Louis Vuitton, H&M and Madewell Have This Surprising Feature in Common
It’s not uncommon for us to rock an H&M top with Madewell jeans while carrying a Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote. But outfit synergy isn’t the shocking link between the aforementioned three brands—it’s actually sustainability. We were so happy to learn that these major brands (along with six other heavyhitters) are doing their part to reduce their environmental impact and thus, changing the future of fashion for good. Here, nine fashion brands we were pleasantly surprised to find out are sustainable.
Yep, that LV Speedy you gifted yourself is actually pretty good for the environment. The French fashion house conducted its first carbon footprint audit over 15 years ago, which was way ahead of today’s massive push towards green practices. The vast majority of Louis Vuitton products are made with raw resources (aka sustainable materials from natural, renewable resources), and the brand is working to make sure those materials still are around for future generations to come. In addition, Louis Vuitton ensures the same mindful mentality across business practices, from responsible production and consumption to climate change and equal-opportunity employment.
Just this January, Madewell announced a partnership with Fair Trade USA to ensure their factories are certified in ethical and sustainable practices. So far, the brand’s 16 core denim pieces are certified Fair Trade with plans to roll out a more extensive lineup of sustainable designs over the next year. The brand also offers a denim recycling program, where you can bring any pair of jeans (yeah, from any brand) into a Madewell store so they can be recycled responsibly. Added bonus: you’ll get 20 percent off a new pair of Madewell jeans, if you make a purchase that day. As far as swimsuits are concerned, Madewell uses fabrics made from recycled water bottles, which has saved 50,920 bottles (and counting) from landfills so far this year.
What was once known as a leader of fast fashion is now committed to creating a 100 percent sustainable business model by 2030. Currently, the brand uses over 57 percent recycled or sustainably sourced materials and earlier this year, rolled out an online transparency tool where customers can trace most of their products to the factory they were made in. Look for products labeled “conscious” to be sure you’re supporting the cause.
With swimsuits made from eco-conscious materials (like Tencel, organic cotton and recycled fabrics), Mara Hoffman is committed to using responsibly sourced organic, recycled and reused materials in every design. The NYC-based brand set an example during their 15th year of business when it publicly recognized the negative impact it was having on the environment, and implemented changes to reduce those effects for the better.
In 2017, Gucci introduced a sustainability program called Gucci Equilibrium, an online platform designed to connect people, planet and purpose. It also allows all of Gucci’s 13,000 employees to spend one percent of their working hours volunteering in local communities. The site is part of Gucci’s 10-year sustainability plan, where the company has set a goal of 95 percent traceability of its raw materials. The Italian fashion house also made headlines that same year for their decision to forgo the use of fur in all future collections.
Athleta is a certified B-corp, which is a business that balances purpose and profit. Today, the brand is committed to using 60 percent sustainable fibers in all of its athletic-meets-everyday clothing. Four percent of Athleta’s products are currently made using water-saving techniques, but they have a lofty plan to raise that to 25 percent by next year. In addition, 70 percent of its waste from shipping packaging has been diverted from a landfill (aka properly recycled). Of course, there are goals to boost that figure, as well.
Known for its matching workout sets, the Austin, Texas-based brand is devoted to sustainability in every aspect of the business—from sourcing products and fabrics to the selection of their factory partners. Many of their popular materials are sustainably sourced, including merino wool and recycled polyester made from plastic single-use water bottles.
The British brand has been using vegan leather since 2001—but its positive impact doesn’t stop there. Stella McCartney’s newest collection for Adidas is the brand’s most sustainable yet with the use of 70 percent recycled materials and 4-D printing that produces almost zero waste. By remaining true to three pillars of respect for nature, people and animals, the label is at the forefront of the eco movement.
Producing denim is one of the fashion industry’s least sustainable practices, but brands like DL1961 are making waves in that sector. To put things into perspective, a typical pair of jeans is made using 1,500 gallons of water—DL1961 uses less than ten gallons and recycles 98 percent of the water used. In addition to sourcing botanic fibers and using natural indigo dyes sans chemicals, the denim label uses solar energy and an in-house power generator, state of the art machinery that measures water consumption and dye usage, and an on-site water recycling plant.