Think sustainable clothes mean neutral colors? Well, think again. Low-impact dyes paired with organic and recycled fabrics let you wear nature’s brightest hues and keep her waterways free of toxic colors and pesticides, too.

Melissa tee and Hailey cardigan by Toggery

These brights are fancy-free: The rich colors of this organic cotton T-shirt and shrunken cardigan are created with reactive dyes (which use less water and energy during the dying process). A few accessories will go a long way. Tee, $50, cardigan, $51;

Empire blouse by Loyale

Over a bikini at the lake or paired with skinny slacks at work, this organic cotton blouse, colored with low-impact, heavy metal–free dyes, will keep you covered from summer into fall. $132,

Micro Puff Vest by Patagonia

Layer up for cooler evenings in this windproof vest made in Japan from recycled (and recyclable) polyester. The country’s super-strict environmental laws ensure a pollution-free dying process. $125,

Love patterned dress by the Pursuit of Harmony

Show your love in this soft and sexy organic cotton and soy/bamboo sundress with water-based screen printing. $86,

Board shorts by Loomstate

Catch a wave with these organic cotton shorts from Loomstate, artfully printed with heavy metal–free dyes. $120, at Bloomingdale’s nationwide

Diaphanous blouse by Ciel

Sheer, organic French silk chiffon looks chic over a tank or dress, and the ripe berry hue comes from nonpolluting, AZO-free dyes. $188,

Story by Starre Vartan. This article originally appeared in Plenty in August 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008.

Low-impact dyes pair with recycled fabrics
Bright dyes paired with organic or recycled fabrics let you wear nature's brightest hues.