I find new brands to love a variety of ways. I receive pitches from them, hear about them at industry events, or find them on other blogs. The ones I’m featuring this month represent my very favorites that I have come across. Which one is your favorite?
Want: Bella Dahl
Hand-dyed, treated and quality controlled in Los Angeles, Bella Dahl’s main claim to fame is the Tencera™ fabric. Deriving from Tencel®, it’s a special fabrication and wash process that yields a luxuriously soft touch and a sleek finish to give clothing an instantly lived-in feel. It’s a form of rayon and consists of cellulose fibers that are made from natural bleached wood pulp. This type of fabric is fully biodegradable and environmentally friendly, being made from trees that are managed for sustained harvest. Plus, it’s produced using a non-toxic solvent that is recycled during the production process. Tencera™ fibers are typically very soft, absorbent, durable when dry or wet, and are wrinkle-resistant. I have a long, plaid, flannel-like shirt that is indeed super soft, cozy, and flattering.
Need: Good Apparel
Launched in March, Good Apparel is the house line of US based manufacturer, Good Clothing Company, which is dedicated to re-shoring the US apparel industry using ethical and sustainable practices. Good Apparel will release collections every 45 to 60 days, as well as limited-edition styles, defying traditional fashion calendars. Using locally sourced and sustainable fibers, Good Apparel pays a fair wage to their seamstresses. Everything is developed and manufactured in-house, which allows for better quality control and higher wages for their U.S. employees. The above products are made from Tencel, organic cotton, and bamboo.
In spring, our skin is recovering from winter. As the days warm and the air becomes more humid, our skin can also have excess sebum production during the transition which can lead to breakouts and clogged pores. To prevent this and to heal any damage done by harsh winter weather, Apoterra has created a self care ritual that is centered around balancing the skin’s microbiome and sebum production, promoting proper circulation and detoxing, while being simultaneously nourishing to the skin. It includes the Lavender + Green Clay Soap, Neroli Clarifying Toner, Rose Nourishing Serum, Night Clarifying Treatment, Activated Purifying Mask, Hibiscus Exfoliating Mud, and Tulsi Luminous Scrub. They will be donating 10% of sales of the kit to Earth Justice, one of my favorite nonprofits.
Use the code EcocultSpring to get 15% off the kit AND a free Wildcrafted Cleansing Herb Bundle (smudge stick) made of cedar, white sage, sweetgrass and roses with purchase.
Love: Wolven Threads
Their crop tops, yoga pants, swimsuits and surf outfits are made with OEKO-TEX certified Recycled P.E.T fabric (RPET), a fabric made from recycled plastic water bottles. For each sale they make, they donate 5% of our profit to bring the sacred practice of yoga into incarcerated settings, teaching yoga to at-risk youth.
They don’t say on the website where everything is made, but responded quickly when I emailed them. “Most of our recycled-PET items are made in China, partially because that is where our fabric is made. Manufacturing there is not even much cheaper than Los Angeles; they simply have the infrastructure to be consistent and meet deadlines unlike the half dozen manufacturers we have tried to work with here, several of them going out of business and keeping our deposits. Worker wages in China have increased significantly over the last decade, and many of the sweatshops are actually in Southeast Asia in places like Vietnam, Indonesia, as well as… Southern California! We like to make sure people know that “Made-in-USA” does not necessarily mean anything positive, and there are factories with sustainable and ethical values supporting local economies all over the world. We are preparing to start working with a new solar-powered factory in Cambodia that offers triple their minimum wage, free housing, and yoga classes for their employees, but that is still in the works for now.”
In what I know about manufacturing and have heard from other brands, that’s actually a pretty accurate response. I recommend their transparency!
Want: Renewal Workshop
Renewal Workshop takes clothing that would otherwise be sent to the landfill – with slight flaws, or that is has been returned by the customer – fixes them up and resells them. Right now you can find a lot of Prana, Ibex, Toad&Co, and Mountain Khakis.
This Australian store provides a one-stop shop for sustainable style, providing options for a sustainable wardrobe of stylish monochrome essentials, all while educating customers on the ethics of the garment industry. The founder, Sam, started out as a blogger like me!
Love: Filippa K
This Swedish brand has found worldwide success, and in 2015 started going sustainable. They use fabrics such as Tencel, silk, linen, organic cotton, wool and recycled materials. Plus, each item on their website comes with details about the factory in which it was made. They also have a super well-stocked section of the site just for sustainably made items. And they just announced a project with Mistra Future Fashion called ‘Circular Design Speeds’, led by Professor Rebecca Earley & Dr. Kate Goldsworthy of University of the Arts London. The two-year project includes researching, developing and testing of new strategic design for 100% circular fashion garments, and sharing those learnings with the industry to promote systemic change.
BERG+BETTS crafts every watch out of surplus leather off cuts, small pieces of new leather that fall to the floor as a shoe or purse maker cuts out their pattern. The watches are assembled and designed in Canada, and the watch parts are ethically crafted in the city of Dongguan, about 75km from Hong Kong. The suppliers are members of Sedex, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to driving improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. They are regularly audited on labour standards, health and safety, environment, compensation and business ethics to ensure a happy, healthy workplace.
My good friend Laura came swanning into a dinner with a scarf from Melt wrapped around her shoulders, and I was smitten. These wool and cotton, cashmere and silk, yak or camel yarn oversized scarves are handwoven on traditional wooden looms in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Love: AITCH AITCH
The salmon skin the new luxury brand AITCH AITCH uses for its accessories is sourced from organic salmon farms in Ireland, and are tanned and dyed using non-toxic, natural techniques. The made-to-order purses are made in traditional leather working studios in Europe.
Want: Taylor Kenney
Taylor Kenney Jewelry is crafted by hand in the United States using 100% recycled silver as the foundation for 14 karat vermeil cast pieces and responsibly sourced gems and metals. The designer is a former yoga instructor and frequent visitor to India, and you can see some of her fascination with sacred symbolism in her daring pieces.
Need: Glamping Hub
Glamping has the best of both worlds: the sound of birds in the morning and fresh air, and the ability to not track mud onto your sleeping bag if it happens to rain. I’m looking forward to trying out this website – a sort of AirBnB for those who like fresh air plus mattresses – this summer to find all manner of glamping situations: treehouses, yurts, camper vans, and tipis are all available.
Want: Puck Wanderlust
The initial collection of this new haute brand is the result of a collaboration with a family owned gem and silver craft shop in Jaipur, India, which is an advocate of fair working conditions for its small team of employees. Hand-selected and cut healing gemstones and precious metals are set into an intricate geometric base that is inspired by mandalas in ancient forms of meditative art. Each piece is handcrafted in 100% recycled 925 silver and 18 carat gold vermeil. No two pieces are exactly alike.
This South African brand of simple and gorgeous shoes and jewelry sources and manufactures in South Africa, plus all its employees are South African. Each item is handmade to order.
h/t Saiint Sisters
How to Support Sustainable Fashion Beyond Just Shopping
By shopping sustainable and ethical fashion, you’re supporting social entrepreneurs. But in order to move the whole industry forward, there’s more we need to do:
- Read this to understand the issues of conventional versus sustainable fashion.
- And this.
- If you want to support organizations that are working to move the industry forward, you can donate to Greenpeace, who has their Detox campaign, or NRDC, which has their Clean by Design program to reduce emissions from clothing manufacturing.
- Or, get involved with sustainable fashion as a career.