I hope the brands I name in here don’t take it as an insult when I say my mother would love their stuff. Because my mother is stylish! She and my aunt love shopping. My mother keeps her closet edited to a selection of classic blouses, sweaters, trousers, jeans, flats, and tennis shoes. My aunt, well, she never saw an embellished cardigan she didn’t like, and has two full closets full of pretty things to prove it.
Up until now, as much as I respect their eerily similar tastes in clothing, I’ve failed to try to tempt these two women with sustainable fashion. No longer. My mother has started to find eco-friendly brands through her occasional visits to EcoCult that she loves – sup, Amour Vert – and I thought to mark this Mother’s Day, I would go all in and come up with a guide just for her.
Well, not just for her. Mothers have lots of different styles, from loose in muted colors, to tailored and bright. But what ties the style of everyone from the baby boomer generation together, however, is a respect for quality, a wish for flattering and forgiving cuts that make them feel beautiful, and the desire to invest in pieces that will stand the test of time, long into retirement. Hopefully you’ll share it with your mom as well, and show her that there’s more to life than Talbots and Ann Taylor…both of which, your mother has probably noticed, has dropped in quality in recent years.
Almost none of these brands, however, are marketed exclusively to the women of a certain age. A lot of them are designed and bought by classy women in our twenties and thirties, too! So Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. May you find a little something to treat yourself with in this post.
Your mom will appreciate the classic fit and high-quality make of Nashville-based Elizabeth Suzann’s designs.
Refined and perfect for meeting up with her friends at the club – the yacht club, that is – Emerson Fry’s clothing are made ethically in small batches. Tell your mom to sign up for the newsletter to get in on pre-orders early.
Your mother exalts cashmere as the ultimate in luxury, but she may not know that the overproduction of low-quality cashmere is causing an environmental crisis. Let her take it up a notch with cradle-to-cradle certified cashmere bought directly from responsible ranchers in Mongolia. A.k.a. don’t pay retail! She’ll love that.
Youthful and fun, yet not too revealing, UK brand People Tree has a well-earned reputation for being at the pinnacle of the ethical and sustainable fashion.
Co-founded by a young mom, Victoria Road’s style can go from casual barbecue to nice dinner out. Everything is ethically made by fairly paid Pakistani artisans using traditional techniques.
Remember when we thought tennis shoes were dorky, that only moms wore them outside of sports? Now we’re all about them every day. She was onto something. Veja’s sneakers are eco-friendly, using fair trade rubber and organic cotton. They have vegan styles now, too!
This Danish brand will help your mother impress at all her nonprofit board meetings. The focus of this heritage brand is on a small wardrobe with timeless items that can be used in a flexible way, and was recently relaunched to use sustainable materials.
Kowtow’s garments are ethically and sustainably made, from seed to garment. And they’ve refined their style in the past few years to make their offerings classic enough for everyone from 20 to 70.
Tome is made in New York’s garment district. While some of the fashion-forward garments have some edgy, young elements (cut out back! tiny crop top!) much more is gorgeously suitable for women of any age.
Nisolo shoes are fairly made in Peru by artisans. When my mom saw a pair of mine, she swooned over them.
You didn’t think I would miss Eileen Fisher in a fashion post for mothers, did you? Besides making wear-forever classics, your mother might not know that Eileen Fisher has been on a journey to go sustainable over the past few years. The brand will collect your mom’s old Eileen Fisher that she no longer wants, and now upcycles and resells it in a special collection.
Organic and fair trade clothing designed to appeal to the wise set of women.
This ethical brand, which works with female Mapuche artisans in Temuco, Chile; Puno artisans in Peru; and Tangail weavers in India, will fill all your mother’s cozy wrap needs. Of which she has many, I’m sure.
This California brand has a French vibe, plus sustainable and soft fabrics. I think it’s the first eco brand my mom found through this website.
In an ethical fashion market crowded with scarves (very crowded), Peace Treaty stands out for its high quality and beautiful scarves, which incorporate exquisite artisanal details from far-flung places such as Pakistan, Turkey, and Peru.
Manufactured in the USA with fabrics such as organic cotton, tencel and modal that are certified OEKO-TEX and GOTS, Svilu’s silhouettes are straight out of Vogue – from any era.
Surprise! She can keep on buying trusty Levi’s. The company pioneered technology to use less water in the notoriously water-intensive denim manufacturing process, plus has been working on screening out all toxic chemicals from its manufacturing process, which is way ahead of almost every other denim company, especially denim companies that offer such a wide range of flattering styles.
The most luxurious brand dedicated to ethical manufacturing that invests and sticks with artisans over the long term, Maiyet is for mothers who don’t mind getting a little spendy on quality.
This label was founded as an advocacy organization for sustainable and ethical fashion, and they’ve come up with almost everything you need for a classic wardrobe. Just refrain from borrowing whatever your mom buys when you go to visit.
More sustainable and in some cases more affordable than Everlane, Siizu has a large collection of classic sweaters, dresses and tops. Your mother can also look up the factories where things were manufactured, if she’s curious.
Not a label, but a store dedicated to sourcing ethical artisan designs from a large bench of conscious brands, Accompany will get your mom ready to glow this summer at the beach house.
Both vegan and eco-friendly, Gunas purses are made of coated canvases, nylons, eco-polyurethane, up-cycled upholstery fabrics, vintage materials, and up-cycled polyester for linings, no PVC ever. All hardware is lead and nickel free, and the custom logo hardware is made from recycled metals.