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Finding Ethical & Sustainable Clothing Brands | Fast Fashion Series IV

Finding Ethical & Sustainable Clothing Brands | Fast Fashion Series IV

Finding Ethical & Sustainable Clothing Brands | Fast Fashion Series IV

When you go to your local mall and step into a Forever 21, Garage, or American Eagle and look at the tag what do you expect to find? The garment care instructions, fabric content and of course where the article of clothing was manufactured. Unfortunately in most cases you’re going to see places like China, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh. Each article of clothing has a very dirty background behind it. Therefore searching for locally, ethically or sustainably crafted clothing is extremely important.

How to Find Ethical and Sustainable Clothing Brands

In case you are new to the Fast Fashion Series, I suggest that you check out the first three posts:

Once you are familiarized with Fast Fashion, come back and learn how to find sustainable clothing brands and some suggestions!

how to find ethical and sustainable clothing brands

Criteria for Ethical and Sustainable Clothing Brands

When I search for an ethical and sustainable clothing brand, I start with a few important criteria:

Transparency

When you go the website, do they list where and how the garment is manufactured? Do they tell you the fiber content? One website that I find does really well in sharing the transparency is Everlane. On their website they share where their factories are, how much their garments cost and ask the consumer how much they are willing to pay for them. Plenty of their clothing articles are made with natural fibers such as silk, cashmere and cotton.

Everlane is a good description for an ethical clothing brand with their transparency on factories and information on every single one. However, on their website there is no information in regards to the sustainablity behind the brand. Which brings me onto the next factor…

Everlane
www.everlane.com

Sustainability

For me, sustainability in clothing is important. I personally want to lessen my impact on the environment as much as I can (although I have fallen in love with a few pieces from Everlane.) Finding a sustainable brand is extremely difficult – you need important information, but sometimes their website doesn’t share it.

An important seal to look for is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) which is a regulation to ensure that brands claiming they are organic are. The Global Organic Textile Standard is proudly displayed on sustainable clothing brand websites because it is a symbol of the quality assurance. You can trust that when you see this symbol on a website the brand is reliable.

Pact is a great website to find affordable 100% organic cotton clothing. The only current downside is that they are unable to ship internationally. Therefore it is only open to customers that live in the U.S. I emailed customer service to find out when they may be able to ship internationally but they have not provided a date. I was informed that they do sell some articles of clothing at Mountain Equipment Company in Canada.

PACT Clothing
www.pact.com

Access

Access is my third factor in criteria because obviously it’s all well and good finding brands.. but if I can’t purchase from them it’s absolutely no good! Which is why Encircled is a brand that stood out to me. Encircled clothing is made in Toronto, Ontario in Canada and features versatile pieces (perfect for that capsule wardrobe!) Although they do not manufacture fabrics, they purchase eco-friendly and responsible fabrics such as modal, tencel and bamboo.

Encircled is both an example of an ethical and sustainable clothing brand due to their lack of sweatshops and dirty fabric choices. However, this comes with a price; their Chrysalis Cardi is a whopping $138 CAD… but you can make 8 different clothing looks with it. Each clothing look would cost you $17.25 CAD which seems to be a little bit easier to justify. Maybe.

Chrysalis Cardi Encircled
www.encircled.ca

Affordability

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really have over $150 to spend on one item of clothing and therefore affordability is another important factor in my hunt for an ethical and sustainable clothing brand. That’s why I’ll always check out the sale section on websites – usually you can save quite a bit of money on clearance pieces. Each of these stores has a sale section where you can save over $20 on each piece! LA Relaxed, Satva and EcoVibe Apparel.

ethical and sustainable fashion brands

Google it!

It’s hard to start finding clothing brands – so use the power of google! Some examples of search topics are:

“Ethical clothing Canada*”

“Sustainable Clothing Brands Canada*”

“Eco-Friendly Clothing Canada*”

“Clothing made in Canada*”

*insert your country of residence

I add the country I live in to ensure that the brands are available in my location. If you don’t enter your location you are more likely to receive results on promoted brands that may not ship to your country.

Ethical Clothing is an Investment

Finding quality clothing pieces takes time. They are an investment so in no way do I expect you to go out and spend $500 on a few pieces at once (unless you really want to…) It’s important to take the time and replace clothing items when your current pieces are no longer wearable or usable. It’s all about being a conscious consumer and knowing when to make these decisions.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this Fast Fashion series and hope that you’ve at least learned a couple things from it! After reading about the effects of Fast Fashion I knew that I needed to share because it is one of the largest sources of pollution. It really hits home to see famous Youtubers who probably have millions in the bank go out and unconsciously spend it on fast fashion… now I’m not going to name any names but I recently just watched a haul from a large Youtuber who did just that; it’s not her fault. She probably doesn’t know about it.

We need to make a conscious effort everyday to protect our environment and better the world for future generations and ourselves. 

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  • I have read a lot on this topic recently, inspired by your posts and the need to replace many items in my wardrobe simply because they are falling apart. Finding a brand that meets all the criteria you mentioned above AND carries clothing I enjoy is a mammoth task and one that I have not succeeded in. I guess I will have to make compromises, but I will keep on trying to be as sustainable as possible.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • It’s extremely difficult, that’s for sure. But at least by keeping an eye out and knowing the effect of the fashion industry will help you choose better options in the future! Best of luck 🙂

  • I was about to say ‘Yes!’ when I read the first few lines on Encircled and then I saw the price of the cards. Eep! Gulp! It’s going to be a long road for me to change my whole wardrobe but I’m taking a very realistic baby step by starting to shop at thrift stores.

  • So sorry I have been absent from your blog this past week or two or so. Life. Yup.
    Oh my gosh!!!! Sustainable clothing!!! Now this I want to be a part of! I completely love how you are expanding your brand and really exploring the sustainable and ethical lifestyle in all areas Lindsey! But yes, that dress is ex-pen-sive. Then again, natural and healthy and good quality things always are. I’d suggest we go back in time to the pre-industrial era, but then we’d probably all end up dead from yellow fever or something. You win some you lose some.

    https://cynicalduchess.blogspot.com

    • Lol! Well, I think we have vaccines for that now… but I totally agree on the clothing standpoint. If we just went back to creating clothing in small batches and repairing them we’d be much further ahead. Ah well, the French revolution changed everything lol

  • You got me at the sale section! I can’t see myself splurging over $100 on a piece of clothing item but lately I’ve been thinking before I buy, like do I need it? Is it worth it? Trying to minimize my wardrobe now!

    • That’s awesome! Those are exactly the steps you need to take… I don’t really fancy spending that much on a clothing item either, unless I know it’s going to last me until I’m 80 LOL

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    I remember reading your previous post on ethical clothing, and it was a real eye-opener! As much as it’s hard to admit it, ethical/sustainable clothing isn’t something I really considered before, so I really appreciate this post and all the links you’ve shared with us! I am glad to hear that there are so many affordable sites available, also. I change sizes all the time so I don’t like to spend too much on clothes! Great post as always, lovely – hope you’re having a fab week so far! 🙂 xoxo

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.com

  • Great tips and info dear! Thanks for sharing!

    Xx,

    || FLOORTJELOVES ||

    http://www.floortjeloves.com

    http://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/floortjeloves-12198253

  • Lovee this post!! All these brands sound so so good 😀

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

  • Loving this series Lindsay! I officially haven’t bought any new clothes since the new year started and it’s been pretty amazing! I do get urges to buy new pieces here and there. If I can buy ethical fashion now and even with it being a bit more expensive I’m totally fine with now since I don’t shop that often anymore. I think the prices are that bad since you’re paying for quality as well. Have you mentioned thifting yet? I really need to catch up on your blog if you already have! :]

    Stacey, thebambieyes.com

  • Nadia

    This was such a great & informative post, hon. I truly enjoyed it and it makes me so happy that there are websites like that!! Also, how incredible is the fact that you’re given an option of how much you’re willing/able to pay. I would definitely be happy to pay a decent amount for clothing that have been produced at a local factory knowing all about the material used, etc. There is a store in Kiev (Ukraine) which is booming at the moment and is slowly but surely beating a ZARA store beside in the terms of popularity. It’s called “Vsi. Svoi.” which means “It’s all ours” or “It’s all made by our people” which proudly features ethical fashion. I was blown away by the quality and the style! The price tags have quite high numbers on them but it’s worth it!
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    I have heard of everlane t-shirts but never purchased any before.
    Keep up the great work!
    I totally try to be sustainable by buying less – which means spending more on the outset on quality garments that last longer.
    Classic pieces that work over a few seasons.
    That is why I stopped my fashion blog Fashion Blender.
    I realised I was ignoring my own beliefs to purchase things to wear because I couldn’t be seen in the same thing too many times…
    Kiri
    Set to Glow
    http://www.settoglow.com.au

  • I like to invest in pieces I know that are staples to have in my wardrobe. Even timeless styles are a favourite. I never have been driven to wear to many trends since I just wear what I love. I have noticed online being a great source to buy stuff that you can’t always find in boutiques. I even love vintage shops, however, I tend to stick with brands and places that have styles that suit me. As for this post, I really enjoyed reading this. You have some insightful articles 🙂 http://www.bauchlefashion.com/2017/05/cannes-hottest-moments.html
    https://www.instagram.com/heathernoire89

  • Violette

    Great post! It’s so interesting and nice to learn more about these brands!

    http://violettedaily.com

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