10 Best Sustainable Fashion Charities (Complete 2021 List)

10 Best Sustainable Fashion Charities (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Did you know that each year, millions of tons of clothes are thrown away? And that every second, a truck load of clothes is burnt or buried in landfill? It’s time for us to help support and promote sustainable fashion. And there are many excellent organizations helping to clean up the hot-mess known as the fashion industry in a variety of ways.

The best sustainable fashion charities include the Fashion Revolution, Textile Exchange, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Environmental Justice Foundation, Fashion Takes Action, Slow Factory Foundation, and re/make. These charities help to transform fashion into a more sustainable and ethical industry.

We’ve highlighted some of the best sustainable fashion charities making a difference that you ought to know about. And there’s more charity for the sake of sustainable fashion out there than you may think.

Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution is a non-profit organization that is working to secure radical change in the way that our clothing is produced, sourced and consumed. They are pushing for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain through social media outreach, investigative research, innovative events and inspiring, informative content.

Their vision is “A global fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.” And to achieve this, they tackle the big three fronts of culture change, industry change, and policy change through empowering

You can support Fashion Revolution through a donation to their global team or to your preferred country team. Or you can take collective action together with Fashion Revolution and use your voice and power to make a positive change.

Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange is a non-profit that is building a global community of major brands, suppliers, and retailers to collectively make a positive impact on the climate. 

They create, administer, and promote a series of leading industry standards as well as publish collections of essential industry data and insights that empower the community to measure, maintain, and track their use of favored materials and fiber. By creating a reference point for the industry and offering ready-to-use tools for improvement, the Textile Exchange is leading the way to a better tomorrow.

Check out the Textile Exchange members or become a member to support this cause.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has a vision of a new economic system that provides superior outcomes for people and the planet. It’s on a mission to expedite the global economy’s transition into a circular economy, which is built progressively on renewable materials and energy, diverse, distributed, and inclusive. 

And to help make the fashion industry more circular, they’ve created a blueprint for the fashion industry to help redesign the way they create clothes. 

To solve the problem, we must help fashion reinvent itself. And with their blueprint, the Ellen MacArthur foundation empowers fashion makers to build an industry that designs products to be:

  • used more
  • made to be made again
  • made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs

In addition, by inspiring and working with academia, business, institutions, and policymakers, the group helps develop, promote, and mobilize system solutions on a global scale.

Listen to Ellen MacArthur answer the question “What is The Circular Economy?

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Environmental Justice Foundation

The Environmental Justice Foundation operates to lower the environmental and human costs of cotton production. It exposes human rights issues, water-shortages, pesticide misuses, and calls for transparency in the supply chain. Notably, EJF has investigated and uncovered forced child labor that was state-sponsored in Uzbekistan, which resulted in rapid improvements to retailer and supply chain policies. 

EJF believes cotton could be a sustainable option if cultivated using best-practices, not the worst-practices it currently utilizes. The Foundation is dedicated to advocating for organic cotton as an economically viable and environmentally sustainable alternative and supporting a greener future. 

Get involved with EJF and help make a positive change for people and the planet.

Fashion Takes Action

Fashion Takes Action works to advance ethics, sustainability, and circularity in the global fashion industry through research, awareness, education, and collaboration. Through various initiatives, research projects, speaking engagements, meet-ups, and global awareness campaigns, Fashion Takes Action is helping to change the industry. 

The non-profit is also a platform for consumers to engage with the industry in meaningful discussions about fashion’s negative impacts and share ideas on how to accelerate positive outcomes. 

Make a donation to Fashion Takes Action to help advance its important work.

Slow Factory Foundation

The Slow Factory Foundation is a 501c3 public service organization taking real action toward environmental and social justice. Enabled by a range of partnerships, the Foundation’s purpose-driven initiatives guide its ecological and social mission globally. It supports organizations, brands, and changemakers in obstructing exploitative environmental and human rights practices. Projects focus on particular issues that motivate the industry into action. 

Support Slow Factory’s Super Fund and join the movement in “dismantling colonial systems of oppression.”

Re/make

Re/make is a non-profit community that has pledged to bring fast fashion to an end. The group is building leaders and empowering communities to join in their mission to improve fashion’s impact and drive accountability and transparency with its Seal of Approval process. This process incites brands to improve how it discloses information to the public and allows the community to call out greenwashing easily.

Join the movement to help re/make shed light on the injustices occurring in the fashion industry.

Fashion Act Now

Fashion Act Now was inspired and created by the Extinction Rebellion. The crowdfunding group is on a mission to challenge the fashion industry to transform its current practices and culture of exploiting the world’s resources. It seeks an industry that supports humanity’s wellbeing and regenerates the environment. 

The initiative comes together around campaigning, dialogue, and research to inspire and strengthen activists worldwide in their non-violent methods they are using to bring about the change Fashion Act Now desires.  

Subscribe to their newsletter to find out about the latest and best ways to support Fashion Act Now.

Redress

Redress is based in Hong Kong and works among the various sectors of people driving the fashion industry in Asia to reduce the region’s textile waste. To date, the company has saved over 23 tons of discarded clothing from landfills in Hong Kong. They have also hosted many pop-up shops, launched a design award, and collaborated with designers to help create a global shift toward a more sustainable future. 

Donate money or clothing or get involved directly to help out

Traid

Traid is a U.K. charity organization working to keep clothes from becoming waste. Using a circular, sustainable approach, the group takes clothing that would otherwise be thrown away and turns them into funding and resources to lower the environmental and social impacts caused by the apparel industry. It is also involved in projects concerning natural manufacturing techniques, the cultivation of non-GMO cotton seeds, ending child labor, and more.

Donate your clothes and shoes at one of the organization’s many charity shops set up throughout the U.K.

Fair Wear Foundation

The Fair Wear Foundation is working to create a world where workers in the garment industry are supported in realizing their rights to dignified, safe, and adequately compensated employment. 

The non-profit organization does this by working alongside its over 140 member brands to directly engage with factories, NGOs, trade unions, and governments to tackle the problems that most others are not. With the help of these groups, Fair Wear Foundation is making fashion fair for everybody.  

Join the movement with the Fair Wear Foundation and take action for a fair garment industry.

Other Honorable Mentions in Sustainable Fashion

Centre for Sustainable Fashion

The Centre for Sustainable Fashion is the UAL London College of Fashion research center currently provoking, challenging, and questioning the status quo of fashion. Sign up for the newsletter to receive updates on their quest for sustainable fashion. 

The Sustainable Fashion Forum

The Sustainable Fashion Forum supports conversations about fashion and sustainability to teach, empower, and encourage its community to envision a new future for fashion. Become a member and join the discussion today!

Clean Clothes Campaign

The Clean Clothes Campaign has created a grass-roots network made up of hundreds of unions and organizations to develop strategies, educate, advocate, and take action to empower workers and improve working conditions in the global sportswear and garment industries. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay up to date with their ongoing accomplishments.

Global Fashion Exchange

The Global Fashion Exchange creates an impact through curated talks, innovative clothing swap events, and global cultural activations. Sign up with an email for news and updates. 

Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution is a global effort to revolutionize the fashion industry into a worldwide force that values people over growth and profit as well as restores and conserves the environment. Take action by joining the revolution to help make a difference.

Second-Hand Fashion: The Ultimate Sustainable Fashion Charity

The fashion industry is so unsustainable because fashion, by its very definition, tends to trend, fad, and eventually fade into the next latest model and vogue quickly. And as consumers, we follow along, turning yesterday’s fashion into tomorrow’s trash and contributing to the unsustainable cycle.

Some brands do their part by using sustainable materials and recycling textiles to create fresh items. But the complete answer to sustainable fashion relies heavily on consumers buying their clothes from second-hand clothing shops. Of course, it works both ways, as many second-hand shops accept clothing donations at their location, providing you the other way to participate in the circle of sustainable fashion.

And many sustainability advocates agree that buying second-hand is a more sustainable option than buying anything new. In many ways, it could be considered the most charitable thing one can do in the name of sustainable fashion.

For example, Oxfam has been making fashion sustainable since before sustainability was fashionable. It opened its first charity shop in Oxford, U.K., in 1948 and has been reselling and reusing clothes ever since. The charity operates its own recycling facility, Wastesaver, which manages upwards of 12,000 tons of clothes annually. That’s the weight-equivalent of the Eiffel Tower in clothing that Oxfam saves from landfills each year!

Final Thoughts

Sustainable fashion is more than eco-friendly materials. If we really want to help alleviate the negative impact the fashion industry has on the planet, the organizations we support must be actively working to do something about the problem. And as consumers, we should be supporting second-hand shops and giving our money to companies who are giving it back to others to help make fashion truly sustainable. 

Stay impactful,



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