Sustainable Fashion Swaps
This guide is for all of us who have grown up loving and shopping our favorite stores from Free People to Zara and everything in between. What you may not realize is the harmful effect many of our favorite "fast fashion" and major retailers are having on the planet. Everything from harmful waste, to cheap labor (even by those "made in Los Angeles" brands) - it's impossible to ignore the impact our shopping habits are leaving on the planet and the people who make them. Brands go as far as telling us they are "green" and "sustainable" but without any sort of regulations on these terms, greenwashing has become rampant.
I encourage you to use the little bit of extra time we have right now to slow down your thinking and do some research before shopping. It's important to dig deeper and re-think where our clothes from. With a bit of work, we can all make small steps to do better when it comes to the brands we support. I like to look at it this way - I would rather support a small women-run business, knowing that my money is going to a single human who cares about me as an individual and is more than likely supporting a family, their community and working to do better in this world, versus a giant corporation who is just about greed and the bottom line.
I've compiled a list of some of the most popular brands we know and love, and shared some sustainable swaps. This list is no where near exhaustive - but it's a start. I hope you can take a minute to check them out - and feel free to comment and share any other indie brands you know and love!
If you love Aritzia, check out:
If you love Everlane, check out:
If you love Free People, check out:
If you love Madewell, check out:
If you love Reformation, check out:
If you love Urban Outfitters, check out:
For denim & jeans, check out:
For cute undies & matching loungewear sets, check out:
And yes, I know I know * at first glance * shopping slow fashion, and ethically made clothing looks expensive but I assure you it's simply because we have been conditioned to think that clothes should be cheap and made quickly. It is so important we work to change our mindset - and instead think of shopping as a mindful practice, and one we are investing in. When you invest in a good wardrobe your clothes will last longer and you will enjoy them more. Instead of buying a cheap $10 tee every month ($120 annually), you instead by one $60 tee that last you the whole year (and longer!) - ultimately saving you money. The planet will thank you for being less wasteful.
In addition - we must understand that shopping slow, ethical fashion means that the people making them are being paid a living wage. It's impossible for someone to make a tee for $10 (sustainably) and earn a living wage. There is a lot more that goes into this - but I will save that for a future article!
For more resources - I recommend Good on You and The Good Trade. Good on You is an online database where you can search brands and see how they rate in terms of how eco-friendly and sustainable they are. It's also important to do a quick Google search as well, to ensure there isn't newer and/or updated articles and stories on the company you are researching. The Good Trade is another excellent resource for living sustainably and finding new slow-fashion brands!
and lastly - here are some great accounts to follow on Instagram, that offer daily and weekly tips and advice for shopping for sustainably!