I have written pretty extensively about why fast fashion is bad and why I have switched to almost exclusively buying from thrift stores, but sometimes you don’t always want to be going to thrift stores and you want to support brands that are actually doing good things in the world.
Ethical and sustainable clothing brands do exist, you just have to know where to look as they aren’t as popular as Forever 21 and H&M who churn out clothing daily and tell us that we need new clothes all the time.
What does it mean to be a ethical clothing company? For brand Everlane, that includes searching out the best factories for their workers, designing their products to last, and being transparent about every product that they produce including having the cost breakdown of all of their products.
Now ethical and sustainable clothing brands generally cost more than fast fashion brands due to the fact that they are using better and more high quality materials, paying their workers livable wages, and put more care into their clothes. This can be a shock if you are used to paying just a few dollars for your t-shirts and twenty bucks for a pair of jeans, but how long do those items last?
When you are purchasing from ethical and sustainable brands you are making a longer lasting purchase that you want to wear for many years and seasons. This is why it is worth investing more money into these items as they are worth it.
When something costs a little bit more money you also put more thought and research into your purchase, not just buying something on a whim. This means that I am purchasing something that my wardrobe needs and a hole that I am wanting to fill.
One of the problems with ethical fashion brands is that many of them exist solely online, and I am not a huge fan of online shopping as I like trying things on. Some that I have bookmarked on my computer and keep looking at fondly include:
- Citizen and Darling
- Slumlove Sweater Company
It is possible to find brick and mortar stores however, especially if you are in bigger cities and more environmentally friendly cities. Specific brands may be sold in larger stores that sell a variety of brands as well. One store in Vancouver that does this is ARC Apparel.
They may be less common and harder to find, but by searching out and supporting brands that are using materials that are kinder to the earth, paying their workers a wage that they can live on, and promoting a change towards “slow fashion” these brands will become more common and you will start to see a change in the fashion industry.