Everlane is one of the pioneers of transparent supply chain fashion. With a startupy work philosophy and a clear business model, the California-based apparel retailer has become one of the biggest names in ethical fashion. With a direct-to-consumer model and a focus on simple, timeless designs, the company navigates the worlds of mainstream and conscious fashion, because, who said that they were mutually exclusive?
Why is this ethical fashion?
In every Everlane product page, you will see a breakdown of the product’s cost, so you know exactly how much of the final price goes to the company and to pay for transportation, materials and labor. This very simple, but yet powerful piece of information is a great example of transparency. Even when those numbers don’t really tell you anything by themselves (and there is not a third party certifying their accuracy), information is a luxury that allows us to get a clearer picture and, with the help of other sources, can help us assess whether the price we are being charged is fair or not.
Aside from the great level of transparency and simple designs, we like the fact that Everlane is just a good business, they don’t claim to be saving poor villages or donate money to X and Y cause, they are just making products the best way they can.
Since 2001, Stella McCartney has been one of the most visible fashion houses in the movement to end animal cruelty, improving environmental standards and creating fair working conditions in its supply chain.
Why is this ethical and sustainable fashion?
Stella McCartney is one of the pioneers of sustainable and ethical fashion and eco luxury. They define themselves, like their creative director, as a vegetarian company, setting themselves apart from may other high fashion designers who do use leather and real fur in their collections. Stella McCartney uses only vegan leather and faux fur.
But their commitment goes beyond veganism, as the company has clear sustainability goals and environmental standards, part of the greater commitment of their parent company, Kering. This designer was the first one of its kind to create eco fashion that appeals to consumers via design first and ethics later. Here are some of the company’s sustainability goals:
- 25% reduction in carbon emissions, waste and water usage resulting from the production of products and services, while accounting for the growth of the business.
- 100% of paper and packaging will be sourced from certified sustainably managed forests with a minimum of 50% recycled content.
- 100% of hazardous chemicals will be phased out and eliminated from production by 2020.
Stella MCartney has been PVC free since 2010 and are still working to become more sustainable. Additionally, their sourcing policies are a reflection of their commitments to more ethical and sustainable fashion, for example, refusing to sell fragrances in China, where animal testing is required.
In regards to ethical trading and human rights, the company is part of the Ethical Trading Initiative, commuting to safe and humanitarian working conditions and protecting workers from exploitation or discrimination. Overall, the company makes constant efforts to ensure that their products are made with integrity.
Fortress of Inca shoes are made in Peru by manufacturers that comply with minimum labor standards and use high-quality materials.
As featured in our weekly find, New Balance is one of the few brands of its size that stills manufactures a good amount of its products (roughly 25%, according to the Wall Street Journal) in the USA.
The company is transparent about their Made in USA claim, as it does not exactly comply with the Federal Trade Comission’s definition, where a product has to be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. Instead, they state their standard clearly.
Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes Made in the USA.
We believe that Made in America, more than a political slogan and a press maneuver, is an easy way for the consumer to be sure that workers are being treated fairly. It doesn’t hurt that the brand has a great track record in terms of quality and performance, keeping up with technology changes to constantly bring innovation to the footwear market. However, is the brand ethical by using their own definition of Made in USA? Well, we appreciate the honesty and recognize that the FTC standard is not reinforced anyway and that most products with this label don’t really qualify as Made in USA, so we take NB’s claim as not quite perfect, but nonetheless, realistic.
Does the brand take advantage of the slogan more than it should, given the percentage of U.S. made products (~25%)? It is your job as a consumer to decide, we are giving you the facts. This article explores the issue and claims that 98% of all shoes sold in America are imported (which is not hard to believe), in that light, NB is definitely an outlier.
We like New Balance‘s timelessness, quality and affordability mix. They might not be a perfect company but in a shoe market saturated with cheap shoes of unknown provenance, NB is a reliable alternative.
Shop New Balance
Theory was born in 1997 and since them, the combination of an American business model with European craftsmanship has lead the company to global status due to its quality and contemporary designs.
Since our founding in 1997, Theory has been known for making clothes with integrity for urban sophisticates. The tastemakers. The leaders. The thinkers. The doers.
The high-quality fabrics, clean cuts and timeless silhouettes make Theory one of fashionistas favorite brands. With styles great for work and casual settings, we know that a Theory purchase is a good investment.
“Theory defined its customer as global, intelligent, and fashion-savvy”. On the company’s website, they claim that “Theory has been known for making clothes with integrity for urban sophisticates”, but there wasn’t much information on their corporate values or some of the practices that they associate with integrity, so we sent them an email. Here is what they said:
Why is this Ethical Fashion?
- Great design
- Timeless cuts
- Made to last
- Good sourcing policies
Shop Theory at: