sustainability isn’t a trend, it’s a way of life


art: marina difranco

This is your sign to stop buying from Shein and start supporting small businesses and sustainable brands. Fast fashion has been leading the world into a deep, deep hole. The impact it has made in the last 50 years alone has led to harsh working conditions for factory workers, immense carbon emissions, extensive waste in landfills and staggeringly excessive water use. More brands are slowly realizing the impacts and are working on becoming more sustainable, as time to save the planet is running out. Check out some sustainable brands so we can help reverse some of the negative environmental impact we have made on the planet. 

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For all your basics, Everlane is the way to go. Everlane is a sustainable clothing brand that visits factories all over the world to build personal relationships with them. Everlane strives to provide fair wages and reasonable hours for the workers and also evaluate their working conditions. Everlane isn’t big on trends. It wants people to be able to wear Everlane products for years and years to come. 


The sustainable brand also tries to maintain a cost benefit. Most of the time, sustainable brands are a bit pricey, but Everlane tries to keep costs as low as possible. It also claims to be as transparent with customers as possible. Everyone wants to know where their clothes are coming from, so this brand lets you know. From the cost of materials to labor to transportation, Everlane shows you a cost breakdown of its prices. 



The Socially Responsible Sweatshop (SRS) is a sustainable local business right here in Kent, Ohio. This brand shows support for people at risk of food insecurity. Its mission: “We are a group of sewists in Kent, Ohio producing and selling beautiful and functional products. 100% of the proceeds is used to offer funds to local organizations that serve people who are at risk of food insecurity. We leave as little footprint as possible by using recycled fabrics and sewing supplies. We strive to be helpful to our brothers and sisters and be responsible to mother earth.” The SRS hosts pop-ups at Farmer’s Markets to get its products out there for customers. To learn more about SRS, follow its Facebook page for updates on how to support the brand.

Want to be able to find all your basic needs in one place? Or maybe you’re looking for cool designer brands already pre-loved? Selfridges is a sustainable European clothing brand with a program called Project Earth. According to its website, its vision is to “reinvent retail and change the way we shop and how we do business.” Selfridges has women’s, men’s and kid’s clothing, but also carries skincare, makeup, food, jewelry and tech products. The brand allows people to resell their clothes so more people can enjoy clothes that were pre-loved. 


Selfridges also offers repairs on your old clothes you do not want anymore, so they can make them as good as new. This program also allows customers to rent its products, which is more for people who want to try new styles but do not want to fully commit to keeping the clothes. This helps make the brand more sustainable, so customers aren’t buying clothes and throwing them away when it’s “not trendy” anymore. 


Cleveland’s very own Little Spark Refill Shop is a small business with zero waste. It works to eliminate excessive chemicals to help the environment and educate those who do not know about “clean” and non-harmful products. This became Cleveland’s first no-waste, all-natural refill shop, perfect for anyone taking some first steps to becoming more sustainable. The shop sells reusable containers that allow customers to buy from a selection of refillable products, anything from essential oils to cleaning products to skincare products. 


You can then use your products in the reusable containers, to then get more refills on the same or different products from the shop. It also has a recycling center where it can take glass containers, oral care items, plastic pill bottles, contact lenses, razors, mascara wands and more. These recycled products are used for people who may not want to buy a new container and would like to continue the circular economy. 


There are so many ways to become more sustainable, even if you’re not buying straight from a sustainable clothing brand. You can thrift or upcycle your old clothes and turn them into things you will actually wear, as well as rent or borrow clothes from friends and family. So before your next impulse buy, think about how long you will be wearing it and what you plan on doing with it after.

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Hi, I’m Catie Pusateri, the Editor-in-Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we receive support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.