At Bernardo, we believe sustainable style is here to stay. Decades into the green movement, eco-fashion has established itself as more than just a catch phrase. What started as early buzz in niche, environmentally friendly industries has not only survived the fickle fashion cycles, but become a way of life for many, making sustainable fashion more mainstream than ever. In fact, 35 percent of US shoppers indicated they would pay more for eco-friendly or sustainable clothing, according to a Statistica 2022 survey.
With the sustainable fashion market growing fast, here's a breakdown of the top trends we’re paying attention to that are driving our eco-fashion initiatives.
There are 8.3 billion tons of plastic in the world. Eco-friendly fashion aims to change that. Whereby green fashion goes about the goal by replacing plastics with natural fibers and biodegradable materials like organic cotton and hemp, eco-friendly fashion uses another approach. Bernardo embraces everything eco starting with our innovative Ecoplume™ filler used in every single one of our puffer jackets and coats. We transform post-consumer plastic bottles into 100% recycled insulation that keeps in the warmth without the bulk. This impact is impressive with 4.8 million plastic bottles recycled (and not in landfills) in 2022.
When it comes to the ethical principles of sustainable fashion brands, vegan clothing often tops the "it" list with styles like vegan leather coats, cruelty-free jackets, and vegan fur vests. While cruelty-free can denote not using animal materials as well as avoiding painful practices like lab testing, often vegan styles include choosing alternatives to animal fur, suede and leather, such as plant-based fabrics, synthetic materials, and new textiles that mimic the qualities of animal-made materials like silk, fur, and feathers. Bernardo embraces the use of vegan styles, introducing its first vegan leather in 2009. And in 2016, we stopped using goose and duck down, and went fur free. Shopping vegan and cruelty-free is your chance to use your dollars as your voice to help protect animal welfare, promote sustainability, and align fashion with values for a compassionate approach to your personal style.
The easiest way to envision the concept of upcycled fashion is in relation to secondhand clothing. Shopping vintage stores is not only fun for unique fashion statements, but buying (and wearing) secondhand styles instead of newly produced reduces carbon emissions by an average of 25%, according to Green Story Inc. This resale philosophy promotes reusing and repurposing textiles, materials, and clothing to re-create fashion. Take thredUP, for example, the online consignment and thrift store that partners with sustainable fashion brands like us. We call it our EcoLoved initiative because we love to see our pieces living their best second lives. Since starting the program in 2022, we have recirculated 5,600 pieces, keeping them out of landfills. EPA Clothing & Footwear Waste Estimates indicate that 95 percent of 36 billion clothing items tossed each year could be upcycled or recycled.
Look to Bernardo for our circular fashion program, too. This sustainable fashion phrase refers to the eco-conscious principles of reducing waste in the manufacturing process. For example, the Bernardo Full Circle Collection rethinks every aspect of a garment's creation, from how it’s made and how it’s packaged to where it goes at the end of its lifespan. With this collection, 100 percent recycled means the shell, Ecoplume™ insulation, lining, packaging, hangtags, and labels were all made with recycled materials — everything but the thread and zippers. And it's all endorsed with the Global Recycled Standard seal.