Eco-Fashion in NYC: A Shopping Guide

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

eco-fashion bhoomki www.grassrootsnomad.com

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

eco-fashion reformation nyc www.grassrootsnomad.com

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

eco-fashion eileen fisher www.grassrootsnomad.com

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

eco-fashion kaight www.grassrootsnomad.com

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

eco-fashion mooshoes cat www.grassrootsnomad.com

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!

If you think eco-fashion means ill-fitting hemp clothing, then you are in for a real shock! Sustainable clothing is an important part of the fashion industry that is striving towards better environmental and labor practices both in the USA and internationally. Check out some of these incredible designers for fashion-forward styles in comfortable natural fibers that will keep you ahead of the trends.
Find the best sustainable fashion boutiques in New York City with www.grassrootsnomad.com

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44 Comments
erikastravels

I love the idea of supporting sustainable fashion. I never knew that Eileen Fisher was such a green company and that their fabrics were made of water bottles! With all the plastic waste in the world, turning it into clothes is a fantastic idea.

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Grassroots Nomad

I completely agree! I’ve seen people come up with so many innovative ideas to turn plastic bottles into clothes and even houses – it is incredible what people come up with 🙂

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Grassroots Nomad

I hope so too! I’m going to keep an eye out for it now everywhere that I go so hopefully there will be lots more articles like this coming up!

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Grassroots Nomad

I didn’t know too much about it either so I had a great time researching it 🙂

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Ana

This is such a great concept! Every fashion should be eco-fashion and we should really care about where our clothes come from! Good post 🙂

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Grassroots Nomad

Thanks Ana – I agree completely. Hopefully more and more brands start to bring sustainable elements into their lines.

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Candy Waltrip

I had no idea that Eileen Fisher is one of the leading eco-fashion brands in the US. I love their stuff. But I really love Reformation. I just wish they were a bit cheaper. I always have to wait until their stuff goes on sale 🙂

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Grassroots Nomad

Haha, me too! I guess their clothes last a bit longer than cheaper things so they are more of investment pieces 🙂

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Daniela Frendo

I’ve recently written an article on sustainable and ethical fashion designers for another publication, so I’m glad I came across this post on your blog – I’ve learned a few new things about the subject 🙂

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Amandas_Wanderlust

I LOVE this post! There just isn’t enough information about the sustainability of so many clothing brand, and it is good to know that NYC has so many to choose from. I would love to visit the Eileen Fisher and Kaight stores and I love Mooshoes! I will pin this for future reference.

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Grassroots Nomad

I agree, Emma! I actually saw that there is a sustainable fashion week – I would love to go one year and check out their designs.

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Marteen

Laura this post is brilliant! I love the idea of Mooshoes and the rescue cats. I always wondered about eco-fashion and if it would be made well. It’s so wonderful that the workers who produce the fabrics receive a fair wage.

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Grassroots Nomad

I agree Marteen. A lot of fashion brands that promote eco-fashion only focus on the environmental issues, but for me, they really need to discuss human rights issues as well to be considered eco and sustainable!

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Jo

Bhoomki looks like a brand I would like to check out for sure. Actually eco fashion is great coz well, you still look awesome plus with zero harmful effects/ bad practices or anything to feel guilty about.

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Grassroots Nomad

Exactly! Their staff are so lovely as well that it is a great place to shop 🙂

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authenticfoodquest

Sustainable fashion designers…what a great idea to highlight them. Besides Eileen Fisher, all the rest are new to me. What we put on our body is just as important as what we put inside. Thanks for sharing this information.

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Grassroots Nomad

I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it – I completely agree! Hopefully as more companies shift towards this direction it also brings the prices down a bit as well 🙂

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Chantell

All of these sounds so great. I love how Bhoomki really looks after their staff too. That’s so good to hear, especially in an expensive city like NYC. Great suggestions 🙂

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Grassroots Nomad

Thanks Chantell! They were one of my favourite stores – it was such a welcoming place to visit!

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aberkholtz

OMG I am literally going to NYC this weekend! Im totally gonna check out Mooshoes!

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Grassroots Nomad

You are going to love it! I also wrote about some incredible organic restaurants in NYC – if you have time definitely check out The Marshal. Their food is deliiiiiiiicious!

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Vyjay Rao

It is a good concept which has been drawing fashion designers and entrepreneurs, this bodes well for the weavers and helps in sustaining the society and the environment.

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Grassroots Nomad

I agree! It is also helping protect some wonderful techniques that might otherwise be forgotten as people buy more mass produced clothing

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Cass

Such a great concept! Not something I tend to focus on too much when shopping, but definitely worth thinking about. Definitely going to check a few of these out on my next trip.

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Grassroots Nomad

That is great Cass! I learned a lot while researching this article that made me think a lot more about where my clothes come from!

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everyfootstepanadventure

Ooh I don’t think I’ve heard of any of these brands before. Do you have clothing from all five of these stores? I wonder if there are places like this in Toronto!

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Grassroots Nomad

Sadly not at the moment- travelling with only carry on really limits my shopping purchases! But I did buy a pair of sandals at MooShoes which I love and when I finally unpack and stay somewhere for a while I will be doing some online shopping!!

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abcdeghizzy

Is Mooshoes owned by Natalie Portman? Cause I remember she created a vegan/cruelty-free shoeline a few years back. Maybe she sold it… I think this is such a great compilation because as a traveler with a love for shopping, its really important for me to know that my purchase is going towards sweatshops. I love the store that offers tracking information on the impact of the item! So cool!!!

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Grassroots Nomad

Hmm not sure about Natalie Portman, I will have to ask them! I loved learning more about where clothes are made and how they source their products. It has made me think twice about buying any bargains from big chains!

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Janna

oh wow i didnt know that you can find this much eco friendly boutiques in NY! great job for showcasing them. thanks for sharing!

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Grassroots Nomad

There are so many different ones – there is even an eco-fashion week!!! It is in Seattle next month so keep your eyes peeled online for some up and coming designers!

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GirlAstray

Amazing. I wish we had more of that in Slovakia – not only when it comes to clothes, but an approach, a mentality, that is about supporting and helping each other, paying what the goods are worth, perhaps I can call it ethical trade…here, everything is still about the cheap. People want to save money, but at the same time complain others don´t pay them enough. Pinning this right now 🙂

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Grassroots Nomad

I wish there was more of this in Australia as well. Hopefully, companies like these ones show other people that you can still be a profitable business while being ethical, will make other businesses start to listen as well. Have you looked online? Maybe some of these companies deliver to Slovakia?

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Alex Cote

incredible! thank you so much for compiling all of these eco-fashion stores. Although I’m abroad, I’m going to check out their online stores! Already LOVE the reformation! 🙂

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Grassroots Nomad

Thanks Alex! When I settle somewhere and have more than 10 items of clothing in a backpack, I am going to be doing some online shopping as well!! 🙂

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