How to find ethically made clothing is probably the number one question consumers have when they think about making the switch to ethical, sustainable and slow fashion. After all, having good intentions will only get you so far if you don’t actually know where to look and shop. And admittedly, finding ethically made clothing, especially something that fits your style, can be a challenge if you’re not into long skirts, harem pants and earthy looks. But just because it’s not at your local mall or a brand you’re already aware of, doesn’t mean it’s impossible! When you get into the swing of it, you’ll realize that there are actually so many more awesome ethically made clothing brands that you thought, and finding even more will be a breeze. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
The first thing I would suggest doing is creating a new folder in your bookmarks bar in your browser, and label it as your go-to folder for buying ethically made clothing. Mine is simply named “Clothing“. This is where you will store the list all of the brands you found and loved. Sure, you could bookmark other people’s lists, or write it in a notebook or wherever, but its convenient to have it right there in your browser window so you don’t have to go searching for anything or wonder where you wrote down the name of that one brand with the pretty dresses. You save brands there right away, and can click on them to see their website immediately.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start building your list! Start with just doing a Google search of “ethical clothing brands”, “ethical fashion brands” or something of the like, and see if you find any lists that already exist, created by other bloggers or experts in the field. You can find my list here, where I only include brands that I think are modern, beautiful and relevant enough to truly replace the fast fashion giants without sacrificing or compromising style. Other lists I love include this one, this one and this one.
This step alone will yield hundreds of brands. Next I suggest clicking on each one and briefly browsing their selection before adding them to your folder, so you can make sure that everything in that folder is something you really liked. This filtering step is really helpful in preventing you from feeling overwhelmed when you’re actually trying to shop for something and you keep landing on websites of brands that don’t fit your style.
Pro-tip: If through your research you discover online shops that sell a variety of ethical or sustainable brands, save it, but also look at the specific pieces you like and see what brand they come from. Then, research that brand specifically. Shops like this are a list in themselves!
Once you’ve finished this (or when you simply got tired of going through all these lists), it’s time to get to know some bloggers. If you love reading blogs, then you might want to create yet another folder and label it “Blogs“, so you can go back to your favourite ones every once in a while for some inspiration. There are so many bloggers out there who have made it their mission to share ethically made clothing brands and other insights with you to help you be a more conscious shopper. I wrote about my favourite ethical fashion bloggers here.
Another great place to discover new ethical or sustainable brands is Instagram. By following your favourite bloggers, industry leaders, and brands, you can find new brands and bloggers, and Instagram will even pick up on this and start suggesting accounts based on this, which of course, will only help you out more! When you find a new ethical brand you love through Instagram, make sure you remember to add it to the folder you created at the beginning so you have them all in one place.
That’s it! Finding ethically made clothing really is that simple. Will you find brands that aren’t your style, or brands that are far out of your budget? Sure you will. But you will also find that there are many more ethical brands out there than you expect! And your search doesn’t have to end here. New brands are constantly popping up with innovative takes on fashion, and your list will keep growing. Ethical fashion has never been so easy.