This past weekend I met up with some college girl friends and at one point during the deep conversation, I was able to open up about my journey to shop with conscience. I love these opportunities because this cause is so close to my heart. But it is also a sensitive topic that people can very easily be defensive or feel judged about. My sweet friend (Hi Natalie!) jumped and grabbed a pen and asked “what are your favorite shops?” I can’t describe how happy that made me that maybe just one other person is interested in changing some of their habits. If you find yourself in a similar place, but don’t know where to start, here is my list. And I’d love to hear your suggestions!
- *Pact cotton basics: socks, undies, tshirts, etc for men/women/baby (Dave loves the socks I got him from here)
- *Krochet Kids stylish fair trade clothing made by women in Peru and Uganda who are pursuing their personal dreams. Each item is signed by the creator #knowwhomadeit
- *Patagonia this well known company has a fair trade section and their other products are so well made you will only buy them once.
- *Everlane designer styles with radically transparent production
- *Brass designer quality dresses and tees (more coming soon!) with transparent sourcing and amazing customer service
- *Eileen Fisher designer quality and fashion with ethics and supply you can feel good about supporting
- *Rifle Paper Co I recently told a friend “I want a Rifle Paper Co.-themed life.” Everything is made in the USA and the quality and art is phenomenal.
- Nisolo Men and Women’s clothing and accessories, I can’t wait to someday get a pair of these shoes
- *ChapterTen Watches I have been eyeing these for a while and am hoping I can get one of these beauts soon. (UPDATE: Dave got me one of these for our first anniversary, I wear it every day)
- *Matt and Nat these have me drooling… sigh (UPDATE: I found one of their purses on thredup and LOVE it)
Other Companies I would love to try:
- Sweet Lupine cute, stylish, affordable — is there any reason not to shop here?
- The Root Collective beautiful shoes made from handwoven fabric in Guatemala
- Trades of Hope fair trade accessories from around the world
- Hanky Panky women’s underwear, lingerie, etc
- Purpose Jewelry Jewelry made by survivors of slavery
- Kaikuna athletic wear – fair trade certified, good for the planet
- Kowtow basics from New Zealand
- Mata Traders cute clothing and jewelry
- MNKR graphic tees for men and women
- The Shine Project cute jewelry made by 1st generation college students in the US
- Homage vintage styled athletic wear
- ASOS Africa a fair trade sub-brand
- The-Acey Fair trade with some edge
- The Good Trade a community, blog, and more centered around responsible shopping
- Life+Style+Justice Ethical Shopping huge list of where to get items for men and women
- Free State a growing resource to find ethical shopping option
- U.S. Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
- Slavery Footprint
- Project Just a carefully curated list according to category
- Free2Work grades assigned to specific companies
- Buy It Once if you can’t find it fair trade, why not just buy it once?
Some companies to try to avoid supporting:
Note: I myself have shopped at most of these places (and still buy kitty litter at Walmart), but it’s good to be aware.
- Victoria Secret (source | source)
- Forever 21 for sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan where children are forced to harvest cotton (source)
- Aeropostale for sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan (source)
- Toys ‘R’ Us for sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan (source)
- Urban Outfitters for sourcing cotton from Uzbekistan (source)
- H&M sweatshops and child labor (source | source)
- Nike (source)
- The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic (source | source | source | video)
- Ralph Lauren (source)
- Disney sweatshop use in China, Bangladesh and Haiti (source)
- Nestle child labor is used in their cocoa production
- Walmart (source | source)