New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world where designers are leading the way in innovative designs and eco-fashion. What is eco-fashion, or sustainable fashion? Eco-fashion uses recycled or sustainable fabric and materials to create their designs and emphasises ethical labor practices. There are a number of eco-fashion brands in NYC that are producing high quality, fashionable products that you wouldn’t even realise are sustainable!
Bhoomki is one of my favourite little boutiques in NYC. Not only are the clothes stunning but the service is impeccable and staff are able to explain to you the origins of every item. Bhoomki carries shoes, jewelry, and fashion from local or artisanal designers that use organic or recycled fabrics. For example, Kowtow uses fair trade organic clothing that is produced in India. Their workers are paid a living wage, social security, rental contributions, and even free schooling for the children of their employees. By supporting ethical clothing brands you are not only helping the environment but also local communities.
The Reformation was established in 2009 and has branches in both NYC and Los Angeles. Their designs are largely manufactured in their Los Angeles factory using sustainable or vintage materials, with some products produced by responsible manufacturers in the US or overseas. Their clothes come with tracking information that shows the impact of that item on the environment as well as sustainable garment care instructions. For example, by purchasing one of their wedding dresses made from surplus lace you are saving 41lbs in carbon emissions and 256 gallons of water!
Eileen Fisher is one of the leading eco-fashion brands in the US. They are known for simple, elegant designs made from organic, sustainable fabrics and dyes. Their eco-conscious line includes recycled fibers such as cashmere that has been respun from factory scraps and even polyester yarns that are made from water bottles! You will also see natural dyes in their clothes – dyes that have been made from petals, bark and even leaves. Eileen Fisher has a Director of Social Consciousness who focuses on the human rights advocacy, mapping their supply chain from farm to factory, training initiatives, grant programs, and human trafficking prevention activities. On your next visit, you can even donate some clothes to their Green Eileen program.
Kaight is a small, neighbourhood boutique in the heart of Brooklyn. They promote the ‘slow fashion movement’ by stocking clothing and accessories from independent designers. You will find fashion-forward items that have been produced locally, use organic or reclaimed fibers and materials, fair trade or that are zero waste. Their products are all high-quality and are meant to be worn and loved for years to come which cuts down on future purchases.
Mooshoes was founded in 2001 and was the first store of its kind in NYC. They sell vegan and cruelty-free footwear, t-shirts and accessories while also serving as a home for some adorable rescue cats. Why should you wear vegan shoes? Most of the leather used to make shoes comes from poorer countries where animal welfare legislation is either non-existent or ignored. Instead, you can buy vegan shoes that are cruelty-free and help save animals from the horrors of factory farming. On my visit to Mooshoes, one of their rescue cats even helped me to pick out my latest pair of shoes!