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About 18 billion pounds of plastic end up in the oceans each year, according to National Geographic. The so-called, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating “island” of plastic and trash between Hawaii and California is now more than three times the size of California. Needless to say, the environmental crisis we are facing is massive and it becomes bigger every time a plastic item ends up in the ocean. In fact, fashion is one of the top five most polluting industries in the world right now.
Fortunately, this is something some brands are trying to change for the better. As consumers have grown more aware of the environmental problems facing our planet and make more eco-conscious decisions, fashion companies have embraced sustainability as well. Thanks to technology, they are able to develop new production techniques that use fewer chemicals and water, as well as fabrics made from recycled plastic such as nylon and polyester.
So to celebrate Earth Day, April 22, we rounded up the best eco-friendly alternatives of the fashion items we wear and carry the most with us each day.
Matt & Nat Amore Shopper Handbag
Celebrity-favorite vegan brand Matt & Nat (which actually stands for Mat(t)erial + Nature) lines all of its products with fabrics made from plastic bottles. This stylish tote comes with a detachable shoulder strap and a matching removable wallet that has six card slots and a slot for cash.
To buy: $250, mattandnat.com
Costa Polarized Victoria Sunglasses
The frame of this cool pair of shades is entirely made from recycled fishing nets, and the lenses provide 100 percent UV protection and polarization.
To buy: $219, costadelmar.com
Patagonia Women's One-Piece Nireta Swimsuit in Bluff River
Patagonia is one of the most environmentally friendly brands right now offering a very wide range of items—from raincoats to beachwear—made from recycled materials. We love this stylish one-piece swimsuit made from recycled polyester and nylon as well as spandex.
To buy: $149, patagonia.com
Prana Pillar Printed Legging
Strike a (yoga) pose in these mid-rise yoga leggings. They are made from moisture wicking fabric composed of 87 percent recycled polyester, and 13 percent spandex.
To buy: $79, prana.com
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Two Parley Womens Trail Running Shoe
Hit the trails this spring in a pair of comfy and sustainable sneakers. The Terrex Two Parley features knitted upper made from reclaimed and recycled ocean waste.
To buy: $140, adidasoutdoor.com
Eileen Fisher Sandwashed T-shirt Dress
Who would have thought that this beautiful dress is made from a blend of recycled polyester and Eileen Fisher’s Tencel fabric, which looks and feels just like silk, but is produced from responsibly harvested trees?
To buy: $228, saksfifthavenue.com
Rothy’s Sunshine Pointy Toe Flats
Rothy recycles plastic water bottles to produce the knit fabric for its shoes. And we are crazy about these bright yellow flats that will add a pop of color to your spring wardrobe.
To buy: $145, rothys.com
Ecoalf Alessandra Blue Waterproof Sports Jacket
Ecoalf recycles plastic waste from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea and turns it into nylon outerwear. This rain jacket is perfect to brace spring showers in. It sports an oversized fit and has an adjustable hood and three zip pockets.
To buy: $239, ecoalf.com
Pangaia Recycled Hoodie
This unisex hoodie by Pangaia is made from a blend of recycled cotton and polyester—the result is a mid-weight, slightly stretchy fabric. The brand estimates that, on average, each hoodie contains 28 recycled plastic bottles.
To buy: $300, pangaia.com
Topiku Kartini Baseball Hat
This Indonesian brand is taking on the country’s pollution problem—namely being the second largest ocean polluter—and using upcycled and recycled waste materials to create hats. Every single component of this baseball cap is made from salvaged materials including the bendable plastic brim.
To buy: $35, earthhero.com