The Green Deal
A great debate within the ethical/sustainable community is whether or not holiday sales fit the mold for brands trying to change the fashion industry. After all, encouraging frivolous spending on things you don’t necessarily need simply because of a good deal isn’t exactly sustainable, now is it? Last year, I kept myself free of temptation by disabling email notifications on my phone, limiting my social media use, and spending Thanksgiving abroad with spotty cell reception - You know, to make sure I wasn’t sitting around on a phone or laptop shopping.
But hey, I get it. Some of you work hard all year, so you don’t mind saving a few dollars here and there by shopping a good sale on the things you do need. After all, if you’re dipping into your savings account to splurge on a new coat it kind of defeats the purpose of having a savings account in the first place, right? That’s why I’ve decided to share a list of the retailers I recommend checking out for current and upcoming deals.
For the past 2 years I’ve been very selective with my shopping, and have been working on truly getting to know my closet to make sure I was making the best of the things I already owned. (If you need tips on how to do this, check out my posts “The Closet Diary” parts 1 and 2.) Because of this I’m allowing myself to partake in a little shopping for things that I’ve been missing for my curated closet. Before I share some of the deals I’ll be taking advantage of, I’ll share some tips on how to stay focused and level headed during the Post Thanksgiving Shopping Olympics.
Understand that if you wouldn’t buy something when it’s not on sale, you shouldn’t buy it just because it is on sale
Make yourself a list PRIOR to starting your shopping of acceptable things to buy based on opportunities you see in your closet.
For example, I’m in need of a few LA winter layering basics… See, its not yet cold enough here to wear my knitted sweaters everyday, but I can’t get away with my summer uniform of white short sleeve tees accompanied by tropical printed skirts. I need mid-weight long sleeves and lightweight pullovers.
Build yourself a values checklist. This means, a criteria based on things that matter to you, and make sure you stick to it while shopping. A few things on my checklist:
Fabrics: Opt for natural and organic fabrics first. Recycled or Dead-stock fabrics as a last resort. Absolutely no virgin polyester.
Brand must include details on production practices. Small batch vs. Mass produced fast fashion. Handmade is a plus.
Diversity must be present in branding.
The brand must take part in promoting a circular economy.
Read up on the company’s return policy for sale items.
Avoid shopping final sale items if you’re not familiar with the brand. If you constantly find yourself having a difficult time finding the right size on a particular item of clothing (I.E. Jeans), avoid final sale like the plague. Period.
Make sure the items you’re placing in your cart are things you plan to actually wear and, just as importantly, care for. Note that certain items will state they’re dry clean only, or must be washed by hand. Is this something you’re willing to do?
Got your lists and guidelines ready? Okay, now lets do some shopping:
I’m sure it helps to know that I shop these brands even when they’re not having a sale. My go to denim jacket and signature brass and silver earrings were purchased from this brand.
Able employs women who have overcome hardships to make WEARABLE and FASHIONABLE clothing. I have to emphasize those words because everything I’ve purchased from them has fit impeccably and have helped shed the idea that ethical clothing must be shapeless and frumpy. They continue their ethical production by providing fair wages to all employees based on the local markets, and they’ve grown to become a lifestyle brand offering the following:
They’re also a great shop for gifts! They’re currently offering 30% site wide.
Click here to shop at Able.
The vintage denim all the IT girls on instagram seem to be wearing also happens to have a story of sustainability. They take vintage Levi’s and give them a new life. All of their pre-loved jeans are repurposed at their factory in downtown LA while avoiding the harsh chemicals often used by mainstream denim companies. Every line is made in limited quantities, and every pair of jeans is unique. Although they promote a vintage style I’d say they’re pretty trendy in a non temporary way. They make me want to be an instagram model for-real for-real, but I just can’t seem to get the angles and filters combination right. At Re/done you can shop:
Repurposed Vintage Denim
Tees, tanks, & bodysuits
Sweaters and Outerwear
They’re usually on the $$$ side, but they currently have deals for 30%-70% off.
Click here to shop at Re/Done.
This brand makes some of the most comfortable basics using eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton and eco-jersey made from recycled materials. If you’re searching for comfy loungewear to wear at home all winter or just everyday classics like tees and hoodies you should definitely checkout their collection. They go for that chic “lived-in” look that everyone loves making their apparel classic and modern all at one.
Youth (for the little ones in your life)
Their favorite sustainable partnering brands
Click here to shop Alternative Apparel.
Accompany does the work of finding the most beautiful artisan made goods around the world for you. Through their carefully curated collection they’ve redefined what I thought was artisan fashion by selecting fashion forward pieces by brands I’ve learned to love. Bonus, they often carry one of my favorite sustainable fashion designers - Mara Hoffman!! By providing work for artisans globally they help make long term change in the lives of individuals and communities alike.
Dresses, Jumpsuits, Outerwear
Artisan Made Home-goods
Handmade Jewelry and Accessories
All weekend through to Cyber Monday they’re offering 20-40% off! Click here to shop Accompany.
My go-to brand for impeccably made leather shoes. Nisolo aims to change the way shoes are produced by rejecting cheap labor and choosing to pay artisans fair wages for their craft. Their shoes are currently produced in Nairobi, Kenya & Trujillo, Peru using sustainable practices and they’re made to last. At Nisolo you can shop:
Artisan hand-made Shoes
Bags and Accessories
Use code EXTRA15 for 15% off your Nisolo Order.
Its in the name: They make everyday basics using organic materials. Organic fabrics are not only benificial for your skin (just like fruits and veggies), they’re also the better option for the environment. Organic Basics makes each piece with long-term in mind. They keep their line simple, so they can focus on durability and fit. At Organic Basics you can shop:
Tees & Tanks
They’re currently offering 25% their entire collection. On any other day use my code organicbasicsxcj15 for 15% off.
Click here to shop Organic Basics.
Easily within my top 5 ethical brands. Vetta makes beautiful clothing in soon-to-be classic silhouettes through small capsules a few times a year. In the true spirit of slow-fashion, most of their pieces are versatile, and can be worn multiple ways so you can make the most out of just one piece. They only use the most sustainable fabrics making them an easy choice. At VETTA you can shop:
Tees and blouses
Skirts and Dresses
If you haven’t already checked them out, this is the perfect time. They are offering 10% off for Black Friday and Cyber Monday using code BFCM.
Click here to shop with VETTA.
So that sums up the sales I felt were worth sharing this weekend. Hopefully this will help guide you towards a more ethical decision if you’re already wishing to partake in this weekend’s shopping. If you haven’t quite found what you need, be sure to check out my Brands page for more retailers worth supporting. These brands operate in a small scale and pay their workers a fair wage. However, in order to operate this way they require our constant support. Again, I don’t encourage senseless shopping or spending just because of a sale. So if you’re not in the market for anything new the best you could do is bookmark this page and come back to it once you’re truly ready to make conscious decisions.