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6 Steps to a Sustainable Wardrobe is a quality guide to the topic of sustainable fashion. Rather than focus on the sustainability problems in fashion, it provides you with the simple actionable steps you need to confidently commit to a sustainable wardrobe. This enables you to make a positive impact on the environment through your everyday wardrobe choices.
Cost: USD $18
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The Guide to Sustainable Textiles is a comprehensive guide to the sustainability to the major textiles used in fashion. If you want to cut through the greenwash, and confidently assess the sustainability of your favourite clothing labels, this is the guide for you.
Covering the 15 most common textiles, as well as dying processes and textile certification labelling, the guide goes through all the major environmental and social impacts of each fabric so you can choose your garments in line with your ethics.
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I maintain the strictest standards for ethics and sustainability when it comes to affiliate partners. You can be sure that the labels included here are ethically and sustainably produced. In the description of each brand I have included detailed summaries of why I recommend the brands, and if there are any products in their range that I don’t recommend.
Amour Vert is a hugely reliable source of very chic sustainable fashion. They are US-based and US-made, and offer shipping globally. They launched their sustainable fashion brand with the By A Tee: Plant a Tree range, which has made a huge contribution to reforestation efforts to date. They stock a broad range of garments in natural fibres, such as silk, linen, hemp, organic cotton, Tencel, and US-made modal.
I am particularly fond of their soft stretchy mini skirts and relaxed t-shirts, which are easy to care for and still so chic. They always have an enviable range of silk dresses and tailored shirts, so you can find almost anything you need, from relaxed beachwear to tailored office-wear. They even stock vege-tanned leather shoes by Coclico, so you can pick up your own outfit in the one place.
People Tree are global pioneers in Fair-trade and sustainable fashion. They work closely with Fair-trade artisan co-operatives across the developing world to produce a range of women’s and men’s clothing, sleepwear and accessories.
With garments in a broad range of cuts, colours and styles, you can easily find garments that suit your taste and body shape. Whilst colours and prints change from season to season, the range of styles is reasonably consistent and timeless, enabling you to create a wardrobe that you will wear for many years to come.
People tree do stock a few garments that are made from conventional cotton, which I would recommending avoiding if possible. However, these garments are still produced in Fair-trade conditions, so they are still an ethical option, if not a sustainable one. The great majority of their clothing is certified organic and Fair-trade cotton, along with other sustainable materials such as wool.
Whilst they are based in the UK, they have affordable global shipping and a comprehensive returns policy, enabling you to shop with confidence, no matter where you are based. People Tree are one of my favourite sustainable fashion brands, and I highly recommend supporting them.
Zady is another pioneer in the ethical and sustainable fashion space. The offer garments, shoes and accessories for men and women, natural beauty products and homewares. All of the products in their range are selected for their quality, their respect for the skilled artisans who make them, and to minimise environmental impact.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend almost all of their products, but special mentions go to the Veja sneakers, Alpaca sweaters and everything in their essentials collection. These all represent the height of sustainability in fashion.
There are a few items that use conventional cotton, which you might like to avoid, but these are still ethically produced in the US.
With free US shipping on all orders, and free global shipping for orders over $100, Zady is a great option for shopping sustainable fashion worldwide.
PACT Apparel produce a range of ethically produced organic cotton underwear and basics. All of their garments are sweatshop-free, and many are now certified Fair-trade. The cotton they use is all certified organic and come from family-run farms which ensure that ownership of agricultural resources stays in the community.
PACT produce garments for both men and women, in plain colours and interesting graphic prints. If you are looking for ethical and sustainable basics, such as underwear, socks, leggings, t-shirts and camisoles for everyday wear or for exercise, PACT Apparel is a great option. They also do basics for babies. They are US-based, and have global shipping.
Vegan ethical and sustainable fashion boutique Bead & Reel are the best place to go if you are looking for cruelty-free fashion that also gives the highest standards of consideration to the environmental impacts of the garments. Many vegan fashion brands do not take this care, but Bead & Reel ensure that there are no products with PVC or virgin synthetic fabrics.
Bead & Reel also stock a range of reclaimed (second-hand) ethical vegan fashion, so you can pick up a pair of vegan boots for a bargain if you need.
Stocking everything from underwear to office wear, vegan boots, jewellery, handbags, Bead & Reel is the best place to for your vegan fashion needs. With free domestic (US) shipping, and a flat international shipping rate, it is accessible all around the world.
Accompany is the premier US boutique for Fair-trade ethical fashion where every purchase has a purpose. The focus of their collections is artisan made, fair-trade and philanthropic, whilst still maintaining a commitment to a chic modern aesthetic to appeal to modern tastes.
Accompany is an ethical fashion boutique, rather than a sustainable fashion boutique, so there are some items that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend. But with a strong focus on natural fibres and traditional textiles, most of the range would satisfy the a strict commitment to sustainable fashion.
The main focus of the boutique is on women’s fashions, but their extensive homewares collection is also worth checking out. With international shipping, you can access this boutique where ever you are in the world.
Patagonia are world leaders in the sustainable fashion space. Although many would describe them as fashion- rather travel and outdoor wear- they produce a range of eco-friendly clothing that can happily be mixed and matched with your fashionable wardrobe. Patagonia have chosen to offer all the high quality garments that are needed for an outdoor and beach lifestyle. They work with a range of eco-considered and ethical textiles and initiatives, including fairtrade, recycled nylons and polyester, traceable down, organic cotton and hemp. There are few global companies that made a bigger impact in this space. However, they make high quality garments that will last and Patagonia have given deep consideration to the environmental impact of their business.
Patagonia really do things differently. They were founded with the purpose of producing clothing that takes care of the environment, because the founder and customers are people who love the outdoors and want to see the environment protected. They also provide 1% of their sales (that is total sales revenue, not total profit, so it is much higher than it sounds- many companies only donate a percentage of profit) to like-minded environmental NGOs. They even provide a ethical family friendly workplace, with some offices even offering on sight childcare and after school care to allow working parents to spend quality time with their children throughout the workday.
Their motto is “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” and they really do live up to it. I am proud to support them and their work and highly recommend them for your outdoor gear, swimwear and quality basics.
Visit the Patagonia website, and the links will automatically take you to the webstore that services your country. With presence in many countries and free shipping for purchases above a certain amount they are very accessible to most sustainably-minded customers.
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ettitude offer a range of ethical and sustainable organic bamboo bedding, towels, bathrobes and accessories. Unlike ordinary bamboo fabric (viscose), which still causes environmental damage during processing, bamboo lyocell is a highly sustainable fabric. This manufacturing process for lyocell is closed loop. Any chemicals used in processing are completely non-toxic and are captured and reused so that no chemicals are released into the environment. The finished fabric is soft and strong and completely biodegradable.
As well their environmental credentials, they chose their manufacturers carefully to ensure the ethical manufacturing, where workers receive a fair wage and safe work environment. They also have regular charity partners that they sponsor to contribute to a fairer society and to give back.
Based in Australia, ettitude offers free Australian shipping on orders over $75, and free worldwide shipping for orders over a certain value (this minimum depends on how far away you are). So their gorgeous sustainable bedlinen are easily accessible across the globe. The low value of the Australian dollar on the global market make them an affordable option for international buyers too.
If you are US-based and looking to support local artisans then shopping for some of your homewares from Modern Artisans is a great place to start. They don’t have a focus on sustainability, so you will need to be selective in what you choose from this store. But handmade ceramics and some hand-carved wooden serving ware and implements are good sustainable options from this store. Nested Stoneware Mixing Bowls are a favourite of mine, and such a lovely ethical and sustainable alternative to plastic cookware.
If you are looking for sustainable options, I would stick to wooden and ceramic goods. The rest of the range is ethically produced, and good quality, but do not make use of sustainable materials.
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