Okay, sure, Spring 2018 Fashion Week has already come and gone, but for those of us who still haven’t updated our fall 2017 wardrobes (hey, it’s been hot out), it’s time to think about doing some shopping—making the most ethical and sustainable choices you can, obviously. These are a few of the trends that the fashion magazines have deemed the must-haves of the season, and ethical options for each. All of these “trends” are also just classic, good looking looks you can wear always–so neither you nor the planet will be a fashion victim.
Davina silk dress by Amour Vert, $228
Clover dress by Doen, $198
Oat coat, Reformation, $248
Maggie top, made of recycled polyester by Amur, $328
Emily blouse by St Roche, $265
Violet viscose top by Reformation, $128 (Reformation offers lots more polka dotted options)
Khaki Trench by Zady, $350
Denim Tops and Dresses
Denim tee (with a cute bow tie at the back), Cuyana, $95
Ritz dress, Amy Kuschel, $280
Wishing you a beautiful fall!
Picture a vegan handbag and something very sad might come to mind–a pleather situation that’s a little too shiny, too stiff, or just cheap-looking. So if you’re an animal lover and haven’t been paying attention to your options, you’ll be so happy to know that there are some very stylish bag options out there for those who love to look good but don’t like wearing dead things. In fact, these bags are so lovely that we’re willing to bet even carnivores will be carrying them!
New Girls in the Game: Filbert
This beautiful new California-based brand creates “cruelty-free, mindfully made” luxury bags out of vegan leather or a cotton canvas that resembles suede.
These luxury vegan leather bags are designed in the US and ethically made in Korea (you can see photos of the factory on the brand’s website). Nobody will know that your bag is vegan (unless you choose show off your vegan cred by telling them–nothing wrong with that).
Straight Outta Sardinia: Antonello Tedde
London-designed and Sardinia-made, this line of woven totes and clutches goes beyond sparing animal lives and commits to protecting the planet too. They’re made of organically farmed wool, regenerated cotton, and plant-dyed yarns, on hand looms in ethically managed workshops. And I imagine that carrying one around would make you feel like you were just back from the Med, even if you haven’t had a vacation in forever.
Sure, you usually think of straw bags as strictly a beach or resort option, but some of the natural-fiber options in 31 Bits new collection might have us rethinking that. Handmade by Balinese artisans using materials like raffia, wild grass and lontar leaf (a type of palm, apparently) these bags have clean lines and are structured enough to fit in far from sand and sea. A few pieces in the line feature leather but most are vegan.
Is there a wedding or other dressy event in your summer calendar and you still have nothing to wear? Well that’s an enviable problem to have, because there are some drop-dead gorgeous, ethically produced dresses out there. While it’s still tricky to find a great ethical winter coat or stiletto heel, it’s actually pretty easy to get your hands on a beautiful dress made of a sustainable material, under socially responsible conditions, maybe even both.
Here are some of the prettiest examples of ethical party dresses, and each of these brands has many other options too:
The Ballet Dress, made of 100% viscose by the eco-minded designers at Reformation, $248.
The Amur Felicia Dress, made of ecologically sourced materials, $548.
The Maria dress by St. Roche, made of GOTS-certified organic cotton voile, $329. (GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard, and when a material is GOTS-certified you can trust that it has been produced in an eco-friendly manner at every step of the process.)
The Reformation Foxglove Dress, made of 100% viscose, $388. Did you know that Reformation is a B Corp? A Certified Benefit Corporation, aka B Corp, is a for-profit company committed to solving social or environmental problems.
The Ariella Dress by Amur, which is made out of 100% recycled polyester, $698.
The Compass Silk Linen Knot dress by Kamperett, made in California at an ethically run factory, $420.
Where do you find fancy dresses that match your eco-conscious or ethical values? Let us know in the comments, or comment on the Lovely x Two Facebook page.
I know, I get it–finding a swimsuit that fits, flatters and doesn’t fall off if you actually swim is challenging enough, so trying to choose one that’s eco-friendly or ethically made sounds like way too tall an order. But guess what? It’s actually easy to find swimwear made of recycled materials and under ethical conditions. Check out these brands that will have you looking hot by the water, and sit well with your hippie sensibilities.
Inspired by the sexy beach style of their native Southern California, Vitamin A makes sexy, clean-lined bikinis and maillots out of EcoLux, a superfine matte jersey swim fabric “produced locally in California, using recycled nylon fiber to conserve resources and Lycra Xtra Life fiber for an ultra-flattering, long-lasting fit.” (True, Lycra is owned by the nefarious Koch brothers, but it is found in many bathing suits and and at least these are more sustainable.)
Do you know who made your bikini? If it’s from Patagonia you can rest assured that she or he was paid a living wage, because their swimsuits are certified Fair Trade sewn, and include recycled polyester. Like all of Patagonia’s products they are designed for activity and made to last. Learn more about the company’s Fair Trade swimwear production.
Hawaii-based Manakai makes its sexy, clean-lined swimsuits out of a 100% regenerated nylon called ECONYL, saving energy, water, and oil consumption and giving new life to old nylon. Oh, and the suits offer SPF 50 protection and are made in the USA.
The chic, minimalist swimsuits from Baserange are made of recycled polyamide in Portugal. This below-the-radar brand (which also makes lingerie) had a big moment last year when Solange wore one of their bodysuits in her video for Cranes in the Sky.
The New Zealand-born brand Koru makes its suits in eye-catching prints, using the regenerated polyamide fabric ECONYL. The company that produces the fabric has partnered with HealthySeas.org to upcycle discarded fishing nets into the yarn used to make the fabrics. Koru also aims to “extend our environmental approach into everything we do, from using recycled paper hangtags, to packaging our swimwear in compostable clear bags made from plant materials.”
To discover more sources of ethically made swimwear, check out this article from The Good Trade: 12 Ethical & Eco Swimwear Brands If You’re Searching For The Perfect Fit
To say that current events are depressing is a major understatement. With the Senate likely about to confirm an EPA head who pretty much French kisses CEOs of fossil fuel companies, it’s tempting to throw up your hands and stop worrying about making eco-friendly and ethical choices. So as an inspiring little distraction I thought I’d put together photos of celebrities who embrace sustainable style. These women can wear pretty much anything they choose, but they care enough to make ethical choices, at least some of the time. Head over to their Instagram accounts and thank them for being conscious style icons!
Emma Watson is the celebrity who seems the most consistently devoted to championing ethical style, and she looks so good doing it. This UN Goodwill Ambassador collaborated on a collection with Zady, and she frequently wears Maiyet and other mission-driven brands.
As a supermodel it’s her job to wear brands of all stripes, but when off-duty beauty Liya Kebede can usually be found wearing Lemlem, the label she founded to employ artisans in Ethiopia.
Did you know that Lemlem makes much more than beach cover ups? Here Liya dazzles in a Lemlem coat.
Here 50 Shades star Dakota stays covered up in style, wearing a dress by eco-minded label Ace and Jig.
Famous for her animal rights activism, Silverstone refuses to wear silk or wool (and of course would never touch leather). Her Instagram feed offers great evidence that you can look vibrant (and find something to wear) as a dedicated vegan.
Have you seen any celebrities advancing the cause of sustainable or ethical style? Let me know in the comments or on the Lovely x Two Facebook page.
If you like to update your jewelry every so often, you should know (and you may have noticed already) that hoop earrings are having a resurgence, both small “huggie”-style hoops (so named because they hug your earlobe) and big but delicate hoops, often in slightly geometric shapes that give them a contemporary feel, or embellished with gemstones.
Hopefully there’s already a beloved pair of hoops in your jewelry box, but if you’re shopping for (or dropping hints about) a new pair, I’ve rounded up a few ethical options to fuel your hoop dreams.
Delicate and sculptural octagonal hoops by Melissa Joy Manning, in recycled gold (available in silver too).
Gold hoops showcasing pretty pink tourmalines, by ethics-focused designer Pippa Small, who ensures that her jewelry provides a fair income to the artisans who create it.Melissa Joy Manning’s Hug Hoops loop around the lobe from the back, for a fresh look (and come in recycled yellow gold, rose gold or silver).
The holiday shopping pressure is officially on and even if you are trying to be all minimalist about it you still have a list of deserving loved ones expecting a little something under the tree or alongside the menorah. Committing to giving ethical or eco-friendly actually simplifies it all, as there are fewer options to choose from, and buying with your conscience adds a big dose of happy vibes to the holiday craziness as you support businesses that are doing good. Below are a few ideas for the ladies in your life, and all of the websites linked to feature many other ethical options she’s likely to love.
This eye-catching but elegant necklace and bracelet pair are made of paper beads and recycled brass, by displaced Ugandan women for 31 Bits ($64 for the set).
Triangular walnut wood and rose gold studs by Maiyet are an anything-but-basic everyday ear look ($150).
A faceted white topaz teardrop on a hoop and chain made of recycled 14k gold is a pretty little something that goes with everything. Choose the recycled silver chain for a cool look and a smaller price tag (Melissa Joy Manning, $440 for gold, $125 for silver). And to learn more about why it’s so important to choose recycled precious metals, read this alarming Smithsonian article on the environmental horrors of gold mining.
Clean + Green Beauty
If you love a lipstick-loving lady, this sampler of three non-toxic Ilia lipsticks will delight, and convert her to clean beauty if she isn’t already a believer. Ilia has packaged three of their best-selling hues in a cute leather case by Baggu ($48, Credo Beauty).
In the luxury stocking stuffer category: The Living Luminizer from RMS Beauty. One of the few non-toxic products to achieve somewhat cult status, it’s said to be like a clean equivalent of the beloved YSL Touche Eclat highlighter ($38, Credo Beauty).
On the topic of conventional beauty best-sellers, Lily Lolo has created a clean and green take on that classic nude eye shadow palette, with all the essential hues you need to create your eye looks, from subtle to sultry smoky ($34, Credo Beauty).
Help her score a Vermont farm girl glow (organic farm, obvs) with Tata Harper’s Honey Blossom Mask, a limited edition version of the brand’s classic Resurfacing Mask, but infused with Vermont honey ($65, Tata Harper).
Even the most minimalist of ladies can use another scarf, and pale hues around the face flatter any complexion. A few lovelies, clockwise from top left: GOTS-certified organic cotton from India is hand-dyed with plant-based dyes in California by Dear Indigo, resulting in scarves in a range of naturally stunning hues ($58, Dear Indigo); The Aish cotton-muslin scarf with pom-pom trim, handmade by artisans in Bengal ($70 at Ethica); Cuyana’s Baby Alpaca Infinity Scarf, which despite its name is harvested from adult alpacas ($75, Cuyana); Indigo Handloom’s cotton scarves are made by hand by women in rural India ($58, Amour Vert). Beyond these you’ll find stunning eco-friendly linen options at Fog Linen Work and all sorts of Fair Trade and eco-friendly scarves at Good Cloth.
Help her avoid the eco-shame of having to ask for a disposable shopping bag, by gifting her a stylish Baggu to stash in her purse ($12, Baggu).
You probably didn’t think this was possible (I know I had doubts) but you can now slip your feet into eco-friendly, vegan shoes that are actually really cute and insanely comfortable too. New women’s shoe company Rothy’s has achieved this holy grail of shoe goals. These ballet-style flats get their eco-friendly cred because they’re made out of recycled water bottles and last forever, since they’re very sturdy and can be thrown in the washing machine. And it gets even better: When you do eventually wear them out they can be recycled!
Rothy’s come in two styles–a classic ballet shape and a pointy-toed version—and a variety of colors and patterns. It’s pretty much the dream of any tree-hugging girl who prefers a feminine footwear silhouette to a Birk or hiking boot situation. Click here to score $20 off on what I am willing to bet will be your feet’s new favorite thing.
Linen is pretty much tops when it comes to eco-friendly fabrics. It’s made from the sturdy and multi-functional flax plant, which grows easily with minimal water and little to no pesticides (unlike cotton, which is tough on the environment–even organic cotton isn’t ideal).
Plus linen fabric is incredibly durable, which is why you’ll discover antique linen bedding, towels and table decor commanding a nice price at flea markets. If it’s not heavily dyed or treated linen is even biodegradable! (You can learn more about linen’s green credentials at Good On You.) Linen also takes dye quite well, so you can extend the life of white or light pieces by dying them with indigo or another natural dye if they get stained.
I realize that linen clothing wrinkles and doesn’t have the most stylish reputation, but that is changing as linen starts to have a fashion moment. And while linen sheets and towels might take a little getting used to if you’re new to them, I think you’ll get hooked once you give them a try. Here are some beautiful pieces and amazing brands that will have you falling in love with linen.
This Japanese brand is like a wearable love letter to linen and has a bit of a cult following thanks to chic silhouettes with a trend-defying look you can wear season after season. The linen is sourced from Lithuania, which is known for the high quality of its flax. In addition to habit-forming clothes, Fog Linen Work creates beautiful and sturdy towels and table linen, and sells linen remnants for any creative crafting visions you might dream up.
A New Jersey-based maker of chic linen bath and beach towels, Deck Towel promises that their towels are “20 times more absorbent than cotton” and “repel sand, stains and odors” while getting softer with age. They carry an impressive variety of colors and patterns (all the ones you’d want, nothing weird).
Good Linens makes linen towels and accessories that feel earthy and luxury all at once. They promise that their towels are “absorbent, wonderfully textured and lightly exfoliating,” air dry quickly and improve with use. I have been using their linen bath towels for more than a year now and I am a total convert. I’ll admit that the first few times I dried off with a linen towel it felt strange, since they don’t have the fluffy feel of the cotton terry most of us are accustomed to, but I soon adjusted and wouldn’t go back. They’re surprisingly absorbent and (as promised) dry quickly and just somehow feel cleaner to me than cotton towels do.
Linen clothes don’t even have to look like linen, as evidence by these slouchy linen tanks and tees, made in the USA by Amour Vert.
The next time you’re shopping for any sort of textile, do your mother Earth a favor and think linen!
It’s not easy to find ethical or eco-friendly shoes that check the necessary boxes of cute, comfortable and within-budget, and that quest gets even more challenging when you’re looking for a specific style–like a short boot that can take you everywhere for fall. If you select shoes that are quality and classic enough to be worn for multiple seasons (and aren’t made in a fast-fashion factory situation) that’s often the best you can do, but if you want to take it to the next level and choose a brand that’s vegan or fair trade, consider dressing your feet in one of these new designs.
This chic and versatile vegan “shootie” is made in Spain of Italian vegan leather that contains no “aromatic amines, PCP, formaldehyde, PVC, phthalates, azo-dyes, or chrome,” and a natural cork insole.
Suede booties hand-crafted in Ethiopia by the world’s only fair-trade certified footwear factory.
If budget isn’t an issue, treat yoself to these glamorous boots by sustainable luxury standard bearer Maiyet, which employs artisans around the world to create high fashion under ethical conditions.
These versatile vegan low-heeled boots come in this rich cognac and basic black. There is also a 2-in-1 convertible knee boot option, but I’m not sure that covering the whole calf in vegan leather is a good call. To each her own though!
Yet another good choice for my vegan lovelies: the Dress Boot by Ahimsa. Not only were no cows killed for these lace-ups, they’re “ethically hand made with love in Brazil.”
What’s your favorite ethical or eco-friendly fall footwear? I would love to learn about it in the comments!