We all love finding deals at fast-fashion brands, but it’s becoming harder to justify a $15 dress when you know that the person who made it likely did so in a less-than-ideal work environment. (Ahem, Zara.)
High-fashion designers like Stella McCartney ― a pioneer in sustainable fashion ― and Filippa-K seem to be influencing the industry in a positive way. Not only are we seeing more eco-friendly fashions pop up on the runways (see: Mara Hoffman, EDUN), there are also plenty more accessible brands, such as Alternative Apparel, Reformation and PACT, offering sustainable options at only slightly higher price points than go-tos like Zara and H&M.
Sure, you spend some extra money up front with most ethical labels, but you can feel better about your purchase knowing you aren’t supporting the vicious cycle of fast fashion. Plus, the focus of many sustainable brands is to create garments that last multiple seasons, in turn creating less waste. (That extra $20 doesn’t seem like so much over a three-year period, right?)
Below are some of our favorite stores and brands that you won’t feel guilty about spending your money on.
PACT uses sustainable ingredients in its clothing, which is made in Fair Trade Certified factories
. The best part? The price points definitely won't break the bank -- basic tees and tanks will run you anywhere from $15 to $45, with simple dresses coming in at $40. Shop at PACT
Everlane has become a go-to for basics. The brand, which uses ethical factories
, offers a great selection of classic tees for $30 or less, and many styles of pants ring in under $100. Silk shirts and cashmere sweaters come with slightly higher price tags, but there are plenty of styles to choose from if you're open to a little splurge.Shop at Everlane
Fair Trade Winds is a family company that partners with artisans around the world and uses fair and ethical practices. The brand is a great option for casual clothes, with a number of offerings, like T-shirts and dresses, coming in under $100. Shop at Fair Trade Winds
Reformation is definitely one of the more expensive options on the list, but there are plenty of offerings under $100. The brand, which was founded in 2009, makes the majority of its clothes in downtown Los Angeles, using sustainable fabrics and methods. Its mission is "to lead and inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable." Shop at Reformation
Alternative Apparel is committed to "creating products responsibly." The brand makes 80 percent of its garments with sustainable materials and processes, according to its website. It also uses factories that operate in accordance with the Fair Labor Association Workplace Code of Conduct. As for prices, plain tees are under $40, while many of lounge pants come in under $60. You can also snag casual dresses for less than $60.
Shop at Alternative Apparel
People Tree partners with various producers, garment workers and artisans in developing countries to create ethical and eco-friendly collections made with organic cotton and other sustainable materials. The brand offers plenty of dresses that cost under $150 and pants that range from $70 to $150. There are also some beautiful knits, although those are definitely among the most expensive items.
Shop at People Tree