I have recently been writing for Rising Tide Fair Trade’s blog, which is a sustainable bag company. When I started out, I was a bit unsure of what “sustainable” really meant, so I did some research. By definition sustainability is when something is able to be maintained.
Sustainable fashion is when clothing is produced using eco-friendly materials by workers and artisans that are treated with respect and paid fair wages. In my research, I often times came across companies or people in the fashion industry mention the “sustainable fashion movement.” Consumers are becoming more aware and conscious about where their clothing comes from and how their purchases can greatly affect the environment and the people who make them.
I decided to take a look at my jumbled and unorganized closet to see where exactly my clothes came from. I was disappointed to find the majority of the labels on my clothing said “made in China.” That was when my Cher from Clueless realization came to me. My purchases were not beneficial to the environment or real, working people. Most factories use machines to produce their clothing and, often times, will generate tons of waste and fumes that will diminish water and air quality.
Rising Tide Fair Trade works with independent business women who create handmade bags with upcycled and cruelty free materials. Many designers are contributing to the sustainable fashion movement like Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta who have all tried using more organic materials in their collections.
I will be the first person to say that it is not always easy to purchase ethical clothing all the time. We have all been in stores like Forever 21 where everything is ten dollars and super trendy and we just cannot help ourselves. But trust me, once you start buying clothing that is not only beautiful, but well made and beneficial to the environment, animals and actual people who care about the products they create, you will really feel good about how you look and what you are wearing.
Here are just a few online sustainable brands to help you get started on your ethical fashion hunt: