17 Fair Trade Fashion Bloggers To Follow Now

by Hayli Goode

In the early '90s, the first "weblog" was published by Justin Hall, a college student at Swarthmore College. And in the past 20 years, we've seen "blogging" grow from Hall's single homepage to millions of blogs posted daily, promoted on social media, created on different mediums (enter in 2014: vlogs) and covering a wide range of topics, including fair trade fashion blogs.

Fashion blogs are popular amongst women and, unsurprisingly, men of all ages and social classes. I'm sure you even follow a few sites or bloggers on Instagram right now, based on his or her styles or focus of content. But, for as long as I have known about fair trade and the purpose of fair trade products in the world, I realize I've had to educate more peers than I would have thought on what fair trade actually means.

Fair trade is defined by Fair Trade USA as "global trade model and certification allows shoppers to quickly identify products that were produced in an ethical manner." Essentially, today, in 2016, there are still modern day slaves that work, unpaid and mistreated, to create clothes, food, and household products we pay inexpensive dollars to consume. In a recent interview with Jenna Larson, senior manager of communications at Fair Trade USA, I learned only 55 percent of Americans have ever heard of "fair trade." These 17 bloggers, focusing specifically on fair trade beauty and clothes, are working to increase that statistic.

As you're working through this list, please note that fair trade and "ethical" or "organic" clothing are very differently defined. These bloggers are discussing only fair trade products, and do a great job of differentiating when a shirt is organic or fair trade certified.

1. StyleWise Blog

The blog title itself is clever, (get it? Styling clothes wisely because fair tade. LOL) but it's actually because the blogger, Leah Wise, simply used her resources.

Wise started this blog in an attempt to create a paradigm shift in thinking of shoppers as "consumers" and instead as "people whose actions affect other people both here and across the globe." She created StyleWise to build a community of people who wanted the same paradigm shift.

In addition to posts about really amazing fair trade clothes (clothes, scarves, boots, etc!), she includes the company's stories, showing radical transparency from where the items textiles are found to the finished product.

2. Life + Style + Justice

Hannah Theisen is a champion in the fair trade world. Not only does she constantly and informatively update her blog, Life + Style + Justice, but she created the Ethical Blogger Network to assemble the community of bloggers promoting ethical, organic and fair trade fashion. These bloggers host their own blogs individually, but also come together to work on special projects.

Theisen, herself, only focuses on fair trade certified products, which is a rarity and extremely difficult. She and her husband also have switched to *attempting* to live a fair trade lifestyle, as much as they can, even including a special post thanking him for adopting this lifestyle down to using fair trade deodorant. She is honest about how hard it is to live ethically, but shouldn't be.

3. Seasons and Salt

Not only is Andrea actual #hair goals, but she blogs about fair trade closet staples that can take your wardrobe from one item to a million different outfits.

Ironically, Andrea got her start in blogging talking about a capsule wardrobe (which, from experience, is really effing hard to do). But, after watching the documentary "The True Cost," she expanded her blog from capsule to envelope fair trade standards.

Now, according to Season's and Salt's mission, she works exclusively with brands that are transparent in their supply chain. She shares the items in her closet through beautiful photography she captures herself!

4. The Curious Button

Similar to Andrea, Elena launched The Curious Button after watching The True Cost. While in college, Elena became exposed to the poor treatment of many garment workers around the country and immediately immersed herself in research.

But unlike many other fair trade blogs, Elena wisely counts her followers. Once you subscribe to her blog, for free, you are given a password that unlocks a ton of free resources and research she has already done on fair trade for you. But FYI: She also sometimes includes eco-friendly products, so it's not all fair trade.

Of course, in addition to her knowledge and expertise in the subject, she also writes about living a conscious lifestyle and clothes and beauty products you probably need to know about.

5. Birds of a Thread

"I love fashion, and I respect the people and natural resources that make fashion possible. And I believe that designers, artisans, and the environment deserve to be treated fairly in every stage of the process. In my own small way, I hope to empower the people out there who share my philosophy – namely, that looking good doesn’t have to come with such a high social and environmental price tag," says Jacqui, founder of Birds of a Thread.

It's a long quote, but I couldn't have expressed the mission of her blog better myself.

It's no secret trying to live a fair trade lifestyle costs more. Workers are actually getting paid fairly, which goes into the overall cost of a garment. In her blog, Jacqui is honest about that, but proves that living a socially-conscious lifestyle does not have to break the bank.

I, personally, flocked to Birds of a Thread when I discovered Jacqui's ethical shopping guide. She has done the research to include a shopping guide for men, women, vintage, children's, shoes, etc. In addition to her well-maintained and enjoyable blog, this extra step empowered me to continue to buy fair trade.

6. Sew Pomona

I want to be Rebecca when I grow up. Not only does she advocate all things Fair Trade, but the things she can't consciously purchase, she sews and naturally dyes herself. Her work ethic, natural curiosity, and desire to ascertain answers to fashion issues is beyond me. And not only does she record every one of her sewing ventures, she also offers free downloadables and prints so you can learn alongside her.

7. Dress Well Do Good

Forget Taylor Swift and whichever member of her girl squad (OK, don't really forget them). #FriendshipGoals have never looked better than on Ellie Kirkland and Elizabeth Carroll. On top of their respective full-time jobs (Carroll an architect and Kirkland a stylist) the two paired up when they started asking where their clothes came from.

Now, they've combined their skills to profile sustainably conscious companies, divulge the fair trade jewelry their into and provide the "why" and "from where" every step of the way.

8. My Green Closet

Because sometimes we all need a break from reading, vlogging has taken over the blogosphere. When I found My Green Closet, started by Verena Erin, I died a little inside. The fact that fair trade blogging took it to another platform made my heart practically leap out if its chest.

But save heart, Erin's vlog is not only about fair trade. Though she does touch on the subject, she also discusses green and ethical clothing. But she doesn't only vlog. In addition to keeping up her videos, she also maintains and online blog. Erin is actual blogging goals.

9. Finny + Dill

I cannot explain the story of how Finny + Dill (which, btw, cutest name ever, right?!) started better than founder Christina Pippin did herself. Essentially, curiosity got the best of her and she sought answers through her blog, started just this year.

Though she branches off from fair trade fashion to ethical and green products, Pippin labels each blog to know what exactly you're about to read. And my favorite part: Pippin shares an ongoing list of inspirational and thought-provoking quotes in a visually aesthetic fashion.

10. The Closet Confessional

Dana started The Closet Confessional like most blogs: Her love for fashion. But, according to her "About Me," her world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with cancer. After that, her love of fashion developed into a love of art and the power of expression.

She doesn't only write about fair trade products, though she has an entire blog about it. But she also writes about how to be sustainable with your clothing choices and is super open when it comes to how difficult it is to lead a sustainable lifestyle.

11. Narrow Collective

Best friends Courtney Copeland and Nicole Dornak started Narrow Collective as an extension of Reaction Tour, a non-profit, Christian-based effort to empower children in India and Uganda through sports, music, dance, and discipleship. Oh, and these two are only 22-years-old. So, if nothing else, let their age empower you to do all the things you ever set your mind to.

12. Sustainably Chic

Natalie of Sustainably Chic is the real deal. She is a fashion major that wanted to take her education a step further. Toward the end of her college experience, she started La Petite N-Kay, an accessory line built on a sustainable business model.

What was originally intended to be simply a portfolio piece, La Petite N-Kay turned into Sustainably Chic. In her blog, sure she delves into fashion. But Natalie also understands, "sustainability encompasses several things - society, economics & the environment. We need all three of these working together to create a truly sustainable community {& fashion industry!}"

Could not have said it better myself.

She has done all the hard work for you. From coming up with an extensive, long list of brands with a sustainable focus (and discounts! Who said a fair trade lifestyle wasn't possible?) to inviting experts to speak on her podcast, she has fashion, beauty, and lifestyle covered.

13. Literally Nataly

Obviously Nataly is gorgeous, but she is also a self-proclaimed "healthy and sustainable lifestyle enthusiast." Also known as, my future best friend.

As the founder of Literally Nataly, she discusses only fair trade products and clothes and ITS AMAZING. Covering beauty products, underwear and outerwear, honestly, Literally Nataly may turn into my one-stop shopping trip.

14. The Ethereal Edit

The faces behind the Ethereal Edit remain a mystery to me, but the editorial blog focuses on green beauty products and socially responsible clothing. This blog stands out from the rest by including exclusive interviews with founders of fair trade clothing company. And they find the real story of where garments come from and country standards.

15. Saiint

These two English sisters are absolutely adorable. Both Katie (left) and Diana (right) have textile design and psychology backgrounds, making them super passionate about sustainable, fair trade fashion.

16. Kim Goes Öko

Kim is boycotting fashion. After taking a Capitalism class, she had to ask herself (and her best friend) if fashion was capitalism. The long answer, yes. And Kim didn't want to contribute more to that. So she stopped by adopting slow fashion habits and uses this blog to lay out how she is now only focusing on slow fashion.

17. The Peahan

In Kasi's words, she started The Peahan to "bring intellect back to fashion."

It's my favorite she called that out. Because, like, why is it so hard to shop consciously? She gets even more in-depth with her boldness throughout her blog.

A Peahan is a female peacock. And she named it this after the courting-relationship nature of male and female peacocks to the mainstream-consumer relationship to sustainable fashion. If the mainstream adopts sustainable fashion, consumers will listen. Until that happens, Kelsi will continue to rally for fair trade fashion and education.

This list of 17 fair trade fashion bloggers seems like a large number, especially for a listicle. The sad truth is that it's not. And beyond these 17 amazing bloggers, there are not many others to include that write about actual fair trade certified products and/or do research in the field they're writing about. In the millions of fashion bloggers creating meaningful content today, these 17 are focusing on products that seek to bring justice to unfathomable modern day slavery. Let's see that number increase.

Images: Courtesy of blogs