Where to Find Sustainable Fashion in San Diego

Where to find Sustainable Fashion In San Diego

Sustainable fashion is becoming popular as people become aware of the importance of environmentalism and sustainable living. But what is sustainable fashion? And where can you find it in San Diego? In this blog post, we will answer those questions and provide some tips on how to shop for fashion sustainably.

Recycled plastic clothes San Diego

What is Sustainable Fashion?

Sustainable fashion is a term used to describe clothing and accessories that are made from sustainable materials and/or are produced in a way that is environmentally friendly. Sustainable materials are those that can be replenished, reused, or recycled and have a low impact on the environment when sourced and discarded.

The production method usually involves environmentally friendly methods that include the use of less water and energy, the production of less waste, and the creation of fewer harmful emissions.

The sustainable fashion movement also advocates for the support of local economies and fair trade practices. When you buy sustainable fashion, you are supporting businesses that are committed to sustainability, which helps create a more sustainable world for everyone.

How to Shop for Sustainable Fashion

There are a variety of different ways one can shop for sustainable fashion. Here is what you can look out for on your next shopping adventure:

Recycled plastic fabrics

Made from recycled plastic bottles or post-consumer waste, this type of sustainable fashion helps to reduce the amount of plastic in our landfills and waterways.

Plant-based fabrics

Made from organic materials like bamboo, hemp, or cotton, plant-based fabrics are a great choice because they biodegrade well when they are at the end of their cycle.

Plant-based inks and dyes

Another sustainable choice for fashion, plant-based inks and dyes are made from natural materials like fruits, vegetables, and flowers. They are non-toxic and create a small impact on the environment.

Slow fashion

A type of fashion that focuses on quality over quantity, slow fashion is about buying fewer, better-made items that will last longer. This type of fashion is more sustainable because it creates less waste and uses less resources overall. 

Local fashion

A wonderful option for sustainability, local fashion supports local economies and often uses less energy and resources in its production.

Fair-trade fashion

Focusing on fair working conditions and wages for workers, the fair-trade fashion, is committed to social and economic justice.

Thrift stores

Selling secondhand clothing that is often just as good as new, this is a great way to shop sustainably as it gives new life to clothes that would otherwise be discarded. Goodwill, The Salvation Army and other charity-based thrift stores are easily found in most neighborhoods across the city and county. Here’s a handy short list of some of the top thrift stores in San Diego.

Slow fashion San Diego

Local, Sustainable Fashion in San Diego

A wonderful option for sustainability, local fashion supports local economies and often uses less energy and resources in its production. Here are some sustainable fashion brands based in San Diego:


Introducing the world’s first biodegradable footwear, Blueview created a shoe made from hemp, Tencel® eucalyptus fibers, organic cotton and their Soleic™ foam.

Ninefoot Studios

A women’s sustainable surfing active wear company that produces surf athleticism from recycled and eco-friendly garments.


Born in San Diego and crafted in Colombia, Arawayuu sells a variety of products with ethical production and slow fashion in mind.

Friend of Friends Hat Co.

Selling an assortment of stylish hats, Friend of Friends Hat co. creates unique styles all made from a variety of natural materials.


EKZO specializes in creating unique, comfortable, and premium quality products all from 100% natural fibers. EKZO also touts the fact that they currently output zero waste in its packaging.

eMpulse Clothing

eMpulse is a sustainable clothing brand, inspired by coastal California. Using recycled fabrics and plant dyeing techniques, each eMpulse piece is unlike any other.

Patara Shoes

Based in San Diego, California, Patara designs sustainable shoes inspired by the coastal lifestyle. Their materials include natural cork, recycled polyester, hemp and natural rubber sourced from Thailand.


Soft, sustainably-made jumpsuits, tops + bottoms crafted in material made from plants. Plus, all IMBODHI products are packaged in 100% recycled material diverted from the waste stream.


Vibrant active wear made from 100% recycled plastic collected from the ocean and wasteways, H2OM is designed & made in southern California.

San Diego Hat Company Fall Winter Hats

DIY Sustainable Fashion Ideas

One of the best ways to shop for sustainable fashion is to DIY! Here are a few ways you can get creative at home without having to spend money:

Upcycling your wardrobe

You can take old clothes and turn them into new pieces that you love. This is a great way to reduce waste and get creative with your wardrobe.

There are many ways to up-cycle clothes, from simple repairs to more complex projects. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of tutorials online.

Creating your own plant-based dyes

Using plants to naturally dye your clothes is a creative and sustainable way to add color to your wardrobe. There are many plants that can be used for dyeing, such as eucalyptus, hibiscus, and avocado pits. You can experiment with different plant combinations to create unique colors.

Sound of Color offers occasional workshops in Encinitas on how to dye with plants. You can find more information about this on their Instagram.

Support Local, Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment and support businesses that are committed to positive impact. From DIY to slow fashion, there are many ways you can shop sustainably.  With a little bit of research, you can find sustainable fashion options that fit your style and budget. So next time you’re looking for new clothes, be sure to keep sustainability in mind!

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