With the Christmas season in full season, it’s easy to give in to the fast fashion, deals, and culture around us. Over the past few years, I’ve transitioned my wardrobe to more capsule and ethically based companies. Let’s face it. Fashion from the ways products are sourced, the treatment of workers as they’re produced, to the disposable nature of clothing, have become both ethical and environmental issues of our day. It’s something that is easy to turn a blind eye to, but once you discover facts, it’s hard to look back. While I was in college, it seemed that this was just becoming a discussion. We shopped in thrift stores, recycled things along the way, and found that borrowing one another’s clothes was the best way to solve the problems. As time has progressed, new companies have come to the forefront. While many are basic pieces, the cost of investment is worth it, as they are pieces you will wear over and over again. Classic, smart, great fits, and wardrobe staples. This Christmas, gift thoughtfully with 5 companies that are changing the fashion game.
Keep reading for the full list after the jump!
01. Everlane: I discovered this company in four years ago after finding a feature in a magazine. With high-quality casual wear, they visit each factory where their clothes are made to ensure ethical conditions. Like many millennials, I like to know the who and what behind what I purchase. They provide a map on their website with pictures and information on each location. Using the motto “radical transparency,” they provide customers with the cost breakdown of how much their clothes cost to make and how much they are marked up by the company. Every year on Black Friday, they don’t discount their merchandise, but rather create a fund for a project at one of their existing factories. This year, their project reached it’s goal in 2 hours. Featuring products for men and women, if you’re looking for clothes to live in, this is my first stop. Their t-shirts are the best and an absolute favorite.
02. Anchal Project: Based out of my hometown, this company takes fair trade textile design to a whole new level. With a farm, storefront, and design studio in Kentucky, they partner with women in India, providing employment opportunities for women other than the sex trade. They focus on designing change with their products and have a sustainable infrastructure to make it happen. In the states, they focus on merchandising their products and education. Through the Dyescape farm, they teach visitors about natural textile production. Located in an urban area of Louisville, they are improving the culture of the area. One of my favorite products is the Didi Scarf where they use a beautiful organic cotton, hand stitched embroidery, and finished with black tassels. It’s gorgeous and the perfect gift for anyone on your list.
03. Grana: Much like Everlane, Grana has a similar brand and basis for their products. However, they play a bit more. Whether it’s color, cut, or high quality fabrics, this company keeps things ethical, informative, but inserts an element of play. If you’re looking for a bit of variety and moving past basics, Grana is my go-to shop.
04. Patagonia: Patagonia has made great strides when it comes to ethical goods in the outdoor and adventure market. Publishing their factory list, they now offer Fair Trade certified clothing. As you climb your mountains and sit by the bonfire, you know your pieces are made to last and were made ethically.
05. 31 Bits: Using paper beads, trendy colors, and a sustainable model, 31 Bits started as a small company with a few college students. More than anything, these women learned quickly, ethically sourced jewelry, while it does great things for women, needs to be updated and purchased because it is beautiful. With strong collections that have rolled out season after season, they have put in place sustainable models for their employees in Uganda and Indonesia.
What are some of your favorite clothing companies? Have you shifted from fast fashion to an ethically sourced capsule wardrobe? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below.