The main way I like to shop for my wardrobe is, of course, through purchasing vintage and secondhand. I also do my best to shop with local Austin businesses. There's one other way that I think many people aren't as aware of and that's shopping from ethical brands. By definition an ethical brand "aims to address the problems it sees with the way the fashion industry currently operates, such as exploitative labour, environmental damage, the use of hazardous chemicals, waste, and animal cruelty." (via Victoria and Albert Museum)
Sustainable and slow-fashion also fall under the ethical fashion umbrella, but I'll leave the definitions of these for another post. Here are some of my favorite ethical fashion brands!
Everlane is by far my favorite ethical fashion brand. Affordability in ethical fashion is still hard to come by, but Everlane is paving the way in this area. They have amazing basics and denim at very reasonable prices. They're also doing some really inspiring things to create awareness on their social media platforms, making them my favorite brand to follow on Instagram. Definitely give them a follow (and don't sleep on their Insta stories; they're so good)!
My favorite products from ABLE are their leather goods. I have an amazing leather tote bag from them that I carry my computer and work materials in pretty much everyday. They are a bit pricey but I saved up and bought this bag as a Christmas gift to myself a couple of years ago. If you're looking for beautifully crafted leather goods made by women who have overcome extraordinary circumstances, ABLE is for you.
Of course I had to include a local Austin brand! As a small local business owner I make it a point to support other small businesses in Austin. Unravel Co is a new sustainable brand started by my former assistant, Sanetra Longno. As Sanetra was working with me last year, she was also developing her brand, so I have seen Unravel Co unfold from the very beginning. Sanetra works with artisans in Ghana who handcraft her gorgeous woven bags and a percentage of sales go back into the community there. I'm planning on purchasing the Baba basket this summer!
A more well known brand that I love is Reformation, but did you even know that it's ethical? I didn't until early last year. What I like about Reformation is that they have options! Many ethical brands have quite a small selection of only certain types of products (which for the record, I also appreciate), whereas Reformation has it all - clothing, swim, bags, shoes, wedding wear, accessories and even a petites line!
Gone are the days of those cheap, uncomfortable lace panties from Victoria's Secret that fall apart after a couple of wears! The worst. Ethical underwear is here and Pansy is just one of my many favorite brands making it happen! I have the matching bra and low rise underwear set in rust from them that I absolutely love and they are both so, so comfy. Organic USA cotton, made in California, and female-owned. Nothing better.
I would like to note that these are just some my favorite brands that I have personal experience with. There is a very extensive, well researched list of ethical brands over on The Peahen and also a shorter list of local Austin ethical brands on the Purse & Clutch site. I encourage you to go check them out!
If you haven't shopped ethically yet, what are you wait for? Our planet will thank you for it!