Sustainable and Ethical Fashion in National Parks

When it comes to trekking through National Parks in Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado, you might think that style may not be in the picture. However, I found quite the opposite. When it comes to hiking and traveling gear, fashion and sustainability can be a part of the everyday adventure. How did I manage this exactly? Take a look at a few outfits I wore during my trip to see how stylish you can be, even if you’re spending most of the day driving between sites or hiking around a National Monument or Park.

As always, I’ve incorporated sustainable and ethical fashion guidelines for each outfit:

  • Using items already in my wardrobe instead of purchasing.
  • Purchase new only from sustainable and ethical companies.
  • Purchase from second-hand shops.
  • Make items for my wardrobe.
  • Mend and repair items, instead of throwing them out.
  • Repurpose wardrobe items into another piece of clothing or other item.

With each purchase I’ll also list prices and companies so you know where you can shop and how affordable it can be. If I make something, I’ll also indicate where I plan on using leftover scraps so you can see that each piece of fabric is used. Last but not least, if I have something already from my wardrobe, I’ll share how many years I’ve had it so you can see how timeless, classic pieces have longevity and can enhance your wardrobe. Even if I don’t have clothes that use all of these principles in my post, I’ll have them handy for future outfits so you can see how to do the same with your wardrobe. Are you ready to join me on this fashion adventure in National Parks? Then read on:

Outfit 1

South Dakota (L)My first outfit from Badlands National Park features a pair of grey capri pants I’ve worn for years while traveling. I’ve worn these pants in many outfits from my journeys through Europe to the Pacific Northwest. With so many companies finding sustainable materials and partnering with sustainable fashion companies, like Patagonia’s partnernship with Albama Chanin when they launched their Truth to Materials campaign in 2014, and companies like NAU Clothing who incorporate sustainability in their products, I’m excited to see what outdoor clothing will be available when I need to replace these capris. My Banana Republic top was a steal from a second-hand clothing store and I find used clothing is a great place to find wardrobe staples for travel. Definitely give second-hand shops a try if you haven’t for some great travel finds!

From My Closet: Grey Capris (Alpine Design)

Purchased from a Second-Hand Store: Geometric Print Top (Banana Republic), Price: $3

Outfit 2

Mount Rushmore (L)In this next outfit, you’ll see another use of my capri pants (I told you I’ve worn them for many years). To complement the four presidents of this monumental carving, I chose to wear a teal top from Bloom. Made from 81% recycled polyester, 14% organic cotton, and 5% spandex, I was drawn to the materials after learning about them from various sustainable fashion resources. Plus, the color is one of my favorites. You can learn about how the fabrics are made from recycled materials on Repreve, a company that recycles plastic bottles to make fabrics for many different fashion companies.

Purchased: Teal Tank Top (Bloom), Price: $15

Outfit 3

Nebraska (L)My last outfit features items I’ve worn for many occasions. The black top, from Mossimo, is an item I’ve also worn at work and you can see how I featured it in my post “Stylish Sustainable Fashion for Backstage.” The green shorts from Gap are items I’ve worn many times and although I’ve only had them a couple of years, I find they’re a great fit in my wardrobe. Now that I’ve recently been involved with more sustainable options, I’m glad to see companies like Everlane who provide basics like shorts and will be considering them when these green shorts need to be replaced. The long-sleeve shirt is something I hunted for after I saw a how Innovation Fellows from my time with Run by Rural had button-up shirts to wear as layers and cover-ups. I’m glad I found this option, but I’m also intrigued to check out a couple of more sustainable options including Braintree and Carrie Parry.

From My Closet: Green Plaid Top (Eddie Bauer), Years I’ve Owned: 1; Green Shorts (Gap), Years I’ve Owned: 2; Black Tank Top (Mossimo), Years I’ve Owned:

I hope from these outfits you can see how you can use what you already have in your wardrobe, purchase second hand, and find stylish options from sustainable and ethical fashion. There’s opportunities to explore more sustainable and ethical fashion and incorporate it into your style, even if you’re on a road trip or hiking through National Park.

How have you made road trip outfits stylish? How have you incorporated sustainability into your travel outfits?

This post is a part of Style Me Wednesday hosted by Shopping My Closet.

Shopping My Closet


  1. Diane

    The great shorts look great. I can see why you’ve kept them!


  2. M

    Lovely sustainable looks!

    Made in MauveBloglovin

  3. Yamini

    Great post.

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