As I was ripping the tags off a brand new Urban Outfitters sweater, I discovered a new way to be sustainable. Everyone has heard of recycling plastics and paper, but what about fabric? Urban Renewal is a new brand at Urban Outfitters that takes vintage fabrics and reworks them into modern clothing. The brand is not only sustainable, but everything is made in the US, instead of overseas sweatshops.
Textile recycling is not a new concept. In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that 2.0 million tons of fabrics were recycled, which is 15.3% of the textiles generated. The recycled materials are used for a variety of purposes, including insulation and rags. Furthermore, Urban Outfitters isn’t the first store to use recycled fabrics. Popular brands like Patagonia and North Face have programs to collect old clothing articles and reuse the materials to make new products. Zara and H&M have also joined the movement by creating sustainable clothing lines.
Finding clothing that is environmentally conscious is not difficult as many major brands and retailers have begun to pick up on this trend. Now it is the consumer’s job to buy clothing and other products that are made responsibly using sustainable practices and recycled materials.
A few brands that have sustainable clothing lines:
- American Apparel Sustainable Edition
- H&M Conscious Collection
- Levi’s Water Less Jeans
- Alternative Apparel