This month marks the opening of my sustainable recycled and upcycled online shop. Check out the shop link, where you will find a few items listed already. This weekend, Patreon subscribers will receive early access and discount in the Small Wardrobe shop.
In response to an interest in ethical and sustainable fashion, there are a growing number of brands challenging fast fashion production processes. These brands are using manufacturing practices which ensure their clothing is produced with the consideration of the rights and working conditions of workers, or leaving a smaller environmental impact – and sometimes both.
So, you’re interested in sustainable or ethical shopping and you’d like to know where to start? No problem! I’ve got you covered.
First, let’s differentiate between the two. Sustainable brands are concerned with the environmental impact of fashion, whereas ethical fashion is concerned with the way production impacts the people who make it.
Ethical and sustainable brands are usually more expensive than their fast fashion cousins, because creating items ethically and/or sustainably costs more money. There is a reason fast fashion items are cheap. They are produced in ways that are socially and environmentally ignorant, unconcerned with environmental impact or the issues associated with cheap labour. Fast fashion items typically lack the same quality as brands which take more time and care in their production cycle, and as a result they end up being toss away items. While fast fashion low priced on trend items are tempting, investing in items that have a slower supply chain is smarter for our people, planet, and ultimately your wallet.
Don’t feel bad if you are addicted to fast fashion. The programming to compulsively buy lots for cheap has been with you since birth. This is a reflection of our capitalist system, one which ultimately cannot be discounted for the benefits it does realistically provide, though, as with any ideology, has been embedded in our lifelong learning as ‘the only way’. If you want to learn how to slow your spending so that you can unclench yourself from the fast production hold over your life, read this whole blog, as this is mostly what I write about.
Political musings aside, in my research I sought a selection of brands that are relatively affordable. The fine balance in supporting sustainable and ethical fashion growth is in finding brands which are well made, aesthetically pleasing, but also reasonably priced, so that the consumer (you and I) can still find enjoyment in the shopping process.
Another important thing to know is that ethical and sustainable items do not have to lack contemporary style. In past decades, these types of brands have been associated with marginal or extreme lifestyles that involve shunning showers and society to ferment your own anything and wear clogs. Today it is possible to source stunning items that are environmentally friendly and socially aware. By the way, clogs are cool now too.
The video below gives you ten affordable ethical and sustainable clothing brands.Check out my YouTube channel for new videos about minimalism every week. Follow me on Instagram, where I record my minimalist outfits. Check me out on Facebook for resources and updates. I also have a Patreon account, where I post additional content weekly.
Let me know if you have any favourite ethical or sustainable brands of your own!