Eco Shorts Are This Year’s Newest Trend
If you’ve got piles of older clothes stashed in your closet—and honestly, zero interest in wearing them again—you’re not alone. But rather than simply tossing these pieces, try selling, donating, or repurposing them first. It’s vital to keep in mind that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, textile waste, including those unwanted tops and pants, accounts for 5% of landfill space. That translates to an estimated 21 billion pounds every year!
If you’re interested in sustainable fashion, you may already be aware of these alarming figures. You’re also well-positioned to do something about it. Firstly, consider repairing or recycling any pieces you’re no longer wearing. And just as crucially: start wearing more clothing made from sustainable materials. In fact, you can get started right now by shopping what may just be this year’s hottest trend: eco shorts for women.
So, what are eco shorts? Well, in broad terms they’re women’s shorts where one or all conditions herein apply: they’re made from sustainable or recycled materials; they’re ethically produced; and they have some longevity—i.e. they can definitely be worn for more than one season. Read on to learn more about the trend and sustainable fashion.
Why More Women Are Turning to Sustainable Fashion
Increasingly, consumers want to make smarter, more conscious decisions in terms of what they buy every day. That necessarily includes what we put on our bodies, with the knowledge that those decisions have major social and environmental ramifications. While the ongoing climate crisis only underscores the need to act decisively, the recent global pandemic, coupled with greater awareness of labor exploitation among fast fashion companies, has accelerated this desire.
Today women are more aware not only of how the fashion industry overall contributes to the crisis—producing 1.2 million metric tons of CO2 every year—but about how textile waste specifically contributes to both water and microplastics pollution. Ultimately, choosing to buy from brands that champion and promote sustainability is simply a better investment for people and the planet.
Sustainable Fashion & What to Look Out For
When you shop, you may have specific clothing items you’re looking for, particularly as seasons change and trends emerge. Come summer, eco shorts for women might just stand atop your list. So, what should you look out for when making a purchase? First and foremost, it’s helpful to define what “eco,” or more commonly, “sustainable” really means in relation to fashion.
Typically, it refers to clothing that is used, distributed, manufactured, and designed in environmentally friendly ways. Look for low-impact natural and organic materials; recycled or deadstock materials; eco-friendly dyes and Bluesign or OEKO-TEX certifications; and zero or low waste design.
Choosing sustainable as opposed to fast fashion is a no-brainer, as well as one of those small acts that can make you feel good both immediately and in the long term. While many companies will continue to produce trendy, throwaway clothes at a fast clip, it’s important to remember that consumers have options. Because so many trends are cyclical, there’s a great chance that you can also tap into an of-the-moment look already in your closet or at a consignment or thrift store.
What Makes a Pair of Shorts Eco-Friendly?
As mentioned above, certain specific factors affect whether a pair of shorts is considered eco-friendly. When it comes to the item itself, consider how it’s made. What about the materials used? Does the production process implement recycled and lower-impact materials? If so, then that translates to less overall reliance on chemicals, energy, and water, which is crucial. For example, fibers like tencel and linen use 20 times less water than cotton. Or consider polyester, one of the most ubiquitous man-made materials out there. For poly shorts, including trendy biker shorts, swapping out virgin polyester materials for poly made from recycled bottles can help diminish the overall negative environmental impact.
Another factor to consider is whether your eco shorts for women are made at a factory that puts sustainability front and center. Are these facilities saving water, reducing energy output, and putting recycling programs in place? Are they working to be less reliant on plastics or even treating their employees well? All of this may not be readily apparent to the average consumer of course. But the brands who do value sustainability will make that a part of their messaging and provide shoppers with data and resources.
Eco Shorts Can Save Summer
With summer already in full effect, it’s time to consider the warm-weather pieces that will not only make you look good, but feel great. And not just this summer—we’re thinking for years to come. Enter eco shorts. And while they’re no doubt a summer staple, this season a few particular styles stand out for both their trendiness and their wearability.
Love leather? So do a lot of ladies, which is why they’re one of the most popular shorts styles right now. Instead of real leather though, opt for a lookalike pair made from a more sustainable, non-animal material. Not only will these shorts be less fragile and easier to care for, they’ll also leave a smaller environmental footprint.
Another sought-after silhouette? The Bermuda, which comes in multiple eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, linen, and tencel. Easily dress them up with a belt, coordinating blazer, and heeled sandal, or down with a cutout tank and chunky sneakers. High-waisted shorts are another great option for relaxed polish. Like Bermudas, they come in a variety of more sustainable materials and will remain chic-looking into the future.
The Best Eco Shorts from Sanctuary
Not surprisingly, certain brands stand apart from the pack for both their commitment to both style and sustainability. Want shorts that are versatile, chic, and will look great next summer (and the summer after that) too? Then definitely consider some of the warm-weather-ready options from Sanctuary right now.
Looking for something slightly sporty for every day? You might opt for the pull-on Trail Blazer, a stretchy cuffed style in both neutrals like olive and sand as well as eye-catching prints like a cool palm camo. For a more elevated look that translates seamlessly from day to night, try the pocketed, mid-rise Don’t Stop Boxer Short.
If you love a little color—and don’t want the party to stop—the mid-rise, self-tie Endless Summer Short comes in two prints and one solid shade and features a more relaxed, of-the-moment silhouette. Speaking of trendy, they’ve got sustainable denim Bermudas. Stretchy and high-rise, these shorts are casually classic and destined to become a staple for years to come.