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Who else has rediscovered his or her love for online shopping during this global pandemic? At least I am spending even more time procrastinating online – and I did not think that was possible. So yesterday, instead of starting my assignment, I conducted some research on sustainable brands I can shop online.
In a recent statement, the Fair Wear Foundation demonstrates why the COVID-19 outbreak intensifies existing inequalities within the garment industry. Apparently, of the one million factory workers that were already laid off due to the pandemic in Bangladesh, 72% did not receive a severance pay. Without any savings due to their low wages especially the female workers are now left on their own with taking care of children, elderly and the sick.
For this reason, in times like these our consumer’s choices may have an even greater impact determining the living conditions of the workers employed in the supply chain. Consequently, after highlighting the environmental damage and the precarious human rights situation of the fast fashion industry last week, I am now sharing a list of my favorite sustainable fashion brands. I have selected these brands because all of them (except one) have beautiful collections for both men and women.
- CIROS Newsletter – June 2021
- CIROS Newsletter – May 2021
- CIROS Newsletter – April 2021
- CIROS Newsletter – March 2021
- CIROS Newsletter – February 2021
However, this list is not exhaustive of course. If you want to find more alternatives, you can check out this link. There, you will also find reports about the brands performance in regard to fair working conditions and sustainability.
Armed Angels – buy a mask and help fundraise money for ‘Doctors without Borders’
Apart from selling ethically made streetwear from sustainable materials, this fair fashion brand has taken up a new amazing initiative. Armed Angels now offers these face masks with positive quotes for 10€ each. For every mask sold they will donate 2€ to ‘Doctors without Borders’ to support them in their combat against COVID-19. So far, they have raised 217,020€ (Monday morning) for their cause.
So, why don’t you go check out how far they have come to reach their goal of one million euros now? Most importantly, don’t forget to check out their new spring collection. They have amazing (and high quality) statement t-shirts for very reasonable prices.
Odlo – sustainable sportswear for your home workout
This brand is one of the leading members of the Fair Wear Foundation. Every year this organization conducts Brand Performance Checks to increase the accountability and transparency of their fashion labels. Here you can find the labor standards brands like Odlo have to conform to in order to be considered a member. Apart from that, this brand produces high quality sportswear and essentials you need to go on outdoor adventures for men and women.
Veja – the coolest sneakers brand on the market
A couple of years ago, you could hardly find anyone wearing Veja sneakers. This has changed by now. Today, there are more and more fashionable people showing off their new sustainable shoes. To me, this is hardly surprising. After all, their colorful designs are at least as cool as conventional sneaker brands. However, Veja doesn’t just make stunning shoes but produces them sustainably with high levels of transparency. On their website, you can read everything about their vision and labor standards.
Matt & Nat – vegan designer bags to shop online
This one is for all our fellow animal lovers out there: Matt & Nat makes all kind of stylish bags without ever using leather. Instead they produce vegan leather from recycled materials, so that every item contains approximately 21 plastic bottles. Moreover, these are not your typical boring jute bags. Matt & Nat sells a variety of designs: Cross-body, totes, clutches, belt-bags and of course backpacks for men and women.
JAN ‘N JUNE – eco-friendly Scandinavian chic
This fashion label is actually a local brand from my hometown (and the most beautiful city in the world): Hamburg. When I bought my first item from them a couple of years ago, their collection consisted of approximately only five items. There were exactly two little boutiques selling this brand. In 2020, however, you can buy their minimalistic and Nordic design in multiple cities all over Europe. If you haven’t heard of this fashion brand yet, it is about time that you check out their expanded collection for men and women.
Where you can find some pricier options as cheap as possible
It is true, some fair fashion brands can be a little pricier – possibly too much for a student’s budget. Nonetheless, as a former shopaholic and current fair fashion enthusiast, I have a couple of insider tips on where to find these beautiful brands for a lower price.
Sézane – solidarity boutique in Paris
Our French readers probably already know this brand and will agree with me that everything within their collection is absolutely stunning. When I first visited their online store, I fell in love with the label almost immediately.
Admittedly, this brand is not a certified fair fashion brand. However, they create transparency about how every item was produced. In doing so, they have different labels saying this dress was “OEKO-TEX certified” or this pair of jeans was made in an “audited factory”. Consequently, you can check every item in your shopping basket on the standards under which it has been produced.
Sadly, this brand isn’t exactly the cheapest but fear not: you can still find treasures from past collections at Sézane’s charity boutique in Paris. On the 21st of every month, you can save money by shopping secondhand in this special store. On top of that, 100% of the profits go to their very own solidarity program DEMAIN.
Closed – perfect jeans and timeless sustainable classics
This is another brand with incredibly pretty clothes that might be too pricy for students to buy. However, if you happen to live in Germany, you are lucky because at their factory outlets you may save up to 70% of the original price. In the end, these high-quality and timeless items and classic jeans styles are worth every cent. So, what are you waiting for? You can sign up via this link and be invited to the next exclusive outlet and shop!
O My Bag – Pre-loved leather satchels from the Netherlands
All the bags produced by this label from Amsterdam are made out of eco-friendly leather under fair working conditions. Especially, the classic satchel Dirty Harry is perfect to take your laptop and books to university with you. The best part, however, is that they also have a second-hand marketplace integrated on their website where you can save a lot of money as well. And since classic leather satchels only look better and better the more you use them, this is actually a win-win for every sustainable consumer. In the end, who wants their vintage bag to look brand new anyways?
Where do you like to shop sustainable fashion?
Sharing is caring! Of course, this is only a list of my personal favourites of fair fashion brands but there are so much more. Therefore, I am curious to know about your hidden gems of a more sustainable fashion. We are happy about every reader sending us feedback or their eco-friendly tip to email@example.com.
An article written by Lara Schade, Goodwill Commissioner