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.
Hispid is ethical as it ensures that there are no dangerous factory conditions, working hours are short and wages are higher than average local factory wages. Hispid is also liaising with local charities for example the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and others to work on furture Women’s Development projects. Hispid also works alongside members of the British Foreign Office.
Pakistan has varying levels of gender inequality but one of the biggest issues Pakistan faces is the lack of integration of women in the workplace. Hispid provides women with work and in turn gives women the opportunity to be equals in society and effective livelihood earning partners. Some of Hispids women are earning more than men in their local community.
Hispid is working on projects to re-invest funding back into the local communities for example Hispid is in talks to build a women’s rights centre which could provide education and be a place for women to meet and help each other. The long term plan is for Hispid to become an established fashion brand which in turn would provide women work for many years and pass down work to future generations. Hispid is close to employing dozens of women in poverty and this will bring much needed wealth and a domino effect to their local communities.
‘I began by helping Hispid in my spare time by making a development plan which would employ and help a small number of women in my local community of Pindi. Hispid has grown massively over the last six months and since then we have managed to employ ten regular artisans with scope to triple this over the next few months.
It is incredibly moving to know that I have helped contribute to women in need. Some of these women are my neighbours and I have seen them struggling for years. One of Hispids artisans Nazia broke down in tears after her first wages as this money paid to feed her family that week. Having a background in Women’s Development I immediately identified with Hispids ambitions and wanted to be involved right away.’
– Arooj Prem
Head of Women’s Development for Hispid and employee in Communications for the British Diplomatic Enclave
Wild Tussah preserves ancient weaving techniques by incorporating minority weaves into locally handcrafted bags for the modern world. These chic and minimalistic designs involve textiles from Lu, Cham and Hmong groups in Vietnam.
The Wild Tussah team is passionate about telling real stories from real people, working with their artisans closely and being transparent. They only create bags that are sustainable for the conscious consumer and beautiful for those who don’t want to sacrifice style. They believe that you should only buy products that can outlast seasonal trends and that you absolutely love.
Why is this company ethical?
Wild Tussah works with weavers directly and create handcrafted bags with local leather skills men. The motifs used are traditional, unchanged patterns.
Danica Ratte, Founder and Sustainable Fashion Designer, originally saw a decline in demand for these weaves and thought she had to do something about it.
“After moving to South East Asia, I noticed that weavers in Laos and Vietnam had a passion for teaching others about their culture. They eagerly answered questions, displayed their work with pride and were happy to see other people had an interest in their art. After doing more research, I learned that fewer girls were learning at an early age and some chose different occupations all together. Many wanted to be able to continue weaving, but in some locations they would not be able to provide for their family without the demand. That’s when I thought of Wild Tussah. When you buy a bag from us, you are sustaining a culture from thousands of years a go and showing that you deserve more from your brands.”
Wild Mantle primarily aims to make sustainable Mantles, hood-scarves that are made from alpaca wool, upcycled buttons, and organic product tags. Through the Mantles, the company wants their customers to feel a sense of empowerment to achieve their own Mantle, or one role in this world, as well as be a part of the environmental conscious movement.
Why is this company ethical?
The MANTLE ingredients include 100% superfine un-dyed alpaca and up-cycled buttons, all sewn together at an artisan, B-Corp certified knitting mill in Colorado.
Avi Fox, Founder and CEO.
Zady is trying to create a new standard by distributing and producing high-quality garments with a clearly mapped supply chain.
Why is this Ethical Fashion?
Zady is one of the slow fashion pioneers that started offering very detailed information about each product they sold. Many of their clothes and accessories are made by artisans in different parts of the world and independent American designers.
- Made in USA -some items
- Transparent Supply Chain
Rodale’s is an American company with a long history in the field of sustainability and healthy living. The Rodale family has been involved in the healthy living business in many ways: JI Rodale is considered the founder of the Organic Movement in America, launching Organic Farming and Gardening magazine, in 1942 and Prevention magazine in 1950. The Rodale Institute conducted the longest organic vs. traditional farming studies to assess organic agriculture’s viability. Robert Rodale, JI and Anna’s son founded Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines.
The site Rodale’s is today a full healthy-living shopping destination, offering apparel, skincare and beauty, and home products.
“We were sustainable before people used the word sustainable”
This company doesn’t only sell ethical fashion, but ethical everything, on the homepage you can read their 3 basic principles:
We care how it makes you feel
We care how it’s made
We care where it comes from
Under every product listed, you can find detailed information on those three aspects, including materials and manufacturing location, two features we at Fashionhedge consider essential for any slow/sustainable lifestyle product. There is also a brief section called “Why we chose it”, in which they explain specific qualities and ethical principles that make each product unique. Under “Meet the creator”, you can read about the actual company or person making each product. Transparency: check.
They offer carefully picked brands that live by such principles as well, including Amour Vert and Indigenous.
Clare V. is a LA based accessories label. Clare Vivier started making handbags and other accessories in 2008 and her collections are functional, yet stylish and with a French feel to them; flat and folded clutches, messenger bags, laptop cases, crossbody purses and timeless totes are made in Los Angeles, where the designer has strong ties with the fashion community.
The popular oversized clutch/laptop bag is one of the label’s staples and since we love multi-functionality, it is definitely our favorite piece of her collection.
We love the simplicity and beauty of her designs, the color schemes and the versatility of each piece. Effortless, stylish accessories that mix really well with our slow fashion lifestyle.
This is what a a PR representative said when we asked if everything was made in the USA:
Yes – everything is made in LA. Additionally, the brand buys leather from all over the world and then uses as much of the hide if possible, so we try and make use of scraps when we can, too.
What’s not to love?
Why is this ethical fashion?
- Made to last
- Made in USA
- No waste policy
- Timelessness design
Flat clutch Jaguar | $150
Oversize clutch in Grey | $290
Oversized clutch in Black | $339
Foldover clutch Jaguar | $220
Shop Clare V. at official website and at Need Supply
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: