Shorts are a warm-weather essential that you probably dig out of your closet every spring or summer. But as you wear them, season after season, they can get worn out and you might need to purchase a new pair.
Shorts are a wardrobe staple you might wear all summer long, so you want them to be comfortable, lightweight and they have to fit your body well.
The most eco-friendly way to shop for a pair of shorts is either to get them second-hand or from sustainable brands. If you prefer the second option, we’ve compiled a list of 16 sustainable fashion brands that sell shorts you’ll want to wear all summer!
WHAT MAKES YOUR SHORTS SUSTAINABLE?
Like every clothing item, sustainable shorts are made with eco-friendly materials. It means either recycled fabrics, or natural and biodegradable ones. Shorts should be made to last for years, so they have to be high quality and durable.
As you’re most likely to wear shorts in the summer, you want them to be lightweight and breathable. The best eco-friendly fabrics for such shorts are linen, organic cotton, hemp, and Tencel. All are sustainable and great for the summer, so pick your favorite! If you plan to be active and work out regularly, look for recycled polyester or recycled nylon.
NOW, OUR TOP PICKS FOR SUSTAINABLE BRANDS THAT SELL SHORTS:
Able was founded to help Ethiopian women come out of the commercial sex industry. It started by making handwoven scarves, but is now selling clothes, shoes, and accessories.
The brand’s shorts are all casual, yet chic and easy to style. Able makes its denim shorts in Mexico, and to reduce its carbon footprint from shipping, sources all components from the western hemisphere (mainly Mexico). Its Mexican vendor also recycles 100% of the water it’s using to produce denim.
Able aims to employ, educate, and empower women to alleviate poverty. I love that the brand is very transparent as to where its clothes are made, and how!
If you are looking for the sustainable alternative to American Apparel, this will be your stop! Colorful Standard’s shorts come in 18 different colors, and they are Oeko-Tex® certified dyed and PETA approved. The Twill shorts are definitely a new favorite of Sustainably Chic, especially this gorgeous seaweed color!
People Tree is a Japanese brand that has been a pioneer in sustainable fashion, creating all kinds of clothing and accessories for women.
All its shorts are vegan and made of GOTS certified organic cotton.
Different styles are available, but all are very flattering and chic. The brand makes its denim shorts using up to 95% less water compared to conventional denim production.
People Tree is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, which means that its shorts are produced in compliance with fair trade principles. The brand also gained the Soil Association certification back in 2006.
Sézane is a French clothing brand that creates timeless and high-quality pieces that outlive trends. It sells many pieces that are certified Oeko-Tex 100, GOTS, & FSC.
The brand offers a wide variety of shorts, with different styles and fabrics. There are so many pieces that you will surely find exactly what you’re looking for! You can even buy short jumpsuits, which are amazing for the summer.
Sézane shorts are also great for every budget, starting from $60 to $230.
In 2018, Sézane created Demain, a philanthropic program that supports charities promoting equal access to education and opportunities for children and young adults around the globe.
Founded in 1984, Eileen Fisher creates clothing, shoes, and accessories for women who want to wear well-made pieces that work well together.
The brand shorts collection is entirely made with sustainable materials. Its pieces are versatile and great for easy everyday looks. They’re all in neutral colors, so you’ll be able to reach for them again and again.
Eileen Fisher has been a certified B corporation since 2015. It is very transparent about its supply chain, and where its greenhouse gas emissions come from.
I love that the brand is size-inclusive (shorts up to 3X). It also has a take-back program and turns damaged clothes into new designs to give them a new life.
Mate the Label is a women-owned brand that makes clothes with organic materials and non-toxic dyes. The brand creates various styles of shorts, in different fabrics, and they’re all comfortable and lightweight.
From linen, fleece, and thermal shorts, to sleep and lounge shorts, they are perfect for the summer!
Mate the Label is usually importing its yarn from India. Apart from that, all its supply chain is located within a 17-mile radius of its Los Angeles headquarters. This reduces the brand’s transportation emissions, making it even more sustainable!
In 2020, Mate the Label partnered with 1% For The Planet and was certified climate-neutral. The brand also donated over $95,000 to organizations promoting social justice and environmental protection.
Babaà makes quality knitwear that is entirely made with natural yarns, in a hyper-localized supply chain. The Spanish brand only makes one style of shorts, but it’s a timeless and versatile model.
From bright flashy colors to neutrals, its shorts are available in most colors.
They are all knitted shorts that are made in Spain with 100% Spanish Cotton. It means that there is no synthetic fiber in them, and shipping emissions in the supply chain are greatly reduced.
The brand also colors its pieces with eco-friendly dyes, and doesn’t use any toxic chemicals nor bleach. It’s very transparent and uses the latest technologies to save water during the production process.
Girlfriend Collective is specialized in the production of sustainably made activewear for women. It sells a variety of shorts in different colors: biking shorts, running shorts, lounge shorts, skorts (exercise skirt with built-in shorts).
You can even find maternity shorts, which is so unusual and cool for an activewear brand!
The majority of Girlfriend Collective shorts are made from recycled water bottles, and the recycled fabric is certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex.
I love that this brand is affordable and that most of its shorts have pockets! Girlfriend Collective is very size-inclusive: its shorts are available in sizes from XXS to 6XL. It also has a take-back program that recycles old clothing into new pieces.
If you are in the need for classic, everyday organic cotton shorts, Brava will be perfect for you. Not only are they made with comfortable fabrics, but they have elastic waist bands as an extra comfy bonus!
Amour Vert creates clothing, shoes, and accessories for women who are looking for classic and sophisticated pieces.
The brand sells several styles of shorts that are all made with eco-friendly fabrics.
For instance, its modal is made from sustainably harvested beechwood trees, and its cupro is produced using rescued cotton waste fabric.
Amour Vert shorts are available in different colors, and they all look feminine and flattering. 97% of the brand’s products are made in California to reduce the environmental impact of its supply chain. The company produces its pieces in limited quantities to eliminate excess waste. It’s also participating in a tree-planting program: the brand has planted more than 340,000 trees since it was created.
Whimsy + Row is an eco-conscious lifestyle brand that offers a wide range of womenswear, accessories, as well as home goods. Its different models of shorts are stylish, yet breathable; perfect for everyday wear! The brand also makes biking shorts that will be great for your summer workouts!
Whimsy + Row produces limited batches that are all handcrafted in Los Angeles. It has a waitlist feature on its website so that the company knows exactly much clothing it has to create.
The brand only uses locally sourced and eco-friendly materials, and recycles every scrap of deadstock fabric to turn it into new garments or accessories.
Whimsy + Row is also carbon-neutral, and its pieces are made using recycled water as well as low-impact dyes.
Eva Astoul is a French freelance writer, specializing in content related to sustainability, simple living, and a growth-focused healthy lifestyle.
She runs her own blog, Green With Less, to inspire people to live a more minimalist and sustainable life.
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