With the constant influx of fast fashion over the past decade, it’s easy to get sucked into a black hole of consumption—bombarded by flashy advertisements, low prices, and continuous new styles. Through my work over the past few years I’ve been exposed to—and seen the effects of—both a positive and negative supply chain amidst the fashion industry and the people who work within it. This year, I am making a conscious effort to really think about my purchases and invest in pieces that not only last, but are produced ethically and intentionally.
My favorite thing to discover amidst the ethical fashion industry? The people—innovators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders—dedicated to making this scary subject a lot less daunting and a bit more beautiful.
This is, perhaps, one of my favorite fashion retailers at the moment. Founded with the simple yet innovative mission of “radical transparency,” Everlane works exclusively with ethical factories around the globe to produce high quality, luxe basics that are staples in any girl’s (or guy’s!) wardrobe.
Their approach is innovative. Hailed as one of the only true exclusively online retailers, they’ve eliminated the brick and mortar model, enabling large savings to be passed to the consumer without any integrity compromised at the factory level. What’s more? Their website contains extensive information about the factories they partner with—sharing details about not only the materials and garment construction, but also the owners and workers of their factories. We love this truly human-centered approach to retail. All parties are safe and happy, and the result? Beautiful basics that will merge seamlessly into your style, and ones that will last, too! I’m especially loving their silk shirts, as easy throw-ons for work or play.
Founded in 2006, Clare Vivier saw a niche in the market for elegant and expertly crafted handbags, suitable for the working woman. An amazing entrepreneur, she found a factory in LA and began running her business out of her home in Silver Lake, CA. We love her entrepreneurial spirit and Made-in-the-USA model. She comments: “The great thing about Silver Lake and L.A.— it’s very much a community, where everyone is helping each other and working for each other. People talk about carbon footprints, but everything being made right here in L.A. is amazing, and probably the best thing we can do for the environment is to stay local.”
A fan of the classics, it’s probably no surprise that this one’s on my list. And while this one is a bit of a splurge, it is a great investment piece. Always carrying around my laptop, whether to do some design work or just catch up on emails, this bag is the perfect size for a computer and accessories.
Silk Creations: Saint Margaret’s House
By now you’ve probably realized that I go a little ga-ga for anything fabric or textile related. This piece is special to me as it was hand dyed and painted by my talented mother. A true social entrepreneur, she started a program at a local women and children’s shelter in South Bend, Indiana, that teaches disadvantaged women in the community how to create, execute, and market, hand-painted, one-of-a-kind silk scarves.
While most of the artisan textile work I have been a part of has been abroad, her work is brilliant because it focuses on the people right at home in her community. To date, the women of Saint Margaret’s House have produced over 1300 pieces of original work, and been able to use their creativity as a way to become more confident and establish and refine marketable skills.
To learn more about the indelible work of Silk Creations, and the talented local artisans at work there, check out stmargaretshouse.org/our-story.htm. To purchase their scarves, visit etsy.com/people/SilkCreationsSMH or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a custom design.
What are your favorite ethical fashion retailers? We’d love to hear about them.
Comments are welcome below!