FashionABLE is a company based in Nashville, Tennessee that seeks to create sustainable business opportunities for women in Ethiopia through stylish, handmade scarves and leather goods. FashionABLE is committed to creating long-term poverty solutions instead of a cycle of dependence, so they help women set up business collectives, assist with job training and education, and partner with local manufacturers to encourage hiring more women and paying fair wages. Then they step back and let the women take charge of their own destinies. As the company website states: “That means that your purchase of a scarf creates jobs so that the women are not dependent upon charity, but instead are a vital part of a developing economy.” Pretty awesome, right? Click through to check out some of the beautiful scarves (100% cotton and lightweight enough for spring and summer) and leather goods FashionABLE artisans are making right now!
Made is a UK brand offering affordable fashion forward jewelry crafted by skilled artisans using environmentally sound materials. Rest assured, no sweatshops were utilized to create these beauties. The company offers their Kenyan artisans training, job security, and safe work environments in an effort to empower developing communities. The results are lovely pieces that will enhance your jewelry collection and daily style. Click through to see eight of our favorite pieces.
Yesterday, ethical fashion collective Zady issued a battle cry against fast fashion companies like Forever 21, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, and Topshop in the form of a full-page, no-punches-pulled ad in The Wall Street Journal. “Fast fashion is fast food,” the ad declares, listing some of the horrific side effects of our culture’s fast fashion addiction: exploited workers (mostly women), toxic pollution, and landfills overflowing with cheap, disposable clothing. It’s time to change our shopping habits. It’s time to value quality over quantity. It’s time to demand sustainable practices, fair wages, and safe work environments from the companies we support with our dollars. As Zady’s website puts it, “We should not be compelled to accept throwaway goods as a way of life.” Forgive me for being less than eloquent, but FUCK YES. Keep reading »
The most common response I get to posts like How To Curb Your Fast Fashion Addiction (and something I struggle with myself) is how hard it can be to shop more consciously/ethically on a budget. Sometimes it seems like the there are the $10 dresses at Forever 21, the $300 handmade, indie designer dresses at upscale boutiques…and not much in between. But alternatives do exist! You just have to know where to look. In addition to responsible (and reasonably priced) brands like Karen Kane and Levi’s, Etsy is a great source for handmade items at accessible prices. Case in point: this on-trend, striped pencil skirt custom made out of soft jersey fabric to match your measurements. For about the same price as you’d pay for a mass-produced pencil skirt at Target. Now that’s compassionate fashion you and your wallet can feel good about. [$32, Inspired By Tess]
It’s been about 6 months since I vowed to overhaul my shopping habits and become a more conscious consumer. One of my main goals was to cut back on fast fashion, AKA super cheap, trendy clothes from stores like Forever 21, Zara, H&M, and Topshop that refresh their inventory almost daily and rely heavily on sweat shop labor. Honestly, I didn’t realize how addicted I was to fast fashion until I tried to break my habit. It’s been a bumpy road (and I still haven’t phased it out completely), but the rewards are worth it: my closet is less crowded, my clothes are better quality, and I feel better about where my money’s going. If you’ve been thinking of cutting down on your fast fashion consumption (woohoo! you go girl!), here are 5 tips I learned the hard way:
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The other day, I was talking to my friend Lauren about ethical fashion and being more conscious consumers (because we’re exactly the kind of nerds who can talk about this topic for hours), and she said something that totally resonated with me: “Once you commit to being a more ethical consumer, it spills over into every area of your life.” It’s true: I began this journey by simply trying to cut down on my “fast fashion” purchases, but now I find myself checking labels on everything I buy (hoping to find my favorite phrase, “Made in the USA”) and reading up on all kinds of companies to see if they’re the type of business I want to support. This is not to say that I’ll never buy anything from China ever again, but I’m definitely more discerning these days. If I can scout out an alternative that’s made in the USA and/or in a more sustainable way, I’ll always buy that instead.
Which is why, when I read about S.W. Basics reusable, organic cotton rounds in Real Simple, I bought a pack right away. I’d been using (and throwing away) regular cotton rounds and makeup remover wipes every day for years, so I welcomed this sustainable and reusable alternative. Plus, they’re machine-washable and made in the USA. What’s not to love, right? Read on for my full review! Keep reading »
I came across the brand Show Me Your MuMu on the racks of the boutique where I work on weekends. Every time I’d check the tag of a fabulous new skirt or slouchy tunic, I kept finding the words, “SHOW ME YOUR MUMU” along with a phrase that made me really happy: “MADE IN THE GORGE USA!” A little research informed me that Show Me Your Mumu was formed by two best friends, Cammy and Cologne, who wanted to design flowy, flattering clothes for free-spirited ladies like themselves. And those tags weren’t lying: every MuMu piece is indeed made right in downtown LA. Does this translate to a slightly higher price tag than other brands who churn out their clothes in Chinese factories? Of course. But remember: you’re paying for a quality product that was made by fairly compensated workers. And if that’s not enough, the endless compliments you’ll get on your SMYM clothes will surely justify the extra bucks. Click through to check out 11 of my favorite MuMu pieces!
Today’s Compassionate Fashion spotlight shines on an awesome little company called JOYN India. JOYN products are made by Indian artisans who create beautiful textile products completely by hand — everything from weaving to printing to stitching. JOYN gives these artisans the chance to sell their products to the American market, providing them with fair wages, safe working environments, a daily meal plan, education, and medical care. Their motto is “Fashioning Better Lives,” and by purchasing JOYN products, you’ll help them put those words into action. Click through to check out a few of my favorite colorful accessories from their current collection!
When you’re trying to find clothing that’s made in the USA, it’s fairly easy to track down funky, one-of-a-kind items from indie designers and well-made investment (read: expensive) pieces from higher end labels. But what about the basics, the stuff you wear every single day — jeans, hoodies, t-shirts, tights, sneakers, pencil skirts, etc? Luckily for us, there are still some awesome companies producing these must-have clothing items right here in America. They can be a little tough to find, but that’s why I did the work for you! Click through to check out 10 everyday basics, all American-made, all great quality, all $100 or less…
Tradlands is a new fashion company based in San Francisco with a simple mission: “Our intention is to make the best clothing for our customer, the woman who drifts towards the men’s section and thinks, ‘I wish they made this for me.’” Using fabrics and materials from the US, Tradlands designs and manufactures all of their timeless, tomboy-inspired shirts in downtown San Francisco.
I just got one of their henley shirts (pictured on the right), and I was completely blown away by the quality. After spending so many years filling my closet with flimsy Forever 21 blouses, it’s refreshing to feel fabric with a bit of weight to it, and strong seams that won’t disintegrate after two wearings. Tradlands makes the kind of shirts you’ll own and love for years, which, combined with the ethical sourcing and attention to detail, easily justifies the price.
The other thing I love about Tradlands is that even though the brand’s aesthetic is very tomboy-ish, these shirts would look just as good with a pencil skirt and high heels as they would with slouchy jeans and sneakers. So cute and versatile. Want to give Tradlands a try? Click through to check out some of their awesome options…