This post is kindly sponsored by animal behavior, a sustainable and vegan company out of California.
For the past few years, I’ve been focusing my fashion efforts not just around building a sustainably made wardrobe, but a minimalist, seasonless, capsule wardrobe as well.
I’ve come to see the minimalist wardrobe as an essential component of conscious fashion, even the cornerstone of a sustainable wardrobe, upon which you build your style by shopping ethical and sustainable brands. It melds a healthy skepticism toward fashion’s vagaries and trends, with an appreciation for well-crafted, long-lasting, timeless items. It requires that you put thought into each item you wear, asking yourself:
- Do I feel good in it?
- Could I wear it in several different situations?
- Can I mix and match it with other pieces in my wardrobe?
- Will it still be fashionable a year, two years, five years from now?
- Is it well made?
I’ve grown out of embellishments, frills, sparkles, kitsch, neon, elaborate patterns, and chasing after the Pantone color of the year. I’ve suffered too many times from being seduced by a seasonal must-have or hot brand, only to regretfully purge that once-edgy item from my closet when I realize it makes me feel kind of dumb, and doesn’t match really anything else in my closet. This buying and purging certainly isn’t sustainable, even if the item was originally ethically or sustainably made. All fashion items that are sustainably made really are just more sustainable/less harmful than typical fashion, but they are very rarely a net addition to the health of the planet. So yes, buy sustainably made clothing, but still strive to buy fewer items of better quality.
Now, I find myself drawn to chic basics: white cotton blouses, slim jackets and pants, flattering jumpsuits and dresses, selvage denim, and cream sweaters that can be mixed and matched to build something fresh but timeless for every occasion. And there are certain brands that really do excel in helping you achieve your perfect capsule wardrobe, like animal behavior.
Last year I got a pair of black shorts from animal behavior. They are perfectly flattering, hitting the sweet spot between booty shorts and mom shorts. They are mid-rise on my waist, slimming, and lightweight without feeling cheap. They quickly became my favorite shorts for pretty much every occasion. Any time during the summer that I felt like my outfit would be completed with something black on the bottom, I turned to them.
animal behavior is full of beautiful basics like that, such as the LBD I’m modeling here. The brand doesn’t suffer from fashion student syndrome, where the designer tries to be so avant garde so as to yield interesting but unwearable clothing. Instead, the clothes all understand a woman’s body, lightly skimming curves for a subtle sexiness that both your significant other (or crush) and mom will like. I went to meet up with my friends for a birthday dinner after taking these pictures, and the compliments came from all sides.
What’s more, animal behavior goes above and beyond when it comes to sustainability. Every component of animal behavior’s garments, from the buttons to the labels, are made within a 10 mile radius of downtown Los Angeles. To minimize waste, they utilizes a well-thought-out design, development and production cycle, avoiding excessive sampling and overproducing. The garments are produced using surplus materials. For every shipment they send out, they donate to carbon offset programs, and with every purchase made, they donate 5% to Panthera.org in hopes of reversing the Amur Leopard’s endangerment and extinction.
Rarely do you find a company that hits every single point on the conscious consumer’s checklist: sustainable, ethical, locally produced, vegan, carbon neutral, low waste, charitable, minimalist, timeless, and – most importantly – beautiful.