It’s been about a month since I’ve started my Sustainability & Style Initiative and it has really been eye opening. I have found myself in countless shopping situations where I’ve felt the incredible urge to buy something completely unnecessary and absolutely unsustainable and unethical. The difference is I have, for the most part, not given in to that urge. I have only purchased three items this year so far, which even if I continue at this pace (which I will work hard to lower), I will buy 36 items this year, which is 50 items less than the average American purchases in a year. The problem? None of the three things I purchased, which you can read about here, were sustainable. So I put together a list of 8 sustainable and ethical brands you can feel good about purchasing from.
1. American Apparel
American Apparel has a vertical integration system, which sounds confusing but actually is quite simple. All factories that produce American Apparel clothing are owned by American Apparel, making the company responsible for everything that happens in the factory. All American Apparel factories are located in Los Angeles and are positioned in a circle, cutting transportation almost entirely from the production process. And remember those scunci’s you used to buy from American Apparel? And the braided belts displayed next them in the store? That is one of the things American Apparel does to be a zero waste company. They also use leftover scraps as rags if they cannot be repurposed and sold, and everything left over after that is recycled. Read more about American Apparel’s vertical integration system and their other sustainability efforts HERE, and don’t forget my favorite thing about American Apparel, its LA factory store, which you can read all about HERE. Shop American Apparel goodies below.
IX Style is an ethical brand in more ways than one. Buy purchasing a pair of shoes you help provide clean drinking water to children and communities through water filtration systems, rain collection units and wells in Guatemala. This way children can go to school instead of spending time getting water for their communities from water sources miles away. IX Shoes also empowers the artisans who make the shoes, and pay a premium price to ensure each purchase is ethical. Also, a tree is planted for every pair of shoes that is purchased. That’s pretty cool, if you ask me. While the shoes are a bit expensive for a jobless college kid like me, they are entirely hand crafted and take upwards of three hours to make. Thinking of all the thought and ethical practices that go into one pair of shoes makes up for it. If the price is still a little steep, use the promo code McSherry30 at checkout from THIS LINK and get your shoes for 30% off. You can’t beat that. As always, you can read more about the sustainable and ethical practices of IX Shoes HERE.
As a designer brand with runway shows and $800+ shoes I did not expect Stella McCartney to have any sustainable focus; I thought it would be much more about trend setting. I was pleasantly surprised. There is a comprehensive sustainability tab under the “Stella’s World” tab on the brand’s website. There is even a subsection solely for recent news about sustainability in the fashion industry. There is a full outline of the brand’s sustainability commitment, which is to be responsible, honest and forward thinking. My favorite part of the sustainability portion of the website is yearly summary tab. Each year the brand updates its sustainability practices and initiatives. It’s very impressive. There is also a detailed timeline of the brand, whose sustainability practices started in 2001. And it’s not just sustainability promises and transparency that Stella McCartney promotes, the brand is vegetarian, it promotes meat free Mondays and focus on reusable and vegetarian materials for their clothing. Shop some Stella McCartney goodies below.