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Shopping Sustainable/Ethical Clothing Brands (My Style Picks!)

February 10, 2022

Let’s face it: trying to learn about fashion and sustainability is intimidating, and can even be anxiety-inducing. There’s a lot of “if you’re not doing everything perfectly, you’re part of the problem”-type messaging out there. I.e. you’re not shopping sustainable brands, relying on thrifting, up-to-date on which materials are the most eco-friendly, and completely up to date on the concept of “greenwashing”, you’re “not doing enough”.

So. Whoah. Let’s take it back several steps.

1. You’re here. You’re reading this blog post. This is already on your mind. That’s a great start!!

2. All manufacturing and production under capitalism is inherently flawed, and that’s incredibly difficult to escape. Yes, there are brands that tout themselves as being eco-friendly/sustainable that may still be flawed. We need to think about this as an extensive gradient, not just black or white. Don’t choose to shop from brands based on being perfectly sustainable, but carefully think about potential alternatives to the pieces you’re eyeing and whether you can shop more sustainably.

I’ve explored a few different avenues for sustainable style, and I definitely don’t claim to be an expert or that my closet/shopping habits are as sustainable as I would like. But there’s a really significant cultural shift that we’re seeing in the fashion industry in terms of shying away from short-term trends and looking for more eco-friendly materials. You have the purchasing power to send a message and say that 

So if you want to start having a more sustainable wardrobe, here are some easy and accessible brands to start shopping.

Everyday Basics / More Casual

Everlane

They’re one of the most well-known sustainable alternatives for a reason. Everlane excels in making high-quality basics that last forever. Even their more trendy pieces are designed to blend in with the rest of your wardrobe.

  • Jeans: Check out the Way-High Jean for a super flattering high-waisted cut with a straight leg, also available in a skinny leg style. And their super comfy Curvy Cheeky Jean? Yes please.
  • Sweaters: Get high-quality classics like a grey pullover sweater, or check out their updated take on a cute argyle.
  • Shoes: Each pair of shoes from Everlane will run you around $78-$150 depending on the style, and it’s amazing pricing for the quality. You can’t go wrong with their classic Italian leather flats or super stylish sneakers.

Universal Standard

Super size inclusive basics with modern silhouettes and the softest fabrics!! It truly doesn’t get better than that. 

  • Wear-Everywhere Dress: The Iconic Geneva dress has its name for a reason. It’s the ultimate t-shirt dress available in both neutrals and bold colors, and with a super flattering asymmetrical hem that makes this dress look effortlessly draped. Choose between a crew neck, v-neck, and long-sleeved v-neck.
  • Deceptively Comfy Pants: Office? Yes. Lounge at home? Yes. Look stylish while staying comfy for brunch and shopping? YES, she can do it all. The Stephanie Wide Leg stripe pants have a sporty and modern stripe along the leg, fully elastic waist, and fabric that sashays with you.

Pact

Pact combines a sporty-chic look with fair trade production practices and all-organic materials that use up to 81 percent less water to produce. Easily find pieces that seamlessly fit in with the rest of your wardrobe.

  • Extra Cute Jogger: It’s comfy and a little slinky – the Draped Jogger has a ruched detail at the ankle and draping that shows off all the right things.
  • All Their Knits: You can’t go wrong with any of their easygoing and cozy knitwear, like their cocoon sweater jacket.

Brushed Moto Legging: This legging adds perfect and flattering detail to your relaxed looks, or wear under tunic dresses/sweaters for a more elevated smart casual look.

Activewear

Girlfriend Collective

I feel like I can’t talk ENOUGH about Girlfriend’s athleisure, and it’s for good reason. They have the softest and most supportive leggings that are made entirely from recycled plastic. They have a huge collection of athletic wear, loungewear, and PJs, but here are a few essential picks.

  • Compressive Pocket Legging: SO many colors to choose from for this workout legging that sucks everything in, in the best way, and stays PUT. These do run a little small, so when in doubt, size up for a comfy and breathable fit. You also need the bike short for warmer weather.
  • Dylan Tank Bra: When it comes to sports bras, I’m all about the option to either layer or wear it on its own. The high-neck Dylan bra provides so much support and coverage so you can wear it either way.

SummerSalt

Recycled materials and obsessively-researched fit make buying swimsuits and activewear such a breeze from this brand. The only drawback of Girlfriend is a lack of patterns for activewear. If patterns are your jam, shop SummerSalt.

  • Do-It-All High Rise ⅞ Leggings: Light, breathable, and just enough compression. These leggings will be like the Swiss Army Knife in your wardrobe in terms of being able to do anything while wearing these leggings, and easily taking you from one activity to another in style. New patterns are released regularly.
  • One-Piece Swimsuit Sidestroke Swimsuit: I’ve seen these gorgeous swimsuits all over Instagram for the last couple of years. I gave into the temptation, and bought several different styles. I love them all equally. Choose between color blocked fabrics, or a solid color/pattern that still has perfectly layered panels to make this one-piece so much more flattering for all body types!

 Fun Statement Pieces

Tuesday of California

Unique cuts, deadstock materials, and sweatshop-free manufacturing (made in Los Angeles!) make all of illustrator Tuesday Bassen’s designs come to life. Depending on your mood, you’ll feel like an “It” girl straight out of a comic book with bold embroidery detail dresses, bold collar blouses, and even an effortless apron dress. Because of their materials, Tuesday’s collections are always done in limited runs, so it’s worth following them on Instagram to see what’s coming next. (Plus, pre-orders always get 20% off the retail price!)

Lucy & Yak

If bold adorable patterns and fun utility dungarees or jumpsuits are your jam, Lucy and Yak is exactly where you need to shop. Lucy and Yak provides so many options in terms of prints and colors, and at a very accessible price point. The brand is size-inclusive and sources all-organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes.


Have any brands you love that I missed? Leave your suggestions in the comments or send me a DM in Instagram. xoxo

Need to find some looks to shop for before you start looking at specific brands? Try following my tips on making the most out of finding style inspo on Pinterest.

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  1. […] see what I did there??) rules for how you shop and use what’s in your current closet, I have a whole separate post on sustainable brands to shop if you’re on the hunt for some new clothes. (And I picked some favorite pieces […]

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