It takes about 1,800 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans. On top of this water waste, distributing clothing takes massive amounts of fuel and packaging, and thousands of factory workers and farmers die every year due to pesticides or poor working conditions. The average sewer, for example, makes just 45 cents for each pair of jeans that they make. Considering how much the average pair of jeans costs, such a low wage for sewers is baffling.
Thankfully, many companies are emerging, making sustainable, environmentally conscious and ethically produced products. When shopping this holiday season, check out these trail blazers. Each company on this list is dedicated to improving the lives or their employees, and their environments.
1. Eco Tools
Eco Tools is an environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free beauty and hair brush company. All of their products are vegan, made from synthetic fibers, recycled aluminum and plastic, and renewable bamboo. Their packaging is made from recycled materials and can be recycled further. Their employees are protected by fair labor practices, like overtime pay and fair wages. Plus, Eco Tools donated $100,000 last year to Glamour’s The Girl Project empowering and encouraging women to progress. Shop them here.
2. People Tree
This London-based clothing company uses organic cotton, employs marginalized women and pays them a fair wage. Their dyes are approved by the Global Organic Textile Standard to ensure safety for workers and the environment. They utilize sustainable practices throughout the production process, from growing the cotton to creating the price tags. Shop them here.
Yes, an ethically created smartphone. Fairphone is literally breaking new ground, sourcing socially and environmentally responsible materials that positively affect the surrounding communities and are conflict free. They focus on reusing and recycling materials, and their own phones, for a more circular economy. Fairphone ensures good working conditions for their employees and fair pay. Additionally, they want their phones to stay out of the landfills, so they have created modular phones that can be repaired piece by piece. And then recycled, of course. Shop them here.
4. Art & Eden
Art & Eden makes kid and baby clothes from organic, sustainably grown cotton, and uses low impact dyes. Their packaging is made from recycled materials, factories are safety certified and they support local artists. Additionally, a portion of Art & Eden sales go to providing multivitamins and vaccines to children in local and global communities. Shop them here.
5. Fortress of Inca
Fortress of Inca makes beautiful, comfortable shoes from sustainably sourced materials. They work closely with local designers in Peru to ensure a mutual benefit, providing health care, paid maternity leave and social security to all of their employees. The leather used is a recycled byproduct of the meat industry, and is tanned using vegetable dyes. Shop them here.
6. Kusaga Athletic
Kusaga Athletic is a certified B Corporation specializing in producing sustainable and ethical athletic apparel. Their Greenest Tee is a fully biodegradable, compostable t-shirt, made from plant fibers. All of their products are certified vegan and use substantially less water than most textile fabricators. Shop them here.
It might take a little extra effort, but being a more conscious consumer can have a huge impact on the people, communities and habitats across the globe that are impacted by the textile industry.