5 Sustainable Fashion Brands Owned by Women of Color
4 Minute Read
When you think of sustainable fashion brands: diversity, inclusivity and variety probably aren’t the first words that come to mind. Instead, you probably think of an image of an overly skinny, white woman with disturbingly chiseled cheek bones and pin straight hair, wearing some sort of potato sack, trying to pass it off as a dress. Am I right?!?!
Sustainable fashion can feel limiting at times. Not only from a style perspective. But also in terms of the women we see wearing and designing those clothes. So instead of keeping that boring paradigm afloat, I wanna highlight some sustainable fashion brands that also showcase the incredible women of color who are making them.
These brands show that sustainable clothing isn’t just geared to a specific type of customer. Nor it is made by one type of person. All it requires is a vision to create clothing that’s better for the planet, the people who make it, and the people who wear it. Plain and simple.
So, here are 5 sustainable fashion brands that range from activewear, to lingerie, to comfy casuals. They show that sustainable fashion can be as diverse as mainstream fashion, not only in its look but also in terms of the people designing and running those brands.
P.S. You wont find and boring bohemian potato sacks here.
5 sustainable fashion brands you should know about
Wasi Clothing is was founded by Vanessa Acosta, a Bolivian-American designer.
All of their textiles are sourced by the founder in South America and hand-made by her in Los Angeles.
“Wasi Clothing is for everyone. For all sizes, for all colors, for all ethnicities, for all genders….[Our] handmade goods are made to order and are sewn as orders come in. T-shirts are made in limited quantity to avoid waste and over production and get restocked regularly based on volume of certain prints” (Wasi Clothing).
PROCLAIM is all about inclusivity, body positivity, and sustainability.
They make nude lingerie and underwear from eco-friendly fabrics like TENCEL™ (made from sustainably-harvested wood pulp) and REPREVE® (made from recycled water bottles).
All of their pieces are ethically made in Los Angeles where their workers are paid fair wages. And all of their online orders are shipped using recycled packaging.
SATVA is a sustainable, ethically-made activewear company based out of New York City. They “set out on a mission to create a symbiotic balance between people, planet, production, profits and social stewardship. [And] consider [their] impact at every step towards building a holistic, ethical and harmonious ecosystem that satisfies customers, supports the economic development of impoverished farming communities, and improves the global environment.”
Their activewear is primarily made from organic cotton. This means their process (from growing the cotton, to you wearing it) is free of the chemicals used in traditional cotton production. This is not only better and healthier for the growers, but it’s also much healthier for your body and the planet.
GALERIE.LA was founded by Dechel Mckillian, a celebrity stylist from Los Angeles who had a vision to “bring socially conscious fashion to the masses.”
The company, which functions more as a platform with integrity rather than a brand in and of itself, curates designers who use sustainable production methods and ethical business practices.
Their “mission is to work as a community, building a platform devoted to the highest quality of sustainable fashion” (GALERIA.LA).
NAJA is made by women for women (or for those who identify as women). From sustainable swimwear to bras and underwear, all of their products are made by single mothers who receive above market wages, health benefits, and flexible work policies to accommodate for balancing work and family life.
Their garments are made using eco-friendly printing technologies that minimize water usage (compared to traditional dying methods). And they also use fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles.
NAJA is “eco-friendly, socially conscious, handmade lingerie for empowered, courageous, and real women” (NAJA).
Sustainable fashion doesn’t have to be limited to a single, minimalistic style, or to one body type, race or ethnicity. It can be as diverse as the people making and wearing it.
At its core, it’s about finding a better way to make clothes. A way that honors the planet, and the people who grow the raw materials and turn those materials into fashion.
Supporting sustainable fashion and the diversity that exists within it enables you to incorporate your values and beliefs into the way that you spend your money.