The words ‘ethical fashion’ haven’t always been included in the usual fashion magazine jargon – on trend, stylish, fashionable. It hasn’t always been clothing that many of us would want to wear or rush out to buy. So, teamed with the assumption that it’s also triple the price of the high street (and yes, compared to some shops it is), you can see why it’s only recently that it’s starting to cause a stir. We’re becoming more socially aware. People want to know where their clothes came from, how they were made, and rightly so.
Before I delved into the world of ethical fashion, I often found myself battling against the want to shop more consciously, knowing that I should, and my own vanity. Yes, I want my clothes to be made by someone who has been paid the living wage to do so, and yes I want them to have little or no effect on the environment, but my self-absorbed side also wants to look good – argh!
Thankfully, after months of Google searches, asking for advice and suggestions on Instagram, and just becoming a bit of an ethical fashion swot (signing up to this website and reading all the articles I can) I’ve finally realised that you *can* buy ethically without completely disregarding your inner fashionista. And you can buy ethically and sustainably without breaking the bank. So, if you are interested in shopping ethically, here are a few of my favourite brands to get you started.
People Tree: The queen of ethical fashion. People Tree are a brand I get excited over; a brand I happily and openly stalk. They can’t release an item of clothing without me knowing about it (and subsequently ‘needing’ it). After attending the People Tree event a few weeks ago, and being given a deeper insight into how they work as a brand and with their suppliers/makers, my love and admiration for them only grew. Because of the way they do things – paying their workers fair wages and using organic products – they need to plan their range years in advance, and are already discussing s/s 2019. But, they’re living proof that ethical doesn’t mean unfashionable.
Gather & See: If you don’t particularly enjoy hours of online shopping hunting out the best pieces, then Gather & See are happy to do it for you. A one-stop-shop for all things ethical and sustainable, they enable you to feel good about yourself when you buy (even if you are maxing out a credit card).
Armed Angels: The Urban Outfitters of the ethical world. Quirky, easy-to-wear pieces that will keep you and your wardrobe looking on trend.
Everlane: These guys cover the basics, and they do it well – t-shirt dresses, vest dresses, simple sweaters. If you like your wardrobe to be understated, highly versatile and made by a company that is transparent about their factories (you can view them and read about their practices through their site) and their earnings, then Everlane is the one for you.
Reformation: Although they’re not completely sustainable (yet), and their range often includes a lot of wrap over dresses and low cut necklines (very low cut – boobs and cleavage out kind of low), their ethos, their positive attitude towards reusing materials through vintage garments, their transparency, and goal to offset as much as what they use as possible are all something to be admired. They’ve even incorporated a tool that adds the pounds of carbon dioxide emitted and gallons of water used with the pounds of waste they generate; it’s called the Refscale. Their LA cool x Alexa Chung style is definitely one to swoon over.
Please come back in stock jeans of my dreams!
Veja: I got a pair of these for my birthday, and I’m positively smitten. Using a variety of materials – recycled plastic bottles, wild rubber, and organic cotton – they’re an ethical force to be reckoned with. They’re slightly pricier than your more popular trainer manufacturers, but the feeling of walking around in recycled plastic bottles and knowing you’ve done that extra bit to help the environment is priceless (or definitely worth the extra £30, right?)
Amour Vert: Meaning ‘green love’. If you love bringing some French chic into your day-to-day attire, but want to do it in a more eco-friendly way, then ceci est pour vous! Their site is a fairly equal mix of plain basics, with a few statement pieces. Their cotton is certified organic, their linen comes chemical-free, their polyester is recycled, and they work with Tencel and Modal from eucalyptus and beech trees, respectively.
Kordal: Ok, I admit, this brand isn’t the cheapest, but I wanted you all to drool over this cable knit jumper with me. If you are willing to invest, then go (and let me envy you from afar 😉), if not, then join me in dreaming of its cozy warmth hugging you all through autumn. The fluffy trousers are a bit of alright, too.
Study NY: Ok, ok, I’m sorry, another one of the pricier brands – but I couldn’t resist sharing. These are the ethical brand that encapsulates my Pinterest fashion board of dreams. They sell the minimal clothes – silhouette cuts, over-sized, neutral colour palettes – that I covet and wish my wardrobe were filled with.
Wouldn’t life just be more enjoyable if you spent the day in this jumpsuit?…Yeah, I thought so, too 😉.
High Street Efforts: When the high-streets start creating a more ethical clothing range, you know the movement is making waves. Zara, and H&M have both released their own eco-friendly, ethical range. They may not be the most inspiring, ‘I-must-buy-that-right-now’ pieces, but they’re a start.
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