9.22.2016

creating a conscious closet.

It seems the older that I get, the crunchier I get. This year I made the switch to natural beauty products. And after watching this episode of John Oliver (a favorite!) I want to change the way I shop for myself and my family. 

Deep down I always knew that something had to give when I got great deals on clothes, but I didn't always connect the human and environmental costs of my shopping habits. Fashion is the second dirtiest industry after oil. Clothing manufacturing uses huge amounts of water and then pollutes the ground and water with dangerous dyes and chemicals. And when I read about horrible working conditions and saw images of children sewing Old Navy clothing (for other children!) it really upset me. The International Labor Organization estimates that 170 million children are engaged in child labor. I couldn't help but picture my own daughter in a similar situation and it finally made me want to be more conscious about where I buy my clothes.


I gave up on "fast fashion" a few years ago after being disappointed by the poor quality of clothes from stores like H&M, Zara, and Forever21. But I still have a closet full of Gap and Old Navy, and the brand has a history of poor working conditions for employees and using child labor. I also own J Crew, and Madewell clothes, and (per their website) they cannot trace their manufacturing/production line, meaning they can't guarantee that the clothing was ethically made. I can do better. After doing some research, I found quite a few ethical companies that offer beautiful clothes and accessories at reasonable prices. Below is a list of shops that I have ordered from, and plan to support in the future.

American Giant - Manufactures premium 100% cotton sweatshirts, shirts, bottoms and more for men and women. All items are made in USA with American cotton. I love basics tees, so I want pretty much everything on this site.

Everlane - Classic wardrobe pieces without the typical retail markups. They are transparent with customers and share information about where a product is made and how much it costs to make it. They also work to ensure that the factories they use maintain ethical production practices. I've ordered from Everlane in the past and I'm never disappointed with the quality of their clothes. They have a great mix of casual and dressier clothes, shoes, and accessories.

GiGi New York - High end leather handbags, clutches, wallets and accessories produced in USA. I still use my Tan Tori Tote as a diaper bag for Vi, and love love their Jeni Saddle Bag!


Mata Traders - A design driven, fair trade brand helping to end global poverty and inspire ethical companies and consumers to change the fashion industry. Their colorfully original designs are made by artisans in India and Nepal, and provide a stable source of income for families in some of the world’s poorest communities. Their plaid shirtdresses are perfect for fall and winter.
Adriana Bralette in black + cornflower blue - Martina Lo-Rise Cheeky in black + cornflower blue

Naja - Luxury lingerie at fair prices. They empower and employ women and the line is eco-friendly. They offer a wide range of "nude" colors to choose from and I love all of the hidden little details they put into their designs.

Nisolo - Nisolo means not alone. They believe in ethically sourced, affordable luxury that bridges traditional craftsmanship & modern style for men and women. Nisolo shoes, accessories, and jewelry are all handmade in Peru. I have the Serena Sandals and I LOVE them. They are really comfortable and well made. I want to get a pair in black when they are restocked.


PACT Apparel - Sweatshop-free super soft organic cotton basics for men, women and babies that feel great and go easy on the environment. They sell cute tees, hoodies, undies, and socks.


PrAna - PrAna creates versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, every day. They are one of the first major clothing companies to offer Fair Trade Certified products for men and women. I love their yoga tops and bottoms, and cute dresses (this is on my wish list).


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Also I should note -- I'm trying to shop less in general as this is the best way to reduce waste and resources - not to mention save money! 

But when I do shop, I also want to support more small, independent businesses on Etsy, and purchase used clothing (especially for Vi) at consignment shops and on eBay. I will do my best to post Fair Trade and eco-friendly clothing and accessories on this blog in the future. I'm putting together another post with ethically made baby and children's clothing and toys soon!

Do you have any other shops to add to my list?
-xo-
Jillian 
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