Top 5 Ethical & Stylish Fashion Brands
Fashion Revolution Week commemorates the 1,138 workers who died and many more who were injured when a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013. It is part of the #whomademyclothes campaign to bring awareness to the devastating effects of fast fashion in terms of safe working conditions, fair pay and environmental impact.
In an attempt to educate myself about where my clothes come from I have found a number of brands that are doing their part to create a fashion revolution with fair pay, sustainable materials, local manufacturing and/or giving back to various charitable causes. Below are my Top 5 which cover my needs from work attire, to date nights and lounging at home.
1. Amour Vert
Amour Vert is located in San Francisco and I have fallen in love with their laid-back elegant aesthetic and their beliefs. This is from their website:
"Amour Vert was founded on the belief that great fashion and social responsibility can coexist. Our name means Green Love in French, but it also means American manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, sustainable fabrics, a zero-waste philosophy, and above all, enduring style. We believe that together, we can make the world a greener, more beautiful place – one garment at a time."
Everlane has been around for a few years now and have quickly made a name for themselves as the go to place for fairly priced modern basics for work and leisure. Their tagline is "radical transparency" and they have made it their mission to be completely open with their cost breakdown and manufacturing supply chain. From their site"
"We spend months finding the best factories around the world—the very same ones that produce your favorite designer labels. We visit them often, and build strong personal relationships with the owners. This hands-on approach is the most effective way to ensure a factory's integrity. As an added assurance we also require stringent workplace compliancy paperwork."
Encircled is fairly new to me and I am really excited because not only do they utilize eco-friendly fabrics and local, transparent manufacturing practices, but their lines are built around versatility in order to travel light and explore the world. Many of their pieces, like the Chrysalis Cardi can be worn in a number of ways from sweater to scarf to dress. How awesome is that? This is from their site:
"We take a mindful and slow approach to design. We produce only what we need. We incorporate sustainable practices into everything we do from the sourcing of eco-fabrics to up-cycling production cuttings, using recyclable shipping materials and printing on only 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Encircled is committed to bringing quality, sustainability and humanity back to the fashion industry."
If you have ever worn anything from Alternative Apparel you know how amazingly comfortable their clothes are. I love the laid back vibe of their aesthetic and wear their tops and leggings as often as possible. They also make a concerted effort to be both ethical and sustainable in their manufacturing. This is from their site:
"Working on a global scale, we respect and value the rights of workers in all countries
and believe in the right to fair and safe workplace conditions. Our factories are in accordance with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) Workplace Code of Conduct.
Our commitment to sustainability is defined by creating products responsibly. We make over 80% of our garments with sustainable materials and processes. 60% less water, eco and organic fabrics, non-toxic low-impact dyes, and recycled or poly materials."
Emerson Fry is one of my favorite brands when I want something unique, but classic and impeccably made. I love their capsules that incorporate both classic silhouettes and resort-ready tunic and kaftans. This is the mission statement from their website:
"We are a small independent family owned business. We focus on limited production runs each week of new and existing products. Our line is produced domestically alongside smaller capsule collections using heritage techniques from carefully selected spots around the world. Our goal is to create jobs and support positive social, cultural and environmental shifts."
In addition to buying from ethically responsible brands, it is always a good idea to think about your purchases and try to stick to items you can see yourself wearing at least 30 times. Another thing I have been trying to do it buy secondhand when possible. There are some great online resources like threadUP and Slowre that make shopping secondhand a breeze. Take them to the dry cleaner and they are as good as new!