Fall is upon us. My favorite season. I love the change of crisp air and renewed energy it brings, and vibrant colors rolled out like a red carpet on the sidewalks.
And I love the clothing.
All summer long, I ache for my jeans, boots, and cozy sweaters. Not only do I prefer the look and texture of cooler-weather clothing, but I feel most like me when I slip into this style uniform.
In the past, the switch of seasons would have me running to the nearest T.J. Maxx or Target to fill my cart with trendy cozy sweaters, leggings, and whatever else I thought I might need for the new season. But since making the switch to a capsule wardrobe and shopping more sustainably, I not only don’t want to be seduced by a multitude of unnecessary trendy pieces, I want to give my money to more ethical sources.
Buying brand new pieces from ethical brands can get very expensive. That is why I love thrifting. I’ve found quality brands and brand- to like-new pieces from thrift stores for extreme discounts, which proved to be instrumental in building my capsule wardrobe this year. But there are still a few specific bits and pieces that I either won’t want to thrift or will have a hard time finding. By shopping from an ethical brand, you have a better chance at supporting safe work environments, fair living wages, and sustainable materials.
Creating a wishlist is invaluable to help curb shopping habits. By keeping a running list of “want” and “need” items, it’s easier to build an intentional wardrobe. I use wardrobe lists mainly to keep track of gaps in my closet, with a few “want” items that are either borderline trendy or not desperate needs.
1. Boody Wear — Long-Sleeve Bodysuit | I’ve never owned a bodysuit — they’ve never appealed to me in the past. But when I wear a simple black shirt, it’s usually as a layering piece, and I realized this could be a perfect wardrobe edition. Ethical brand BoodyWear makes their clothing out of sustainable materials such as bamboo, which is good for sensitive skin, regulates your body temp, and is insanely comfortable.
2. Everlane — Sweaters | I honestly can’t find an ethical brand that sells exactly what I envision for my dream basic sweater. But Everlane, a 100% transparent, ethical company has some lovely cashmere and cotton options. The colors I’ve been drawn to in my Pinterest browsings are a soft, dusty rose or blue, a burnt sienna, or grey.
1. Everlane and Madewell — Jeans | Everlane is also known for their jeans. I recently bought their Authentic-Stretch High Rise Cigarette Ankle Jeans for this season and will post a review soon. I’m also eyeing their Authentic-Stretch Skinny Jeans in the black wash.
Madewell also makes high-quality denim and recently came out with a line of Fair Trade jeans, from which they are committed to giving back their profits to the people who made the products. In addition, they host a denim recycle program. You can bring in a pair of your old jeans, any brand, for recycling and receive a discount on a new pair of denim. While I don’t live near a Madewell, I have quite a few old pairs of jeans just lying around and will take advantage of this program when I can.
1. Hunter — Boots | I found myself drawn to these waterproof boots after seeing them literally all over Pinterest. Hunter is committed to their employees, requiring ethical standards to be met in all of their suppliers. I don’t own a functional pair of tall fall/winter boots and this particular pair is also insulated — a New England must-have.
1. Fjallraven Kanken — Backpack Mini | I’ve heard Fjallraven has some work to do as far as ethics and sustainability, but I think they are still taking great steps to create a better system. Made of recycled and/or organic materials, their backpacks are certainly trendy but I can’t help but love them. I should save this for when I’m in a position to do more hiking and camping, but I still have my eye on their mini Kanken backpack in Graphite.
2. Black Crossbody | A minimalistic, black crossbody bag is high on my wish list, but another item I just can’t seem to find an exact “dream” match for from ethical brands. This black bag from O My Bag is beautiful and a close competitor, I would just rather a zip top over a flap.
A few pieces that were on my wishlist but I recently thrifted are bootcut jeans; a warm-toned flannel; a basic grey sweatshirt; and a utility jacket. There are still a couple more items on my list, such as a fall-winter transitional jacket, warm leggings, and slip-on sneakers, but I haven’t found ethical/sustainable brands to suit those needs. As always, I keep my eyes open in thrift stores for all of these items, but hopefully someday we will see more and more brands doing their part to slow down the fashion industry.