Earth Day 2020: Sustainable Brands Seeking Solutions for Eco-Friendly Production Strategies

Earth Day 2020: Sustainable Brands Seeking Solutions for Eco-Friendly Production Strategies

Marissa Villamor

In honor of Earth Day, we will be highlighting sustainable brands on our roster that are actively seeking solutions for eco-friendly production strategies. The textile and apparel industry is the second most polluting industry in the world behind the oil industry - 85% of all textiles end up in the dump each year. 

Washing clothes also releases around 500,000 tons of microfibers into the ocean each year. Many fibers are polyester, which is a plastic found in about 60% of apparel. Polyester does not break down in the ocean and produces 2-3x more carbon emissions than cotton.

The apparel industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions due to the production, manufacturing and transportation of these garments each year. 

Nudie Jeans: 

Nudie Jeans has the vision to be the most sustainable denim company in the industry. Taking pride in manufacturing their products in a fair and ethical way, they have been environmentally forward-thinking long before most brands. All denim is made out of 100% organic cotton. While non-organic cotton accounts for 25% of the world’s use of artificial pesticides, utilizing organic cotton is Nudie’s way of being a more sustainable brand. 

Nudie Jean’s goal is to become fully carbon neutral for their full supply chain by 2025. They pride themselves in being a company to re-use jeans. Customers are able to turn in their used denim and in which Nudie Jeans will wash and repair them and then resell them as “preloved” denim. They also have started a rebirth project, where they recycle used jeans to make a new denim fabric. The brand has found different and unique ways to make their company more sustainable by using sustainable fabrics and recycling worn jeans. 


1017 ALYX 9SM is focused on being a sustainable brand that uses eco-friendly production processes. ALYX works directly with Recover Tex which allows them to use an upcycled tactile system that is almost entirely chemical-free and waterless. This process regenerates cotton fiber from recycled garments and plastic bottles to produce cotton yard for new fabrication. 

1017 ALYX 9SM is focused on investigating everything from their supply chain to fabrications to make sure their processes are environmentally friendly and to constantly make sustainable improvements. ALYX uses waterless dyeing processes, recycled apparel and they pride themselves on using biodegradable packaging. The brand also started a recycled cotton program for their Fall/Winter 2017 line. They are focused on doing their part as a company to reduce the carbon footprint and to produce less waste in the world. 

For consumers, ALYX uses a blockchain project which allows consumers to scan a QR code which will then show the blueprint of how that specific product was made from start to finish. This allows consumers to have full transparency of how their garments are created. 

Noon Goons: 

Noon Goons focuses on keeping sustainability in mind and takes eco-friendly steps to do their part in the community. Known for their “Planet Protection Program,” they have implemented 100% recyclable cardboard boxes and biodegradable poly bags in their packaging. In addition to using waterless and vegetable-based dying processes for all their garments. 

They also share a helping hand in organizing local beach, city and mountain clean-ups. The brand strives to become a completely sustainable brand and hopes to eventually go plastic-free. 


A-Cold-Wall is always looking for new ways to implement sustainable processes. They have researched and experienced with sustainable fabrics such as Tencel and Pintax and continue to look for new ways to implement these types of materials into their garments. 

The A-Cold-Wall x Nike Air Force 1 took a sustainable approach to their collaboration which used at least 50% recycled natural leather fiber in the silhouette. 

“It’s not just about recycling anymore but more about how we can reconvene and interact with materials.” -Samuel Ross


Nike is working on a project called “Move to Zero,” which is its mission to work toward zero carbon and zero waste. Teaming up with Climate Impact Lab, Nike has discovered the important connection between having a stable climate and athletic performance. Nike is constantly looking for ways to be more sustainable company-wide and has provided great strides for this goal. 

Starting in 2008, all Nike Air soles have been designed with at least 50% recycled manufacturing waste and are made with 100% renewable energy. They reuse more than 90% of the waste from materials to make new and innovative cushioning systems. Nike VaporMax shoes are also made from recycled fabric waste. Its Flyleather fabric uses fabric made from 50% reclaimed leather fibers that result in less waste being used in its development process. 

 Nike also has implemented a “Reuse-A-Shoe” program, where customers can turn in their old shoes and Nike will recycle them and use them for Nike Grind materials, that are used in performance products and sports surfaces. 

Nike’s goal is to use 100% sustainable cotton by 2020, by using certified organic, recycled and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) licensed cotton. 


Adidas has set out to reduce their waste production, energy consumption and water use by at least 20% at all their facilities by 2020. By 2024, they plan to be completely virgin polyester free. By reusing recycled polyester, they will reduce the environmental impact by 20-60% compared to using virgin polyester. 

Adidas has partnered with Ocean Conservation group, Parley for the Oceans, to produce a range of products made from recycled waste from the ocean. Parley Ocean Plastic is created from upcycled marine plastic waste. They have used this material in all Adidas x Parley high-performance sportswear. 

Adidas is also a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

Heron Preston:

Heron Preston focuses on using sustainable materials for their garments as well as materials used for packaging and delivery. The brand puts a heavy emphasis on upcycling, which is the process of taking a pre-existing garment and turning it into a higher quality piece and making it new again. 

In 2016, Heron Preston collaborated with the Department of Sanitation NYC to put an emphasis on sustainability. Their goal is to make pieces from recycled fabrics via streamlined processes that can make up the bulk of the Heron Preston brand. 

Heron Preston has also partnered with HP on compostable pouches intended to replace all plastic bags in the retail environment. 

These are a few sustainable brands on our roster that are actively seeking solutions for eco-friendly production strategies. What is your favorite sustainable brand?

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