Fashion brands that go out of their way to be good to the earth deserve to be recognized. Here are our recommendations, grouped by product category.
1. Tees: Everyone needs a few good t-shirts. Indie brand Holiday Matinee sells tag-free organic-cotton ones printed with hip designs. The best part? For every shirt purchased, 20 trees are planted and 100 percent of proceeds go to Plant-It 2020. Other good-for-the-planet t-shirt companies include Thomas Hillman, Revenge Is . . ., Tees for Change, and Gramicci.
2. Jewelry: Some of the most eye-catching baubles are made of stuff that had a past life--and many of them can be found on Etsy, a global network of artisans selling handmade works. Take, for example, Hagarae"s one-of-a-kind necklaces made of vintage neckties. Or Wired Originals' dainty pieces fashioned from 100 percent reclaimed silver. Or QA Create's earrings, bracelets, and cufflinks, which use old typewriter keys as charms.
3. Menswear: It's not often that you come across an eco-friendly business suit for men, but they exist. Nora Sotamaa has organic ones, while Rawganique.com sells those made of hemp. Makers of accessories have got your back too: These days, designers are crafting belts out of recycled bike tubes and fire hoses and shoes out of hemp. More of a casual dude? Check out the duds made of domestic cotton and bamboo over at 4-rth, a company that donates 5 percent of its profits to environmental causes.
4. Outdoor Apparel: Try Timberland for hiking boots, REI for outfitting a day on the trail, Billabong for surfing, and Patagonia if you're heading anywhere cold. All four of these big names either sell eco-sensitive products or maintain a commitment to sustainable practices.