If you’ve kept up with my last post, you’ve seen how I’ve created outfits for my work backstage that feature methods to sustainably source outfits that can still be stylish. With the rainy spring weather of April approaching, it might seem like fashion has to be covered up by rain jackets with little ability to find attractive clothing. Eco-friendly and ethical fashion companies are often seen as unfashionable or strictly “hippie,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder, and after reading Eco Warrior Princess’ “‘Ugly’ is in the Eye of the Beholder,” it’s clear to me that what is seen as ugly or unfashionable in one person’s point of view is beautiful to another. Just because a company is labeled as “Sustainable” or provides ethical treatment of employees doesn’t mean their products are strictly for one taste or style. To see what I mean, take a look at these stylish weather outfits I’ve put together on inspiration boards:
Underneath this tan suede jacket from Eileen Fisher is a dark long-sleeve A-line skirt dress from eco-conscious and Fair Trade company People Tree in the U.K. To add a little variety and modern feel to this navy retro-esque dress, a pair of open-toe heels from Fortress of Inca adds some brightness to these muted tones. A great aspect of Fortress of Inca is not only does it provide fair wages, but it uses traditional Peruvian designs and craftsmanship in its products. Earrings from Mata Traders and a necklace from Faire Collection add more shades and tones of grey, blue, and gold for an eclectic look. Worried about the rain? No worries. This floral umbrella from U.K. sustainable fashion brand Deploy Workshop will keep you covered.
Wanting a more sleek, sophisticated look? Then look no further than this set which begins with a teal polka-dot top and teal pencil skirt from none other than the simple and feminine stylings of People Tree. For a coat with a more fitted look, add this coat from Elroy Apparel, whose designer partners with artisans in Indonesia and uses eco-friendly fabrics for the company’s products. Wanting more visual interest in your outfit? This coat’s woven detail in the back will show you’re unique but a person who still appreciates a simple grey color. With calf-length vegan boots from U.K. company Beyond Skin, you won’t be overlooked and with a bag from Maiyet, you’ll be happy to know your items are being kept in a product made by a luxury fashion brand who values artisanal craftsmanship. And, don’t forget to accessorize with earrings from Mata Traders and necklace of teal, navy, tan, and sea green from Faire Collection!
Looking for a cute date weekend outfit? Fall in love with this adorable umbrella print dress from Mata Traders, a company who partners with artisans in India. Stay warm with another great clothing piece from Elroy Apparel as you enjoy lunch at a french bistro. Eco-friendly brown boots from U.K. Bourgeois Boheme will help you around town towards your lunchtime date destination while tights from U.K. company Braintree Clothing keep you warm as you stroll through the rain. Keep a playful look with earrings from Mata Traders and Faire Collection, who sources their materials from seeds and other natural products from Ecuador, Peru, Vietnam, and Swaziland. This purse from online ethical fashion retailer Hearts.com will help you store your belongings and look stylish next to this brown coat from NYC-based company Vaute Couture.
From these sets for the April rain, I hope you’ve seen how the labels “Sustainable” and “Ethical” don’t necessarily translate to “ugly” or “undesirable.” This kind of fashion is for many styles and tastes, but unlike quickly mass-produced fashion, it values the story and meaning behind its products. There has been great debate over how to better explain Sustainable and Ethical Fashion, whether through government involvement or a label system, which you can read about in Eco-Cult’s post “Why We Need an Ethical Fashion Labeling System.” However, I hope the meaning behind this movement will become a part of society’s everyday purchasing habits and manufacturing processes. I hope that someday the label will simply be an everyday attitude of a conscious mind towards culture and the world.