Lately, I’ve been thinking about little ways to reward myself (#selfcare) and raise my quality of life. There are big things I worry about on a constant basis, from world issues to personal trajectory–but I realized that taking care of oneself in little ways adds more joy to your life now, which makes you stronger in the long run.
One simple thing I did was buy a new organic cotton pajama shirt from Only Hearts. It is so soft and cozy, and makes you feel elegant even when you’re hanging out at home. Since I wear it every night, it’s probably one of the best investments of my fashion dollars. Next, I have my heart set on a pair of sustainable sweatpants for wearing around the house on weekends, running errands, and traveling. Who doesn’t want super soft and stylish sweatpants for flying?
One thing I am really mindful of these days is fabric. As you may know, conventional cotton wreaks havoc on our environment by taking up outsize amount of water, creating deserts, and emitting tons of toxins into the surrounding areas. I’m also super mindful of synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, fleece, and Spandex, all of which release microplastics into our oceans, rivers, and atmosphere.
The trouble is that very, very few lounge or athletic pants are made with completely natural fibers these days. So rather than completely banning all stretchy materials, I try to go for majority organic and natural fibers, with recycled polyester if possible. I do believe that you don’t have to be perfect (naked?!) to make a big difference. And of course, less frequent washing helps! ;D
Without further ado, here are my picks for super sustainable, ethical, and stylish sweatpants you’ll want to never take off.
Bleusalt Jogger, $188
On the expensive side, this pair reminds me of a jet-setter traveling in super luxurious yet comfy style. (Makes sense, since Cindy Crawford is a fan!) It’s made of Lenzing Modal, a sustainable beechwood fiber. The wood pulp is sourced with the strictest European forest regulations. Modal is also fully biodegradable, and won’t leech microplastics into our oceans and atmosphere like synthetic fibers. Bleusalt is also working toward being fully zero-waste with its packaging.
This elegant pair is made of mostly Modal or MicroModal, created through a closed-loop process in which nothing is re-released back into the environment. Modal also uses significantly less water than cotton. Encircled sources from a family-owned mill in Canada, then cuts and sews in Toronto, minimizing the carbon made by shuttling everything back and forth. Gotta love the 100% recyclable shipping materials too! The pants can be worn scrunched up the calf or full-length. You can easily dress these up with loafers or some other structured shoes for a casual outing with friends, even a low-key date night.
This one isn’t just the hands-down most affordable option, it may also take the cake for most eco-friendly, as well. It’s made of 60% organic cotton and 40% recycled polyester, and it’s made in a fair trade factory. I also love that it’s prewashed to resist shrinking. Slim legs still make these somewhat dressy, which is great because you can go out on Sunday looking like a hobo in NYC and run smack into someone you know. Speaking from experience.
Long misaligned as a “mom” brand, Eileen Fisher is having a big moment with Millennial women who are attracted to its sustainable ethos and monochrome aesthetic. This work-friendly pants are not *exactly* sweatpants, but come close. It’s made of 95% soft, stretchy Tencel from Japan, another wood pulp fiber, with 5% Spandex. Tencel is made in a closed loop cycle, recycling 99.% water and solvents. It’s also dyed with non-toxic dyes certified Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX. These would look great with heels, clogs, or ballet flats–pretty much whatever!
Which one of these would you wear, dumplings?
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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling; respective brands