While the fashion industry is notorious for its environmental wastefulness and often poor treatment of its workers, buyers often wish to make a difference, but are lost when it comes to navigating such a complex industry. However, there are many options when it comes to making sure your clothes come from moral and sustainable platforms. Here are 3 ethical fashion companies you should buy from.
Image Credit: thredup.com
Given the second hand nature of all their listed products, this online thrift-store’s values revolve around sustainability. ThredUP wishes to challenge the fashion industry’s unnecessary obsession with “newness”, lessening the amount of discarded clothing in landfills. They use innovative technology to process thousands of garments a a day, while spreading education of the environmental benefits of buying used fashion. They even collaborated with Olivia Wilde to create a second hand t-shirt collection, promoting the significance of second hand fashion to mainstream audiences. With a wide arrange of options of 35k brands, ThredUP is suitable for any shopper. Take their original fashion footprint calculator quiz if you want to make a positive impact!
2. American Apparel
Image Credit: americanapparel.com
At its height of popularity, American Apparel dominated internet platforms such as Tumblr with their sexualized, high flash photography advertising and straightforward designs. It originally went bankrupt in 2017, shutting down 110 stores. However, the brand was revived by Canadian manufacturer Gildan Activewear, the second most sustainability managed apparel company, who revamped its image to highlight female empowerment. Currently, American Apparel operates as an online only platform. Currently, the brand emphasizes its “ethically made and sweatshop free culture. According to their website: “All production employees at our owned facilities earn significantly more than the legally-mandated minimum industry wages in all the countries where we operate. Moreover, in the majority of our locations, our employees receive valuable competitive benefits such as 24-hour access to medical clinics, free transportation to and from work, subsidized meals, and access to financial aid programs.” They also value the LGBTQ+ community, donating to the Trevor Project and the Montreal Pride Parade.
Fall is underway and 2020 has proven to be unlike any other – your clothing should do the same. Here is your guide to Fall 2o2o’s hottest fashion trends to look your best, stay warm, and stay safe!
Whether or not leather ever went out of style is debatable, but Fall 2020 has surely made leather pants a staple. Real leather can be expensive but many stores now offer premium vegan faux leather as a more affordable option. Or, head to your local thrift stores and see what you can find… you might get lucky!
A classic look re-birthed! Sometimes the hottest trends aren’t new at all, but become popularized again by the younger generation. A collared shirt is great because it can take you from day to night. Wear a collared shirt as your typical professional look for work, or wear it more casually under an oversized crewneck sweater paired with jeans, shorts or a skirt.
Preppy is back! Sweater vests are doing well this season because of how cozy and versatile they are. It’s easy to find ones with basic colors or bold prints and patterns. Wear a sweater vest on its own or layered with a collard shirt underneath. If preppy isn’t your thing, a sweater vest can be edged up by adding accessories like chunky platform boots and a leather jacket.
Lime green is THE color for Fall 2020. Maybe it’s because we feel deprived on all the fun summer colors from being stuck indoors, but, nevertheless lime green is a good change from the typical fall rustic reds and oranges. This pop of color will be sure to make you stand out on the streets or on your zoom calls!
The most important accessory we should all be wearing this Fall (and the unforeseeable future) is a face mask. Since we all have to wear one, might as well make it the statement piece of your look – just make sure it’s doing its job! I like to get mine from Etsy. There are tons of patterns and styles to choose from, and it supports smaller businesses. Don’t be caught without one!
In just a few short months, the coronavirus’ impact on local businesses has already been substantial, creating lasting consequences for black-owned vintage shops in particular. While both global powerhouses and local retailers have shuttered their doors, local businesses have been hit the hardest with staggering financial consequences. Consumer preferences rapidly shift from hedonic to utilitarian as the demand and budget for investment goods dwindle across various consumer demographics. The pandemic’s implications for the garment industry are no different: consumers are increasingly prioritizing affordable, long-lasting essentials over ephemeral trends or designer staples. The need to shop sustainably becomes more crucial than ever.
It is important to recognize that black-owned businesses in particular have been disproportionately affected as the pandemic and resurgence in political turbulence coincide. And as consumers, it is our responsibility to remember who and what we are supporting with our purchasing power. While protesting, supporting grassroots organizations, petitioning, and engaging in conversations on racial justice are crucial for political progress, supporting black-owned businesses is one of the most impactful and sustainable ways to demonstrate allyship. After all, elevating black voices and supporting black communities are necessary to create lasting changes.
Below is a list of ten top black-owned thrift stores and consignment shops, which offer one-of-a-kind vintage staples at accessible costs all over the country. From Fyre Vintage, a philanthropic vintage shop celebrating local artisans, to Small Needs, a vintage wonderland, these stores offer the opportunity to promote black-owned local businesses, shop sustainably, and find timeless statement pieces for your wardrobe. Think carefully about the implications of your purchases, remember the people behind the clothes you’re supporting, promote black-owned businesses and artisans, and have fun digging!
10. Roam Vintage
Founded by Natasha Zoë Garrett,Roam Vintage is an online thrift store based in LA. Natasha hand-picks and curates Roam Vintage’s product assortment of clothing, accessories, and home decor. Roam vintage is the perfect place to browse for intricate, earth-toned garments, chunky knits, and leather accessories.
New @RoamVintage drop for sale on 6/11 at 6:30 PM PST. Photo credits: Roam Vintage Instagram Page https://www.instagram.com/roam.vintage/
9. Shirley and Alice
Shirley and Alice was founded by Khalilah Williams-Webb, the personal stylist for the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony. This Brooklyn-based indy consignment store offers one-of-a-kind vintage staples. From a custom Alexander Wang purse to an embroidered 70s vest, shopping here is like digging through a treasure chest. In addition to being a vintage dreamland, Shirley and Alice supports local designers and businesses through collaborations and partnerships. It also fosters a strong sense of community among its fans through its pop up events, from Wine and Sip night to art fairs.
8. Ephrance Vintage
Ephrance Vintage is an Austin-based vintage store and Depop shop that features bold colors, geometric prints, and androgynous silhouettes. In addition to offering funky everyday staples, Ephrance Vintage is currently donating 75% of its proceeds to Six Square, a cultural center in Austin that celebrates black arts, music, and history.
Founded by Creative Director Arlinda McIntosh, The Sofistafunk label promotes slow-fashion consumption through its versatile, zero-waste skirts, which are all Handmade-to-Order. The brand brings Victorian-style silhouettes to the contemporary market with their funky details and couture prints. The voluminous skirts are designed to be worn for a myriad of occasions. The signature skirt, called The Gathering, is inspired by McIntosh’s childhood memories of her mother working in cotton fields in North Carolina. As Arlinda explained, “I was especially drawn to their full skirts, which seemed to blow musically on the wind, they were passed down and multifunctional. I’d watch them pin the hemlines up to the waist to create a large pocket that would hold various items needed for that day’s tasks, then by simply changing a few things and adding accessories, that same skirt that served them so well during the day seemed to magically transform into the most elegant outfit for other activities throughout the week. These and other memories left me with a full Anthology of future “Skirt Stories” to tell.”
Sofistafunk’s signature “Gathering Skirt” in its Reversible Late Day Style. Photo credits: https://sofistafunk.com/collections/the-gathering/products/a-late-day-gathering-1
6. Kuration Collective
Kuration Collective, a funky collection of hand-picked Alaskan vintage, is a Depop and Instagram-based second-hand resale shop. The brand prides itself upon its intricately-curated 80s Alaskan aesthetic and timeless collection of vintage Disney staples. The prices fall between $25.00 -$125.00, offering a wide array of styles from graphic tee’s to occasionwear. Kuration Collective donates 10% of its profits to Essie Justice Group, a nonprofit, intersectionalist organization of women combatting mass incarceration reform.
90s Disney Mom Jeans for sale on Kuration Collective’s Depop page. Photo credits: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBJbQZ9ldfi/
5. Marché Rue Dix
Marché Rue Dix, a concept store situated in Crown Heights Brooklyn, is any creative’s wonderworld. Their brick and mortar location carries quality vintage clothing, along with the work of contemporary Brooklyn creatives. From graphic tee’s and natural beauty products to teas and spices, Marché Rue Dix carries it all.
4. Second Hand Shawty
A global second-hand powerhouse, Second Hand Shawty is an eclectic e-commerce platform that prides itself upon its inclusive, one-of-a-kind wardrobe. Gender non-conforming and inclusive in sizing, the statement garments feature fun colors, oversized silhouettes, and funky 80s styles. Most garments are priced between $20.00 – $40.00.
3. People of 2Morrow
People of 2Morrow is an e-commerce fashion, accessory, and home decor vintage shop. The brand’s core values are centered around environmental sustainability, and it seeks to provide social responsible garments and home adornment for the eco-conscious millennial. With a slightly higher price point than the majority of the brands on this list, the platform features some designer finds. Most of the garments are around $80.00- $100.00.
80s Fuchsia Linen Blazer for sale on Peopleof2Morrow’s online store. Photo credits: https://www.peopleof2morrow.com/products/fuchsia-linen-vintage-blazer
2. Small Needs
A thrifting fanatic favorite, Small Needs is an online Etsy shop that sells whimsical designer vintage-wear. Its carefully curated collection is enchantingly beautiful, from its vintage 1960s womens clothing and fairy tale dresses and Dior blazers to its plissé gowns, lace corsets, and ornate 70s jewelry. Just a scroll through their Instagram feed will take your breath away. Feminine, Parisian, dreamy, and sexy, Small Needs is the place to turn when you’re in search of a vintage investment.
60s Lace Bustier for sale on Small Needs’ Etsy Store. Photo credits: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBCDd0ng4m8/
1. Fyre Vintage
Fyre Vintage is a Michigan-based vintage shop founded by @Daynabyday. Dayna strives to combat the dire environmental impact of fast fashion by encouraging second-hand shopping and supporting local businesses. Through Fyre Vintage, she seeks to promote second-hand consumption and to celebrate local artisans and businesses. 10% of Fyre’s proceeds are used to purchase sustainable, new clothing to donate to women’s shelters in Detroit.
90s Jones New York Oversized Houdstooth Blazer for sale on Fyre Vintage. Photo credits: https://www.fyrevintage.com/shop/vintage-jones-new-york-houndstooth-oversized-blazer
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Photo credits: Roam Vintage, SofistaFunk, Kuration Collective, People of 2Morrow, Small Needs, & Fyre Vintage
Gone are the days of searching high and low in small, stuffy, and crowded stores looking for the best of the best thrift at the perfect price.
Secondhand market places and thrift stores have now evolved to a different platform: the internet. With constant technological advancements, this is a (really) long time coming. Secondhand online retailers have taken to the internet to resell and therefore recycle gently used clothing. Before many retailers took initiative, the only issue with online consignment was that it takes more time and resources to sell only one size of one unit. Now, online secondhand retailers are sourcing their products from customers who are not only getting a portion of the revenue, but also taking the pictures for the site themselves. Cutting out all that intermediary work saves time and money.
It’s important to remember that these retailers are not comparable to your local Goodwill. One key quality that they all have in common is that they are not selling low quality secondhand items. Instead, they are selling pieces from luxury designers and upper market retailers. By doing the curating and buying themselves, customers no longer have to dig through bins or sort through racks to find a coveted luxury piece.
This not only allows people to afford luxury items without breaking the bank, but is also good for the environment. The fashion industry is one of the top waste producing industries in the world. From the manufacturing to the care of clothing, each aspect causes large amounts of waste and pollution. Even if an item of clothing is ethically and sustainably made, that does not mean that the care and disposal of the garment will be sustainable. Just think of the gallons of water that it takes to wash a load of laundry. These retailers are making a small step in the right direction to aiding our current environmental situation.
Image Source: The Real Real
Most known for their vast collection of luxury consignment garments, The RealReal has one of the best collection of upper market clothing. Selling everything from Yeezy to Chanel, they have a vast collection of clothing.The bar to sell to The RealReal is high. They will not sell lower market clothing. They operate mainly online but also have their own brick and mortar store in New York City.
Image Source: Tradesy.com
Tradesy is more linnet than The RealReal when it comes to the brands they carry. Although they still have a selection of designer brands, they carry an even wider selection of lower market and even unnamed brands. However, Tradesy has more competitive pricing on designer items than The RealReal, with their clothing being more gently worn.
Image source: Grailed.com
Specializing in streetwear designers rather than luxury, Grailed has a great selection for men. Grailed also allows selling from customer to customer, meaning that prices are negotiable, and with international shipping, Grailed is available to shoppers outside of the United States.
Image Source: @thrift_queen_nyc
This Instagram account specializes in pulling clothing from thrift stores around New York City and selling them through Instagram. With a mix of luxury and exclusive finds, Thrift Queen is attracting a social media following and works directly with their customers, who have the option to request different sizes and brands. It basically acts as a personal thrift shopper.
Secondhand online retailers are taking off, and the market is a huge opportunity for not only businesses, but also for customers looking for luxury at a less expensive price point.
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