Fashion & Style

A Beginner’s Guide to an Ethical & Sustainable Wardrobe

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For anyone interested in green beauty, once you’ve transitioned to more natural, ethical brands for your beauty and household needs, the next logical step would be to review and refine your wardrobe. I think a lot of us are guilty of supporting and participating in fast fashion without realizing the consequences it has on our environment and the retail industry in general. Thrifting is a great way to still partake in fashion trends and find unique pieces to add to your wardrobe. There are also so many ethical fashion companies that make the transition a little easier. Here are my current favorites:

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One of my favorite ethical brands is Vetta. They recently launched their spring collection and sold out completely! I was lucky enough to participate in their Kickstarter and snag a few pieces of the collection. The concept of Vetta is 5 pieces = 30 outfits. Each piece is ethically made in the USA using eco-friendly materials. On top of that, the pieces were sold at wholesale prices! They are really high-quality pieces that are perfect for work and/or going out. Their spring collection is also a great way to segue yourself into a more minimalist capsule wardrobe without having to figure out which individual pieces you need. All the work is done for you and it’s perfect for those “I have nothing to wear” days when you want to look chic without putting in any effort. I love how comfortable the fabric feels and it is ridiculously easy to mix and match pieces. I honestly wish I had gotten more pieces of the collection but wasn’t sure how much I would love it since this was their first clothing launch. They are planning to launch their fall collection soon, so I would sign up for their newsletter ASAP!

Use my code to get $20 off your first purchase: http://vetta.refr.cc/jessicat

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Everlane is another popular, ethical clothing brand that provides great basic wardrobe staples with minimalist designs. While I don’t own of their pieces yet, I am obsessed with their shoes! I think it’s extremely difficult to find ethically made shoes that are 1. fashion forward, 2. actually wearable, and 3. somewhat affordable. Ethical fashion is not necessarily going to be cheaper than fast fashion for a variety of reasons. It’s all about less is more and quality vs. quantity. Most of us only wear 20-30% of our wardrobe, so it makes sense to invest in clothing that will not only last longer but are also pieces that we LOVE to wear. I love the transparency of the company and their commitment to high quality pieces at affordable prices. If you shop at J. Crew, Madewell, or Zara, Everlane’s prices are comparable in most of their clothing categories.

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Vaute Couture is an innovative, all-vegan clothing brand that not only produces the cutest clothing for both men and women, but they also promote animal welfare and support various animal charities. Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart is the founder of Vaute Couture and she is someone that I look up to because her clothing line isn’t just about fashion, it’s about working toward a bigger cause: eliminating all animal cruelty, particularly in the fashion industry. Everything I’ve gotten from Vaute Couture is well-made and just as pretty in person as it is online. Their current summer/swimwear collection is AMAZING! I love the print, which is made up of a beautifully illustrated moon, stars, waves, and dolphins. Their coats are also super high-quality and I highly recommend picking one up if you live in a colder climate or plan on traveling in the fall/winter.

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The Reformation is probably the trendiest of the bunch and undoubtedly the most expensive. If you love shopping at places like Nastygal, Revolve Clothing, or Free People, then you will love The Reformation. If you’re looking for a dress for a special occasion like a wedding, The Reformation is a great eco-friendly option to have. I like that you can see how each garment impacts the environment on their website, and they do have sales from time to time.

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PACT Apparel is an ethical company that focuses on using organic cotton to produce clothing without toxic dyes and pesticides. PACT Apparel is also sweatshop and child labor-free. They have clothing for men, women, and babies and they often have sales! I think it’s a great place to get organic cotton undergarments, leggings, or socks. I’ve seen places like Whole Foods and Sprouts carry a few of their products in-store as well.

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For bags, I think the best options that I’ve found so far are Angela Roi and Matt & Nat.

Angela Roi is a luxury designer vegan handbag brand that uses high quality vegan leather and works with skilled artisans.

After helping a number of fighters and survivors of serious illnesses through our very successful cause campaign “Donate by color”, in which we donated a percentage of every bag sold to respective organizations, we have now decided to journey from one aspect of Do Good to another that is very close to our heart.

We are proud to announce that Angela Roi and ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) are now official partners. We not only agree but advocate ASPCA’s belief of animals being entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans. In the quest of making the world a kinder place for animals, Angela Roi stands strongly with the ASPCA. We will donate a portion of our sales to help mistreated animals and to convey that fashion doesn’t depend on cruelty.

Love People, Love Animals!

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Matt & Nat is a collection of design-centric, eco friendly and vegan accessories. Matt & Nat can be found at other retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and ASOS. I LOVE their backpacks the most and I am waiting for it to be restocked as it is always sold out online! They also recently started carrying their own line of vegan shoes!

Some ideas sneak up on you as if they were always meant to be. The idea behind MAT(T)ERIAL and NATURE originally came to life in 1995, in beautiful Montreal. We’re passionate and in awe of the world that surrounds us. Being inspired by MAT(T)erial and NATure means exploring the synergy between the two, the reflection of one on the other.

At Matt & Nat, we live by a simple motto, “Live beautifully”. Living beautifully means appreciating the humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us. Our values include social responsibility, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, learning, authenticity and, of course, love. We are inspired by the textures and hues of nature and, to better protect it, we aim to constantly better our ways.

From the start, being committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in our designs felt natural to us. Each season, we continue to explore new innovative ways to remain sustainable and eco-friendly. Over the years, we’ve been experimenting with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007, we’ve been committed to using linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. We have also recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to our collections.

Matt & Nat collections can now be found in boutiques across Canada, the United States, the UK, Japan, Germany and Australia.

Both brands are vegan and feature great designs that easily rival their conventional counterparts. They are also decently priced, with Angela Roi being a little more upscale.

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NICORA is my current favorite shop for ethically made vegan shoes. These shoes are definitely pricier but are a great investment when you consider the craftsmanship of each of their pieces. According to their website: “NICORA footwear products are produced thread to finish on US soil by skilled artisans in Los Angeles. Each raw material input is domestically sourced, premium grade and environmentally friendly. No part of the supply chain or production process involves the exploitation of humans, animals or the environment.”

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For more ideas on living a green lifestyle, don’t forget to check my Pinterest.

What are your favorite ethical clothing brands?  I’m still on the hunt for ethically made, vegan shoes that are more affordable. Please share your suggestions in the comments! 

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