They’re called “basics” for a reason. For work or play, sleek sweaters, plain white button downs, t-shirts and well-cut jeans often form the basis of most women’s outfits. And why not? Plenty of women, like men, would prefer a uniform that works for them. And even those of us who love less simple clothing still need basics.
These three sustainable clothing brands make a compelling case for not only buying eco-friendly, but buying American-made and manufactured basics. Using recycled textiles, vintage buttons and sustainable sourcing, brands like Margu, 1×1 and Aeon Row make slow fashion and sustainable practice look as effortless as a crisp little black dress.
1 X 1
Los Angeles company One by One (1×1) eschews the calendar and collection, throwing out the book on fast fashion and trend following. Their solution to breaking the cycle? Minimalist, chic looks that could outlast any Fall/Winter collection. Their name, 1×1, indicates their philosophy, that collections and clothes should be released one careful design at a time.
The company sources its fabric and wool locally, working with partners like Oregon company Imperial Stock Ranch. Their recently released second collection, 02 Shirts, includes work-ready button downs and shirt dresses, all manufactured at factories in Los Angeles. For the next collection, well—good things come to those who wait.
M A R G U D E S I G N
“Everything but the weaving” could be Margu’s motto. The Arkansas-based Margu Design is a project created and sustained mainly through the efforts of designer and founder Emily DeLong. All apparel is cut, sewn and oftentimes low-impact dyed in DeLong’s Arkansas studio.
Though her fabrics are sourced from across the world, Margu commits to making their clothing from natural textiles, such as cotton, linen, silk and hemp (and many of their textiles are Global Organic Textile Standard certified, to boot). DeLong adds whimsical details like vintage buttons to her basics, taking leaves out of ‘40s and ‘50s looks to create figure-flattering and earth-preserving wardrobe staples.
A E O N R O W
Aeon Row Camisole.
Boston-based Aeon Row was the brainchild of environmental non-profit veteran Griffin Vanze. The company uses recycled textiles sourced from California partner Recover Textiles to create classic looks to hang in your closet for decades. Though your new clothes may stay with you for years, Aeon Row doesn’t want to price any sustainably-minded fashionista out.
Their clothes are eco and price-conscious, and to sweeten the deal, Vanze adds a little something extra—for every purchase made at Aeon Row, a customer can chose an “Alternate Ending” for a piece of clothing headed for the local Goodwill. Customers can send and recycle a piece of clothing with the company for an extra 15% off. Who knows, your next chic purchase from Aeon Row could include recycled yarn from one of your old cast-offs.