A little over a year ago I made the decision to ditch Fast Fashion. All my life I had heard about sweatshops, child labor, and the unethical practices taking over the fashion industry, but I honestly couldn't believe that I was contributing to that in any way.
In about March of last year, I started looking into the issue a little more for some research I was doing for an article. I quickly became incredibly overwhelmed with the information I was reading and seeing. I became kind of upset with myself for having fallen into this trap of a closet full of cheap clothes that fell apart quickly or that I didn't really love. I knew I wanted to support an industry full of quality pieces that I could invest in and know that I would love them for years, but also that I was supporting a company that believed in being fair to all involved in the process.
I've done a fair amount of research into a lot of different companies, and I am well aware that the cost of some of these places can go well into the thousands of dollars range. I - believe it or not - cannot afford that without years and years of saving. I don't mind saving, but I'm also just a young 20-something who has other priorities. So, I've tried to highlight a few places that I really love that I think give the best bang-for-your-buck factor. If you're a poor and newly married college student like myself, these are the places worth investing in.
Everybody talks about Everlane, and after trying a fair number of their clothes myself, I know there's a reason for it. Their belief in radical transparency is refreshing, and I love their minimalist, classic look. Each piece is beautiful and versatile, and are things I can see having for years and maybe even passing on to my daughters someday. Plus, my favorite Tshirt in the entire world is made by Everlane, and my life changed when I discovered it.
Tradlands isn't a company that I hear talked about a lot when it comes to more sustainable fashion. Perhaps it's because they didn't introduce Organic cotton into their brand until relatively recently, but I love each of their shirts so SO much. Speaking of pieces you can pass down to your daughter, that's basically what they're all about. Made in the USA, each button-down is made to fit better than any other you'll ever have - and they live by their promise. Tradlands shirts will become your go-to.
Oh, Nisolo. How I love thee. This Nashville based company makes some of the most beautiful shoes I've ever worn. I bought my chukka boots last year and was even more impressed than I had hoped. Beautiful leather, beautiful craftsmanship, and really really great people make up Nisolo (I've had enough interactions with customer service to say so) .
People Tree is one of the OGs when it comes to Fair Trade fashion. In many ways they pioneered the movement, and have been providing lovely clothes the entire time. The UK company has fun prints and modern patterns that are a nice alternative to the many other sustainable brands that stick to very neutral palettes.
Although I try to support as many fair trade, ethical, and sustainable brands as possible, I have still found a few key pieces in my wardrobe from other brands. The majority of what I buy is made in the USA or comes from brands that I trust a little more than the places I was dropping my money previously. I try to make my decisions based off a couple different "rules," that I will possibly expand on / explain in another post.
Hopefully you were able to find something that is to your liking. I know that there are so many more wonderful brands out there, and I would love to hear about them and support them. Let me know if there are any sustainable brands you love, and together we can take more steps towards a better world.
Will most likely be found traveling, reading, writing, or somehow doing all three. Passionate about books, culture and art.