When you first go green, making a Google search for sustainable brands will give you plenty of results. This is what I'd like you to consider first step actions - searching out companies that are already "there". Supporting brands in alignment with sustainable standards is definitely always encouraged. What are your sustainable standards? The ultimate concept includes fair trade production and organic construction. These key ideas support social responsibility and low human impact on the environment. But do you also include vegan standards in your fashion purchases?
Many trendsetters are choosing to wear the latest fluffy, furry trending coats this season and doing so in vegan furs. I have also seen many vegan leather options available due to the rising demand of the trend this season. You should be aware ethics of vegan furs are still being debated. Of course, the production harms no animal, but does it encourage real fur as a trend?
My opinion lies with Ashley Palmer who's article can be found on PETA's website [find suggestions and insights from her PETA article here].
I often find myself browsing online fashion, purveying new, sustainable brands with interesting design. An article from Alle Connell caught my attention. I loved the avant-garde aesthetic of the independent label she ran across on Instagram and reviewed [read her article]. I especially enjoyed the selection of clothing from a category called "All Black Everything" (go THERE yourself). This is when I dug in. Generally, a look at an "About Us" or "FAQ" page on a website can reveal a label's ideology. I was pleased to hear Marigold Shadows used only vegan fur and leather.
As you may be chillingly aware, it's very cold this winter. My southern bones begged for a warmer coat. They had beautiful faux fur coat options. I was just a little late to the party; they sold out before I could decide on my favorite coat (sign up for email notifications - check).
I wasn’t done dreaming of warmer winter options and proceeded to the vegan leather. A great, affordable way to supplement your wardrobe is with the Zuriel Fingerless Gloves, $20. There were about 24 other vegan leather items on their site last check. I highly suggest you take a look.
Now comes my next-step moment. If you are already supporting sustainable goods, what else can you do? I liked Marigold Shadows' style so much, I sent an email. Since they were furry friend friendly, what other sustainable practices do/can they support? Due to their timely response and open dialog, I was able to learn that the owner approved working conditions when she made an in-person inspection before her venture began. The company started up as a small niche boutique. When it made sense, they made the switch to an online boutique.
Instead of making large runs on items, their philosophy thrives on short orders, or smaller quantities available for each item. This method ensures sold out items return only with more interest via request, which cuts down on fashion waste. I was even more pleased to hear they were interested in what I was looking for, what standards I was hoping to find, and in researching ways to solve some of my concerns.
I want to thank the ladies at Marigold Shadows for the conversation and beautiful clothing. This is what we should hope for - a constructive dialog where voices matter and the power of my dollars drive awareness. This is the next step. Contact places where you want to find sustainable options. Let them know your concerns. Encourage people to make sustainable choices.
FASHIONISTA TIP - One of the pieces I decided to buy (below) will allow me to get more use out of items I already own, and for only $15.00.