Learn About Sustainable Fashion: The Myth of Large Fashion Retailers

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A challenge many ethical shoppers face today is the lack of supply chain information. Without knowing anything about fabrics sourcing and clothes stitching, it’s difficult for shopper to make informed decisions and buy better. But the problem is that even clothing companies do not necessarily know where their clothes are being made.

Since majority of today’s fashion brands do not own their manufacturing facilities, it is difficult to monitor or control working conditions throughout the supply chain. A brand might place an order with one supplier, who carves up the order and subcontracts the work to other factories. This happens regularly across the industry and presents a great challenge for brands themselves as well as the people working in the supply chain who become invisible in this process.

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As more garment factory accidents surfaced and were made known to the public, large retailers, especially the ones that are linked to the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse, are more conscious about their reputation, and they have gotten much more careful with the factories they work with. They create their code of conducts and regularly audit factories to ensure the working conditions meet their standards. Chikako Oka, a lecturer at Royal Holloway University, found that reputation-conscious companies (mostly large retailers) had 35 percent fewer working violations in their Cambodian factories than did generic brands. After all, large retailers still have more incentives and resources to defend their reputations and treat their workers better than some smaller retailers (generally speaking).

Source: http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/the-myth-of-the-ethical-shopper/

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Earlier this year, Fashion Revolution and Ethical Consumer worked together to rank companies based on their supply chain transparency. And Baptist World Aid also did an executive summary on brands based on working policies too. Full reports here and here.

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I hope you find this post helpful! Have a good weekend!

Smile and style on~

SK


Outfit Information:

Dress :: Greylin (Made in USA)

Other Greyline Dresses that I love:

Shoes: Zara (Old, ZARA has a sustainable collection now)

Not ZARA, but Other Orange Evening Heels that I Admire:

Where to Buy Sustainable Fashion: Top 5 Sustainable Athletic Brands

The latest crop of athletic brands are going above and beyond to make work out clothes not only stylish but also eco-friendly and ethically made! Here are my favorite active wear labels that are chic and sustainably made!

1) Patagonia

Patagonia sets a high bar for other sustainable athletic brands. Patagonia offers Fair Trade Certified products and pays its workers premium wages.  In addition, it uses eco-friendly fabric materials such as organic cotton and recycled nylon to reduce its environmental footprints!

I received this Patagonia jacket as a gift, and I am in love.  It’s the most practical and functional jacket EVER, and I wear them everywhere and every day.

2) Alternative Apparel

Alternative Apparel sells super soft basics. While their manufacturing is outsourced, they work with factories that are certified by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), an independent, non-profit team of global social compliance experts that audits factories to ensure safe and humane manufacturing.

70% of their garments are made from sustainable materials such as non-toxic dyes, organic and recycled fabrics, and they use methods such as G2 wash (60% water usage reduction compared to other washing methods) to lessen water consumption.

3) Adidas by Stella McCartney

Adidas has been named one of the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ every year since 2005, and Stella McCartney is a high-end fashion brand that is committed to sustainable practices and never uses fur or leather in any of their products.  Their tennis shoes are stylish and definitely on my wish list!

4) TEEKI

Made out of recycled plastic bottles, these yoga pants have unique patterns and get great grip even in a sweaty condition. They are highly recommended for hot yoga!

5) Free People

While I don’t have enough information to say Free People as a whole is a sustainable company, these particular yoga pants I own from Free People are made in the U.S.A.. I got compliments all the time!

6) Threads for Thought

Threads for Thought is the most accessible sustainable fashion brand I know. Located at any Wholefoods, Threads for Thought made their clothes responsibly, and I love their organic cotton shirts! I personally owned two V-necks from them, and they fit like very well!

Hope you enjoy this post!

Smile and style on!

SK

Shopping Tips: Top 3 Thrift /Consignment /Sample Stores in LA

Aside from the constant 70-degree weather, living in LA also means that I am blessed with high quality thrift stores and samples stores.  Today, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite thrift/consignment/designer sample stores that you can actually find great deals at!

1) The Closet Trading Co.

Website:  http://www.theclosetsb.net

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-closet-santa-monica-2

I thrifted this Chanel Navy pants along with a pair of Schutz and a Mac Jacobs jacket for less then $200. This thrift store purchases a lot of gently used designer items, and it organizes the clothes very neatly in highly-visible racks. One of the things I dislike about thrift stores is that I usually have to go through a lot of junk before finding a decent item, but I didn’t experience that here!

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2) Shopaholic Sample Shop

Website: http://www.shopaholicsamplesales.com

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/shopaholic-sample-sales-santa-monica

Before any designers places an order with a garment factory, they usually order a sample first to test out the quality of the finishing product.  In theory, these sample items usually go on sale before a collection is launched and they have a cheaper price tag.  I heard of them in Europe but rarely saw anything in LA until I stumbled upon this sample shop on Melrose.

While the sustainability factor varies depending on the designer you purchased from, it lets us buy higher quality designer clothes at a hefty discount! This store sells a lot of Aussie fashion brands such as Keepsake, Cameo, etc that you see on BLKN and Revolve!

I bought this Keepsake two-piece outfit because they are very versatile – I can wear them as a dress or separately as a top vs. skirt! I provided links to other Keepsake two pieces below. Hope you enjoy!

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3) Madison Ave of Melrose

This consignment store regularly updates product images on their Instagram so you don’t have to waste time driving there hoping that you will find great deals! They also ship worldwide but if you are planning on buying expensive designer handbags, I will still recommend paying a visit in person.


Here are my outfit #3 and #4 from my September’s 10-Piece Fashion Diet!

What is 10-Piece Fashion Diet? I picked out 10 items from my closet (including shoes but not accessories) to make 4-6 different outfits.  You can see all 10 items I picked here, and my outfit 1 and outfit 2.

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I started a 10-Piece Fashion Diet as a way to motivate myself to restyle my existing clothes more often and curb my shopping habit. I hope that you will find some inspirations from these restyling blog posts!

Smile and style on!

SK


Outfit Info

Keepsake Two-Piece

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Minny (The white is sold out 🙂

Wool Pants: Chanel (Thrifted, but similar below)

Purse: YSL