Hello friends! Today I’m bringing you yet another back to school post, but this one has to do with fashion?!? “What?!? Who does this girl think she is? I’ve seen her insta pics, and I’d grade her style as a C+!” Honestly, that’s fair. I accept that I am not the most stylish person, but I am a person who is trying to do her best to reduce her consumption of fast fashion.
For those of you who don’t know, fast fashion is the harmful practice of overconsuming unethically made and unsustainable clothing. According to Good On You, fast fashion is “usually cheap, trendy clothing produced at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand, so shoppers can snap them up while they are still hot, and then, sadly, discard them after a few wears… It forms a large part of the toxic capitalist ad consumerist mentality that has made fashion one of the largest polluters in the world.” Overall, “fast fashion” hurts the environment, and often profits off of exploited workers and animals.
To be quite honest, the best way to help the environment is to reduce the amount of clothing you buy overall. However, as we are going back to school, it’s quite likely that we have outgrown some of our clothes from last year, or just simply want a few pieces to freshen up our closets. While it’s tempting to reach for the cheap shirt in the mall, you may want to stop and think about your purchase: How many times will I wear it? Should I be supporting this company? Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how many times I have bought a piece of clothing and ended up donating it with the tags still on! Thankfully, there are many places where you can shop and feel good about your purchase and the impact it has on others.
To help you out this back to school season, and any time you need a certain garment, I have compiled a list of brands that are ethical, affordable, sustainable, and fashionable. After many many hours of research, I am very happy to say that despite what I had thought, you can buy slow fashion and still be fashionable! So, without further ado, here are some great clothing brands for students and teens!
KTO is incredibly sleek and stylish! I do feel a little cheated, I must admit, because the jeans in their pictures are adorable, but they don’t carry them! Don’t let this discourage you though, everything else about this brand is picture perfect. They do not use any animal products, and offer sustainable household items, like utensils alongside their clothing lines. They are based in the UK and use organic cotton. According to their website, doing so supports “artisans, fair working conditions, sustainable sourcing and carbon reduced clothing.” Not only that, but “100% of the profits also help fund local development projects in communities across Africa.”
Need shoes? Etiko is the place to go! I was shocked when I went to their website and saw shows that looked suspiciously like Converse and Vans! Even more utter shock when I saw that these shoes were priced close to their step siblings. White Converse Chuck Taylor Low Tops currently retail at $50, while similar shoes on Etiko sell for $78.95! Just when you think it can’t get better, they are a vegan brand who uses recycled and eco-friendly material as well as ensures that all employees throughout their supply chain receive a fair and livable wage. And while you’re ordering your glorious white “Vans,” you can browse through their selection of clothing!
Take all of my money!!! If you thought that all sustainable clothing brands only sold the plain old basics, Reformation will prove you wrong! They have some big plans in the sustainability department, which you can read HERE,one of which includes their plan to use 100% plant based and recycled materials by 2023, which is wow! This is amazing, but when you see their fabulous clothing, it takes amazing to a whole new level. Everything over on Reformation is a little pricey, so I would recommend finding Ref Jeans. This apparel line is geared more towards teens and can give you the sustainable trendiness while timelessness you’ve been craving!
I saw this brand on Ava’s Instagram and became obsessed. Lucy & Yak is doing their part by making their garments by hand with eco-friendly and recycled materials, which as you could imagine severely reduces their impact on the climate. Their brand has a certain charm to it, that, I must admit isn’t for everyone, but it sure is pretty darn cute! Their designs are bold and stylish- perfect for school! Not to mention that they are extremely reasonably priced (in my opinion)!
Poshmark, Depop, or ThreadUp
These companies all sell second hand clothing online. I have yet to buy from Depop, but I can definitely say that Poshmark and ThreadUp are good choices! These websites are fantastic for purchasing items that are either way too expensive otherwise, or that you want to buy with less guilt. You can find your favorite brands for as much as 90% off, and you can even make your own offers on Poshmark! The shipping can get a little pricey at times, especially if you are buying multiple items from different sellers, but it’s nothing crazy.
If you choose to sign up for Poshmark or ThreadUp, I have codes that will give you $10 credit!
Contact me for a link for a referral code for ThreadUp if you are interested!!
Those are the brands that I felt were best fit for school attire and fell into a good price range! I’m honestly shocked with how cute some of these clothes are!! If you’re ever unsure of a brand, head on over to Good On You to look it up! They will tell you how they rate the brand on sustainability and ethics. I’m curious- have you tried these brands? What are your favorite sustainable/ethical clothing brands? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading and happy shopping!