Sustainable Fashion

This section provides designers and consumers topical information and useful tools to understand the climate impacts of the textile industry. It’s a diverse collection of sites, educational resources, and multimedia sources. Six are highlighted to get you started. Additional resources follow, organized by resource type.


CFDA Sustainability ResourcesThe Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has created a sustainability-centered resource hub designed to provide open access resources and information specific to fashion design and business sustainable strategies.
Earth911One of North America's most extensive recycling databases with over 350 materials and 100,000+ listings including a Style & Fashion category. Begun more than 20 years ago.
Sheltersuit FoundationSheltersuit creates products that protect and help ease the symptoms for people experiencing homelessness. In partnership with the fashion and textile industries they use high quality “waste” materials to make extraordinary things.
The Renewal Workshop | BleckmannA company that developed a proprietary system for renewing and reselling products that would otherwise be considered waste. Offers a line of fully restored home goods, apparel and bags, certified to be in like-new condition. Offers circular supply chain consulting services.
World Hope Forum: From Farm to Fabric to FashionA recording of World Hope Forum’s “From Farm to Fabric to Fashion” that took place on February 5, 2022. Curated by Lidewij Edelkoort & Philip Fimmano, the event included an inspiring line-up of farmer-designers who are heeding the call, and translating fibers into fabrics and fashion.
You May Already Be Wearing the World’s Most Sustainable JeansLearn about Candiani, a family-owned Italian denim manufacturer that turns one of fashion’s most toxic staples green, one global brand at a time.


EcoFashion, Dr. Sass Brown. 2010.Looks at one of the strongest trends in fashion, towards the production of desirable and well-designed apparel and accessories with a conscience.
Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change, Kate Fletcher & Lynda Grose. 2012.Fletcher and Grose examine how sustainability has the potential to transform both the fashion system and the innovators who work within it.
ReFashioned: Cutting Edge Clothing from Recycled Materials, Dr. Sass Brown. 2013.Features 46 international designers working with recycled materials and discarded garments, reinvigorating them with new life and value.
Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion, Kate Fletcher & Mathilda Tham, eds. 2015.Drawing upon more than 30 international scholars in a book that brings together chapters that explore current agendas and set out visions for future ones, created through a participatory process which saw contributors take a role in shaping and framing the whole as well as their component part. The book is challenging, multi-layered, revealing, honest, sometimes uncomfortable, and, in places, funny.
Zero Waste Fashion Design, Timo Rissanen & Holly McQuillan. 2018.Leading industry pioneers, Timo Rissanen and Holly McQuillan offer flexible strategies and easy-to-master zero waste techniques to help you develop your own cutting edge fashion designs.


CFDA Sustainable Strategies ToolkitA guide from Council of Fashion Designers of America combining practical information, resources, research, and exercises to help fashion brands broaden awareness, deepen knowledge, and develop a framework for future strategies to incorporate sustainability into their business model and company culture.
OEKO-TEX Buying GuideA buying guide and online directory that also offers end consumers the chance to find OEKO-TEX®labeled products. OEKO-TEX® consists of 17 independent institutes in Europe and Japan developing test methods and limit values for the textile and leather industry.


Common ObjectiveAn outgrowth of the Ethical Fashion Forum, this “intelligent business network for the fashion industry” matches members with the connections and sustainable resources they need to succeed.
Eco Fashion TalkAn archive of Dr. Sass Brown’s ethical fashion blog posts and resources in cutting edge design.
EPA: Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and RecyclingFacts and figures about materials, waste and recycling from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. One fact: The main source of textiles in municipal solid waste (MSW) is discarded clothing.
Fashion and Race DatabaseFashion and Race Database is an online platform, developed by a Parsons School of Design (NYC) fashion history and theory educator. Its goal is to amplify the voices of those who have been racialized (and thus marginalized) in fashion, illuminate under-examined histories and address racism throughout the fashion system.
Fashion for Good“Nearly 60% of all clothing produced ends up being burned or in landfills within one year of being made.” Fashion for Good is an Amsterdam-based member hub that connects brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organizations, innovators and funders to work together in their shared ambition to make the fashion industry a force for good.
Fashion Takes ActionA non-profit organization established in 2007 to advance sustainability in the fashion industry through education, awareness, research and collaboration.
FibershedFibershed is a non-profit organization that develops equity-focused regional and land regenerating natural fiber and dye systems, expanding “opportunities to implement climate-beneficial agriculture.”
Positive LuxuryPositive Luxury bestows the Butterfly Mark, the luxury industry’s leading sustainability certification of independently verified evidence that companies meet the highest standard of sustainability best practices across ESG+: Environmental, Social, Governance and Innovation.
Sustainable Apparel CoalitionA multi-stakeholder non-profit brings together expertise from across the globe to transform business for exponential impact. They provide groundbreaking tools, collaborative partnerships, and trusted leadership for industry sustainability.


Allbirds Carbon Footprint Calculator An open-source version of a proprietary Carbon Footprint Calculator, plus lots of information on carbon emissions measurement practices and a “how-to” guide on the calculator’s use.
Ethical Fashion ForumFounded in 2006 as a collaborative movement among fashion businesses, professionals and entrepreneurs to help them to integrate sustainable and ethical practices meant to transform social and environmental standards in the fashion industry.
London College of Fashion | Centre for Sustainable FashionEducational Toolkits and free online resources aimed at industry leaders, educators and students. Provided by the University of Arts London Research Centre.
OEKO-TEX Impact CalculatorA textile-industry-specific assessment tool for calculating water and carbon footprint. Provided by Hohenstein Laboratories.
Sustainable Apparel Coalition HIGG IndexA suite of tools for the standardized measurement of value chain sustainability.


Future Fabrics Virtual ExpoAn event in London, England where attendees can source from thousands of textiles with low environmental impacts and discover sustainable solutions.
ReFashion Week NYCA series of events designed to reimagine the fashion industry from head to toe. From clothing repair workshops to thrift markets to runway shows, the event brings New Yorkers together to build a world where style and sustainability go hand in hand.


CalRecycle | The Truth About Textiles WorkshopA recording of the 2019 full-day workshop curated by CalRecycle, a state agency regulating disposal and recycling. It includes a broad discussion on the impact of textile production and consumption in California and across the world.
China BlueThis 2007 PBS film, made without permission from Chinese authorities, takes viewers inside a blue jeans factory in southern China, where teenage workers struggle to survive harsh working conditions. (If outside US, check your country's streaming services.)
Cotton RoadThis film uncovers the transnational movement of cotton and tells the stories of workers’ lives in a conventional cotton supply chain from rural farms in South Carolina to factory cities in China.
Feedback Fridays | Botanical ColorsA weekly show featuring talks with dyers, artists, scientists, writers and scholars about natural dyeing and color techniques and tips.
NPR: Planet Money Makes a T-ShirtIn this 2013 series, the NPR Planet Money team followed the making of a t-shirt, from cotton fields to factories to container ships.
TraceableThis 2014 documentary by Clique Pictures is set against the backdrop of the fast-fashion industry and our increasing disconnect to where and how clothing is made, as well as the hands that create a garment.
The True CostA groundbreaking 2015 documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story behind decades of almost steadily decreasing prices for clothing, asking us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?


PANGAIAA direct-to-consumer materials science company and global collective of scientists, technologists and designers creating essential products from innovative tech and bio-engineered materials.
Santanderina GroupA leading European multi-industry textile group with a complete, traceable, vertical production system.

Educational Institutions, Programs & Courses

FashionSEEDSResources for tutors. "A set of tools and resources to help us consider what to teach, how to teach, and how far we can change or transform our teaching through the discipline of Fashion Design for Sustainability. " 
FIT | Sustainable Design EntrepreneursAt the Fashion Institute of Technology, a certificate program that gives design entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, and access to resources they need to build a viable business based on sustainable design practices.
Kingston University London | Sustainable Fashion: Business and Practices MASustainable Fashion Business and Practices is a new creative master’s program developed to address fashion’s unsustainable footprint from a systems design approach. “This is the business of design as a problem-solving tool, not a means to produce more stuff.”
London College of Fashion | Centre for Sustainable FashionEducation For Sustainability is a program that seeks to transform the fashion system by changing fashion education, with learners across levels and locations, and through courses and resources for LCF and UAL (University of the Arts London) students and teachers, and for wider audiences through digital learning.
London College of Fashion | Sustainable Fashion DesignA short, online, no-credit course intended as an introduction to sustainable fashion and textiles and the myriad of creative responses to the challenges.
Moda Circolare | Sustainability Training CoursesVancouver, Canada - based consulting agency offers Sustainable Fashion 101 and Circular Fashion 101 courses for professionals, executives and employees of brands wanting to improve their sustainability commitments.
Parsons School of Design | Fashion SustainabilityA certificate program that takes an open, inclusive, and empowering approach to sustainability, enabling learners to overcome barriers to change and shape their careers in fashion in alignment with their personal and professional values.
Polimoda | Textiles from Farm to Fabric to FashionA Master in Textiles program in partnership with Lidewij Edelkoort focused on educating creative individuals who want to change the course of fashion and mitigate environmental impacts of clothing.
Pratt | Sustainable Design CertificateA certificate program that covers sustainable design theory, practice, processes, and materials to address real-world challenges, while highly encouraging research and innovation.
Re:Source(d)A consultancy and education platform for sustainability strategy, supply chain and textile sourcing.
Sustainable Fashion EducationEducation for Sustainable Development Using Fabric and Fibre, a course from SFE for teachers who want to learn more about sustainability, the fast fashion industry and how to bring sewing back into the classroom to prepare students for a more sustainable future.
UAL Decolonising Arts InstituteThe UAL (University of the Arts London) Decolonising Arts Institute seeks to challenge colonial and imperial legacies, disrupting ways of seeing, thinking and making, in order to drive cultural, social and institutional change.
Wardrobe SchoolRemakers community that teaches members, through online/video tutorials and courses to create and sew modern garments from discarded textiles.

Textile Recycling | USA & International

Accelerating CircularityAn organization focused on waste collection through chemical and mechanical recycling technologies that is compiling a map of textile recyclers in the United States. Accelerating Circularity partners with many of the organizations highlighted here on TCA’s Fashion Sustainability resource list.
Blue Jeans Go GreenIn collaboration with Zappos for Good, Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green™ program collects any brand of denim made from cotton to be recycled into something new.
Council for Textile RecyclingThe US EPA estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill space. Council for Textile Recycling is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness about the importance of textile recycling and the need to reduce the amount of used clothing and other post-consumer textile waste.
I:CollectI:CO is a global solutions provider and innovator for collection, reuse and recycling of used clothing and shoes, operating in more than 60 countries.
Native Shoes Remix ProjectIn collaboration with Zappos for Good, The Remix™ Project recycles and repurposes footwear from Vancouver, Canada - based manufacturer Native Shoes to give them new life with new owners, or as base materials in community projects, like children's playgrounds.
Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) AssociationAn international trade association promoting the interdependence of the for-profit textile recycling industry, SMART segments and provides a common forum for networking, education and advocacy.
Soles4SoulsFounded in 2006 to help with disaster relief after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Soles4Souls is a nonprofit organization, in collaboration with Zappos for Good, dedicated to providing relief, fighting poverty, and creating opportunity through shoes and clothing donations.
TerraCycleTerraCycle is a social enterprise “Eliminating the Idea of Waste®”, working in 21 countries to collect, sort and recycle typically non-recyclable items through national, first-of-their-kind platforms.

Textile Recycling | New York, USA

donateNYCGovernment organization helping New Yorkers give goods, find goods, and do good, with tools at their website that make it easy to donate or find used goods.
Re-Clothe NY CoalitionA coalition under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation composed of textiles recyclers, local governments, non-profit reuse organizations, and others working together to increase the amount of textiles recovered for reuse and recycling in New York State.
refashionNYCA free clothing donation and recycling service through a partnership with Housing Works and refashionNYC that provides convenient, building-based bins for donation/collection, using clothing donations to fight the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS.
Sustainable Fashion Community CenterA safe space in Harlem to donate or swap your unwanted clothing supported by the NYC Fair Trade Coalition.
Textile Donations NYCClearinghouse for New Yorkers to find details regarding places to donate or recycle unwanted apparel.

Textile Recycling | New England, USA

Apparel ImpactA family- and veteran- owned textile recovery and community support company, with donation programs located in the Northeastern United States.
Connecticut Textiles Reuse and RecyclingThe Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s page for state textile recycling information.
FABSCRAPWith local pickup from businesses in Brooklyn, NY and Philadelphia, PA, FABSCRAP is a convenient and transparent recycling and reuse service with collected fabric scraps either recycled into other materials, or sold locally and online for repurposing/reuse.
MassDEP Textile RecoveryThe Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s directory of textile recovery and recycling sharing information on organizations and locations where residents can donate and recycle clothing, footwear, bedding, curtains and other textiles.
Rhode Island Curbside Textile RecyclingA free apparel, shoe and handbag recycling program in West Warwick, Warwick, North Kingstown, East Greenwich and Pawtucket Rhode Island, offering door-front pickup on trash collection days.