In my travels across the internet, I come across many sustainable, fairly made, and charity focused brands. In this roundup, I share only the most beautiful and enticing with you. Enjoy!
According to YSTR, there is over 1 million tons of clothing waste in the U.S. alone. (Actually, the newest figure is worse: 14 million.) YSTR was founded to combat this waste. It creates clothes in downtown L.A. using sustainable, cut-to-order technologies. The clothing is quality, built to last, and it’s sold only online in its own store, to deliver wholesale prices to you. Just be aware that they aren’t focused on sustainable textiles right now – the picture items are in rayon, cotton, linen, and viscose, which aren’t as unsustainable as polyester, but aren’t the most sustainable either.
Love: Maison de Mode
Amanda Hearst and Hassan Pierre have been staging luxury ethical pop-ups at glittering events such as Art Basel and the Oscars, pioneering the one-stop shop for the ultimate luxury ethical closet, merchandised by item, color, classification and trend. What I didn’t know is that it has a permanent online presence since 2015, specializing in unique ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, accessories and home goods. To guide informed and inspired choices, luxury retailer Maison de Mode has sustainability icons which identify social and environmental standards. They include RECYCLED, MADE IN THE USA, ORGANIC, ARTISANAL, CRUELTY FREE, FAIR TRADE, CHARITABLE, and The Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury, which is an independent mark awarded to luxury brands that demonstrate that they care. Find old favorites like Amour Vert and Maiyet, plus new brands you haven’t heard of…yet.
Need: P.i.C Style
P.i.C, is consciously designed and lovingly made around the corner from P.i.C’s London office, with locally sourced, sustainable, organic or select stock material. The collection is rotatable and interchangeable, giving you the flexibility to create over 50 clean looks from just eight beautiful pieces. The site also features other ethical brands that pair well with the P.i.C style.
I’ve covered the sustainable Brooklyn fashion designer Susana Colina before, who makes exquisitely crafted gowns and separates. (I’ve tried them on; they are breathtaking.) Now she is working on a project to more effectively close the loop on fashion, not through recycling, but by exploring the biodegradability of certain fabrics. As I noted in my Newsweek article, many supposedly natural fabrics actually do not properly biodegrade. In the Phoenix Biodegradable Program she will be testing and analyzing the biodegradable process of her sustainable fabrics in order to better understand their properties and how they can potentially provide compost product for farms. She’s currently testing the biodegradable process of her current fabrics, with plans to analyse the results and rerun the test on a larger scale. Stay tuned!
Love: Drift Light
For each purchase, Drift Light donates up to a week’s worth of underwear and socks (the most needed yet least donated item) to a homeless shelter. The feminine pieces are made responsibly in LA from bamboo cotton and lace.
Each Wooln accessory is lovingly hand-knitted by a New York senior knitter (a.k.a. grandmother), using luxurious yarn, in an effort to welcome retirees back into the active workforce, value forgotten talents, and foster intergenerational exchanges. You can check out who made your knit and learn more about her, who she is, and what she does when she’s not knitting.
Issara makes minimalist, highly functional pieces for travel and work. Each piece is crafted by a skilled artisan in one of two workshops in Central Java and Eastern India, from full grain leather used by luxury Italian houses and Japanese zippers. The artisans receive health insurance for themselves and their familes, are enrolled in an interest-yielding savings plan, and work with tanneries that are compliant with international environmental standards, with leather free from AZO and disperse dyes (water insoluble dyes that escape conventional wastewater treatment processes). They are working toward B Corp certification.
Love: Tabii Just Sandra Dress
The Sandra 3 Way Dress (named in honor of Sandra Bland) is Zero Waste in several ways. First, it can be worn in three ways, so you can wear it over and over as a fun part of your Capsule Wardrobe. The dress itself is completely zero waste, with absolutely no scraps cut off – it is made up of two complete rectangles. Like all Tabii Just clothing, it is made with surplus or stock fabric. Finally, one size fits most (sizes 2-12), so even if your weight wildly fluctuates, you can still come back to it and feel beautiful. And New Yorkers, take note: this collection is made in Brooklyn, New York by the Brooklyn Fashion & Design Accelerator. Hit Tabitha up for a complimentary fitting. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to set it up.
Ethical entrepreneurs Tansy Baigent & Dolly James personally source each of the unique and unconventional diamond and precious gemstone pieces in Lupe’s store. Their goal is to encourage closed-loop luxury shopping. A percentage of all profits from the British store is donated to their 2016 charity partnership: War Child; which supports children affected by war.