Going green and being environmentally conscious has never been more prevalent than now. To combat climate change, consumers and industries are evolving with electric cars, paper straws, and reusable bags. But when it comes to our clothes, many consumers aren’t aware of the negative impact on the environment caused by the fashion industry, especially fast fashion.

What if I told you that this industry was responsible for about 31% of plastic pollution in our oceans? Or that it emits more than all international and maritime shipping combined, making up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions? Or that it is the world’s second-largest consumer of water, using so much water that in one case some experts claim it dried up the Aral sea in just 50 years? 

Hold on, don’t throw away all your clothes yet (that’s actually a huge part of the problem).  Fortunately for us, and the planet, there are some emerging companies who are leading the way in sustainable fashion. One of those companies is Proto101.com – a men and women’s fashion brand producing high quality, sustainable, EveryWEAR clothing.  Here are some ways that Proto101 is reinventing the apparel industry, and setting an example on how to produce fashion more sustainably.

Buy clothes that will last. Buy less, buy quality.

It is best to support brands that use only the highest quality materials to make clothes that last. For example, Proto101 uses pieces that are designed and constructed for longevity and will stand up over time so you don’t have to needlessly replace them. They use American-grown Supima cotton and Tencel lyocell fibers, which are known for their resilience and durability, so clothes maintain their quality over time. Unlike cheap fast fashion garments that only last a few wash and wears before you dispose of them. An alarming 85% of all textiles end up in landfills.  

Avoid fast fashion and invest in timeless clothes.

Build a wardrobe around versatile, seasonless cuts and colors that can be worn in any situation and coordinate with everything in your wardrobe. Proto101 is one brand leading by example, by designing essential pieces and using quality materials that won’t go out of style like the perfect t-shirt, hoodie sweatshirt, and maxi dress. 

Trend-driven fashion brands such as Zara and H&M have been known to put out 12-24 collections annually – making big bucks by supplying the world with fresh supplies of low-cost fashion. However, it comes at the cost of the planet’s health. Fast fashion produces an excess of clothing at a low cost for consumers that is about quantity not quality. The more clothes that are circulated, the more emissions and contamination the fashion industry are polluting into the environment.

Reduce your carbon footprint.

To offset the carbon footprint of producing apparel, support brands that offset their carbon footprint.  Again leading by example, Proto101 is planting 1 tree for every tee purchased, with a mission to plant 50,000 trees this year. Trees absorb harmful carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that causes climate change, and cleans our air and water.

It’s key to source sustainable materials that are planet and people friendly. All cotton used in Proto101’s garments are grown to meet the standards of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to reduce water and energy usage, and to improve global cotton production for the people who produce it and the environment it grows in. Tencel is one of the most sustainable fibers made in a closed loop process from eucalyptus trees.

Be mindful that the fashion brands you support ship their products in compostable, biodegradable packages that are made of 100% recycled materials. It’s possible, Proto101 is doing it. Even the plastic bag protecting each garment is made of 100% recycled plastic.