My ethical fashion journey started a few years ago. It’s been a process, and I know I’m still learning. There was a time in my life when I just bought cute clothes that were on sale. Then a few summers ago, I discovered Elegantees. I was intrigued by their clothing line sewn by survivors of sex trafficking. When I started discovering what it took to make the average $5 bargain tee or $10 dress, it was clear that whoever made it was not given a fair wage.
My heart breaks at the thought of the conditions men, women, and even children are forced to work in, without enough pay to feed and care for their families. There are millions enslaved around the world today, some of them for labor trafficking. It changed my perspective, and I was overwhelmed at what I could do to make a difference. With so many in slavery, what could one person do?
I knew then that I just needed to start small. It’s not something that magically changes over night. I started to discover that there were so many amazing brands employing people fairly, and making some of the most gorgeous products. It’s true, it often costs more to buy something ethically made, but it’s worth it. The stories and faces behind the clothing and accessories are priceless.
I recently came across a really good post talking about fast fashion. I would encourage you to read it, as it does a really good job of explaining what it is. If you have access to Netflix, I would also encourage you to watch The True Cost.
You can also shop consciously by thrifting. While going to thrift stores is perfect for some, I found that I was never able to make the time. However, I recently discovered how easy it is to use sites like Poshmark and eBay for great second hand deals. I also recently planned a clothing swap with friends, and we are all excited about exchanging our old clothing and accessories.
It’s been such a joy as I’ve gotten to share this journey with friends and family. I’m so blessed to have people in my life as passionate about this as I am. I’ve always loved this quote by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ethical brands. I’ll be sharing a more detailed list later, but here’s a few favorites to start:
Elegantees: A clothing line sewn by women who have been rescued from sex trafficking in Nepal. These women now have hope and dignity while earning a fair wage. They offer a wide variety of styles for women.
Noonday Collection: Noonday started as an adoption fundraiser and is now creating employment opportunities for over 2,000 artisans in 13 countries. Their accessories are gorgeous!
Everlane: They offer a variety of ethically made basics that are perfect for any wardrobe. They are very open about their factories and costs, so their customers can know they are getting items that are well made.
Live Fashionable: Handmade by artisans in Ethiopia, their scarves and leather goods are gorgeous. They’ve recently added a jewelry line made by women in the US, and the pieces are beautiful.
Threads for Thought: They design and produce ethical, sustainable fashion that helps improve the planet we all share, believing fashion can and should be greener.
Purpose Jewelry: Purpose jewelry is handcrafted by survivors of modern-day slavery. They have so many pretty pieces!
I’d love to know if ethical/conscious shopping is new to you! If it’s not, do you have favorite ethical brands or stores that you like to shop? Let me know in the comments section below!
Photo Credit: Noonday Collection