Sustainable fashion is the buzzword on everybody’s lips these days — yet few people can define what it is. In this guide, we explain what makes eco-friendly clothing sustainable and explain what Leonisa is doing to help the earth as we make our clothes. Then, we spotlight our eco-friendly collections and offer more tips for sustainable fashion.
What Makes a Fashion Brand Sustainable?
There are many different elements that go into making a fashion brand sustainable. It’s important to remember that there is no standard definition of “eco-friendly” or “sustainable” and what that means in fashion, so it’s always best to check the brand’s website to see exactly what they mean when they refer to their clothing as sustainable.
One of the first elements that comes to mind when we talk about sustainability in fashion is what material the garments are made of. Look for garments made out of renewable materials such as cotton, bamboo, linen and hemp. If they are made out of synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon, check to see if those fabrics are made from recycled plastics instead of “virgin” plastic.
How the clothing is made also contributes to their sustainability (or lack thereof). Depending on the material and manufacturing, creating a garment can take a lot of water, energy and other resources that may or may not be renewable. The transportation of the garments can also add to this energy expenditure.
Labor is also becoming an increasingly important concept in sustainable fashion. Does the company know the conditions of the factories where their garments are manufactured? Are the workers paid a living wage? Check the website to see if the brand has any labor certifications from an outside governing body.
The idea of sustainability is complex and involves many different factors working together in concert. Some brands also throw around the terms “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” in a bid to sell more products, but when you dig deeper, you won’t be able to find any details on how they are actually working towards sustainability. This marketing tactic is known as “greenwashing” and it is becoming more common with each passing year. If you are committed to buying sustainably, look for companies that are transparent about their eco-friendly practices and spell everything out clearly.
How Leonisa Is Eco-Friendly
At Leonisa, we believe in being totally upfront with our customers about what we’re doing to help the planet. That’s why we have a whole page on our website dedicated to our social and environmental commitments. We’ll go over some of the highlights below to explain what we’re doing to show our love for the planet.
We have our own treatment plant where we treat 100 percent of the water we use in manufacturing. We reuse 20 percent of that water, and deposit the rest of it in public sewers in accordance with local regulations. We’re working towards reusing 60 percent of our water in the near future. We also treat the water that we use for dry cleaning and reuse 40 percent of that water as well. In total, we have decreased our water pollution by 220 tons/year and decreased our contributions to water salinity by 70 tons/year.
We control the atmospheric emissions that we generate throughout our operations, ensuring that they are 100 percent free of particulate matter. We also substitute liquid fuels for natural gas and keep our machinery in optimal conditions. This has led to a decrease of 380 tons of CO2 per year and a 95 percent reduction in VOC emissions through textile processes.
We have installed solar panels that can generate up to 480 kW a year, which has reduced CO2 emission by 160 tons a year. We also reuse waste heat, which helps us save 22,000 m3 of natural gas every month. We have also reduced our energy consumption per kilogram or product from 3kW to 2kW, a reduction of 33 percent.
Because of the other environmental efforts listed here, our carbon footprint is less than that of many other companies within our industry. By using hydroelectric and natural gas energy sources, we reduce our overall carbon footprint and help to conserve natural, non-renewable resources.
When it comes to materials for our garments, we strive to use quality textiles and compression technology to create the very best products for our customers. For our eco-friendly garments, we offer swimwear, sportswear and underwear made from recycled PET bottles. An average of 4 bottles are used for the production of each garment. We choose to upcycle PET bottles because they offer many benefits that are helpful for our garments. Our materials made from PET bottles are durable, soft to the touch and breathable, among many other benefits. Our recycled clothing is not only sustainable and environmentally friendly, but it also provides many benefits and great functionality to those who use them.
Leonisa’s Love for The Planet: Little Actions, Big Changes
At Leonisa, this is our motto for embracing a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Here are some quick facts about plastic waste and how Leonisa works to decrease it:
- A million plastic bottles are bought per minute around the world and 500,000 million of plastic bags are used per year.
- 8 million tons of plastic go to the oceans each year and put marine life at risk.
- Leonisa wants to contribute to lessen the damage done, and that’s why we want to take part in the solution by creating clothing from recycled PET bottles, so we can prevent them from reaching the seas.
Leonisa’s Sustainable Clothing Collections
At Leonisa, we offer several sustainable clothing collections made of recycled plastics. From swimwear to activewear to underwear, we’ve got you covered! Here are some eco-friendly collections to check out — and remember that we offer free shipping over $25 for all U.S. orders!
Look good and feel good about your swimsuit with the eco-friendly bathing suits from Leonisa. Whether you’re looking for a bikini, a one-piece or a coverup, we’ve got an option for you that’s made out of recycled PET bottles. Our bathing suits are so cute, no one will ever guess that they began life as plastic bottles! Many of our styles are also reversible, so you get two looks for the price of one. You are sure to get compliments wherever you wear our eco-friendly swimwear, whether that’s at the beach, by the pool or even underneath pants as a bodysuit. Additionally, if you’re looking for an eco-friendly one piece or monokini, many of these styles also feature compression technology to smooth your figure. So, you can feel good about making a conscious purchase while looking good, too!
Break a sweat without harming the planet, thanks to our sustainable workout clothes! Most of our gym leggings, bike shorts, sport bras and workout tops are made from recycled plastic bottles and help keep plastic waste out of landfills and the ocean. Our activewear moves with you and wicks sweat away from your skin to keep you cool and comfortable while you exercise. They come in eye-catching patterns as well as trending solid colors so you can mix and match to achieve your preferred look. Many of the items also feature our classic Leonisa compression technology to offer additional support. This workout gear is good for you and the planet, so start shopping today!
Don’t ignore your underwear when it comes to making your closet environmentally friendly. Because we wear bras and underwear basically every day, we wear them down faster and thus they need to be replaced more often (if you’re asking yourself how often should you buy new underwear, read our helpful blog post for more info). As such, we’ve begun offering some of our most popular women’s knickers in a fabric made of recycled plastic bottles. We also offer a couple of different boxer briefs for men that are also made out of recycled plastic. All of our underwear is super soft and doesn’t chafe, and many of our women’s knickers offer tummy compression for a slimming look.
Other Tips for Shopping Sustainably
You may be wondering what else you can do to make your clothes shopping more sustainable over the long haul. Here are our top tips for building an eco-friendly closet:
Choose well-made clothes that will last.
Cheap clothing may be tempting, but it’s usually poorly made and doesn’t last for very long. Instead of filling your closet with inexpensive clothes that you will only wear a couple of times, try to save up your money and invest in some nicer pieces that will last for years instead of weeks or months. It’s more of an upfront investment, but will reduce the money that you spend on clothing overall. This strategy will also keep clothes out of landfills and help reduce your overall textile waste. This is why so many people love shopping at Leonisa - our goal is to be a high-quality brand that produces clothing and intimate garments that last.
Take care of your clothes.
Sometimes your cute women’s clothing doesn’t begin to come apart because it’s poorly made, but rather because you haven’t taken as good care of it as you should have. We know it can be a pain to hand wash or hang dry your clothing, but it really makes a huge difference in prolonging the life of the garment (especially caring for delicate clothing like underwear, bras, swimsuits and shapewear). Always follow the laundering instructions on the tag, and try to wash your clothes in cold water as much as possible to prevent shrinkage. Store your bras and clothing properly when you are not wearing it, and take care not to stretch it out of shape on a hanger. These little actions add up over time and ensure that your clothes will last as long as possible.
Mend and tailor as needed.
Speaking of making your clothing last as long as possible, you don’t necessarily need to throw a garment out if it develops a small imperfection. Learning very simple sewing techniques, such as replacing a button or closing a seam, can make your clothing last for longer and save you money in the long run. If your clothing needs more adjustments than you are capable of making on your own, then you can take it to a professional tailor and have it hemmed, taken in or let out to fit you exactly. Tailoring does cost money, but it’s worth it to have a garment that fits you perfectly.
Create a capsule wardrobe.
While it’s tempting to participate in all the latest fashion trends, those are often the items that end up in the donation bin or trash heap first. Instead of buying cheap clothes that will be out in a season, consider building a capsule wardrobe made of garments in classic designs and neutral colors that will be in style for years to come. Then, you can selectively add in some special pieces to add some fun to your outfits.
Consider second-hand clothes shopping.
While you probably don’t want to buy your underwear or swimsuits from a consignment store, you can find some really great deals on other types of unique vintage clothing. Buying second hand helps keep items out of landfills and also reduces demand for new clothing overall.
Don’t forget your accessories.
While there is a lot of focus on clothes and textiles, other types of accessories — including shoes, handbags, jewelry and hats — also contribute to waste. Make sure that you apply the same eco-friendly shopping approach to the non-garment items in your closet. While textiles make up a huge portion of waste, these other items contribute, too, so don’t let them slide under the radar.
Organize a clothes swap with friends.
If you’ve got some clothing that no longer fits or complements your style, then doing a clothing swap with friends is a great way to raid each other’s closets and get some new clothes without spending a dime. Have everyone bring some items to swap and gather at someone’s home. If you’d like, you can turn it into a whole social event with fun beverages and snacks. You might be surprised how much fun you have while helping the environment!
When it comes to sustainable clothing, small changes can make a big impact. Remember that when you shop our sustainable collection, you’ll get free shipping on all domestic U.S. orders over $25!