A Guide to Eco Fashion
In this era of information, we are slowly realizing the impact that industrialization has had on our world. There are so many positive aspects of it such as this screen I’m writing this post on right now as well as the internet to help me get my thoughts out to you. Great change typically comes with a lot of learning as we go. We’ve realized that the convenience of packaged foods comes at a cost. We are missing vital nutrients that come with preparing a home cooked meal from scratch. The same is true for our clothing. The idea that we can have fashionable clothes at a nominal cost has been present since the 80s, even coining it’s own term, fast fashion. Stores like Loft and Gap creates cute clothes at an affordable price, and I’ll admit, walking into those stores and grabbing a few items during one of their big sales is gratifying. The challenge is that it all comes at a cost. Manufacturing has been moved to countries where labor laws and environmental protections don’t exists, making it cheap to make. People are working in unsafe and unsavory conditions to produce clothing at low cost. It can be overwhelming to change our mindset beyond how we normally operate. I think most of us don’t like the idea of buying things made in places like China, and we can see the decline in the quality of our goods. The question remains, what are we supposed to do? That is why I am writing this post. Though I can’t always buy fair trade certified items, I can implement certain practices in my daily life that help me work towards more ethical and eco friendly shopping and living. This post is dedicated to helping you do the same. I hope you enjoy.
Eco Fashion: Shop Ethical Brands
There are a couple of different genres of Eco Fashion. Some companies use sustainable materials that are sourced ethically. Some companies vow to only use manufacturers that uphold a certain standard. They can even be certified as Fair Trade Companies, meaning the workers are guaranteed to be treated and paid in a certain way. There are even companies dedicated to something called Slow Fashion, a movement dedicated to more classic pieces made from sustainable materials and made in ethical working standards in mind. Many of those companies are based here in the US. I am going to list some different companies that fit into the different genres above.
Athleta is a certified B corp meaning they meet a certain set of standards. On this site, it defines a B Corp as
They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
I chose this company specifically because they are headquartered in Nashville! They are so close, I had to give a shout out to our southern neighbors. Plus, the clothing is beautiful and inclusive. This is a slow fashion company, dedicated to creating quality garments with a timeless look and does so here in the US.
This is a local store in Greenville, SC. I haven’t been yet but plan on going now that school is in. I’ve seen so many cute items on their IG and can’t wait to take a look.
Eco Fashion – Shop Secondhand
There are a variety of ways to shop secondhand. Greenville has a lot of thrift stores including Miracle Hill. I was first introduced to Miracle Hill through the $45 dollar Challenge with Miracle Hill I was surprised at the amount of clothing I was able to find there. Miracle Hill also does so much good for the Greenville community so I highly recommend them.
Many of you shop yard sale sites on Facebook such as Fickle and Sift.
Eco Fashion – Shop Less
I think this is the hardest concept for us. It certainly is for me. We are constantly inundated with commercials, ads, and influencer campaigns. All of them have one congruent message; you have a problem and it won’t be solved until you buy this. There are messages in our inbox of items on sale, bogos, all of it.
And as a small business owner, I totally get it. I want you to buy from me too. I am 100% not saying this is wrong, but what I am saying is that we are getting messages that we need to buy something to make us happy, but we do not. We do not need things to make us happy. We do not need clothes to make us happy. Or shoes, or purses, or makeup.
That is why I promote a capsule wardrobe. Instead of buying things all of the time from places just to make yourself feel better, I recommend buying a capsule wardrobe that suits your lifestyle, with classic pieces. I recommend you invest in your clothes and update here and there. When you buy less, you don’t feel as stretched to spend more on one piece. When you thrift for trendy items, and splurge on classic pieces, you are shopping ethically and honestly, you are creating less waste in your life. It’s so much easier to get ready when you have less.
Eco Fashion – Find Brands with an Ethical Message
Even if we can’t always buy second hand or from slow fashion brands, we can use our dollars to support companies with messages congruent to our own. Some examples would be
Aerie is dedicated to including women of all sizes. They have made a commitment to stop airbrushing models and even have a new campaign with my favorite Body Positive Boss Lady, Jenna Kutcher.
JCrew just partnered with Universal Standard to create a line that fits sizes 6-32.
To recap, buy less, buy secondhand, and buy from brands that have a strong message congruent with your beliefs. And I want to add that all of these are suggestions and ways you can be more conscious when shopping. It doesn’t mean you should never buy anything from a fast fashion store or that you’re wrong for doing so. I hate that we always think in black and white, either you’re doing this always or never doing it at all. These are suggestions to help you move towards a more conscious way of living, more thoughtful way of living, a more intentional way of living. Thanks so much for reading. I really appreciate everyone who takes time to read my blogs, I am very grateful.