamble of returns. We need better communication between consumers and manufacturers.

3) Frump-fit ALSO comes back to cost, because when you're working without synthetic materials and lose that magical stretch factor, fit becomes far more complicated especially while attempting to remain "comfortable". As a niche market, designers, particularly those available online, want to sell to as many people as possible and, while two women may be the same weight, height, and waist size, those shoulders and busts can thoroughly destroy even the best attempts at well-placed darts in an organic button-down. Mobility and circumference of arms alone causes discord between designer and client:

4) No idea on the scoop neck, except that it may circle back into the loose clothing fever. A droopy V-neck is sad.

5) 100% agree! Making our world better in both product and interaction.

Really, I guess I fall into the unfortunate category that's trying to save up to get some clothes tailored. Changing public approach to fashion is a hard one, but very worth the effort.

Kimberly Button

Tuesday 27th of October 2015


Excellent points! Very well said! There is so much more effort and thought that goes into great quality that consumers don't realize because of disposable fashion. I have held onto clothing for decades and thought I was thrifty, but it turns out I'm just sustainable :) Buying once and making it great is the key and reduces costs and environmental exposures - and stress :)