5 Women-Owned Sustainable Fashion Brands You'll Love
Have you ever wondered how a fast fashion brand is able to sell a garment to you at an extremely low price? More often than not, many fast fashion powerhouses keep retail prices low by not only using cheaper, synthetic fabrics like polyester to make their clothes (which can take between 20 to 200 years to decompose in a landfill *1), but also by working with factories that pay their garment workers extremely low wages for their high-skilled labor. In some geographic areas, this can be as low as $2 a month. And a shocking 80% of garment makers are women between the ages of 18-35. *2
On the other end of the spectrum, when you purchase from a sustainable fashion brand that values and upholds ethical business practices and ensures that the factories they work with (or own) pay their garment workers a living wage, you are supporting many of the women who make our clothes. You can help to grow the conscious fashion movement by supporting brands that care about the people and planet. To get you started, I’ve listed below 5 women-owned sustainable fashion brands that I think you’ll love.
Founder: Linda Balti (with her Co-Founder husband, Christoph Frehsee)
Location: San Francisco, CA
Category: Clothing (Women, Men, Kids) • Accessories • Home
Style: Classic • Feminine
Love Notes: Amour Vert means “Green Love” in French, and also means American manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, sustainable and ethical practices, and a zero-waste philosophy. They believe that we can make the world a greener place, one garment at a time. For every tee shirt purchased, they plant a tree in North America!
Founder: Amber Farr (with inspiration from her daughter, Flynn)
Location: Venice, CA
Category: Women’s Clothing • Accessories
Style: Feminine • Romantic
Love Notes: Flynn Skye is made by women for women. The brand's clothing pieces are USA-made - designed at their HQ in Venice, CA and produced in downtown LA. Their mission is to leave a positive influence in the fashion community, and emphasizes care for both the people who buy their clothing as well as the people who make them. All pieces are made in small batches, and the brand values transparency and sustainability.
Founder: Kathryn Hilderbrand
Location: Fall River, Massachusetts
Category: Women's Clothing
Style: Capsule • Minimal
Love Notes: Good Apparel upholds sustainable and ethical practices (including paying fair wages to its workers) and manufactures its pieces in the USA. The brand uses locally sourced and sustainable fabrics, and produces small runs of its new collections to cut down on waste!
Founder: Diana Youn
Location: San Francisco, CA
Category: Petite Women’s Clothing
Style: Modern • Feminine
Love Notes: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 43.5%+ of U.S. women are under 5’4”. *3 And yet, standard clothing is made for women between 5’5” to 5’8”. Petite sizes and styles are often an afterthought if it’s available, and sustainable, petite options are even more limited. Unspun Narrative is my latest venture, and we’re committed to creating fashion-forward, sustainable apparel tailored to proportionately fit petite women 5’4” and under - all through ethical manufacturing that advocates for the garment workers who make our clothes. We’re on our way, and will be launching in early 2020. Follow along on our journey by signing up here.
Founder: Yael Aflalo
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Category: Women's Clothing • Accessories • Plus Sizes, Petite Sizes, & Bridal Options
Style: Feminine • Vintage
Love Notes: Reformation’s pieces are made with sustainable fabrics and made in its downtown LA factory. RefScale (their enviro-footprint tracker) adds up its CO2 emissions, H2O usage, and waste generation to display its eco-impact on every product page, so customers can make conscious buying choices. They care about their workers and provide factory tours so you can see this for yourself!
Author Bio: Diana Youn is the sustainable fashion blogger behind The Chic Diary and the founder of Unspun Narrative - a modern apparel line for the conscious, petite woman. Be the first to know when we launch our premier collection, and join the petite tribe here.
CITATIONS & CREDITS
1 “End of Life.” Close The Loop, www.close-the-loop.be/en/phase/3/end-of-life.
2 “Living Wage.” Labour Behind the Label, www.labourbehindthelabel.org/campaigns/living-wage/
3 “Table 205. Cumulative Percent Distribution of Population by Height and Sex: 2007 to 2008.” U.S. Census Bureau, www2.census.gov/library/publications/2010/compendia/statab/130ed/tables/11s0205.pdf
Photos shown here belong to the respective brands mentioned in this article.