The first day of fall is finally here, and I've been anticipating its arrival anxiously wondering if my closet was ready for brisk, New York winds, the turning of the leaves, and at least two pumpkin spice lattes a day. My anxiety was met with my most recent paycheck, because without these 17 fair trade clothes, I do not think I'll be able to survive fall this season. Luckily for all of us, there's still time to purchase these items so we can get ready for the best season of the year, IMO.
While many of these items are a bit pricier than what we spend on a typical, new fall wardrobe, keep in mind they are fair trade pieces. If you don't know, fair trade means each of these items are made from former slaves now learning trades and skills to maintain work and money for their families or themselves, or are simply made free from any slave-labor. Which is why they're more expensive. Instead of fast-fashion product lines, each of these items are handmade and free of any forced labor. I'll always pay more for that freedom.
So don't fret over whether your closet is ready for this upcoming fall. Instead, here are all of the fair trade clothes you need in your wardrobe this upcoming season. Please note: all outfits are not complete without some sort of fair trade, pumpkin-flavored coffee.
Super Soft Organic Women's Leggings, $29.99, wearpact.com
Just because it's fall doesn't mean you have to give up your newfound yoga habit. Instead, stay warmer in these organic, long-stable, fair trade cotton that will not only not be see-through when you bend into your warrior pose, but also come in 14 fun colors and prints.
2. Oliberte Nubuck
Minsha Dark Grey Nubuck, $65, oliberte.com
Let's be honest, fair trade clothing is not as mainstream as it needs to be. So the moment I found out fair trade shoes were a thing, my life changed. And not only are they a legitimate thing, but they're as cute as these leather nubucks. These shoes are fair trade leather, meaning they're sweatshop-free and will protect against the inclement fall weather. Plus, check out their awesome soles!
3. Sailor Scarf
Sailor Stripe Scarf, $30, threadsforthought.com
Question: Does fall exist if you don't own a scarf? Answer: Yes, but you're not doing it right. Totally invest in your scarves this season by purchasing the multitude of fair trade scarves in neutral colors, so they go with every outfit and coat!
4. Canvas Tote
Faded Black Canvas Tote, $45, loomstate.org
I actually use this as my grocery bag tote and I get compliments on it every time I'm riding the subway home from Trader Joe's. It's large, practical, holds a lot of stuff, all while holding up under heavy loads and sometimes long walks. Plus, it's washable.
5. Pendant Necklace
Transcendent Pendant Necklace, $34.99, modcloth.com
I need this necklace year-round. As if Modcloth couldn't get any better, they've started selling fair trade items. (Basically, bye bye, paycheck.) It has gold and silver accents, so it's the perfect statement piece for any outfit. It's made by Mata Traders, which employs craftswomen in India and Nepal to curate handmade products.
Salinda Top, $79, prana.com
Because what is fall without plaid? If you don't already own a plaid shirt, you actually need this in your wardrobe. Plus, it comes in four other prints, so take your pick!
7. Boyfriend Jeans
Honour Jean, $89, prana.com
Imagine these boyfriend jeans with the aforementioned plaid top and oliberte nubucks. Splurge on chestnut coffee and you're good to go! In 2014, when I discovered fair trade jeans, my wardrobe budget increased significantly. Now that I've found these boyfriend jeans, a bit more money was allocated into that budget.
Women's Insulated Prairie Dawn Parka, $249, patagonia.com
Available in either olive or saddle, this parka is a must-have for fall. It's made with 100 percent organic, cotton canvas and recycled polyester. It's durable, water and (in, hopefully, unnecessary conditions) fire-repellent.
9. Skinny Jeans
Women's Slim Jeans, $99, patagonia.com
Yes, there are such a thing as fair trade skinny jeans. Yes, this is a big deal because it wasn't a reality two years ago. The sewing is all fair trade certified in Sri Lanka.
Women's Marino Wrap, $199, patagonia.com
Besides the sweatshop-free promise of this sweater, the next best thing is the length. Don't really feel like wearing pants some day in mid-November? No worries. Pair this with the Wear Pact leggings and no one from your office will be able to recognize you're more casual than business.
Women's Lightweight Synchilla Fleece Poncho, $159, patagonia.com
I bought my first parka last season and I cannot wait to wear it again. While this looks more outdoorsy, I typically keep mine on indoors because it legitimately feels like I'm wearing a blanket. Patagonia describes this as "Little Red Riding Hood meets El Cap Meadow," but I describe it as fair trade and stupid comfortable for nice, long fall walks around Central Park.
12. Corduroy Skirt
Women's Corduroy Skirt, $55, patagonia.com
The fact that atypical mini-skirts are back may be my favorite resurgent trend from the '90s. This burnt orange color is perfect for fall and would look amazing under any fall colored tights. Plus, it's fingertip length so totally work or school-appropriate.
13. Kantha Pouch
Large Kantha Pouch, $52, anchalproject.org
If you've never heard of The Anchal Project, meet your new favorite locally-based fair trade boutique. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, this small company partners with former enslaved women in India, empowering them in their freedom by employing them to curate adorable items, such as scarves, quilts, jewelry and adorable pouch's, like this large Kantha pouch. This is perfect for a laptop bag or an oversized purse. It's double-lined and comes in a variety of prints to match each and every of your new fall outfits.
Backpack - Polka Dot, $54, thelittlemarket.com
I may have selfishly included this backpack because when I was in high school and college, I searched and searched and searched for a practical, polka-dot backpack. Unfortunately, I didn't know it was right under my nose at Lauren Conrad's The Little Market. Plus, let's be honest, after midterms, you want to start the fall season all fresh with a whole new backpack. This specific carrier was made from sustainable materials in Ghana and hand-dyed, so no two bags are alike.
15. Zip Leggings
Luxe Zip Leggings, $57, indigenous.com
These olive leggings are so chic, none of your colleagues would know they're actually super comfortable leggings.
Two Tone Poncho, $150, indigenous.com
If you thought ponchos were only for the early 2000s, you were wrong. Thank goodness these blankets are making a comeback. This particular style is made with 100 percent cotton by fair trade certified artisans.
Loop Infinity Scarf, $106, indigenous.com
Nothing, I repeat, nothing in this world is likely as comfortable as this scarf. Imagine taking your favorite, fluffy blanket, or an actual pomsky puppy, and wearing it around your neck all day long. I feel as though that would be the equivalent feeling of wearing this scarf. Indigenous describes its softness as "pulling clouds out of the sky."
Photos: Courtesy of brands