We can all agree that fashion is not the most important part of a holiday. As long as you are having a good time and making memories never to forget, no one really cares about what you are wearing. Yet even though some people just wear whatever they have on hand during their trip, other still want to look presentable. You know, just in case they want to take a picture to post on Instagram. Vacation pictures don not just end up in photo albums for the family anymore and if you are sharing a snapshot with your followers, you might just as well look nicely dressed.
For a lot of people, it is nowadays quite normal to go shopping before they pack their bags. Maybe you want a little dress to go with your destination background or maybe you just want comfortable sneakers that do not give you blisters when you walk around town all day. Whatever your needs, there is no reason why you should not shop sustainably while prepping for your holiday. There are a lot of eco-friendly clothing brands out there nowadays which are just as fashionable as others. So, to make your life a little easier, we selected five brands that are not only sustainable but also look good, both for men and for women.
This American brand is perhaps the most well-known sustainable option for travelers out there. Although they have still some work to do, Patagonia is well on its way to become totally fair trade and carbon neutral. Let’s have a look at some numbers to get an idea of what they are doing to be more sustainable: 76% of their products are fair trade, 100% of their cotton is grown organically and by 2025 they want to be totally carbon neutral. Other than that, they show you where their products are made on their website and keep you up-to-date on any future measurements they are taking. As far as the clothes and accessories go, they have virtually everything you could ever need to go on an adventurous trip. Whether you are looking for women’s clothes, men’s shoes, kids’ supplies or camping gear: you can shop it all through Patagonia. Every item also comes with a detailed description explaining how exactly that product fits into their sustainability vision.
Contrary to Patagonia, not a lot of people have heard about NORM before. That should not be surprising as the Brussels brand just started out after launching a successful Kickstarter-campaign in 2019. Their goal? Making the most sustainable sneakers out there. To do so, they focus on three core aspects: recycle, reduce and reuse. Not only do they use recycled materials to create their shoes but they also produce all their shoes in Europe. When choosing their factories, they pay a lot of attention to the working conditions and they prefer factories located close to each other in order to reduce the transportation to a minimum. As all of that was not enough to be completely carbon neutral, they also compensate their footprint by planting trees and rebuilding ecosystems. At the moment, NORM only offers one model of sneakers, yet there are five colors available and they are made to be unisex.
3. Organic Basics
Regardless of whether or not you are traveling, we all need underwear. You can of course choose to go commando all the time – although we would not advise you to do so. If you are short on undies just before leaving for your next trip, you may want to have a look at Organic Basics. The Danish company tackles the sustainability issue in a couple of different ways. Their factories are all based within Europe (Turkey, Austria, Portugal, Italy and Scotland to be precise) and they choose their fabrics based on its environmental impact. A lot of their pieces are made from organic cotton (which is ideal when it comes to breathability), yet they also use Lyocell and wool, amongst others. Thanks to all of this and to their partnership with Chooose, they managed to be completely carbon neutral. Therefore, this is a great place to shop for undies and other basics like T-shirts and socks. If you have a look at their Instagram page, you will see that they also do a lot when it comes to body positivity and inclusiveness. No need to be ashamed of some cellulite!
4. Armed Angels
“Fair fashion instead of fast fashion.” The message of German clothing brand Armed Angels comes across loud and clear. Instead of always releasing new collections that will quickly age, the brand has been focusing on designing timeless pieces made of sustainable materials ever since 2011. Other than that, they pay attention to the working circumstances of the people that work for them and their suppliers, meaning the clothes are also fair trade. On their website you will find tons of great pieces for both men and women but we are especially fond of their denim collection. As opposed to a lot of other jeans, theirs do not contain any harsh chemicals, heavy metals or other damaging products. Every piece comes with a great informative label in order for you to know all the ins and outs of the clothes you buy. If you want to compose a sustainable capsule wardrobe, this is a great place to start.
5. w.r. yuma
When going on holiday, there is one thing you cannot forget: sunglasses. They are your forever best friend, whether you go skiing or you are planning to spend two weeks next to the pool. Although it is definitely tempting to buy a new, cheap pair everywhere you go, it is not exactly sustainable. If you are looking for an eco-conscious option that is also great to look at, w.r. yuma is a very safe bet. The Antwerp-based company makes 3D-printed sunglasses out of recycled materials coming from old car dashboards, fridges and soda bottles. And if you are tired of your sunnies or if they break, you can get them back to w.r. yuma to get them recycled. Even if there are only nine models available at the moment, there definitely is a fit for you and even better, all of them are unisex. Why not persuade your partner to get a pair as well so that you can then borrow them?