15 Most Sustainable Rayon Clothing Brands: The Conscious Consumer’s Guide

15 Most Sustainable Rayon Clothing Brands: The Conscious Consumer’s Guide

By
Quynh Nguyen

Read Time:42 Minutes

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Rayon is the first ever regenerated cellulose fiber invented. With the development of technology, three generations of rayon have emerged: viscose, modal, and lyocell. Though all of these fibers come from dissolved wood pulp, their sustainability differs due to changes in manufacturing processes and, thus, fiber properties. Unfortunately, fashion greenwashing makes it more complicated and, therefore, harder for you and all other consumers to figure out which rayon clothing brands offer the most eco-friendly clothes. So, we had to ask: Which are the most sustainable rayon clothing brands? 

The most sustainable rayon clothing brands include Patagonia, MATE the Label, and Tentree, which use low-impact materials, employ full traceability, and strive for textile circularity. In addition, ARMEDANGELS and Mara Hoffman commit to fair trade practices and lower carbon footprints.

Whether you are searching for a versatile top, an elegant dress, or some comfortable underwear to add to your wardrobe without negatively impacting the soil, the water, the animals, and other people, there is a brand for you. So, let’s keep reading to learn more about the most sustainable rayon clothing brands and how they ensure sustainable, ethical practices. 

Here’s How Sustainable Rayon Fabrics Generally Are

Rayon are semi-synthetic fibers made in chemical manufacturing processes that break down natural cellulose fibers in wood and then regenerate fibers of desired properties. Rayon fibers can be divided into three generations, driven by the changes in manufacturing technology: 

  • Viscose: 1st generation of rayon (and sometimes simply referred to as rayon)
  • Modal: 2nd generation of rayon 
  • Lyocell: 3rd generation of rayon 

Sustainable: The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level | Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance”

Oxford Dictionary

To understand the sustainability of rayon, we’ve assessed the life-cycle and each stage’s sustainability. This life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a method to evaluate the environmental impacts of products and materials. Here’s the quick summary of our LCA of rayon!

What makes sustainable rayon fabrics: Lyocel is generally considered the most sustainable rayon fiber. It is also ranked the highest in the three generations of rayon, according to The Common Objective’s Made-By Environmental Benchmark for Fibres. The reason for this lies mainly in lyocell’s closed-loop manufacturing system that uses organic solvents instead of synthetic chemicals, as in the case of modal and viscose. 

Additionally: Modal and viscose fabrics, such as those made by Lenzing, can be relatively sustainable when made with traceable cellulose fibers in closed-loop systems that recover and reuse liquids and chemicals. 

Related: Are you interested in the whole story of rayon fabrics? Then check out our full article: “How Sustainable Are Rayon Fabrics? A Life-Cycle Assessment.”

Here’s How We Selected the Most Sustainable Rayon Clothing Brands

The brands on this list were chosen based on their commitment and actions to promote sustainable practices while reducing the environmental impacts of the textile industry.

They are transparent about their materials, processes, and workforce management within their supply chain. 

Some brands focus their efforts on reducing waste and optimizing natural resources while others strive to reduce the carbon footprint of their clothes.

All of these brands share the commitment to reshape the textile industry toward a more sustainable and Earth-friendly sector.

These Are the 15 Most Sustainable Rayon Clothing Brands

Overall, these rayon clothing brands are sustainable. Yet, they take various approaches to reduce environmental impacts and uphold ethical standards. Let’s dive into each brand and find out more. 

1

Patagonia: Everyday Wear for Those Who Care

Logo for Patagonia
Screenshot of the Patagonia front page

Together, we can prioritize purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home.

Patagonia

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Patagonia puts sustainability at the center of their operation. They work to reduce, rather than simply offset, carbon emissions where it matters the most: in the supply chain and material manufacturing. They reduce their carbon footprint by removing high-impact virgin fossil-based fibers from their collections, using “Environmental Profit and Loss” to guide their production decision, and helping their suppliers to cut emissions. Patagonia’s fall 2023 collection is made up mostly of preferred materials (91% by fabric weight), including recycled cotton, regenerative organic cotton, hemp, and Man-Made Cellulose Fibers, which include modal, lyocell, and REFIBRA™, all made by Lenzing. On top of that, Patagonia’s Worn Wear program encourages customers to repair and recycle their products, extending the textile lifecycle and reducing waste. Lastly, Patagonia is certified as a B Corporation and a Bluesign® brand. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Patagonia commits to fair trade practices. Through the partnership with Fair Trade USA, they currently produce 86% of their clothes in 20 Fair Trade Certified factories. Patagonia pays a premium for every item produced in such factories, accumulating in a fund for workers to use in their chosen community projects, whether in healthcare or parent support or to withdraw as a cash bonus. Additionally, they have various social responsibility programs to prevent harm and create positive impacts on the lives of apparel workers in their supply chain. These include the Fair Labor Association, the Living Wage Program, the Migrant Workers Program, and the Responsible Purchasing Practices. Patagonia is also fully transparent about the locations of their facilities and suppliers. Regarding animal rights, Patagonia has developed the Patagonia Wool Standard, which uses the Responsible Wool Standard as a foundation but goes beyond it in several key areas of animal welfare practices.

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged 1% of sales annually to environmental causes. They have awarded over $89 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups, making a difference in their local communities. In 2022, the founder of Patagonia gave away his family’s ownership of the company to the newly created Patagonia Purpose Trust and the not-for-profit organization Holdfast Collective, ensuring that all future profits from the company are used to fight the climate and extinction crisis

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: kidswear, menswear, womenswear 
  • Product range: shirts, pants, jackets, blazers, hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts, shorts, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$ 
  • Size range: XXS–XXXL
2

MATE the Label: Clean From Seed to Skin

Logo for MATE the Label
Screenshot of the MATE the label front page

To provide people everywhere with essentials that are clean from seed to skin.

MATE the Label

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

MATE the Label ensures sustainability by sourcing low-impact natural materials, reducing carbon footprints, and recycling. They opt for plant-based yarns (organic cotton, linen, TENCEL™ Lyocell) and non-toxic dyes. At least 50% of their clothing items are made with organic or recycled plant fibers. Furthermore, they manufacture locally (within 15 miles of their office) to reduce transportation emissions. The brand diverts their textile waste (pre- and post-consumer) into making new products. They have B Corporation and Climate Neutral certifications. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

MATE the Label has a Code of Conduct covering some ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles. Specifically, they do final production in US factories where they had banned, since day 1, the piece rate pay—a practice that often leads to wages below minimum wage and unsafe working conditions. They commit to creating safe, comfortable, and fair working environments for everyone in their supply chain, including farmers, garment workers, and recyclers. They also make regular visits to their suppliers

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

In 2021, MATE the Label donated 1% of sales to nonprofit partners that are committed to saving the planet. On Giving Tuesday in 2021, they upped the donation from 1% of every purchase to 5%. Since their partnership with BEAM Impact, MATE the Label’s consumers can choose which organization the donations of their order should go to. 

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: minimalistic, versatile clothes for women
  • Product range: sweaters, dresses, pants, hoodies, maternity wear, blouses, T-shirts, jumpsuits, underwear
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XS–XL
3

Tentree: A Lifestyle Clothing Brand That Plants Trees for Every Item Purchased

Logo for Tentree
Screenshot of the Tentree front page

“ We believe the future of business is restorative.”

Tentree

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Tentree ensures sustainability by planting trees, promoting circularity, opting for low-impact fabrics, and attaining responsible packaging. Since their inception, they have planted more than 100,000,000 trees, which helps regenerate ecosystems, capture carbon, and provide forestry jobs in communities around the world. Together with textile recycler SuperCircle and resale guru Treet, Tentree has created an integrated solution to resell or recycle pre-loved Tentree clothing items, keeping them in circulation and out of landfills. Tentree also uses eco-friendly fabrics and blends, including organic cotton, hemp, recycled polyester, and TENCEL™ (a lyocell fabric made by Lenzing). Regarding packaging, they replaced all single-use plastics with FSC-certified and 100% recycled paper. Lastly, they have B Corporation and Climate Neutral certifications. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Tentree enforces fair labor practices by collaborating only with manufacturers and suppliers that guarantee a safe and respectful environment for their employees. They regularly audit their partner facilities to ensure compliance with their Code of Conduct and international labor standards. Part of their supply chains is certified by organizations that protect workers, such as Fair Wear Foundation, Global Organic Textile Standard, Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit, and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production – WRAP. Additionally, Tentree commits to protecting forests through their paper, packaging, and fabric choices. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Giving back is a cornerstone of Tentree’s mission. Tentree plants 10 trees worldwide for every item purchased, contributing to reforestation and combating climate change. In 2022 alone, their customers helped plant over 22 million trees across nine countries, restoring over 2,000 hectares of terrestrial forests, over 1,000 hectares of coastal mangrove forests, and hundreds of hectares of marine land

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: kidswear, menswear, womenswear
  • Product range: T-shirts, tank tops, shirts, sweaters, cardigans, dresses, pants, hoodies, shorts, skirts, joggers, jackets, coats, underwear
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XXS–XXL
4

ARMEDANGELS: Sustainable Clothing Brand Plus an Agent of Lifestyle Change 

Logo for Armedangels
Screenshot of the Armedangels front page

“So starting out with the humble tee, we took our oath against wage slavery, chemical shortcuts, and mass-producing pure crap, and transformed ourselves into one of the first clothing brands in all the land to put people and planet first.”  

ARMEDANGELS

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

ARMEDANGELS ensures sustainability by reducing carbon footprints while enabling people to change lifestyles to fight climate change. The brand innovates to cut down carbon emissions in their supply chain, starting with sourcing a high proportion of eco-friendly materials. Specifically, they use GOTS-certified organic cotton fabrics, GRS-certified recycled fabrics, GOTS-and RWS-certified organic wool fabrics, and FSC/PEFC-certified wood-based fabrics including lyocell, modal, and viscose by Lenzing. Additionally, ARMEDANGELS chooses materials with the lowest carbon footprint possible, for example, opting for wood-based fabrics over silk or natural fabrics over fossil-based synthetic fabrics while increasing recycled content, such as recycled wool and recycled cotton. For example, within a year, the share of recycled cotton in their DetoxDenim jeans increased from 5% to 37%, with some jeans in the collection containing 100% recycled cotton. Lastly, ARMEDANGELS’s efforts to encourage lifestyle change include care and repair guides to keep garments longer in circulation. They also have a resale platform that facilitates traded-in to be sold again as second-hand clothes or recycled as fibers for new clothes. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

ARMEDANGELS ensures their ethics by only working with trusted partners to deliver decent wages and workers’ safety. They directly and actively monitor all their suppliers and the suppliers’ nominated subcontractors via on-site and online Internal Due Diligence Check and Self-Assessment, external audits by Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), Global Organic Textile Standard and third-party audits, continuous support, and tailored training programs by third parties. ARMEDANGELS ensures payment of a living wage in part of their supply chain and pays a markup where they notice wage issues via the living wage project. Most importantly, they are fully transparent about the journey from raw material to their products, especially where people and animals are involved, and the impacts of their actions.

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

ARMEDANGELS raises funds by donating part of their sales tosupport various organizations and campaigns. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have raised €745.800 ($790,883.61 USD) for Doctors Without Borders, facilitating isolation wards, COVID-19 clinics, and protective clothing for medical professionals worldwide. Other fundraising projects include supporting the climate movement with German Zero and the Climate Emergency Fund, fighting for equality with UN Women, advocating for fair payment and safe working conditions for Bangladeshi garment workers with the National Garment Workers Federation, and rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean Sea with Sea-Watch.

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: kidswear, menswear
  • Product range: denim jeans, jackets, jumpsuits, shorts, skirts, T-shirts
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XS–XXL
5

Mara Hoffman: Womenswear Brand Promoting Mindful Fashion Habits

Logo for Mara Hoffman
Screenshot of the Mara Hoffman front page

As a team, we remain committed to reducing our footprint on the planet by extending the life of each garment, contributing to the regeneration of the environment, and advocating for the communities least responsible for, yet most impacted by, climate change.”

Mara Hoffman 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Mara Hoffman’s sustainability efforts focus on responsible materials, low-impact manufacturing practices, and mindful fashion habits. When sourcing for their designs, they prioritize natural, recycled, and organic materials over virgin synthetic fabrics while opting out of fur, leather, and feathers. Specifically, their modal fabrics are sourced from top-ranking man-made fiber producers on Canopy’s Hot Button Report, Lenzing and Birla Cellulose, while their lyocell fabrics are made by Lenzing and the circular fashion brand Circ. Additionally, their packaging is free from plastics and uses natural materials that can be easily recycled. Since 2019, they have transitioned into 100% recycled paper mailers for small shipments. Regarding the manufacturing stage, Mara Hoffman aims to minimize waste and energy usage wherever possible. For example, they choose digital printing to reduce fabric waste and water waste. Lastly, they encourage mindful fashion habits such as “Wear More, Wash Less“, repairing, and repurposing to keep garments lasting a long time while reducing the climate impact. They also have a platform, Full Circle Marketplace, where you can buy and sell pre-owned Mara Hoffman garments. 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Mara Hoffman works with Fair Trade Certified™ products and factories to ensure workers receive premium work payment. Additionally, they regularly conduct in-person factory visits. They also support the growth of smaller factories with incentives like sponsoring website development and delivering training programs on transparent record-keeping. For transparency, they publish the list of the Tier 1 factories where the last stage of production happens. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

As Mara Hoffman has shifted toward sustainability, they have increased contributions to and participation in social justice movements. They give back in various ways, including sponsoring, fundraising, and mentoring, in partnership with many organizations working toward social justice and sustainability. The list includes Black in Fashion Council, CanopyStyle, Equality Now, Woman March, and Sweet Freedom Farm

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: dresses, tops, blouses, pants, skirts, swimwear, jumpsuits, playsuits, bodysuits, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$ 
  • Size range: XS–XXXL
6

Neu Nomads: An Ethic-First Brand With a Commitment to Sustainability and Traceability 

Logo for Neu Nomads
Screenshot of the Neu Nomads front page

We always consider how to create something beautiful with the lowest possible impact on the world.”

Karen Wood, founder of Neu Nomads

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Neu Nomads prioritizes sustainability by opting for eco-friendly materials, using renewable energy in their supply chain, and reducing waste with a platform to resell and reuse pre-loved clothes. Their biodegradable, plant-based fabrics include linen, certified organic cotton, and TENCEL™ (lyocell fabrics produced by Lenzing). Their factory in India is powered by solar energy, with all the excess energy directed back to the local community. Water used for dying fabrics is captured, purified, and processed using non-toxic and AZO-free dyes. Nearly 90% of the water used during dyeing is recycled in a common effluent treatment plant. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Neu Nomads ensures their ethics through fair labor practices and transparent supply chains. They also make regular inspection visits to their suppliers. 85% of their garments are produced in a family-owned factory in Delhi that maintains healthy working conditions, healthcare benefits, and compensation far above the living wage.

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Neu Nomads is not known to be part of any giving-back programs.

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: luxurious essential clothing items for female modern travelers 
  • Product range: shirts, scarves, dresses, pants, jackets, blazers, knitwear, tops, blouses, T-shirts, lingerie
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: XXS–XXL
7

Ecoalf: Committing to Recycling Waste and Cleaning the Environment 

Logo for Ecoalf
Screenshot of the Ecoalf front page

“I believe the time when fashion was just about looking good is over. More than ever it has to be about doing what is right and feeling good about it.”

Javier Goyeneche, founder of Ecoalf 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Ecoalf’s commitment to sustainability is evident in their innovative recycling practices. They minimize the use of natural resources by using mainly waste as raw materials, collecting and transforming discarded materials such as plastic bottles, discarded fishing nets, and post-industrial cotton into high-quality fashion items. In 2023, they launched their first 100% recycled cotton collection that can be recycled again to achieve circularity. In 2021, 74% of the materials used by Ecoalf were recovered from waste, saving 1,377 tons of CO₂. In combination with recycled fabrics, including mechanically recycled cotton, recycled wool, recycled polyester, and recycled nylon, Ecoalf also sources some low-impact materials, such as natural fabrics (linen, hemp, kapok) and semi-natural fabrics, including ECOVERO™ viscose. Ecoalf is also Bluesign® and B Corporation certified

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Ecoalf ensures their ethics by protecting their workers and the environment. In particular, they ensure there are safe and fair working conditions in their supply chain by mandating a Code of Conduct, an Equality Scheme, a Crime Prevention Handbook, a Disciplinary System, and a Bullying at Work Protocol. Additionally, they run many campaigns to raise awareness of the state of our ocean and earth-damaging consumerism habits. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Ecoalf actively participates in giving-back programs. The Ecoalf Foundation was founded to clean the oceans of marine waste with the help of the fishing industry while giving a second life to plastic waste through recycling and closing the loop. They achieve that with their “Upcycling the Oceans” projects. In 2021, Ecoalf donated 10% of all Because There’s No Planet B sales to the Ecoalf Foundation to expand the “Upcycling the Oceans” project beyond the Spanish border and into countries like Thailand, Greece, and France. The foundation also partners with Biotherm to set up the framework of “Limpia ríos, salva océanos”, a project supported by corporate volunteer days to collect waste and restore the environment. Additionally, Ecoalf’s employees volunteer in various environmental incentives

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: womenswear, menswear, kidswear
  • Product range: shirts, pants, jackets, blazers, hoodies, sweatshirts, tops, blouses, knitwear, T-shirts, sneakers, accessories
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XS–XL
8

Encircled: Minimalist Clothing Essentials Made Without Compromising Style, Comfort, or the Planet 

Logo for Encircled

Ethically made from the finest, most soft and flattering eco-friendly fabrics, our collection is designed with intention, flexibility and exceptional fit at its heart.”

Kristi Soomer, Founder of Encircled 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Encircled prioritizes sustainability through minimizing waste and maximizing options. They are vigilant about closing gaps in the supply chains and the life of each piece of clothing. Their sewing studios upcycle all scrap fabrics into accessories, putting them up for quarterly sales. Encircled Renewed Threads is a platform where you can find pre-loved items. It is also possible to buy, sell, or trade Encircled clothes on their Facebook community page. Other environmental incentives include using green energy to power their office and host their website, FSC-certified and eco-friendly paper and cleaning products, and 100% recyclable packaging. Encircled manufactures their products locally and spends at least 50% of their non-labor expenses at local independent suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint. Lastly, they prioritize natural fabrics, such as organic cotton and linen, and low-impact, plant-based semi-natural fabrics, such as TENCEL™ Lyocell, TENCEL™ Modal, and LENZING™ ECOVERO™

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Encircled puts ethics at the core of their operations. Their final stage of production is undertaken in Canada, a low-risk country for labor abuse. They uphold each factory in their supply chain to an Ethical Code of Conduct checklist, exceeding what the law requires. Encircled alsovisits their international suppliers regularly. Lastly, they advocate continuously for diversity and inclusion.

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Encircled is not known to be part of any giving-back programs. 

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: skirts, dresses, pants, jackets, blazers, knitwear, tops, blouses, T-shirts, stockings, tights, jumpsuits, playsuits, accessories, plus-size 
  • Price range: $$$ 
  • Size range: XS–XXL
9

Whimsy + Row: Reducing Eco-Footprint With Every Step of the Process

Logo for Whimsyandrow
Screenshot of the Whimsy + Row front page

 “Growing and being a good company.”

Rachel Temko, founder of Whimsy + Row

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Whimsy + Row prioritizes sustainability by opting for low-impact materials like lyocell, modal, and viscose trademarked by Lenzing, certified organic cotton, linen, and deadstock/upcycled fabrics. Their clothes are made with low-impact dyes and recycled water. Furthermore, they reduce waste through their small-batch production of long-lasting products and efforts to close the loop to reach zero waste. The final stages of manufacturing are done locally to reduce the transportation footprint. They further offset their carbon emission with the Carbon Fund. Whimsy + Row is carbon neutral

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Whimsy + Row clothing is made within a few miles of their office, enabling weekly factory visits. The brand ensures that fair wages are given and that workers are being treated fairly.

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Whimsy + Row actively participates in giving-back programs that support environmental causes and community initiatives. Specifically, they donate money to organizations like One Tree Planted, People Tree, Global Fund for Women, Black Lives Matter, Reclaim the Block, Black Vision Collective, Downtown Women’s Health Center, and Feeding America. Once a month, their employees also donate their time to community work, such as cleaning the beach or planting trees. 

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: womenswear with eco-friendly, contemporary designs 
  • Product range: skirts, denim, dresses, pants, tops, blouses, shorts, lingerie, plus-size 
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: XS–3XL
10

Organic Basics: A Carbon Neutral Brand Creating Underwear, Activewear, and Everyday Essentials

Logo for Organic Basics
Screenshot of the Organic Basics front page

We make our basics to be both Earth- and people-friendly — carefully choosing materials and fabrics that care for our environment, only partnering with factories that consider their impact too, and designing all the basics for all bodies.

Organic Basics

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Organic Basics promotes sustainability by choosing fabrics based on their environmental footprint and lifetime durability. Their clothes are made exclusively with natural fabrics (organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard), low-impact textiles (TENCEL™ lyocell certified by the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®), or recycled materials (recycled nylon certified by the Global Recycling Standard). They use a small percentage of elastane in some garments to extend the products’ longevity, which ultimately extends the lifespan. Organic Basics is fully transparent about the impact of their products, enabling consumers to understand their share in using the clothes. Organic Basics partners with Made2Flow, which calculates their emissions, and One Carbon World, which helps them reduce and offset all their emissions. Finally, they are also a B Corporation

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Organic Basics works only with trusted, certified factory partners, who ensure that their workplace is free of child labor and forced labor and that their workers enjoy a safe working space, earn a living wage, and benefit from employee perks like free lunches and childcare. They show full transparency of the location and practices in their factories. Organic Basics also audits or visits most of their suppliers

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Organic Basics donates 1% of the value of all orders to sustainable projects. Their partnership with Beam Impact enables consumers to choose where their 1% donation will go, at no extra cost to the consumers, to support local charities that help Nature Conservation, Ocean Conservation, Rewilding, or Sustainability & Gender Equity.

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: womenswear, menswear
  • Product range: underwear, bras, bottoms, T-shirts, tops, sweatshirts, hoodies, knitwear dresses, swimwear, socks, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: XXS–XXL

Toad&Co: Made-to-Order Clothes Using Highly Sustainable Materials 

Logo for Toad&Co
Screenshot of the Toad&Co front page

Our commitment to a cleaner way of living and doing business has made us stronger and, like any good relationship, we take every day as it comes.

Toad&Co

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Toad&Co promotes sustainability by sourcing eco-friendly materials, reducing carbon footprints, supporting textile circularity, and joining the responsible packaging movement. 100% of Toad&Co clothing is made with a minimum of 80% sustainable fibers and/or fabrics that have met Earth-friendly standards in accordance with Bluesign® or STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. They use organic cotton, recycled fabrics, hemp, lyocell, and modal. Furthermore, they purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for all Toad&Co locations to offset their energy use by supporting the development of emission-free renewable energy and carbon reduction projects. The ToadAgain platform enables reselling and buying pre-loved items to reduce waste and extend the lifespan of clothing items. Additionally, Toad&Co provides resources for consumers to mend and extend the usage of their clothes. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Toad&Co is committed to promoting fair labor practices and safe working conditions in all factories in their supply chain. Their manufacturers are held to Toad&Co’s Workplace Code of Conduct to provide employees with a sustainable work environment. Their Code of Conduct covers four of the ILO’s Fundamental Freedoms principles. They also visit vendors’ facilities on a yearly basis to ensure that their clothes are produced with integrity. In 2010, Toad&Co was named one of Outside Magazine’s best places to work

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

At the very beginning of their journey, Toad&Co co-founded Planet Access Company, which employs adults with disabilities, fostering inclusivity and diversity in the workforce. Additionally, they run programs that support people with disabilities to make arts and enjoy outdoor adventures. They also give 1% of all sales to environmental causes via 1% for the Planet membership. In the last 20 years, they have helped to fund 120 environmental protection organizations

🛍️

What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: menswear, womenswear
  • Product range: shirts, sweaters, dresses, pants, maternity wear, T-shirts, shorts, underwear
  • Price range: $$ 
12

TAMGA Designs: Luxurious, Lightweight, and Forest-Friendly Clothing 

Logo for TAMGA Designs
Screenshot of the Tamga Designs front page

“We believe in a bright future for our planet, which is why we only use fabrics made from traceable and sustainable botanic fibers. ”

TAMGA Designs

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How do they ensure their sustainability?

TAMGA Designs ensures sustainability by lowering their environmental impacts throughout the life-cycles of their clothes. In the material sourcing stage, they use only 100% biodegradable and recyclable fabrics, including low-impact, certified, traceable wood-based fabrics (lyocell, modal, viscose) from Lenzing and European-original linen. To manufacture their colorful collection, TAMGA Designs opts for OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certified dyes that use 70% less water than conventional synthetic dyes. Each finished product is packed in an unbleached GOTS-certified organic cotton tote bag that can be reused for traveling or home storage. Other packing elements are made with recycled, recyclable, or compostable materials. TAMGA Designs also uses the leftover fabric from previous collections to create the “Revival” collection. Lastly, they offset all carbon emissions to make their garments carbon-neutral. In 2022, through their partnership with SimpliZero, TAMGA Designs invested in Gold-Standard offsetting projects, including the Sirap Wind Farm in Indonesia, a Bundled Wind Power project in China, and a Clean Drinking Water project in Cambodia. 

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How do they ensure their ethics?

TAMGA Designs ensures their ethics by sharing every supplier that touches a TAMGA garment, from “field to fashion.” Their direct suppliers are upheld to a Code of Conduct that covers all of ILO’s Fundamental Freedoms principles. They visit most of their suppliers regularly. 

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Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Since their inception, TAMGA Designs has always given back a portion of their sales to causes they care about. Through their partnership with 1% for the Planet, they give 1% of the annual sales to the Sumatran Orangutan Society (S.O.S.). The fund is used to replant the rainforests in Sumatra, restoring one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots and bringing back the habitat for four critically endangered species, including orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers. Additionally, they have a special t-shirt collection made with Lenzing’s viscose fabrics, Trees Please Tee, for which they contribute $10 per every sold item to S.O.S. In 2022, they celebrated Forest-Friendly-Friday and International Orangutan Day, donating 20% and 25% of all sales, respectively, to the Sumatran Orangutan Society

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What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: womenswear, kidswear
  • Product range: skirts, shirts, dresses, pants, tops, blouses, shorts, jumpsuits, playsuits, T-shirts, kimonos, loungewear, accessories, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$$
  • Size range: XS–XXL
13

Baukjen: Womenswear Designed for Circularity and Made Sustainably 

Logo for Baukjen
Screenshot of the Baukjen front page

“Our collections are designed for the modern woman struggling with a busy lifestyle. Effortless style is our design signature, premium quality is our standard so our clothes can be worn year after year.”

Baukjen 

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How do they ensure their sustainability?

Baukjen ensures sustainability by swapping planet-unfriendly materials for more responsible ones, cutting down impacts throughout their supply chain, and moving toward a circular model. They lower their impact and contribute to a circular materials economy by increasing the proportion of recycled fibers (Ecotec recycled cotton, recycled sheep wool, recycled cashmere, Newlife recycled polyester, recycled down) and regenerative fibers. For example, in the second quarter of 2023, 98.6% of the materials used were from responsible sources with traceable origins, while 98.2% of the fibers used have a proven lower environmental impact. Specifically, their viscose fabrics, which account for 40% of Baukjen and their sister brand Isabelle Oliver’s 2022 collections, are sustainably and ethically sourced, either from Ecojilin viscose, which is made of pre-consumer recycled cotton fibers instead of virgin wood, using significantly less energy and water in the process while avoiding cutting down trees, or from LENZING™ ECOVERO™, Canopy’s top ranking viscose. Further down the life-cycle in the manufacturing stage, they continue to lower the impacts by reducing water usage, using 100% renewable energy in offices and warehouses to decrease their carbon footprint, and minimizing manufacturing waste. For example, the water consumption and carbon emissions in the second quarter of 2023 were 47% and 31% lower than the same quarter in 2020, respectively. Baukjen is also a Zero Waste business, meaning that over 90% of their “waste” is neither landfilled nor incinerated. Once finished, their garments are shipped in 100% plastic-free, recyclable, and biodegradable packaging made from a recycled paper mix certified by FSC or PEFC. Lastly, Baukjen strives toward circularity through their re-commerce initiatives: Pre-Loved, Rental, and Care and Repair

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How do they ensure their ethics?

Baukjen ensures their ethics by maintaining a high level of transparency regarding their factories and the impacts of their garments. They share the list of their factories, from Tier 1 to Tier 3 suppliers. Their Code of Conduct, signed by all direct suppliers (Tier 1) and some indirect suppliers (Tier 2), covers all of ILO’s Fundamental Freedoms principles. They visit their factories regularly and enforce third-party audits. Additionally, they offer insights into the sustainable attributes of each item in their collection, such as the impact, the traceability, the carbon emission, or the nature of the fibers used. 

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Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Baukjen gives at least 10% of their annual profits to charities, including NHS Charities Together, GOSH, Oxfam, Strut Safe, World Land Trust, Prince’s Trust, and Birth Companions. Their team is offered two days per year to volunteer at charities of their choice. For three years running, they swapped deals for good deeds over the Black Friday Weekend, opting instead to donate profits or clothing over the four-day shopping bonanza to a range of deserving charities, such as the UK women’s charity Smart Works

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Are they part of any giving-back programs?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: shirts, blouses, sweatshirts, cardigans, dresses, tops, jackets, blazers, outerwear, T-shirts, vests, jeans, pants, skirts, knitwear, jumpsuits, joggers, pajamas, underwear, tights, maternity wear
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XS–XX
14

Threads 4 Thought: Everyday Basics Produced Responsibly 

Logo for Threads 4 Thought
Screenshot of the Threads 4 Thought front page

From our original designs to our fabrics to the factory floor, we are committed to leaving an innately smaller impact on our planet.

Threads 4 Thought

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How do they ensure their sustainability?

Threads 4 Thought promotes sustainability by sourcing a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including recycled polyester, organic cotton, and modal with Lenzing’s renewable beech tree pulp. Further down the life-cycle in manufacturing, they lower their environmental impacts by implementing a dye technology that eliminates all harmful chemicals and reduces water usage during the dyeing process by 95%. They also recycle 80% of their main factory’s industrial wastewater. Additionally, their packing materials are fully FSC-certified, with 90% being WaveBags, which are 100% recyclable, water resistant, and strong. Lastly, 99% of their products are transported by boat rather than air, reducing carbon emissions during the transportation stage. 

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How do they ensure their ethics?

Threads 4 Thought traces most of their supply chain and reduces their impact through Greenstory. They have a Supplier Code of Conduct that covers all of ILO’s Fundamental Freedoms

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Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Threads 4 Thought partners with the International Rescue Committee to help people displaced due to conflicts

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What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: menswear, womenswear, kidswear
  • Product range: sweaters, dresses, pants, jackets, blazers, shorts, hoodies, T-shirts, tops, blouses, maternity wear, stockings, tights, jumpsuits, playsuits, sportswear, sleepwear, accessories, plus-size 
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XS–XXL
15

All the Wild Roses: Timeless Bohemian Clothing Made With Upcycled and Vintage Fabrics

Logo for All the Wild Roses
Screenshot of the Wild Roses front page

“From designing to our making process, our intention & focus is to create timeless designs that last, to do it in a way that minimises our environmental footprint and to do it with care & respect for our community (including and not limited to our makers, suppliers, customers and more).”

All the Wild Roses 

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How do they ensure their sustainability?

All the Wild Roses ensures sustainability by reducing textile waste, sourcing biodegradable, plastic-free materials, and lowering their carbon footprint. Their waste reduction incentives include sourcing deadstock fabrics, limiting production runs, and making clothes to order. By curating deadstock, surplus, or remnant fabrics into making their clothes, they help reduce the amount of textile waste in landfills. All the Wild Roses makes up to 90% of their collections with upcycled fabrics. To further minimize textile waste, they run limited batches of clothes, making the most of the upcycled fabrics they find while offering made-to-order service to avoid unnecessary inventory. Regarding textile materials, they prioritize biodegradable fibers derived from nature, including upcycled linen, cotton, and rayon. Their packaging is compostable and plastic-free. Lastly, they have incentives to lower their carbon footprint, including using 100% renewable and carbon-neutral energy for their design office, offsetting their operations with GreenFleet, a non-profit dedicated to restoring Australian Forest, opting for a carbon neutral shipping service, and operating 100% online which uses about 30% less energy than traditional retail. 

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How do they ensure their ethics?

All the Wild Roses has a formal statement covering workers’ rights. They ensure payment of a living wage in the final stage of production. Additionally, they trace their supply chain and visit their suppliers. 

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Are they part of any giving-back programs?

All the Wild Roses partners with Opportunity International Australia to provide microloans to women-led businesses in developing countries.

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What is their clothing range?

  • Best for: kidswear, menswear, womenswear
  • Product range: dresses, jumpsuits, tops, skirts, maternity dresses, breastfeeding dresses
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XXS–XXL

Rayon Fabrics: Biodegradable Textile Materials Made With Renewable Resources

Rayon are semi-synthetic fibers made in chemical manufacturing processes that break down natural cellulose fibers in wood and then regenerate fibers of desired properties. The sustainability of rayon depends largely on the origin of the cellulose fibers and the use and disposal of process chemicals. 

Here are the life-cycle stages of rayon fabrics and each stage’s sustainability assessment:

  • Sourcing of rayon: The sourcing stage is generally sustainable because rayon fabrics are made from renewable wood or wood-like materials. The fabrics are more sustainable when raw materials come from trees like eucalyptus, bamboo, or beech, which grow relatively fast and need no irrigation or fertilizer. However, there are concerns over the association between sourcing raw materials for some rayon fabrics and deforestation in ancient and endangered forests.
  • Manufacturing of rayon: Manufacturing rayon fabric can be energy and chemical-intensive. This can have serious knock-on ecological impacts, especially if fossil fuels are the main energy sources at the manufacturing locations. However, integrated and closed-loop manufacturing processes can recover part of the energy during production while optimizing materials. 
  • Transportation of rayon: Transporting can be a carbon-intensive stage in the life-cycle of items made with rayon fabrics because of the emissions associated with transporting and delivering vehicles. Rayon fabrics typically travel from forests, where raw materials for rayon are grown, to processing factories, then sorting centers, shops, and consumers’ homes before going to recycling centers or landfills. 
  • Usage of rayon: The usage of rayon fabrics is relatively sustainable because the breathable rayon clothing requires relatively fewer washes. Also, modal and lyocell are durable fabrics. 
  • End-of-life of rayon: The end-of-life stage for rayon fabric is generally sustainable because it is reusable, biodegradable, and compostable. 

Rayon fabrics can be highly sustainable when durable, breathable fabrics are made with wood from sustainably managed forests. However, not all rayon fibers are made equally because some manufacturers still depend heavily on fossil fuels for energy while using and releasing many chemicals. 

Why Is It Important to Buy Products Made of More Sustainable Fabrics

It is important to buy products made of more sustainable fabrics because a sustainable textile industry has a lower carbon footprint, helps save natural resources, and is better for forests, animals, and humans. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Reduces Your Carbon Footprint 

The production of clothing and footwear is estimated to contribute 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions—more than all international flights and shipping combined. If the fashion industry were a country, it would be the fourth largest emitter of carbon dioxide

One way to reduce the carbon footprint of the clothes you buy is to opt for sustainable fabrics. Sustainable fabrics, which are often made with natural or recycled fibers, have relatively low carbon footprints compared to petroleum-based fabrics. For example, organic cotton made in the US has a carbon footprint of 2.35 kg CO2 (per ton of spun fiber)—a quarter of polyester’s carbon footprint.

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Reduces Demand For Natural Resources and Waste Management

The textile industry uses water and land to grow Rayon and other fibers. It is estimated that 79 billion cubic meters of water were used for the sector worldwide in 2015. For example, producing a single cotton t-shirt requires as much water as one person drinks for 2.5 years (2,700 liters of fresh water).

Worse yet, the textile economy is vastly more linear than circular: the largest amount of resources used in clothes ended up in landfill (instead of being recycled to remake clothes). According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation,

  • Less than 3% of materials used in the textile economy in 2015 came from recycled sources.
  • In other words, more than 97% of resources used in making clothes are newly extracted. 

When clothing items are disposed of within a short period of time—under a year in the case of half of the fast fashion clothes—the natural systems that provide raw materials for fabrics don’t have enough time to recover and regenerate, which could lead to ecological breakdown. 

Sustainable fabrics are made with less water and emissions while lasting longer:

  • Because they are durable, you don’t need to buy new clothes too often. 
  • Thus, you help reduce the pressure to extract more resources for making new items. 

Similarly, making and consuming sustainable fabrics made with recycled materials reduces the demand for virgin materials while helping tackle waste management. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Sustainable Management of Forests

Sustainable plant-based fabrics are made with raw materials from forests and plantations that are sustainably managed, such as complying with FSC standards

When you buy sustainable plant-based fabrics, you discourage unsustainable forestry practices like illegal logging. You also help reduce deforestation, biodiversity loss, and the effects of climate change. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Fairer Treatment of Animals 

The fashion industry is rife with animal mistreatment when it comes to making animal-based fabrics like wool or silk. Every year, billions of animals suffer and die for clothing and accessories.

Buying sustainable vegan alternatives can help to reduce the pressure on raising more and more animals to meet the demand for animal-based fabrics while sacrificing their well-being and lives. 

Suppose you have to buy fabrics made with, for example, wool or silk; make sure you only choose brands committed to cruelty-free products. In that case, you help advocate better treatments for animals raised within the textile industry. 

Using Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Fairer Treatment of Textile Workers 

Recent statistics from UNICEF estimated as many as 170 million child laborers worldwide, many of whom were engaged in some form of work in the textile industry. They don’t get paid minimum wages and often work long hours. 

When you buy sustainable fabrics from brands transparent about the working conditions at their factories, you discourage the use of child labor and help promote better working conditions for textile workers.

How Can You Generally Buy More Sustainable Fabrics

The key to sustainably buying fabrics is to check on relevant environmental and original certifications. 

For natural fabrics

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): A globally-recognized certification system that ensures a certain threshold of organic content has been met. It covers manufacturing, packaging, labeling, transportation, and distribution (but not what happens in the fields where crops are grown). 
  • USDA Certified Biobased Product: The USDA BioPreferred® Certification is a voluntary certification offered by the United States Department of Agriculture. The certification identifies products made from plants or other renewable materials.
  • Ecolabel: Ecolabel is the official European Union voluntary label recognized worldwide for certified products with a guaranteed, independently-verified low environmental impact. The label requires high environmental standards throughout the entire life-cycle: from raw material extraction through production and distribution to disposal. It also encourages companies to develop innovative, durable, easy-to-repair, and recyclable products. 

For plant-based semi-natural/semi-synthetic fabrics:

  • Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification: PEFC’s approaches to sustainable forest management are in line with protecting the forests globally and locally and making the certificate work for everyone. Getting a PEFC certification is strict enough to ensure the sustainable management of a forest is socially just, ecologically sound, and economically viable but attainable not only by big but small forest owners.

For recycled fabrics:

  • Recycled Claim Standard (RCS): The Textile Exchange RCS was originally developed as an international, voluntary standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled input and chain of custody. 
  • The Global Recycled Standard (GRS): The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled Content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. It can be used for any product with more than 20% recycled material.

For all types of fabrics:

  • STeP by OEKO-TEX®: STeP by OEKO-TEX® is an independent certification system for brands, retailers, and manufacturers from the textile and leather industry. It communicates organizational environmental measures, including reducing carbon footprint and water usage.
  • OEKO-TEX® Standard 100: OEKO-TEX® labels aim to ensure that products pose no risk to human health (i.e., containing banned chemicals). 

Some certifications that are signaling brands’ efforts toward lowered environmental impacts and a circular economy are: 

  • B Corp Certification: The label B Corp is a certification reserved for for-profit companies. Certified holders are assessed on their social and environmental impacts. 
  • Cradle2Cradle certification: Cradle2Cradle provides a standardized approach to material circularity. It assesses whether products have been suitably designed and made with the circular economy in mind covering five critical categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

Final Thoughts

Conventional viscose, the first generation of rayon, is considered unsustainable because of the harmful chemicals used during manufacturing. However, viscose, modal, and lyocell fabrics produced in closed-loop systems that recycle and reuse chemicals and water—and use traceable cellulose fibers—such as ones from Lenzing, have relatively low environmental impacts. Alternatively, upcycled rayon is sustainable, thanks to bypassing the manufacturing process. 

By purchasing new or pre-loved rayon clothes from brands that commit to sustainability, you support their mission to create a fairer and less harmful textile industry for all lives on Earth. 

Here is the list (again) of the most sustainable rayon clothing brands:

  • Patagonia 
  • MATE the Label
  • Tentree
  • ARMEDANGELS
  • Mara Hoffman
  • Neu Nomads
  • Ecoalf
  • Encircled
  • Whimsy + Row
  • Organic Basics
  • Toad&Co
  • TAMGA Designs
  • Baukjen
  • Threads 4 Thought
  • All the Wild Roses

To make your use of these fabrics even more sustainable, follow these steps:

  1. Buy second-hand, recycled, or upcycled clothes made with rayon fabrics.
  2. While using rayon clothes, maximize the number of wears between washes and keep them as long as possible.
  3. At the end-of-life of your rayon clothes, upcycle the materials to extend their usage and arrange for them to be recycled or properly disposed of.

Stay impactful,



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