New York City is known for being a fashion capital of the world. But how do sustainable fashion brands in NYC stack up?
Well, luckily for us, there’s no shortage of New York clothing brands leading the way for innovations in sustainable fashion.
What is a sustainable clothing brand?
Thanks to the drive from consumers, the number of sustainable clothing brands is increasing. But with this surge of ‘sustainable brands,’ many of us may ask what exactly a sustainable clothing brand is.
We consider a fashion brand sustainable if it is focused on developing its clothing environmentally and ethically. In the fashion industry, a brand should create clothing from responsible materials that don’t damage the earth or deplete its natural resources and use eco-friendly practices to create their clothing. In addition, for a brand to be sustainable, it also must ensure fair labor practices and safe working conditions where workers are paid living and fair wages are supported across its supply chain.
Check out our favorite New York clothing brands below.
Sustainable Clothing Brands from NYC
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Sustainability: Zero-waste, sustainable materials, ethical production, clothing recycling scheme, Certified B Corp.
Best for: Minimalist womenswear
EILEEN FISHER’s vision is for an industry where human rights and sustainability are not just values pushed by a select few brands, or seen as a nice-to-have element, but are the core drivers of a good business.
This New York based womenswear brand is on a mission to make great looking, sustainable clothes, and they’re succeeding so far.
They have stores all across America, but their HQ is in New York.
Sustainability: Organic cotton underwear brand using ethical production practices and eco-friendly dyes
Best for: Underwear
Subset is perhaps one of the world’s most loved organic underwear brands, but did you know the brand has its headquarters in NYC?
Subset creates super comfortable, inclusive underwear for every body shape and size. Plus, the brand only used organic cotton and sustainable materials like Tencel to make its products.
Sustainability: New York clothing and accessories brand creating its pieces in NYC
Best for: Jewelry and affordable clothing
SiiZu create affordably priced (especially for New York!) eco-friendly, and very stylish womenswear.
Their factory is in the Garment District of New York City, and they source their materials in a sustainable way from around the world, but always with sustainability in mind.
On SiiZu’s website, they provide lots of detail on all of the factories they partner with (or their materials are sourced from) so you can learn all about the where their clothes are made.
Sustainability: Socks that give back to nonprofit organizations
Best for: Novelty socks, Hoodies & Sweatshirts
Conscious Step is a novel NYC-based brand creating sustainable socks that give back to a cause, and let me tell you; they support some fantastic causes.
For example, you can buy a fun pair of socks that help to save the rainforest, protect endangered animals in need, or socks that help to end hunger. So far, since starting, the brand has raised over $800,000 for nonprofit organizations.
If you’re looking to top up your sock drawer and want to support an NYC based brand, then definitely check out Conscious Step.
Sustainability: Ethically made in small batches in New York using responsible textiles
Araks is a true New York City Brand inside and out. Since its founding in 2000, the brand has supported opening three female-led factories in New York, where they cut and sew Araks’ dreamy clothing and lingerie collections.
All of Araks’ pieces are created locally in NYC, which helps reduce carbon emissions and supports jobs in the city.
Along with ethical, NYC-based production, Araks is committed to sourcing all its textiles from sustainable sources and is working towards a zero-waste model.
Sustainability: Ethical New York clothing brand creating organic clothing in New York
Best for: Luxury organic womenswear
Their shirts are made using 100% organic cotton sourced from ethical producers, all GOTS certified to ensure sustainability standards. GRAMMAR also supports local artisans, women-and minority-owned businesses in New York itself.
GRAMMAR’s clothes aren’t cheap, but they’re impeccable from a design standpoint, and the quality manufacturing ensures that they’re going to last you a long time.
Sustainability: Slow fashion brand creating ethical menswear using vegan materials
Best for: Vegan menswear
Featured in Vogue, British GQ, Forbes, Complex, and more, Brave GentleMan are a menswear brand based out of NYC that you should know about.
They use a slow-fashion, eco-friendly production model. All of the clothes they make are vegan, and they use recycled, organic, and high-tech sustainable materials.
They make eco-friendly and stylish menswear
We embrace a slow-fashion production model. We resist industry-induced “seasons”. We invest in sustainable innovation, superior vegan materials, ethical labor & classic styles made with quality.
7. Rag & Bone
Sustainability: Built-to-last clothing that Rag and Bone will repair any item of theirs that doesn’t last the test of time.
Best for: Womenswear and menswear
Rag & Bone have been around since 2002 and are now a well-established NYC-based brand.
They make both men’s and women’s clothing, that’s recognizable by its fusion of British heritage with modern design.
Rag & Bone use local manufacturers and factories and run a denim recycling program where you can take in old pair of denim (that Rag & Bone will turn into a new pair).
Inspired by a desire to create beautifully constructed clothes, rag & bone prides itself in the time-honored techniques of supremely skilled, local manufacturers at some of the oldest factories in the country. The importance of quality, expert craftsmanship and attention to detail resonated deeply, informing the brand’s core philosophy.
Sustainability: Ethical and transparent supply chain, responsible materials
Best for: Luxury menswear
Founded in 2013 when the brand bought a factory on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, Knickerbocker has roots deep in the NYC fashion scene.
They have a very strong focus on sustainability and ethical manufacturing. They list all parties involved in their supply chain on their site. Knickerbocker uses sustainable production methods and aims to build a fashion brand that inspires more people to shop in a sustainable way.
You can visit their flagship store at 357 Canal St.
9. Todd Shelton
Sustainability: Ethical and sustainable mens clothing handcrafted in the US
Best for: Menswear, shirts, denim
Firstly, a confession – Todd Shelton shouldn’t technically be in this list as they aren’t based in NYC, but rather in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Due to the relative proximity (and their unique business model), the brand is too good not to include.
You can customize the clothes to fit your exact measurements, meaning you should never need to return something because you forgot to size up or down.
Sustainability: Slow fashion brand creating ethical clothing in New York, carbon-neutral, sustainable materials
Best for: Ethical clothing and underwear created in New York
Miakoda is a female-founded NYC brand creating sustainable clothing and eco-friendly underwear for eco-conscious consumers.
The brand crafts all of its products in NYC using natural fibers such as organic cotton, bamboo, and nontoxic dyes.
What I love about this brand is that even though they’re still a small independent brand, they’re committed to being sustainable and inclusive, and they create all its styles in sizes from XS-4XL.
11. SEEK COLLECTIVE
Sustainability: Sustainable fibers, ethical production, one tree planted for every product sold
Best for: Bespoke womenswear, accessories
If you’re looking for something different, I think you’ll love The Seek Collective’s unique and bespoke clothing.
Seek Collective is an NYC-based brand passionate about ensuring fair wages, providing safe working conditions, and protecting our planet. The brand partners with creators across India who hand print, hand dye, and hand make its beautiful designs.
Sustainability: Small independant clothing brand based in NYC
Best for: Clothing and jewelry
Since 2012 Bhoomki have been creating sustainable clothing using natural fibers, fabrics with low environmental impact like organic cotton, and using recycled materials including Cupro. They also use eco-friendly dyes to minimize the impact their clothes have on the world even more.
Although the Bhoomki NYC store has unfortunately closed, you can still shop their clothing online!
Sustainability: Fair trade factories, recycled materials, organic cotton
Best for: Statements t-shirts
For statement t-shirts with a punchy message, take a look at the offering over at CHNGE, an NYC based clothing brand driving the conversation for change through their bold statement tees.
What’s great is that there’s action behind Chnge’s ‘consume responsibly messages – the brand partners with fair trade factories and sources their materials from recycled textiles and GOTS suppliers.
Conclusion: Sustainable Brands NYC
New York City is a great destination for sustainable fashion. You just need to know where to look!
I hope these brands fit what you were looking for.
We’re going to be constantly updating this list with the best New York clothing brands that you’ll love.
Know a brand that should be here? Let me know in the comments!