Monday, 30 September 2013

Ethical Clothing Directory

[November 2015 UPDATE: I'm removing inactive stores and adding some new ones! Check back soon for a fully-updated list!]

When I made this post about a month ago about switching to ethical fashion, I soon realised that there wasn't really anywhere left for me to shop. It seemed like hardly any retailers I knew and loved had taken the steps to ensure that their workers were being paid fairly and had good working conditions. And a quick google search for "ethical clothing" only yielded either super-extra-organic-made-in-the-depths-of-the-himalyas-enchanted-by-the-breath-of-a-fairy sack-style clothing (always in "earthy tones" too for some reason), or beautiful indie dresses selling for $500 a pop. I was starting to think that the only way for me to get "new" clothes would be visiting second-hand stores and making my own stuff (which is still never a bad idea, don't get me wrong). But never fear - there are stores out there! They're just pretty hard to find!

For the past month or so, I've been putting together a little ethical clothing directory of established stores (inspired by Ron's own curation) with clothes which actually suit my style and my budget. I've basically sorted out a place to shop for everything that I might need in my wardrobe - and all are around the same prices of clothing that I used to buy from retail stores, anyway. I hope that those of you who are wanting to buy more ethically, but also don't have unlimited money, will find this very useful.

Note: if you are having trouble viewing this post or are on a phone/tablet, click here.

 Clothing
 



Undergarments & Swimwear


Jewellery and Accessories


Sunglasses


Bags
Fair trade bags (as in satchel and messenger bags, not just handmade tote bags of which there are a plethora on etsy), were a difficult item to find.

Hearts seems to be the best option for bags:

And while not particularly cheap, Cambridge Co. and Zatchels are ethically produced and made to last:

Boojiboo Boutique and JH Fabric Creations from Etsy do cute handmade messenger bags that aren't particularly pricy:

And this store makes bags out of recycled fire hoses:


Tights and Socks

Birkshire and We Love Colours are both made in the USA as well.

Footwear


I hope that someone out there has found this list useful! The hardest thing about letting go of those retail stores, especially if you're a poor student or young worker, is that the pricing is sometimes too attractive to walk by. Well, now there's no excuses.

If you think of any stores I should add to this list, let me know below!


52 comments:

  1. OMG!! Thank You so much for making this!! This is so helpful! I'm definitely inspired to take more care in the clothes that I buy :)

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  2. This list, directory, is perfect. Thank you so much for all your time and effort. Words cannot begin to express.

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  3. You're extraordinary for making this!!
    ♡ Dulce

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  4. Wow, great list! I have been leaning more towards thrifting and making my own clothes lately so all ethical shopping is becoming more and more plausible. Have you checked out Golden Ponies for shoes? they also hand make bags too :) Some of them are even vegan!

    http://www.goldenponies.net/category/shoes

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    1. GREAT suggestion. That satisfies my need for shoes - mary janes, oxfords, shiny shoes - all check. And they seem pretty legit, though I think I'll email and ask more about them. Thank you!

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  5. Underground England makes their shoes in the UK. And they have amazing creepers, winklepickers, etc. So does (did?) Retroshu, but a lot of people have had really really bad experiences with them--they wouldn't ship shoes or give refunds--and their ebay shop has since closed, so...*shrugs.*

    Also, there's a few etsy stores that sell shoes that are handmade for around 2-300 USD.

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  6. Hey girl!
    Im Iris from Piece of Cake. Just found out about the feature, I am honored to be included here. I love this post, great thoughts and illustration.

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  7. it's a pretty awesome directory, definitely going to look some of them up and OMG that ariel dress. I need that :)

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  8. Annndd people are already talking about it.
    http://getoffmyinternets.net/forums/fashion-bloggers/the-pineneedle-collective-ethical-fashion/

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  9. this is so so helpful! amazing post! ♥

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  10. This is a breath of fresh air. Lovely stores that I may be making purchases from and have already bought from. I love Fancytreehouse! Coury is so lovely. Thanks for the share!

    -C.C

    Where the Water Meets the Sky

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  11. Congrats, Annika! What you're doing is admirable. This post is very helpful for me as I've been trying to shop more consciously. It is hard to find nice and good clothes for a cheap price speacially in my city. Which I think it's a bit sad and funny, it also happens with healthy food. But you've inspired me to try harder, thank you! Now I'm going to explore those sites haha. Have a nice day :))

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  12. oh awesome! i see you already got Mata Traders : )
    I hadn't realized that We love colors were American made, thank you!

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  13. wow! I'm still so amazed that you made such a noble decision! Inspiring~ Thanks for posting a guide to ethical clothing. Being eco-friendly is a big thing, but not many factor in the effect of the clothes on their backs! its definitely worth looking into! By the way, I know you get this a lot, but: I loooooovvvveee this blog! One of my must-dos everyday is to read a post! Your fashion is so inspiring, and I'm also a science geek so...Yay! To be honest, I found you while researching how to dye ones hair pastel! hahhaha~
    Um, from Umbridge

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  14. Thank you so much for making this list! I mostly shop secondhand, but I'll definitely look to one of these stores next time I need something brand-new.

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  15. OH. MY BAJEESUS. This is so perfect and timely (for me, at least). Thank you so so much!

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  16. Thank you so much for featuring Ginger Pickle! xx

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  17. Annika, this is seriously incredible! Thank you SO SO much for sharing, I knew about a few of these but definitely not all, super excited to rack up my credit card debt now :)

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  18. Ok this is an awesome list!! I'll definitely be bookmarking this...
    Jessi
    http://haircutandgeneralattitude.blogspot.com

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  19. Thankyou Annika! This is something I have been thinking about for ages and I'm glad to see it promoted.

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  20. Annika, this is a wonderful list! I'm happy to see so many shops I already love on here, and I love that there were a bunch I wasn't familiar with. Thank you for posting this!

    xox Sammi
    www.thesoubrettebrunette.blogspot.com

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  21. this is really great. i learned about f21's practices a few years back and stopped shopping there for a while. then economically i was in a bind after i quit my job and i was trying to save money and ended up going back to f21 this past year. i absolutely fell in love with fancy treehouse and bloom bandit! wow. i have shopped vegan shoes a few times at alternative outfitters and moo shoes. great places!

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  22. This is awesome! To build on the golden ponies recommendation, I implore you to check out
    a. http://pleasemachine.myshopify.com/collections - Hand made in Budapest, by a young self starter lass.
    b. http://www.solerebelsfootwear.co/ - Hand made in Ethiopia. Fair trade. Also independently started by a local woman. More of your sneaker and canvas flats type shoesies. But they have quality, comfort and a lifetime warranty until the recycled tire sole wears out! (And free postage)

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  23. Has anyone been able to get in contact with the Bonne Chance Collection? Their stuff is AMAZING and I want to buy every dress they make ever. I've emailed them twice, but haven't had a response ;n;.

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    1. Try their twitter, I've often asked them questions on there and they are quick to reply! https://twitter.com/BonneChanceCOL

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  24. Hey there! Somehow I missed the fact that one of my Honey Pie hair crowns was featured in ONE OF MY FAVORITE BLOGS EVER! Wowza! Thanks for including me c:

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  25. thank you so much ! ive really been struggling to find ethical shops in my area!

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  26. Thanks for the post! I was wondering how do you make sure that things are ethically produced. Thanks in advance for the reply :]

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    1. Yikes! well, that's a difficult question. It's pretty hard. I suppose that a lot of the time, I am relying on these companies and small sellers to be honest in disclosing where their clothes are from, and assuming that if they say "handmade by me", for example, they are in fact handmade by that person. Some of these on the list have been "Accredited", which means that an independent body OR a governmental body has also checked them out thoroughly to make sure they're not dodgy (for example), but it's difficult to determine whether or not this means something truly is ethical because every different country has their own accreditation standards. If something is made in a country such as Australia, or America, for instance, there are many rules to protect workers (minimum wage, many many workers rights and bodies that looks after workers of particular industries), so you can be pretty sure that something has been ethically produced if it's made there. Then I also like to see where the materials come from as well. It's involved a lot of back-and-forth between me and a lot of companies, compiling this list, haha (and unfortunately, the majority of companies weren't really up to scratch). I would ask each company, if their clothing was produced in a country that doesn't have as stringent worker's protection, how they ensure that their workers are being paid fairly/have fair working conditions, and that's when I stopped hearing back from a lot of the companies... so... yeah. I hope that helps a little bit. I'm still trying to figure it out myself, but I hope that this list is a good start.

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  27. So glad to see you make this change--I loved your style before but was concerned when I looked at your clothing sources. I knew there could be no way most of them were made by people who were treated fairly. I am pretty much a 100% thrift-shopper/yard saler now, but I will enjoy looking at these sites and will know now where to go if I need something brand new.

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  28. I just found something you might like on Asos, today. They have an Independent label boutique and the items there are made by, as the name idicates independent labels and are mostly from ethical environments, and not too crazily priced!

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    1. Thanks Natasha! Is that the "green room" by asos, or something else (like this? https://marketplace.asos.com/boutiques/independent-label) ? I'd love it if you could send me a link :)

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  29. Hello Annika!
    Do you know of any ethical clothing stores which have sizes bigger than an AU 20/22? I find it difficult enough to find clothing that fits in a plus size store, so I'd completely understand if you don't know of any ethical fashion stores!! :P
    I was also wondering where you would recommend buying fabric.
    Thank you!

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    1. Okay, so it was super super hard trying to find budget ethical clothing stores as well, so I guess the overlap between "ethical & budget" and "plus-size", if you were to put it into a venn-diagram, would be miniscule. I'm wondering if this exists at all :( I've been searching around for about 20 minutes for you and haven't really come up with much!

      HOWEVER I do have something...
      My best suggestion would be to go to etsy and search for custom-sized garments (for example: http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/151933824/polka-dot-retro-rockabilly-yvonne-swing), but these can be around $150 - $250 a pop.

      This store also looks pretty lovely: http://www.cherryvelvetplus.com/shop again NOT the cheapest, but they do have sales which are under $100.

      Lately for fabric, I've been obsessed with Spoonflower (http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome) for fabric, it's a little bit pricey but being able to get your own custom printed stuff??? = AWESOME. Plus it's all printed in the US.
      And if you live in Sydney, visit Marrickville for fabric! (I can give you more specifics if you do live in Sydney and are interested??)

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    2. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to look around for me!
      I've had the same results myself. It's almost an impossible task! I have on occasion found stores which do go up an 18, sometimes a 20, but I can't remember them. I need to save the links in the future. Whoops!
      I'll look more into custom fit clothing on etsy. I don't mind the price, as long at they're made to last. :) Look how cute this is: http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/173653761/retro-rockabilly-pinup-pin-up-50s-style (At least I think it is!)
      Some of the stuff on Cherry Velvet is pretty cute!
      Spoonflower looks amazing. I can see myself spending hours looking through this site. Haha!
      Unfortunately I don't live in Sydney (I'm not TOO far away), but if I ever get a chance to take a trip there I will definitely have to check out Marrickville.
      Again, thank you very, very much for your help! :)

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    3. Uggggh, it's so cute!! The button detailing on the front is ridiculous, it's so nice!
      And also, it's absolutely no problem :D

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  30. Just found your post, and love your blog. If you are interested in including any childrenswear in your directory, my company www.littleredcanoe.com is all about ethical clothing production and we work very hard to keep our prices reasonable, our colors bright, and our labor well-paid! I am always so happy to see that others are concerned about this issue too! We just need to keep talking about it until people are aware that their dollars do speak!

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    1. That's awesome. And your stuff is really super cute! I'll keep your company in mind for any friends/family who are looking for such things, however this directory is just for women's fashion, I'm sorry! Keep being amazing, though :D

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  31. thank you so much for putting the effort in to make this list <3 i was in desperate need for it xx

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  32. WOW! You are amazing. I'm obsessed with your blog and live in Portland, Oregon, USA. So glad I stumbled upon you on bloglovin when browsing fashion blogs to follow. Don't ever stop posting! You are such an inspiration and I love your style.

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  33. Hey I came across this amazing gem! The shoes are produced in Portugal and Italy, to top it off the shoes are vegan!
    http://goodguys.bigcartel.com/

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    1. Oh coool! Ooh, so pretty, but so out of my price range :(

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  34. Thank you for compiling this wonderful list! Sorry if I overlooked it, but I was wondering whether you have found any bras? I guess I could try making one and using an old bra's clasp. hmm...I feel an idea coming... I just discovered your blog when searching for a circle skirt tutorial and I absolutely love it. Now I'm off to look through my stash of grandma's hand me down fabric to see how that circle skirt tutorial works out. oh, and would it be weird if I dressed cute like you even though I have 3 kids? ;)

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    1. Definitely not, there should be no "rules" about how you should dress, no matter who you are, your age or your body type! You should dress exactly how you want to dress :)

      Bras have been really hard to find :( I don't really know of ANYWHERE. I don't know what I'm going to do when my couple of bras that I've had for several years already finally fall apart, haha.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment :)

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    2. Hey there, I just thought I would let you know about a few underwear store gems that I've found! I love Hopeless Lingerie which is a Melbourne based label that are all handmade by Gabrielle who designs them. You can find them on Etsy along with a number of other wonderful handmade bra/underwear shops! Cost may be a slight issue but there are a number of wonderful ethical stores on Etsy that might be right up your alley! Just search 'bra' under 'Handmade' and see if there's anything you like :)
      Here are some links!
      https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/Hopeless
      https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/knickerocker
      https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/makeitgoodpdx

      - Isabella
      www.isablahh.blogspot.com.au

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    3. I've followed hopeless lingerie on insta for a while now, ah, they're SO amazing! I find it sooo hard to find underwear now because cost is an issue for me, ah. I just haven't bought new underwear for a year but I really, really have to soon hahaha. Make it good aren't too pricey, though, so thank you! :D

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  35. Too bad! Maybe old bras can be taken apart and used as a pattern for a new one? That sounds both intimidating and fun. Will experiment....as soon as I find time to finish that circle skirt. ;)

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  36. Ah what a brilliant post!!! Thank you for sharing this list. I'm trying to shop ethically too now, being in Tasmania means lots of wool and layers and it's easy to find good quality clothes secondhand but every now and again I want something new. I work a market stall that makes ethically made leather bags and it feels so good to explain to customers the process and workers conditions.
    ♥ thanks for the gorgeous list.

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  37. It is more on the earth-fairy, hippie side, but I love Soul Flower, especially when they have sales! They are going more and more for ethically sourced, recycled, and organic but the prices are not too bad, especially when it's on sale. You can usually pick stuff up on sale for around $20-$30 (example http://www.soul-flower.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=SOS&Product_Code=AVA012&Category_Code=WSALE) and there are always fun accessories and t-shirts. I love that a lot of their items are stretchy and comfortable as well as pretty, and they do have plus sizes. lol I actually bought one of their large-sized patchwork skirts on sale for $20 something to wear for maternity clothes and it was great because it was very cute and not remotely maternity-ish, but expanded with me. And now that I've shrunk down I can still wear it. Oh also, when I ordered from them, they actually sent me a hand-written note with my order! http://www.soul-flower.com

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  38. Hey Annika! I thought you might like this link. It's a list of major fashion brands in Australia, ranked by their use of slavery: http://mattdarvas.com/2015/04/23/top-fashion-labels-ranked-on-use-of-slavery/

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a message! I read every single one. Don't forget to check back for a reply if you leave a question! ♥

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