17 Stylish Fair Trade Clothing Items You'll Want In Your Closet Regardless Of How Committed You Are To Shopping Ethically
It's spring cleaning season, which really means it's spring shopping cleaning. Since you'll already be stocking up on new pieces, may I suggest searching for some stylish fair trade clothes and accessories to add to your collection? I promise, it's not all hemp sacks pretending to be dresses.
To get a little serious, the International Justice Mission reports that there are nearly 29.8 million people held in slavery today. This is broken up between citizens rights abuse, labor slavery, police brutality, property grabbing, sexual slavery, and sexual violence — and you might be inadvertently supporting it, especially when it comes to buying affordable clothing.
Fortunately, celebrities and fashion icons are getting behind the initiative the end modern day slavery. A lot of department stores now sell clothes that are 100 percent guaranteed fair trade. To get you started, here are 17 ethical brands selling clothes and accessories that are cool and sustainable.
Image: The Little Market
Braided Beaded Bracelet
Step up your arm candy game with bunches of fair trade bracelets! The Little Market, founded by Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla, offers affordable handcrafted bracelets, among many other stylish products. When you’re shopping for a product on The Little Market, you can read about the artisan who made each piece. This specific bracelet was made by women in Guatemala.
After a trip to a trip to the Maasai Mara in Kenya, designer Michael Nelson was inspired to curate only socially conscious handmade bags and sunglasses. He is hoping to build a workshop in Kenya where artisans can work, have childcare, and a lunchroom. I would definitely save this bag for a seasonal splurge, but I love what the money would go toward. If you need more proof of its cool-factor, Nina Dobrev wore one of his clutches at the 2014 VMAs.
1964 Threads Full of Secrets White Teeshirt, Made in the USA
In 2013, Helpsy was launched by fashion journalist Rachel Kibbe to “change the misconception” that 100 percent ethical fashion can’t have a “positive social impact” but still be “cutting edge.” The online store is filled with many hilarious, affordable graphic T-shirts, plus lingerie, accessories, and other pieces.
Mojave Melody Necklace
I have a very difficult time going to 31 Bits and not buying everything I see. They are the one stop shop for all your fair trade fashion jewelry needs. The artisans who curate the popular 31 Bits jewelry are enrolled in a program that provides them with a holistic education and a sustainable income. Their jewelry makes for statement pieces that look great with many outfits and are offered at a range of prices.
Vintage Checked Shirt
EDUN is a fun fair trade shopping website that will give you a different insight into items that you may not have put under the fair trade umbrella. Founded by Ali Hewson and husband, Bono, EDUN features fair trade fashion choices for men and women as well as fair trade insoles, arch supports, knee supports — all things you’ve likely never even considered the sustainability of.
Tasha Abstract Trousers
I’m not sure why, but experience has taught me that fair trade shopping gets difficult when it comes to pants. Thankfully, this seems to be ending with trousers like these. Not only are they stylish, but they feel like you’re wearing pajamas. It’s amazing. According to their website, People Tree is recognized as a pioneer in fair trade fashion, and use sustainable materials and practices. They have many other items on their site, including dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, and tops.
Houndstooth Olive Metro Tote
Orange Harp is an app that will allow you to shop for fair trade accessories and clothes on your phone whenever you’re in the mood for some new pieces. The app/store has accessories, bags, clothes, cover ups, printed T-shirts, and beauty products that “don’t harm the individuals or the planet.”
Patagonia Men's Arched Collegiate Logo Midweight Crew Sweatshirt
In 2014, Patagonia began selling fair trade certified apparel, in an attempt to “improve the lives of the workers who make our products.” Their store not only became a million times more appealing in my eyes, but I love all of the new products offered, including this crew neck sweatshirt. Sure, it’s intended for men. but I don’t see why not for women as well!