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Find Sustainable Clothing in Salt Lake City

There is a lot to know about how to make your wardrobe more sustainable. Multiple factors such as type of fabric and production practices determine how eco-friendly your clothing is. For a primer on the huge problem that is fast fashion and waste created by our threads, ways you can change your own habits, and some of the great brands you can feel good about buying from, click here.

In a nutshell, clothing sustainability is achieved by:

  • Buying less
  • Choosing items made from sustainably-sourced natural fabrics, such as cotton, linen, or hemp
  • Thrift shopping
  • Selling or donating unwanted clothes
  • Recycling (or even composting) unsalvageable pieces

Buying less

  • Go for quality over quantity.
  • Make mindful purchases. Don’t purchase things you really don’t need, and only buy clothing that you love and are sure you will wear.
  • Borrow or rent clothing that you will only wear once, such as formalwear. There are lots of local bridal stores that offer tuxedo and formal gown rentals, including local businesses like Bling it On or Utah Gowns.

Salt Lake City-based sustainable clothing brands

Utah is home to a number of noteworthy sustainable clothing companies, each with its unique ethos and design philosophy, founded and headquartered within the state. These brands stand out for their commitment to quality and sustainable materials and business practices. From outdoor gear designed for the rugged landscapes of Utah to chic urban wear, these companies contribute significantly to the local economy while making a mark on the fashion industry.

cotopaxi logo

Founded in SLC, the adventure brand Cotopaxi is a standout in sustainable practices. This company uses recycled, repurposed, or responsibly sourced materials in 94% of their products, and plan to expand this to all products by 2025. Transparency regarding supply chains and company practices is commendable. The company displays their commitment to sustainable operations with numerous eco-certifications: they are a Certified B Corp, Fair Trade and Climate Neutral certified, and 1% for the planet member. Buy and trade-in pre-loved gear through the Mas Vida program.

kuhl logo

This notable SLC-based outdoor brand remains a privately and independently owned company. KÜHL utilizes ethically sourced and produced materials, utilizing third-party certifications to ensure production facilities meet high standards in their practices. For example, down and wool is RDS and RWS certified and the company has commendably eliminated PFAS from their textiles. The corporate office houses a sew, sample, and repair room to extend the life of their products.

Wūru sources the merino wool used for their clothing from sustainable and ethical farms in New Zealand. The wool is woven in a Bluesign & Global Organic Textiles Accredited Facility, spun in an OEKO-TEX Accredited Facility, and sewn locally.

cariloha logo

You might know Cariloha from their super soft bamboo bedding, and it turns out they make clothing as well. Their sustainable organic bamboo products are GOTS certified and free of chemicals, tested and certified by OEKO-TEX. The company is a Certified B Corp and Fair Trade certified.

wild tribute logo

Wild Tribute clothing, inspired by wild and historic places, can be purchased online or inside any National Park. Clothing is made with materials such as organic cotton or recycled polyester, and the majority is produced with low-impact dyes, natural wash methods, biodegradable fabric softeners, and natural enzymes for finishing. The company donates an impressive 4% of proceeds to support America’s parks, forests, and oceans.

coalatree logo

Most Coalatree products are made from recycled or repurposed materials, designed in Salt Lake City, and produced both locally and at various locations around the world. Their manufacturing partners are ethical and eco-friendly factories that are bluesign certified, free of harsh and toxic chemicals. The company regularly donates blankets to the homeless in SLC.

More places to buy sustainable clothing in Salt Lake City

Read all about what makes clothing sustainable and find some awesome eco-conscious brands to try here.

  • Patagonia outlet – Patagonia is a well-known frontrunner in sustainability. They are Fair Trade certified, FSC certified, Bluesign member, all products meet Responsible Down Standard and Responsible Wool Standard, all cotton used is grown organically. They also have a great takeback program.
  • REI – Carries many sustainable clothing brands, in addition to their own REI Co-op brand, which is Fair Trade certified and taking steps to combat climate change, eliminating waste, responsible sourcing, and more. One of these is a recent change—they no longer provide shopping bags in the store, so plan on bringing your own. You can also buy or trade in used gear.
  • Nordstrom – You can find many eco-friendly clothing brands in their stores, including Marine Layer, tentree, and Madewell.
  • Madewell – Fair Trade certified. By 2025, 100% of key fibers (60% at end of 2021) used in their products will be sustainably sourced and free of non-recycled plastics. Their thredUP program resells, repurposes, or recycles old clothing
  • Athleta – Certified B Corp, Fair Trade certified. Shop earth-conscious products that are made with at least 30% organic cotton, Tencel, or recycled nylon/polyester. Surprisingly, their parent company, Gap Inc., is also making great strides with their initiatives. The Gap has many clothing options made from organic cotton and recycled polyester.

Regardless of where you shop, do your best to avoid clothing made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester, which are not biodegradable and leave behind microplastics. Instead look for items made from natural materials like cotton, wool, and hemp.

Where to buy & sell used clothing in Salt Lake City

Vintage and thrift clothing extend garment lifecycles, reducing waste and the demand for new production, which in turn lowers resource use, energy consumption, and environmental pollution, making them eco-friendly choices. And being less expensive than buying new pieces is an added bonus.

Salt Lake City Consignment Stores

woman thrift shopping for clothes
  • IconoCLAD – Consigners receive 50% of what their item sells for either in cash or store credit.
  • Pib’s Exchange – They will offer you 30% of retail value in cash, or 55% as in-store credit.
  • Preloved – Located in Sandy. You set up a booth with things you want to sell and the business will handle the rest, paying out 65% of sales.
  • Name Droppers – Consignment for upscale, designer brands. Consigners will receive 40% on items priced under $100, 50% on items priced over $100 and 60% on items priced over $500 once items sell.
  • Uptown Cheapskate – This store is part of a chain, but I’ve been told it’s the least picky of these, so if you don’t have any luck selling your stuff, try here. They offer 25-35% of value in cash, or 25% more for trade-in.
  • Found N Kept – Shop lightly used designer clothing, handbags & jewelry at this Millcreek consignment shop. Receive 40% on consigned items.
  • REI – You can buy or trade in used gear for an REI gift card.

Vintage clothing in Salt Lake City

  • Shop Vintage – As the name denotes, this shop specializes in vintage clothes and they will buy them outright if they are interested in what you have.
  • Decades Vintage – 627 State St
  • Vintage Market – Biannual pop-up vintage secondhand handmade local marketplace
  • Uncommon
  • Vantage Vintage

Salt Lake City thrift shops

  • The Other Side Boutique – Their two locations are run and managed by students and graduates of The Other Side Academy, a residential life skills and training program that addresses homelessness, criminal behavior and long-term addiction.
  • Lillies of the Field – a 501c3 that assists populations in need such as the homeless, mentally challenged, newly released prisoners, refugees, students, and seniors.
  • Thrift Jam – a mobile thrift shop housed in a bus created by 2 USU students; learn more about them from this Salt Lake Tribune article
  • Goodwill – provides job training and work for individuals with disabilities and low-income seniors; also assists families in the Provo school district who have infants or toddlers ages birth to 3 years old with developmental delays and/or disabilities through their Provo Early Intervention Program
  • Savers – Donations benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Deseret Industries (DI) – has partnerships with local community organizations, schools, and businesses, provides humanitarian aid.

Where to donate clothes in Salt Lake City

Maybe you don’t want the hassle of selling your things, you’re feeling altruistic, you don’t need the cash, or any combination of these. Either way, there are a lot of clothing donation options in SLC.

Bras can be taken to any of these places, in addition to Recycle Utah in Park City, who also accepts bras for The Bra Recyclers.

Donate old towels to Barley’s Canine Recreation Center.

Textile recycling in Salt Lake City

Clothing recycling in Salt Lake City is extremely limited. Local recycling drop-offs are Savers and H&M. However, H&M has received a lot of criticism for allegedly not actually recycling the clothing. You can include any type of textiles (sheets, towels, scraps), not just clothing. I was told by the Millcreek Savers that is was ok to label your box or bag as ‘scrap’ and it would be recycled.

Goodwill stores may recycle unusable items; check with a store near you. I haven’t verified this with any local stores yet.

There are numerous retailers that offer either mail-in or in-store recycling programs for a discount or store credit. Find more about those here.

Shoe recycling

Salt Lake Running Co stores have a drop box for sneaker recycling. No other types of shoes are accepted.

The Nike store at the Outlets at Traverse Mountain in Lehi is one of a handful of Nike stores participating in their Recycling + Donation program. They accept gently worn or worn Nike athletic footwear. Not accepted are sandals, dress shoes, boots, or any shoes with metal (like cleats or spikes).

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