It is not easy to be a conscious consumer today. If you care about the impact that fashion has on the environment, it takes a lot of research to understand all the nuances. In a perfect world, you might investigate more deeply but every brand’s textile origin, dying methods and overall production processes are different. Who has time to dig into all of that?
We already know the defiantly un-sustainable brands like H&M, Shein, Forever 21 and Zara among others, but are there any cute and/or affordable alternatives? Yes, but you need to where to look. As a rule of thumb, any fashion brand that churns out new styles monthly, sometimes weekly, is overproducing, primarily using petroleum based synthetic fabrics, as well as employing very questionable labor sources. There is absolutely no way around that regardless of what they might claim. Having a “sustainability policy” means very little. So, your best bet to begin consuming more responsibly is to recall the 4 R’s as often as possible: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair. But, when none of those R’s are cutting it, you need to rely on trusted stores and brands to help you shop more consciously.
Luckily, it’s becoming de rigueur for ALL brands to at least attempt to decrease their carbon footprint. Big names like Eileen Fisher, Mara Hoffman, Ganni and countless others have stated publicly that they aim to use more sustainable textiles and avoid the unethical labor pitfalls of their fast-fashion counterparts. In an effort to save you time, I’ve compiled a list of local stores that carry sustainable brands, as well as some of my favorite harder to find brands. You can always use the Good on You directory for great unbiased information on your favorite brands as well. The online shopping site Net-A-Porter also has a section of their website call Net Sustain that you can peruse…. although local is better!
Local Brands & Shops with Sustainable Options:
The Good Shop, Historic New Orleans Collection, Feet First, Pied Nu, Pilot/Powell, Sotre, Century Girl, Angelique, Saks Fifth Avenue, Jean Therapy, Swap, Tchoup Industries, Nola Tawk, Vibrant Market, Lehka, Hope Shop
Other Favorite Brands:
Girlfriend Collective, Veja, Laude the Label, Anya Hindmarch, Tchoup Industries, Stella McCartney, Ninety Percent, Reve en Vert, PleatsMama, Mia Vesper, tasc
L to R:
Sweater Dress, Reformation
Anya Hindmarch Recycled Mesh and Hand Stitched Leather Bag, Net Sustain
Hand Loomed Blazer, Mia Vesper
Bubble Sweater Dress, Pilot/Powell
L to R:
Ganni Slub Pant, Pilot & Powell
Rails Eco Top, Jean Therapy
Hand Embroidered High Tops, AKS
Organic Cotton Bandana, Statement Goods
Organic Cotton Re/Done High Rise Stove Pipe Jean, Pied Nu
Wool Sweater Vest, Pied Nu
Belt Bag, Eileen Fisher
Up-cycled Painted Jacket, Mia Vesper
100% Wool Pants, Saks Fifth Avenue
Brother Vellies Rubber Sole Boots, Saks Fifth Avenue
Recycled Polyamide Sweater Vest, Pied Nu