ethical clothing brands

7 Ethical Clothing Brands That Won't Break The Bank

Because no one is trying to spend $125 on a single t-shirt.

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If you're like me, you've decided to shift away from purchasing fast fashion and toward ethical, and sustainable, clothing brands. The downside is that these brand items also come along with a pretty penny. As a college student, I barely have any money to my name, so I'm certainly not going to toss my hard-earned cash toward one single item. But, do not fret, not all of these brands are absurdly expensive. So without further ado, here are some of the more affordable ethical brands I could find.

1. Everlane

Everlane

You've probably heard of or seen Everlane if you're an Instagram lover like I am. A lot of bloggers flock toward the brand, and although some pieces are definitely a pretty penny, there's currently an option on their site to "Choose What You Pay" on select clothing items. Basically, the site gives you three options for what you'd like to pay for an item. I recently bought 3 t-shirts for $36 total (free shipping on your first order), and they are honestly some of the most quality tops I have in my wardrobe. Not only are they a material you know what won't fall apart in the wash, but the fit is also slimming and the colors are rich. I will absolutely purchase from their site again. $-$$

2. Kotn

Kotn

Listen, Kotn isn't the cheapest clothing but it's not nearly as bad as most ethical brands. A short sleeve will run you about $28 and a long sleeve about $40, but the upkeep of the products is incredible. They stand the test of time, and remember, you're purchasing from a company that cares not only about humanity but also about the environment. A sleek, effortless LBD costs $55, so is it a Target price? Maybe not. But is it beautifully made and sculpted? Yes. It's worth the money. $$

3. Alternative Apparel

Alternative Apparel

Okay, from this point forward, I have to stress that I have not tried any of the brands. I just started to get into the ethical clothing practice and I still have a lot of companies to try. What I also want to stress is that I am including these brands because they are all companies I'd like to shop from in the future. Shopping ethically is expensive, but it teaches you to be savvy with your money. Instead of spending money on clothes when you're bored, you only do so when it's a necessity.

So, now that my spiel is over, I am very interested in this brand not only because of its pricing but because of its wider range of clothing options. I'm very here for unisex clothing because it all depends on how you style it. I love being able to take a piece and make it casual or fancier depending on how I wear my hair, jewelry, and makeup. Versatility, ladies and gents! We're here for fewer clothing pieces but more options. Shop smarter, not harder. $

4. Dazey L.A.

Dazey L.A.

We love not only ethical but feminist fashion. This brand ethically creates its products in L.A. and Dani, its founder, designs everything herself. I love how even though this brand is ethically made, the clothing isn't boring. The designers aren't afraid to have fun with the graphics and cuts, which many other ethical brands steer away from. I'm excited to give this company a go. $$

5. Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collection

While most of the other brands I've listed steer toward everyday wear, Girlfriend Collective focuses on exercise clothing. Whether you actually work out or you just want to lounge around in some stylish and ethically-made clothing, this brand could be a go-to for you. I know people who purchased from GC and love the products. If I'm in the market for a cute workout set for my bike rides this year, I definitely will be buying from this brand. $

6. Known Supply

Known Supply

What piqued my interest in this brand is its wide variety of clothing. It definitely strips down its fashion to the basics, but it still includes some fun pieces, including graphic tees and feminine cuts. The colors are generally muted, making them perfect for an everyday capsule wardrobe. $

7. Siizu

Siizu

I want to shop from this brand so badly. I went to their booth at a market in New York and I wanted to purchase every piece of its jewelry. I got the cutest pair of earrings and when I got home, I scoured Siizu's site to compile a long list of clothing I wanted to buy. It's pricier, but genuinely beautiful clothing. It's modern, comfortable and sleek. And as far as fashionable, ethical clothing goes, this brand hits all the marks. $$

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Your Guide To Dressing For The Most Confusing Temperatures

I’ve finally figured out the right wardrobes for 40-to-65 degree-weather…I think.
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I’ve been living up north for nearly three years now, and I absolutely love it, but one of the main struggles I’ve had is that I just have absolutely no idea what to wear half the time I am going outside. Sure, it’s easy when it’s in the 30s and below, or in the 70s and up, but I’m talking about those in-between temperatures that have regularly confused me to no end. After countless guessing and checking (and taking photos of my outfits that I caption with the temperature and my thoughts on how comfortable I am), I might have finally figured out exactly what to wear in weather ranging from 40 to 65 degrees. In a nutshell, here are my conclusions:

1. 40 to 45 degrees and sunny


For this weather, I wear some kind of coat that isn’t your heavy-duty winter one. Underneath, I sport a lightweight long-sleeve top, and leggings or jeans, but steer clear of ultra-ripped ones.

2. 40 to 45 degrees and cloudy

It’s time to bring out the look that is one step away from your winter garb. Grab your second-warmest coat and pair it with a thick long-sleeve top or lightweight sweater, or wear a super thin sweater underneath your warmest jacket. Leggings are definitely the move, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for you to have a beanie on standby.

3. 46 to 52 degrees and sunny

To stay cozy in this brisk temperature, slip on a normal-to-thick sweater and a warm jacket that you’ll want to zip up. If there’s no wind, you might be able to get away with ripped jeans, but of course there’s always leggings, too.

4. 46 to 52 degrees and cloudy

Wear the jacket that comes just before you’d pull out any kind of coat from your closet. I would air on the side of caution by styling it with a thick sweater, but if you don’t get cold easily, you could probably just wear that jacket with a lightweight top and maybe a vest. I wouldn’t say this weather is ripped-jeans-friendly, yet, but hey, it’s your call.

5. 53 to 59 degrees and sunny

This is where you can have the most fun! You can wear a sweater and a vest, a warm long-sleeve and a poncho, any kind of top and a somewhat-warm jacket – it’s all about trading off the weights of your layers to create a snug balance. Opt for any kind of bottoms that will cover your legs, whether it be pants, ripped or non-ripped jeans, a skirt and tights, etc., and you will be good to go.

6. 53 to 59 degrees and cloudy

To me, this is pretty similar to the 53 to 59 degrees on a sunny day. Basically, stick to its sunny-weather counterpart’s directions, but tip the balance of your layers to a slightly warmer side.

7. 60 to 65 and sunny

No matter what you wear in this weather, it’s hard to go wrong – you’re pretty much guaranteed to be at least somewhat comfortable. Rock a t-shirt, long-sleeve or a flannel, but have an extra layer handy just in case. As for bottoms, anything is fair game.

8. 60 to 65 degrees and cloudy

I’d say same as everything in the suggestions above, except you’re definitely going to want to have that extra layer – doesn’t have to be thick, just something to keep you comfortable without the sun’s warmth.

Oh and pro tip: if it’s windy, increase the warmth of your layers everywhere.

Cover Image Credit: blog.stitchfix.com

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The Faces And Future Of Sustainability In The Fashion Industry

The science is unanimous: climate change is real, and it's only getting worse.

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While the conversation surrounding climate change is often plagued by alarmist statements and perilous precautions, there is a practical and hopeful narrative that can be found in its solutions. As much finger pointing as society likes to do, the causes of climate change would take all ten fingers and more to point out the root issues. One of the culprits that hit closest to home is the fashion industry. As an aspiring design major, I've been directly faced with the reality of the industry's harmful habits. Quick turnaround, high demand, and evolving expectations make the production environment very complex to navigate at the least.

Although the fashion industry caters to just about 7 billion people, it doesn't excuse companies, brands, and labels from producing at the expense of our world. Despite the long-held attitude of indifference towards its side-effects; as of late, climate science has left no choice for the industry but to change course. The science has made it evident that we've run out of time to be apathetic; action must be taken, and it must be taken now.

Enter the side of the climate change conversation that's introduced a variety of initiatives to promote change. Whether it's recycling ocean plastic into tennis shoes like Adidas, using up waste fabrics from larger companies like Zero Waste Daniel, or Kate Hudson's Happy x Nature, which has been developed from sustainable materials, the fashion industry is venturing into a greener future.

Adidas first announced its plans to create a sneaker from recycled ocean plastic in 2015, "Parley for the Oceans." Since the release of their first tennis shoe four years ago, they sold 5 million pairs in 2018, and they're aiming to turn out 11 million pairs in 2019. Ocean plastic is a huge threat to marine life, and it's not enough to just stockpile it in a landfill. Adidas's product development team cleverly provided a solution for at least some of that plastic. What's great about the shoe, too, is that it retails right around the price point of most of their other styles at around $130.

Alongside Adidas's recycling, Zero Waste Daniel, a designer based in Brooklyn, NY, has made it his mission to use excess fabric scraps from the industry in his own designs. Using a number of techniques, Daniel combines these remnants into new fabrics, fashions them into appliqués or mosaics, or creates whole garments. Alarmingly enough, it's reported that about 21 billion pounds of waste textiles are going to the dump from the US alone. By gathering up the leftovers from other companies, his products are helping to prevent the wastes from continuing to end up in landfills.

Although not made from reused fabrics, Kate Hudson's latest fashion venture, Happy x Nature, is produced solely from sustainable materials. The fibers of the fabrics are made from recyclables like plastic bottles, and the packaging is stated to be biodegradable. Not only is the new line eco-friendly, but it's also relatively affordable with prices ranging from $45 to $150. Let me tell you, Hudson really knocked it out of the park with this concept. I've browsed through the pieces and have fallen in love with the majority. The pieces are seriously adorable and so trendy, but the biggest seller is that I can feel good about purchasing them.

While recycling ocean plastic and sourcing waste fabrics are important strides in the right direction, consumers play an enormous role in this issue. For any of these initiatives to work, there must be consumer demand at the other end of the product. Companies and brands need to see potential consumers for greener products in order to place such products on the market. As such, as consumers, we should reevaluate our own shopping habits in regards to the apparel industry. We must take accountability for how much we purchase, how often we purchase, and how we manage the clothes after we've bought them. Our demands as customers must also align with the push for greener production and shopping patterns.

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