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It’s no secret that the fashion industry as a whole has a sustainability problem. And for plus-size shoppers, who have limited options when it comes to sustainable plus-size clothing brands, the choices can feel underwhelming at best.
Nowadays, plus-size consumers want a variety of options for high-quality plus-size clothing. Consumers also desire transparency about the process of how their favorite garments are made.
While the fashion industry still has a long way to go, it’s now easier than ever to find plus-size clothing brands that prioritize sustainable and ethical practices. While a large part of that sustainable responsibility falls on brands and governments, there are things shoppers can do every day to make more sustainable choices they feel good about.
Of course, this lifestyle is about more than just deciding to buy sustainable sneakers or swapping to plastic bag alternatives. You might also start asking yourself whether your favorite plus-size clothing sites — be it Torrid, Eloquii or Asos — are truly sustainable places to shop.
How to know if a plus-size fashion brand is sustainable
If you’re looking to add some sustainable plus-size fashion brands to your closet, consider the sourcing, manufacturing and design of the clothes. You’ll usually want to opt for environmentally fabrics over synthetic ones, like bamboo clothing, linen and cotton.
Brands that slow down their production and create more cross-seasonal clothing pieces could more sustainable, too. Many sustainable brands like Everlane specialize in “basics,” or pieces that work in multiple seasons and settings — but those options for plus-size customers are still few and far between. However, most plus-size clothing is found in value and mid-tier retailers, versus premium and fast fashion, which made up only 8 and 6%, respectively.
Thankfully, there are now quite a few sustainable plus-size clothing brands on the market. Below are a few of the ones you can shop and support.
1. Christy Dawn
Christy Dawn is a high-quality plus-size clothing brand committed to sustainable practices. The brand also creates relationships with the communities it works with, from farmers and weavers to dressmakers and photographers. The excess fabric is used to create new dresses by the brand. If you’re looking to add some new pieces to your wardrobe, grab the popular Della dress and Avery jumper.
Girlfriend Collective delivers affordable, size-inclusive athleisure and loungewear in various tones and shades, made from recycled material. Snag the brand’s biker shorts (up to a size 6X!), the comfy Dylan bra or trail shorts.
64% of Patagonia’s current line is from recycled materials. Additionally, 82% of its line is sewn in Fair Trade Certified factories around the world. Grab the Merino shirt and the brand’s reversible swimsuit.
Although Rent the Runway houses other brands, the idea of second-hand shopping is a great way to practice sustainability; whether you’re searching for a gown for a fancy event or the perfect handbag to gift, there are many products to choose from.
Everlane has an ethical supply chain that “creates high-quality, low-impact, long-lasting products.” The brand’s timeless basics reduce waste, chemicals and plastics. Head to the beach in the brand’s triangle swim top or one-piece swimsuit that comes in a variety of colors.
6. Mara Hoffman
The athletic apparel brand is the brainchild of plus-size model Candice Huffine. Each garment is created on-demand in upstate New York with sizes up to a 5X. The pieces are created from recycled and locally sourced materials. Shop the brand’s best sellers, including its comfortable leggings or “How To Be Healthy” hoodie.
Eileen Fisher focuses on sustainability through multiple mediums. The brand collects and recycles clothing by its customers. With over 200 styles in sizes up to a 3X (like this linen short-sleeve shirt or these white jeans), the brand also prioritizes safe manufacturing in the U.S.
10. Made Trade
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