Have you made a resolution to start shopping more sustainably? Are you sick of clothes that just don't last, or go out of style all too soon?
We are too.
Where we buy and who we are supporting when we do so, should be a major factor in all our shopping decisions. Who we support is who gets to make the rules. By supporting large companies that get away with poor treatment of a) the planet and b) their workers, we ensure that nothing changes or improves in either rof those areas.
We know it's not easy. Quitting fast fashion cold turkey is tough, especially if you're anything like me, and love to try out new and daring styles. But even just consciously making the decision to shop around for greener options next time you have something in mind that you want to buy – a pair of amazing little white platform boots, maybe? – can have a big impact. Have a look for a pair that will last. Yes, it may be more expensive, but it will also make your carbon footprint smaller, will have a long-term impact on your wallet, and the quality will show. Plus, you'll likely be supporting a smaller business, who needs that kind of income to keep fulfilling their sustainable vision!
Have a look at some amazing sustainably sourced fashion brands that we've found below and go for a browse – with an emphasis on stellar craftsmanship and size-inclusivity, these stunning businesses deserve your support.
ABLE is an ethical fashion brand that employs and empowers women as a solution to end poverty. They are deeply devoted to quality – both in the products they make and the quality of life they aim to provide. They invest in, train, and educate women so they can earn a living, break the cycle of poverty, and thrive.
All their jewellery is all made in-house in Nashville, TN, and our leather goods, clothes, and shoes are made by manufacturing partners in Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and India. All mailers are recycled and in 2021, they will be moving from shipping in poly bags to cloth dust bags.
The majority of all of their sterling silver jewellery used is made purely from recycled silver. In the denim design process, they have selected fabrics with mills that are developing different sustainable denims. The non-stretch denim uses a liquid indigo that requires less water when being washed and instead of harsh chemicals, they use more environmentally-friendly alternatives, like enzymes that act as biocatalysts. They primarily use all-natural fibres in all their materials.
Plus their collections are stunning too, which helps!
You Swim’s swimsuits are manufactured and packed in England. In agreeing to work with English manufacturing partners, they sought to ensure production quality, fair living wage and benefits for workers, commitment to workers safety, and a dedication to minimising their impact on the environment.
Being made in England, the manufacturing partners are in keeping with the UK’s long tradition of health and safety regulations, as well as EU waste regulations and code of practice, and other strict regulations on industrial waste and worker safety.
For the Youswim team, being ethical is about doing the right thing. No sweatshops were involved in the making of your swimsuit. The You Swim team love to cycle, use public transport wherever possible, and make the most of car-sharing schemes. As far as their product goes – it’s made to last. The packaging is reusable and 100% recyclable, and the swimsuit is made to stick with you summer after summer. A longer lasting swimsuit means it spends more time in the water and less time in the trash.
Universal Standard is not only on a mission to have the most size-inclusive brand out there, but also to ensure that no clothing goes to waste. Universal Standard was started to shake up the status quo and create access in a way that didn't exist before.
Protecting an inclusive fashion future is more important now than ever before, which is why Universal Standard’s innovative program that’s designed to give you a wardrobe RESET, give used textiles a new life by RECYCLING your old clothes, and give your closet a REFRESH with up to $100 of new pieces made by US with you in mind is such a great idea!
Order a pre-labeled recycling bag for just $4.50. Fill it up with 1 – 4 pieces of your old clothing and send it to our friends at Marimole. Instead of ending up in a landfill, your used textiles could have a new life as everyday necessities – old cottons will become yarn used for manufacturing new pieces and polyesters will turn into pellets used for manufacturing plastic household goods.
Once you order your bag and send it in, you’ll receive a unique code in your inbox within 10 days for up to $100 to shop with US (you can use your $25 code up to four times – one use for every piece you send in for recycling)!
The Girlfriend Collective’s first goal is to be as transparent as possible.
‘So many companies tout transparency but only offer flashy headlines instead of substance. We chose every part of our process, from our raw materials to our facilities to our partners, with care. Our packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable, so don’t throw it away!’
Their compressive leggings and bras are made from 79% recycled polyester (or RPET) and 21% spandex, the leggings are made from 25 recycled post-consumer bottles and the bras are made from 11. The LITE Leggings are made from recycled fishing nets and other waste using ECONYL® yarn, the LITE fabric is made up of 83% recycled nylon and 17% spandex.
The tees and tanks are 100% cupro, a delicate fibre made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind and the yarn is made in a zero-waste, zero-emission facility in Japan, then constructed at the SA8000-certified factory in Hanoi.
All textiles are made from recycled materials in their facility in Taiwan that specialises in eco-friendly and high-quality textiles, then cut-and-sewn in one of the partner facilities carefully chosen for their values and ethics. The core factory is a magical place in Hanoi, Vietnam, that's SA8000 certified, guarantees fair wages, safe and healthy conditions, and zero forced or child labour.
Big Bud Press is a fast-growing Los Angeles based clothing label specialising in unisex, everyday goods. They pride themselves on ethical and local manufacturing practices and are sweatshop free and independently audit all of their manufacturing partners.
More than 98% of the fabric used is made domestically and is NAFTA certified. They plan for their fabric to be fully domestically produced by 2022. The majority of fabric is knit/woven locally in the Los Angeles area. The remainder is woven on the east coast.
They almost exclusively use 100% cotton fabrics. Any non-cotton fabrics used are comprised of recycled yarns. The imported fabric occasionally used is primarily close-out/deadstock fabrics for one-off collections. They use low impact and non-toxic dyes in dye processes and any screen-printing ink used is water-based.
They use 100% recycled poly bags for everything– clear bags for storage, mailers for packages, etc. They hope to switch to something even more sustainable in the future and are currently looking into new options that work for both their needs and the safety, storage, and transport of the garments.
Dear Survivor is an LA based sustainable fashion brand founded by designer Christine Howell in 2015. The collection has ranged from leather purses to fun and fine jewellery, but the purpose has always remained the same: to prove that the consumer market can be a powerful place to create positive change. They do this through their three main tenants – empowering survivors, sustainable design, and ethical manufacturing.
Sustainability means designing with scrap materials. Rather than letting perfectly good material go to waste, they are giving it a second life as jewellery. For example, their most popular Leather earrings are all made using scrap leather from a purse factory in LA. This helps the factory minimise their waste, and helps Dear Survivor get premium leathers that are sustainably sourced.
Furthermore, their newest Classics collection is made from recycled cast metal. When they started doing cast jewellery at the beginning of 2020, they made sure to partner with an LA based factory that was committed to using recycled metals. Rather than designing with virgin metals, they can get the same amazing look from recycled brass, gold, and silver.
And last but not least – packaging! Don't you just hate it when you order something online and it's delivered in a plastic bubble mailer, and the item itself is wrapped in like three plastics bags for no apparent reason? They do too. They ship all your orders in their fully recyclable packing made from cardboard and craft paper.