Ethics is something that can be applied to everything. With the rise of the fast fashion industry, I have begun to question the ethics behind clothing. Ethical fashion can be a bit pricey so below I’ve researched and reviewed a list of five online shops that are affordable to most and practice safe, cruelty-free ethical sales.
Before I dive into the list, it’s important to discuss what ethical fashion is defined by. It covers many issues including sustainable production, labour conditions, protecting natural environments and animal welfare. Making sure the clothes are also fair trade is a key factor for defining ethical fashion.
Here is a list of some online shops that I have found which offer affordable clothing created with ethics in mind:
Synergy Organic Clothing
This store based in California offers a range of women’s clothing made with organic and sustainable materials, which include recycled polyester and organic cotton.
Find out more: synergyclothing.com
Krochet Kids Intl.
A group of three friends created Krochet Kids after finding a passion in the art of crochet. They were inspired to travel to Northern Uganda to show families living in government camps how to transform yarn into products they could then sell. Since 2008, they have helped over 150 people find jobs by educating them on how to create products through crochet. Their online store offers a variety of artisan-made clothing for men, women and children.
Apparel for women: $20-$100
Apparel for men: $20-75
Find out more: krochetkids.org
I found Everlane’s site rather unique. They promote “radical transparency” allowing consumers to know exactly where their clothing is made and which particular materials are used. They offer clothing for men and women as well as children. Their site is very interactive and allows shoppers to click on different clothing items they wish to purchase. And under the “add to bag” Everlane lists the details of the item as well as where it was made. If a shopper wishes, they can even click the “see the factory” link to gain further insight of the process of creating that particular item. Everlane believes in a consumer’s right to know where their clothing comes from and what it costs to make them, therefore they have established a site that is completely transparent.
Based in the UK, People Tree is known to be one of the pioneers for sustainable fashion and fair trade clothing. The brand has partnered with fair trade artisans and farmers to produce their clothes. They distinguish themselves as an alternative to fast fashion brands. Their clothing is made with organic cotton and created using traditional skills that benefit and support rural communities
Find out more: peopletree.co.uk
Encircled is based in Toronto, Ontario. Their ethically made clothing is created through small batch production. Like People Tree, they establish themselves as the antithesis to fast fashion brands, which constantly promote buying cheap clothes that tend to fall apart after wearing them a few times. Encircled also has a common feature with Everlane. They are both transparent and readily show how and where their designs are made, where their fabrics are sourced and make sure the customers are involved in every step of the design process. This site’s clothing is the priciest from this group of five shops, but they are Canadian and ethical fashion also means supporting local brands! The founder of Encircled created this brand in order for women to find versatile clothing that they can take with them when travelling. She includes a tab called “how to wear” which features different clothing items from Encircled and the many ways that they can be worn.
Find out more: encircled.ca