It’s no secret that the fashion industry, or rather “fast fashion”, is plagued with bad practices. It’s easy to think that our little purchases don’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things – will buying or NOT buying this $20 dollar shirt really influence some high up exec at the company to make changes? It’s easy to make excuses, especially when the ethical fashion brands tend to be pricier, but where you shop can and does matter! By putting our dollars behind ethically made clothes, we can surely start to sway the trend, and hopefully encourage big businesses to create clothing that is always made in safe factories by fairly paid employees and with quality materials. Plus, investing in high quality clothes, often means you’re getting great pieces that you can wear over and over again, making it even more worth it.
If you’re like us, you’re just beginning to dive in to the background and ethics of the places you shop – we get it, it can be tough to trace every item back to its source! So, we’ve done the research for you and rounded up a few of our favorites so you can shop, wear, and rest easy:
Everlane not only offers chic, minimal clothing you’ll want to live in, but also, has set a high standard for brands by partnering with the best, ethical factories around the world. They pride themselves on exceptional quality, ethical factories, and radical transparency. Our question – why can’t every brand be this great?
We could swoon over every. Single. Piece. Reformation makes. That, AND they have ethical and sustainable practices? Yes, please! The brand says it best: “We invest in green building infrastructure to minimize our waste, water, and energy footprints. By providing on-the-job training and opportunities for growth, we also invest in the people who make this revolution possible.” Plus, they teach you how to reduce the carbon footprint of your clothes at home. 👏👏👏
H&M is making great strides with a vision “to use (their) size and scale to lead the change towards a circular and renewable fashion industry, all while being a fair and equal company.” We appreciate their transparency in their efforts to accomplish this by filing sustainability reports each year that you can read on their website. You can shop the products that are paving the way with their conscious line, which includes everything from underwear to maternity pieces. Their new autumn/winter conscious collection is full of romantic, modern, and cozy styles made of recycled cashmere and velvet made from recycled polyester.
Mara Hoffman is the perfect example of ‘you get what you pay for’. We get it, her pieces are on the pricier side, but they are also ethically made and some of the most beautiful. What’s unique about the brand, is that it didn’t begin with the same principles it has now. Mara realized the impact of fast fashion on the world and altered her sourcing and production processes to become more sustainable and eco-conscious. What’s more? The fact that the brand holds all of its business partners and factories to the same high standard of environmental friendliness and human rights. You can read more on that here.
It’s no surprise that the outdoors brand donates their time, as well as at least 1% of their sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world to save the beautiful places we love. They also make efforts to ensure their products are produced under safe, fair, legal and humane working conditions and have more fair trade certified apparel than any other brand. Find out more on their take on environmental and social responsibility here.
Levi’s does a great job of putting their money where their mouth is with their mission to give more and take less. They share all of the innovative initiatives they’ve made and continue to make for their employees and factory workers around the world, as well as sustainability here. Plus, they make dang good jeans that we’ll love forever.