How to Take Care of Your Sweaters

Oof. Is winter finally over? Is it finally starting to get warm? We FINALLY had a warm day in the bay area. It was in the high 60s the sun came out, and I didn’t have to wear a jacket! Yay!!

Now, if only I could wear a short sleeve shirt AND shorts. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Gosh. What I wouldn’t give to wear a sundress.

How to take care of your sweaters from www.goingzerowaste.com #sweatercare #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sweaters #cleaning #zerowaste

So, while I may not be able to pack up all of my knits over here… it is definitely time to pack up some of the chunkier ones! Goodbye cashmere turtlenecks - till we meet again - I will remember you fondly.

I’d like to take this time to thank my sweaters and all of the chilly winter days they got me through so figured it’d be a good time to go over some sweater care principles to keep your sweaters in tip-top shape throughout the year.

Mending, maintaining, and giving my clothing a little TLC goes such a long way in stretching my wardrobe.

I want to make sure the investment pieces I buy either from ethical retailers or secondhand shops will be with me for a long time.

One of the reasons I justify making spendy ethical purchases is because I know they will be in my wardrobe for a long time, and I’ll be able to wear them for years to come.

I like classic pieces because they’re versatile and have longevity. On the flip side, having a high quality basic means that you have to take care of it!

I would be so bummed if the perfect cream, cashmere turtleneck of my dreams started to look lackluster because I didn’t care for it in the proper way.

So, I’ve rounded up all the ways that I take care of my sweaters to make sure they look brand spanking new year after year! And, the maroon sweater photographed below is a piece I’ve had in my closet for the LONGEST. It’s going on 14 years old and it still looks great thanks to these tips.

How to take care of your sweaters from www.goingzerowaste.com #sweatercare #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sweaters #cleaning #zerowaste

1. avoid the wash:

I don’t wash my clothes super often. I only wash them once they’re stinky which can take up to 10+ wears. Wool is a naturally anti-microbial so it’s a great fabric choice! Not only is it warm, but it’s breathable, regulates body temperature and won’t cling onto odor like polyester and acrylic.

The less frequently you wash your clothes - the longer they’ll last!

2. spray it down!

I make homemade, all-natural febreze and I LOVE it. After most wears, I spritz my clothes down with it before letting them air out.

How to take care of your sweaters from www.goingzerowaste.com #sweatercare #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sweaters #cleaning #zerowaste

3. air it out:

After I take a sweater off and spray it down, I let it air out. This means I let it breathe by itself openly before I place it folded back with another pile of sweaters. I typically lay my sweater flat over a chair to let it breathe and let air circulate around the fibers.

You’d be amazed if you did this for all of your clothes how much longer you could stretch between washes.

How to take care of your sweaters from www.goingzerowaste.com #sweatercare #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sweaters #cleaning #zerowaste

4. de-fuzz:

I’m slowly transitioning black out of my wardrobe… mostly because I have a white husky and seem to always have husky hair everywhere. I invested in a nice wooden lint brush that has done wonders for keeping my sweaters in shape as well as a wooden comb to de-pill my sweaters.

The wooden lint brush did come packaged in plastic, but it’s really sturdy and think it will last a long time. Plus, the little bit of plastic packaging far outweighs the disposable lint rollers.

I picked up a gorgeous cable knit cashmere mock neck sweater that was just starting to look gray and dull after two seasons. Once I took this little wooden comb to it, the sweater came back looking good as new!

How to take care of your sweaters from www.goingzerowaste.com #sweatercare #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sweaters #cleaning #zerowaste

5. but wash at the end of the season:

At the end of sweater season, you’re going to want to wash all of your sweaters. Your bodies natural oils will attract moths and critters and the last thing you want is for them to start feasting on your precious sweaters! I lost my favorite sweater to moth holes a few years back and It was such a sad day.

You can “wash” you nice sweaters in a number of ways like taking them to an eco-friendly dry cleaner - just don’t forget to bring your reusable garment bag!

You can steam them! I have a steamer and it’s great for sanitizing clothes and stretching washes.

Of course, you can hand wash them in your bathtub or sink, or throw them in a lingerie bag and throw them in your washing machine on a gentle cycle.

How to take care of your sweaters from www.goingzerowaste.com #sweatercare #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sweaters #cleaning #zerowaste

6. store them well:

The way that my current closet is structured, I have to have my sweaters out on an open shelf, but if you can store them in a closed bin or a cedar chest, that’s recommended! No matter where you’re storing them maybe try to grab a piece of cedar wood from your local home improvement store to dissuade the moths.

How to take care of your sweaters from www.goingzerowaste.com #sweatercare #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sweaters #cleaning #zerowaste

7. homemade sweater spray:

I occasionally like to go into my closet and spray the sweaters down with homemade sweater spray.

sweater spray:

  1. fill your spray bottle up a quarter of the way with vodka

  2. fill the rest of the spray bottle with water

  3. add a few drops of cedar oil until it’s pungent but not overwhelming

  4. shake well and spray down your sweaters

I make a little bottle 2 oz and only put in about 3 drops of essential oil and use it to spray down my sweaters on a regular basis to ward off pests!

Is taking care of your sweaters part of your spring cleaning ritual?

How to take care of your sweaters from www.goingzerowaste.com #sweatercare #ecofriendly #ethicalfashion #slowfashion #sweaters #cleaning #zerowaste

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10 Affordable Ethical Clothing Brands

I think that everyone wants to support ethical fashion brands. I’m pretty sure if you ask anyone, “Hey do you condone slave labor to make cheap clothes?” The answer is going to no.

When it comes to actually purchasing clothing it can be difficult because:

a. you might not know of any ethical fashion brands.
b. you can’t easily go to a store to try the items on
c. it can be expensive!

10 affordable, ethical clothing brands that have cute pieces under $100 from www.goingzerowaste.com #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #ecofriendly #zerowaste

We view ethical fashion as expensive for many reasons, but one of them is that we’ve driven the cost of fashion down so far that what is actually a reasonable price and one that was normal until the 80s seems extreme or high.

But, no matter how many times you hear that fact, it still hurts to part with $100 for a dress when you could buy four for that price at the mall. Trust me… I understand.

But, I also really want to support sustainable makers and have been able to curb my shopping habits in a few ways.

  1. Waiting 30 days before making a purchase

  2. Asking myself these five questions BEFORE I buy

  3. Making sure it fits with my core style and colors (more on this to come)

  4. Making sure the measurements are appropriate for my body shape.

But, I wanted to round up a few ethical brands that have cute pieces you can snag for under $100.

I can’t stand it when I read these .blog articles and the only thing under $100 is a white t-shirt. I want to be able to buy something cute! So, I’ve done my best to round up those items.

Of course, all of these brands do offer more expensive items and you can also score a bunch of even better deals off the sales rack.

10 affordable, ethical clothing brands that have cute pieces under $100 from www.goingzerowaste.com #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #ecofriendly #zerowaste

1. tamga designs:

I love these bright colored pieces! Tamga is a member of 1% for the planet and sustainability is at the core of their message.

:At TAMGA we believe sustainability in the fashion industry is one of the greatest challenges of our time. If this sounds a bit far-fetched, think about how much clothing you’ve owned in your life.

“Now imagine more than 7 billion people with the same amount. Every piece of clothing has an impact, from chemical usage, to water, emissions, energy, and wages for garment workers.


”Sustainability in the fashion industry means finding ways to reduce this impact from design, through wear, to the end of a garment’s life. Ultimately, we’ll only be sustainable if we can create and re-create fashion through renewable materials, recyclable garments and wages that enable workers to thrive.”

My picks! Bella Poncho $69 & Lotus Cami $85

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2. armed angels:

Armed Angels is based in Europe and their transparence is pretty amazing. You can read more about their supply chain here.

“Organic is not just a trend for us it’s our belief and taking responsibility and protecting our environment is not an option but a must.

“Therefore, we only use sustainable materials such as organic cotton, organic linen, organic wool, recycled polyester, Lenzing Modal® and Tencel®. To show that these are not just empty words, we have been GOTS certified since 2011.

“It takes a lot of sweat and time to produce clothes as many people are involved in this long process. It is our responsibility to make sure that every single one of them works under fair conditions.

“No matter if they are a cotton farmer in India, a sewer in Turkey or a designer in Germany. We are far from perfect. We just want to do the right thing.

“Step by step, every day. Organisations like Fairtrade or Fair Wear Foundation help us to implement our high standards.”
My picks! Solenaa Dispersed Flowers Skirt $78 & Ylvaa Organic Cotton Sweater

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3. people tree:

Most thing at people tree other than their basic tees are over a hundred dollars. But, they do have a few fun pieces!

“People Tree actively supports farmers, producers and artisans through 14 producer groups, in 6 countries.

“We are a part of the WFTO community and a representative of Fair Trade, this means far more than paying a fair price, we provide technical assistance for producers, so they can improve their skills, strengthen their businesses and have a positive social impact.

“It is a partnership between producers and traders, which aims at sustainable development for excluded and economically disadvantaged people in developing countries.” 

My picks! Peter Jensen Pineapple Tee $71 & Renata Paisley Top $77

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4. everlane:

Everlane is known for their basics you’re not going to find a ton of fun prints and colors, but they do make great staples!

“At Everlane, we want the right choice to be as easy as putting on a great T-shirt.

“That’s why we partner with the best, ethical factories around the world. Source only the finest materials. And share those stories with you—down to the true cost of every product we make. It’s a new way of doing things. We call it Radical Transparency.”

My picks! The Japanese GoWeave Wrap Tank Dress $100 & Clean Silk Relaxed Shirt $98

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5. amour vert:

There’s no shock here, but I LOVE Amour Vert. I’ve been a big fan for along time. They’re made locally to me right here in SF and their sustainable fabrics are so luxurious. If you’re looking for cute prints and work appropriate clothes then look no further.

Most of their pieces are over $100 except for their tees. But, they do have nice colored tees that are more interesting than just the plain basic shape.

We are sustainable fashion. We create beautiful clothing with versatility in mind. We pioneer entirely new fabrics that don’t pollute. Our local supply chain and distribution channels have the lowest possible environmental impact.”

My picks! Melis Key Hole Tank $48 & Inna Twist Neck Top $78

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6. reformation:

This cool girl brand has been in the spotlight a lot. They have a sexy effortless feeling to their clothes. In my opinion, they’re a little too revealing for work clothes (if you work in an office), but they are perfect for going out and weekending.

“We put sustainability at the center of everything we do. It is an evolving goal and definition, and we don’t have all the answers. But we want to focus on efforts that have the biggest impact. It influences four main areas: Product; People; Planet; Progress”

My picks! Rou Dress $98 & Alexis Top $78

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7. sanchos:

This little boutique in the UK offers some sustainable basics at very reasonable price. They have a few interesting pieces, but find their selection to be mostly full of basics.

“Our two sustainable shops are based in Exeter, Devon. Unlike shops that you may find on the high street we source clothing that is certified fair trade and is constructed from sustainable natural materials. In both our men's and women's stores, we stock a carefully curated range of clothing, accessories and gifts from organic and fair trade producers.”

My picks! Mini Pini in Ash Pink $49 & Kikii Dress in Ocean Blue $84

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8. yala:

Yala is all about simple, comfortable pieces. Most of their pieces are pretty basic and look SUPER comfy. They look like they could easily transition from work wear to weekending to lounging at home. They also have a nice pajama selection.

“Our commitment to responsibility lives in the materials we choose, the ethical partners we work with, our employee benefits, community involvement and so much more. All of this is to satisfy our responsibility to you. Take comfort in how our clothes feel, look and are made.”

One of the dresses I chose is $108… I know it’s over a hundred but it’s my FAV.

My picks! Cecilia $108 & Geneva Skirt $86

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9. tentree:

Tentree is one of my favorite sustainable brands. I love their clothes for lounging and outdoor activities. If you’re looking for quirky, natured based graphic tees, this is the place for you! For every piece of clothing ten trees is planted. You can read more about their sustainability initiatives in this post about my five favorite hiking essentials.

“At tentree, our goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet. We don’t want to just reduce the negative impact of the apparel industry, we want to use it as a vehicle for change.

“Our purpose is to revitalize our environment and inspire a generation to believe that they can do the same. Our goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.”

My picks! TenTree Camp Trees $79 & Positive Impact Tee $37

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10. thought:

Thought has some beautiful pieces with beautiful colors, patterns, and classic silhouettes. These pieces would be great to wear to work and parties!

“Creating Thoughtful Clothing alone isn’t enough. We value doing the right thing and want to feel good about everything we touch.

“That means we work ethically. From the fabrics we use, to how we design and make and deliver our garments. We think about every impact our business has. And it’s with the greater aim of minimising our environmental footprint.

We’re also proud supporters of slow fashion, which is why we design clothing intended to last. We hope the contemporary, easy-to-wear pieces will become your favourites.”

My picks! Blomst Bamboo Dress $76 & Cassia Printed Jersey Tunic $44

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I hope you’ve discovered a few new ethical brands, let me know if you have any favorites in the comment section down below?

7 Ethical and Sustainable Athletic Wear Brands

This year I want to do more round up posts to help guide you when shopping. Last year I did one on underwear, sheets, and my favorite holiday party dresses. I have had a lot of fun writing these posts because I love supporting sustainable businesses!

Of course, I 100% support the second hand market, and have great tips for mastering second hand shopping and second hand stores online.

As confident as I am in the second hand market, undies, sheets, and workout gear are some of the pieces, that I’d really like to buy first hand.

7 ethical and sustainable active wear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #athleticwear

This post is sponsored please see my disclosure policy for more information.

When it comes to buying workout gear, the struggle of all struggles is polyester.

Most workout gear is made from polyester. Natural fibers absorb moisture, where poly (which is plastic) doesn’t. Polyester when woven across allows for the moisture to move from the skin through the shirt and evaporate.

I’m not a huge fan of polyester in my clothing, but going on a run with cotton leggings, is not super comfortable. In fact, it makes jogging almost down right unbearable cause it makes my legs itch. But, I don’t mind wearing cotton leggings when it’s a low/non-sweat activity like restorative yoga.

I’m currently working on a blog post about microfiber pollution which is a large problem due to polyester, acrylic, nylon and other plastic clothing. When washing our synthetic clothing, we need to proceed with caution.

Before you wash, try to air your clothing out. Then opt for a micro-fiber bag like the guppyfriend or a microfiber ball.

1. yogavated:

Yogavated is made in Phoenix, AZ. They source their fabrics from deadstock material and are a zero waste company!

During the production process, all of their scraps are saved and turned into tag strings, head bands, and they use the smaller scraps to stuff dog beds which are donated to the local shelter - could there be ANYTHING CUTER!?

They partner with artists to create their own mini-collections. I think it’s a really beautiful collaboration and you can check out their featured artists here.

Their leggings are made with a sweat tech fabric that combines cotton knit jersey and polyester so it’s breathable and sweat wicking making this a good choice for more active classes!

My top picks are the summit power legging and the redemption swoosh legging.

Yogavated is offering 25% off your first purchase with the code ‘GZW25’.

7 ethical and sustainable active wear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #athleticwear

2. la relaxed:

LA Relaxed is made in Los Angeles, CA. They recently got a lot of attention when Oprah declared this jumpsuit one of her favorite things of 2018.

LA Relaxed is committed to using sustainable, plant-based fabrics that are known for better temperature regulation.

Modal: Sustainably grown and produced from Beech wood using a low impact, water-recycling process, this dreamy fabric is luxuriously soft, breathable, and naturally temperature regulating.

Cotton and Hemp: GMO and pesticide free Organic Cotton is paired with Earth-friendly hemp to create a soft yet durable fabric. It's naturally hypo-allergenic and UV-resistant.

Tencel: Made primarily from Eucalyptus using a closed-loop process that minimizes water and chemical use, Tencel fabrics are naturally temperature regulating and antibacterial. Tencel has a soft, soothing hand feel and offers long-lasting color retention.

I’ve had several LA Relaxed pieces for a couple of years and they are very soft and very cozy. I like to wear my joggers to morning yoga, walks with Nala, and of course just lounging around the house.

My top picks are the piped jogger in azure (seriously the jogging suit of my dreams) and the smooch sweatshirt in oatmeal.

7 ethical and sustainable active wear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #athleticwear

3. prana:

Prana is made all over the world, but they are committed to ethical standards and sustainability. The town they’re headquartered in doesn’t provide composting, so the brought it in themselves - I thought that was super cool.

During the holiday season, they donate a portion of the proceeds from a select collection of items to Outdoor Outreach. This non-for-profit organization transforms lives by connecting underserved youth with the outdoors—a mission that’s been close to our hearts for a number of years.

I’m very impressed with the traceability of their supply chain and how they’re working to manage forests.

While I am a huge proponent of modern plant based fibers like Modal an Tencel, we need to make sure the forests are being managed properly.

And, of course I’m super excited that they’re phasing out polybags! It is very difficult to do since our laws in the US require that most clothing items arrive individually wrapped in plastic to stores.

It’s difficult to work with distribution houses in a plastic free manner which is another blog post all together.

My top picks are this moss green set made with recycled poly becksa 7/8 leggings and becksa bralette 

7 ethical and sustainable active wear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #athleticwear

4. girlfriend:

When girlfriend collective rolled onto the scene, they were one of the first to take plastic water bottles and turn them into activewear.

They blew up and are pretty much sold out of everything right now. What I like about them is how detailed their about page is from how their fabric is made to their factories.

This is where their plastic bottles come from that they use to turn into fabric, “Taiwan, where we source all of our post-consumer water bottles, used to be called “Garbage Island". A small island nation of 23 million people, the government saw the danger of ignoring the problem, and through widespread change has transformed Taiwan into a world leader in recycling.”

I hear their next drop is Feb 11. So, if you’re looking to snag a new set my top picks are the midnight compressive leggings, the midnight paloma bra, and the smoke margot wrap.

7 ethical and sustainable active wear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #athleticwear

5. outdoor voices:

Outdoor voices is one of my favorites for their bright colors.

They manufacture in the US, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Italy, and Portugal. They prioritize quality, compliance to worker’s safety, fair wages and benefits, and dedication to minimizing environmental impacts on water waste and emission. 

When it comes to fabrics this is what their website says, “We work with specialists around the globe to develop high quality, made-to-sweat-in textiles.

“While activewear has a track record for being tough to produce and recycle, we’re passionate about finding ways to manufacture our materials and styles more sustainably. 

”We love our lightweight Rec Poly (recycled polyester)fabric, which is crafted from post-consumer water bottles that are melted down and turned into fibers.

“For our Merino gear, we partner with Global Merino—leaders in sourcing sustainably raised wool, bluesign® certified—who can trace their fibers back to the sheep they came from.

“Our Seamless collection also works to decrease waste, as these styles are knitted as a tube rather than cut and sewn together—no scraps.”

I also love that you can buy a set for a discount! I always like to buy sets together so it’s great that they encourage and even reward you for mixing and matching.

My top picks are the 7/8 Springs Leggings and the navy athena crop. Can you tell I have a thing for blue workout clothing?

7 ethical and sustainable active wear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #athleticwear

6. alternative apparel:

Alternative Apparel is a fashion lifestyle brand best known for comfort, simplicity and its commitment to sustainability.

They ensure fair, safe, and clean workspace conditions for everyone in their supply chain and focus on using sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and post-consumer recycled polyester. Their polyester recycles approximately 120,000 bottles annually.

They use eco-friendly, low-impact dyes, biodegradable fabric softeners and wash their clothing with reclaimed water. Their eco-friendly packaging saves 2,100 trees, 400 cubic yards of landfill, 860k gallons of water, and 120 tons of CO2 annually.

My top picks are the eco-fleece hoodie and the french terry shorts.

7 ethical and sustainable active wear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #athleticwear

7. tentree:

Tentree is one of my favorite avtive wear brands. I talked about them a bunch in this post about my five fall hiking essentials.

Tentree was founded in 2012 with a goal to deliver well-crafted, sustainable clothing and with each purchase 10 trees would be planted.

To date they have planted more than 24 million trees!! Yes, you read that correctly 24 MILLION trees and counting. These trees have been planted in Canada, United States, Nepal, Madagascar, Haiti, Senegal, and Cambodia.

Their projects are truly outstanding and you can read more here.

Beyond, their amazing projects they also use sustainable fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester.

My top picks are the tulita bomber and the pants I’m currently wearing right now / coziest pants of ALL TIME the bamone pant made with organic cotton.

7 ethical and sustainable active wear brands from www.goingzerowaste.com #zerowaste #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #athleticwear

Are the any sustainable active wear brands you love? Let me know in the comment section down below, and I’ll check them out!