Earth-friendly clothing doesn't make you a flower child

It’s time to abandon the stigma attached to eco-friendly fashion. When I began searching for organic and sustainable clothes, I wound up with results like “hippie clothing,” “the dancing yogi” and “Soul Flower.”

There’s nothing wrong with bohemian style, but it’s crucial not to pigeon-hole sustainable fabric.  Although many celebrities and designers also back earth-friendly options, many are too expensive. The fashion industry has done its consumers and the planet wrong by marketing sustainable options to Janis Joplin look-a-likes and rich hippies and leaving out a large portion of the market. 

Fear not; there are environmentally-sound clothing options for those who don’t consider themselves flower children.  

Some brands you wear everyday most likely have eco-friendly options. American Apparel carries organic cotton basic and statement T-shirts, tank tops, underwear, dresses, sweats and also carries organic bath and beauty products.

Another popular brand, Patagonia has pledged 1 percent of its sales to grass-root environmental groups since 1985 and has taken part in many environmental initiatives, which can be found online at patagonia.com/us/environmentalism. The brand also uses recycled polyester and organic cotton in many of its products.

Keds also has a line of organics, featuring the classic Champion Lace Up in organic cotton for $59. If you’re lost on environmentally-safe options, I suggest starting at your favorite online store by searching “organic.” 

Your favorite brand might carry all of the tree-hugging products you could ask for, but it might not. Don’t be afraid to branch out, it might take some searching, but there are more great brands out there with a mission to save the world…or just to sell clothes and commercialize on Earth Day.   

Emma Watson recently designed a clothing line for People Tree, a United Kingdom brand specializing in certified organic and fair trade products. Watson’s line, called School of Fair Trade, embodies the casual sophistication the wizard-turned-style icon has become known for, featuring crisp patterns and tailored pieces. School of Fair Trade, as well as other clothing by People Tree, is also affordable, starting at around $30. People Tree is available at ASOS.com.

Amour Vert means “Green Love” in French. Linda Balti, the brand’s founder and Parisian native relocated to San Francisco to design elegant clothing with low environmental impact. Although the line is a bit on the expensive side, it utilizes familiar sustainable fabrics, like organic cotton, bamboo, soy and hemp, as well as less-familiar fabrics, such as peace silk (silk that is manufactured without killing silk worms), tencel and modal. You can buy Amour Vert’s revolutionized fabric online at shop-amourvert.com.  

Boxers or briefs?  According to Pact, “change starts with your underwear.” The organic undergarments come in a variety of styles and colors, and 10 percent of sales are donated to the Sierra Club. The “Kick Ash” line starts at $20 and features gray, blue and black clouds to raise awareness about the dangers of using coal.  

One of the biggest trends in environmentalism lately is reusable shopping bags. I recommend keeping a few in your car in case of an impromptu shopping trip. If you don’t already have one, try BAGGU brand. BAGGU has inexpensive, brightly colored bags for all occasions. In addition to shopping bags, check out the zippered and drawstring bags.  They also sell recycled cotton canvas backpacks for $28 in simple, classic colors.  

The brands listed above are only a few sustainable options, I encourage you to find your own. And when Earth Week is over, don’t forget about the environmental impact of what you choose to wear.

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