Top 10 Companies Committed to Using Recycled Materials in Apparel Production

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
March 13th, 2023
3:11 PM

As companies like Pact, prAna, and Patagonia show, manufacturers and retailers can use all kinds of materials to create long-lasting and luxurious products for consumers.

According to UN data, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on the planet, second only to activities related to oil extraction and refining. This is because the current fashion industry is largely based on the fast fashion formula. An approach that, analogous to the fast food proposal, prioritizes accelerated and compulsive consumption over product quality.

Considering that just for the manufacture of a simple pair of jeans, some 7,500 liters of water are consumed and polluted, it is easy to get an idea of how unsustainable this way of producing and consuming clothes is.

Fortunately, many consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, committed to caring for nature and the environment. And some companies and brands are also embracing this way of thinking and are demonstrating that it is possible to do business without the need to generate such a negative environmental impact.

Here’s a list of ten clothing brands that make clothes with recycled materials that are committed to greater sustainability and a way of consuming clothes a little slower.


1. Ecoalf

This B Corporation brand is a Spanish sustainable fashion brand founded in 2009 by Javier Goyeneche. It offers different collections of clothing for women, men, and children with all kinds of clothing and accessories such as oats, footwear, sportswear, suitcases, knitwear, and pants.

All of them are made from recycled waste materials as raw materials, many of them obtained through ocean bottom cleanup projects. The polyester they use to make their garments, for example, is made from filaments made from 100% PET plastic bottles collected from the sea. In addition to polyester, they also use other recycled materials such as nylon, cotton, wool, or tires, thus covering 75% of the raw material needs of their clothing production.


2. Patagonia

In terms of sustainable fashion brands, the American Patagonia is undoubtedly a pioneer. The start of their activity dates back to the 1970s, and although their production methods and practice guidelines have varied a lot during this time, they have always considered themselves an activist company.

Fair Trade Certified, it focuses primarily on manufacturing outdoor and adventure sports apparel and uses recycled polyester to make most of its garments. In addition, they have a circular economy program called Worn Wear, in which they offer store credit to customers who send them their worn-out sports gear, which the brand cleans, repairs, refurbishes, and puts back on sale. Another of its environmental activism programs is to donate 1% of its annual sales or 10% of its profits to environmental causes.



3. Thinking Mu

Thinking Mu is a sustainable clothing brand that manufactures its garments in Spain. It does so from recycled materials and also from organic materials produced under fair trade criteria. They also have different collections for women and men that include all kinds of garments: denim fashion, T-shirts, pants, dresses, and accessories.

Among the main materials they use for their clothing production, it uses ecological hemp, sustainable dyes, recycled PET, organic cotton, and Tencel. To obtain the raw materials, they process used garments, decomposing them and using their fibers to spin new yarns with which they weave their recycled fabrics.


4. Zero Waste Daniel

Zero Waste Daniel is the sustainable fashion project of New York-based designer Daniel Silverstein. Using scraps and discarded pieces from the city's textile factories, also known as deadstock fabrics, the brand creates new garments that stand out for their fun and colorful design.

Among the clothes that can be found on their website, their 'all-over reroll' sweatshirt and trouser sets stand out above all, although they also sell T-shirts, denim, and even textile mosaics. Its clothing collections are not separated by gender. It currently has no sustainable certifications.


5. Girlfriend Collective

An American brand of activewear for women produced in an ethical and sustainable way, Girlfriend Collective mainly manufactures leggings, tops, shorts, and other garments for sports or casual wear. They use recycled materials such as polyester, nylon, or cotton, some of them recovered from the remains of discarded plastic bottles or fishing nets removed from the seabed.

The packaging used to market their products are made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials that carry Global Recycled Standard certification.



6. American Recycled Clothing

In the United States, more than 500 million pounds of clothing are thrown away each year. That's a whole lot of clothing! And that's not all - globally, an estimated 20 billion tons of textiles end up in landfills each year. The environmental impact is significant: textile manufacturing consumes about 10% of the world's oil production and is responsible for 2% of man-made carbon emissions.

Not surprisingly, recycling clothing has become a popular trend as people have realized that they can reduce their environmental footprint by reusing old clothing instead of buying new clothing from manufacturers with large environmental footprints.


Beyond Retro

Beyond Retro is a pioneer in the recycled clothing movement. The company has been recycling clothing for over 30 years and is committed to sustainable design practices. Beyond Retro is also an eco-friendly brand because it offers organic cotton clothing and some garments are made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles or old tires.



prAna is committed to the environment and uses organic cotton whenever possible. Each year, the company donates $500,000 worth of used clothing back to the community through its "Give Back" recycling program. All of the money from these donations goes to fund local organizations like food banks and schools, allowing Prana to give back where it matters most.

This means that for every piece of clothing you buy, one is donated to a needy person overseas, such as disaster victims or refugees in search of basic necessities.

Fair Trade certified, the company is also committed to providing a safe and happy workplace for its employees, so it has an open-door policy that allows all ideas from anyone in the building. Prana is one of the few companies that offer paid parental leave for mothers and fathers and also provides adoption assistance. This makes Prana not just a typical clothing brand, but a company you can support with a clear conscience.



Pact's mission is to provide consumers with sustainable, high-quality fashion at affordable prices. Based in Colorado, Pact is an ethical fashion brand that has set out to make organic cotton a luxury that’s feasible for everyday wear. Their goal is to build Earth's Favorite Clothing Company The company aims to promote the recovery and recycling of textiles from various sources such as clothing stores, textile manufacturers, or simply from people's closets.

Through their upcycling process, they create new products for consumers while reducing waste and pollution. At Pact's factory, garments are made using environmentally friendly methods that meet the sustainability and safety standards of organizations such as the Fair Trade Certification.

Pact's clothing line was created with the goal of providing consumers with sustainable, high-quality fashion at affordable prices. The clothing is made from recycled materials to reduce waste and pollution. Pact's factory uses environmentally sound methods that are sustainable, safe and durable.




Chile-based Argentine creators Mariano Breccia and Mechi Martínez started the clothing brand 12NA (DOCENA) in Buenos Aires in 2004. Over time, their custom clothing line gave way to a design studio specializing in upcycling, which encompasses the production of clothing and objects, workshops, residencies, installation design and audiovisual products.

In early 2020, with the echo of the social outburst that began in October 2019 resonating in the street ,and the incipient news of the pandemic, the 12NAs organized the first Chilean meeting dedicated to the circular economy. The Circular Festival convened more than 4,000 people in Valparaiso.

These days, the designers are focused on expanding the scope of their proposal, linking the recycling communities of Latin America. With the idea of promoting the exchange of knowledge, generating alliances and disseminating the work of designers and brands, they created the digital platform SUPRA.