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The Best Online Stores for Sustainable & Ethical Fashion

by gwcmag


Image: Urbankissed

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If you love shopping from all sorts of ethical and sustainable brands, we have a treat for you: carefully curated online shops. 

While it’s always worth the time it takes to hand-pick new clothing items you’ll love for a long time, searching across multiple websites for pieces that match your style isn’t realistic for everyone. That’s why it’s so great to source your clothes and accessories from a one-stop shop you know only carries the most conscious brands available. 

Some online shops are designed to suit certain styles, while others highlight artisan-made brands. Before you check out a few of our favorites, take a look at our recommended criteria. 

Badge or Filter System: Many online shops highlight what makes each product ethical and sustainable through symbols in the description that correlate with a value or criteria. Some also allow you to filter your search through these so you only see items that align with your specific standards. 

Shipping and Packaging: While many online shops leave the packaging and shipping to each brand, some take accountability for the transport emissions by partnering with carbon-offset programs. When searching for products on these sites, look for brands that use recyclable or compostable packaging. 

Discernment: When buying from an ethical online shop, it’s important to know that it carefully and critically selected its brands. Some retailers have a sustainability agreement they require their partners to adhere to before they sign on to ensure integrity across their site. Check to make sure the shop vets the brands so you can get the safe and ethically-made pieces you’re looking for. 

Don’t Forget to Use Your Head!

While these retailers make it easy, different people define sustainability differently. We still recommend that you look closely at anything that catches your eye to ensure it adheres to your values. 

Wearwell is a women-led online retailer that only hosts brands that meet its impact criteria. Its vetting process involves assessing how a potential partner measures its own impact, inquiring about its environmental process, and searching for third-party certifications. Each product page on Wearwell has icons, such as non-toxic dyes or compostable packaging, that denote how sustainable a piece is and in what way. The shop also has a secondhand program that allows you to buy and sell used Wearwell pieces at a discount. 

Shop: Women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, period products, and home goods. 

Price Range: $12 to $350

Toad&Co is an online clothing retailer that uses environmentally friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, Tencel, hemp, recycled fibers, and Lenzing Modal. Its products have third-party certifications such as bluesign and OEKO-TEX. The brand holds its suppliers to a restricted substances list to ensure all of its clothing is safe and sustainable. Toad&Co offers closet clean-out kits to help customers give their clothes a second life in return for store credit. The brand’s packaging is reusable as well. It partners with Limeloop to send all orders in reusable mailers you can return for no extra cost. 

Shop: Women’s and men’s apparel.

Price range: $20 – $200

This online marketplace is home to over 100 eco-conscious brands. All of the products it hosts are vetted through its Slow & Ethical Index and must meet at least two of the listed values, such as sustainable materials or made to order. The site offers the option to filter its selection through selected values so its customers can easily make informed decisions that align with their personal ethics. Each brand ships directly to the customer to avoid waste. Urbankissed also partners with Tree-Nation to offset the CO2 emissions from delivery. 

Shop: Gifts, women’s and men’s apparel, handbags, swimwear, shoes, accessories, jewelry, beauty & wellness, and home goods.

Price range: $15 – $1500

The Folklore Marketplace is a Black-founded conglomerate that connects global brands and customers that value sustainability. It seeks to empower African designer brands and artisans by making their products available to international customers, while in turn increasing accessibility for the sustainable consumer. It’s based in New York City, but its partners are located in Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Europe, Milan, Morocco, and the U.S. Its selection offers everything from versatile luxury clothing to safe and ethically made beauty products. 

Shop: Gifts, women’s and men’s apparel, handbags, swimwear, shoes, accessories, jewelry, beauty & wellness, and home goods.

Price range: $10 – $1500

Rei (recreational equipment Inc.) offers much more than its titular outdoor goods. This Co-op holds all of its brands and goods to its Product Impact Standards, which include fair and safe supply chains, proper chemical management, and animal welfare. It has a selection of clothing made with organic cotton, and recycled materials, as well as collections that are bluesign certified and Forest Stewardship Council certified. REI also offers a selection of used gear you can trade in or shop for at a more affordable price. 

Shop: Women’s and men’s apparel, accessories, shoes, activewear, and gear. 

Price range: $20 – $350

This curated online marketplace is Black-owned and based in California. Galerie.La’s mission is to use community to build a platform devoted to providing accessible high-quality sustainable fashion items. It scouts ethical and sustainable designers from around the world to improve the social and environmental impact of fashion. The site uses a badge system that denotes which of its products are artisan, environmentally conscious, ethical, and locally made. 

Shop: Women’s and men’s apparel, accessories, jewelry, shoes, and beauty. 

Price range: $20 – $425

 

 



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