Conscious consumerism has become a fashion industry mainstay, and a practice that most of us don't want to stop just because we have a new bump in the picture. Earth Week is an important time to pause, reflect and take note of our carbon footprint, and our socially responsible contributions in everyday environmental practices. Especially since as mamas and mamas-to-be, we want this world to last a long, long time for our babies. While not every brand is up to speed yet, many are leading the way with the rest hopefully to follow suit. By paying close attention to the companies we purchase from, we can all make a difference--and look great while doing so. Here are a few sustainable bump-friendly brands who are ahead of the curve in keeping the future bright for our little ones. 1. REFORMATION. When it comes to sustainable fashion practices combined with current, hip and trend right apparel, there is no one that's doing it better then Reformation. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the company was created in 2009 by Yael Aflalo whose intentions were to provide a “sustainable way to be fashionable." Between sourcing sustainable and vintage fabrics, maintaining eco-friendly and sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, the heat-reflecting roof in the factory which uses renewable energy, to the recycled hangers in stores and 100% in all packaging, Reformation is leading the way in conscious consumerism. While Reformation is not a maternity brand, there are pieces I would scoop up in a heartbeat during my prenatal or postpartum days including the peony dress and the serengeti jumpsuit (sans belt). 2. ALTERNATIVE APPAREL. Alternative Apparel produces the type of clothing you want to wear everyday, all day. It's that comfortable. What makes the company even that much more attractive is their belief in social change and responsible business practices which always take the environmental impact into consideration. More than half of the Alternative Apparel's collection is sourced using sustainable fabrics, the company uses non-toxic as well as natural dyes on their products (a mega bonus for new mamas and mamas-to-be) and they are using less water and no chemicals in their finishings. Since comfort is key during and after a pregnancy, Alternative Apparel is amazing for pre and post-natal days. My current faves from the brand include the linen asymmetrical midi dress and the racerback midi dress. 3. LEMLEM. In 2007, supermodel/actress and World Health Organization's Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Liya Kebede founded Lemlem, as a way to inspire economic independence through the preservation of the art of weaving in her native country of Ethiopia. Through this brand, women have opportunities for not only employment with fair trade wages, but are given the ability to sustain traditions in their local communities while simultaneously providing for their families. All of Lemlem's products are handmade from natural cottons and the collection includes apparel for both women and children. I've been a longtime lover of the brand, and my current favorites include the lelaga patio dress, and the amash maxi poncho, both perfect with a baby bump for the summer days which lie ahead. 4. AMOUR VERT. The literal translation of Amour Vert in French means “Green Love", but the company believes it's so much more including, “american manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, sustainable fibers, innovative fabrics, a zero waste design philosophy, and above all enduring style." Additionally, the company pledges that with every purchase of an Amour Vert t-shirt, they will plant a tree in North America. By the end of 2015, the company will have planted 100,000 trees with their trusted partner, American Forests. The company is deeply committed to making sustainable fashion part of the industry standard and the styling is just as epic as the environmentally conscious practices they endure. I just newly discovered this brand, and have currently got my eyes on the pregnancy friendly zea maxi and franny dress. 5. TRIBE ALIVE. Tribe Alive was built on the philosophy that fashion should be purposeful and serve a higher function. Carly Burson, the company's founder believes in responsible consumerism, and socially responsible practices that work towards making this earth a better place. Through artisan partnerships in Honduras, Ethiopia, Guatemala and soon to be India, Tribe Alive “employs impoverished indigenous women at fair trade wages and gives them access to safe jobs, sustainable income and a chance to determine their own future." All of the merchandise in their collection, which includes accessories, jewelry and home goods, is made by hand, with heart and determination. Tribe Alive stands on the platform that there is “nothing more stylish than giving back." My favorites from the current Spring 2015 assortment are the frazada pillows and throws (think nursery!) and the freeze ikat weekender, which would be a fantastic all purpose bag to pack for the bambinos during a summer weekend trip!
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