How To Curate An Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

August 25, 2016

Welcome back to the second installment on how to curate an ethical wardrobe!

In the first post, I talked about different ways to ditch fast fashion while sharing options for underwear basics.

This time I’m covering the basics we wear on the outside: tank tops, t-shirts, jeans, and a bonus pair of sneakers–modern essentials for the everywoman.


How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

Synergy Valley Tank

This 100% organic cotton swing tank comes from Synergy, a GOTS-certified company focusing on organic and fair trade fashion that aims to empower women in Nepal with jobs.  Available in four low-impact dye colors, this flow-y tank can easily be worn alone on hot days with a pair of cut-offs or under a blazer for a night out.


How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

Prana Jada Jean

For those of us feeling the squeeze from too many skinny jeans, this pair of bootcut jeans from Prana puts comfort at the forefront. Made of 79% organic cotton and available in three different colors (along with 3 different inseam options), it’s great to find a pair with different options while being eco-conscious and committed to fair labor.

How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

SustainU Seneca Tee

Made in the USA? Check.  Made from recycled materials? Check and check.  When you’re looking for a classic crewneck tee, SustainU’s 50% recycled cotton/50% recycled poly is your go-to t-shirt.  Along with the aforementioned recycled clothing cred, SustainU has worked with an eclectic assortment of groups ranging from The New York Times to Bonnaroo to TedX.


How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

goodsociety Organic Bootcut Jeans

If you’re looking for an ethical pair of jeans with Italian craftsmanship, consider goodsociety.  With 100% of the garment crafted in Italy, goodsociety has taken to heart the adage of “Keep it local” while also being GOTS-certified for organic cotton.  Side note: if you decide to get a pair of goodsociety’s, consider buying from bead & reel, an online ethical boutique that just happens to be vegan, too  🙂

How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

Toad & Co Imogene Tee

After scouring the internet for a striped shirt with organic materials that wasn’t fast fashion, I finally found the Imogene Tee. Toad & Co makes this shirt with 60% organic cotton (in three color options) and strives to partner with factories that have a “commitment to human rights” while instituting a Workplace Code of Conduct for their suppliers.

How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

Kuyichi Joy Straight

The vanguard of the organic denim movement, Kuyichi was the first brand to produce organic jeans with an impressive variety of styles for all genders.  Never one to rest on their laurels, Kuyichi are also members of fair trade and sustainability groups such as Fair Wear, Made By, and Fairtrade International while working towards the ever-challenging closed-loop manufacturing process.

How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

Tradlands The Edith

Finding a classic button-down that’s roomy, flattering, and contains sustainable materials can be quite the feat.  Luckily, Tradlands delivers with shirts inspired by menswear but made for the ladies. Containing 60% organic cotton and strategic button dplacement for “no more boob gap,” there’s an added bonus of stateside manufacturing since all shirts are made in Chicago.

How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Basics

The People’s Movement Brazier Ekocycle Runner

Once you’ve got your foundational garments down, wondering what to put on your feet? Enter the retro-cool Brazier Ekocycle Runner. Made in collaboration with former Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier, this vegan running shoe is made from recycled PET plastic and is even built to withstand “high-mileage training.”  The shoe company People’s Movement uses upcycled plastic and organic materials in their production, thus upholding their mission to reduce the plastic in our ocean that deeply affects our entire ecosystem and personal health.

Got any ethical picks that you’d like to share?  Let me know in the comments!

And stay tuned for the next installment where I’ll cover cute and kind finds for the workplace 🙂

Also by Kim: How to Curate an Ethical Wardrobe: Underwear

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Kick Your Fast Fashion Addiction

Conscious Wardrobe: Making the Most of What I Have

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Photos: Respective Brands

Kim, a recent Portland, OR transplant, is always on the lookout for cute street style. If she's not caught in the Pinterest vortex of fashion and tasty food, she's reading, running, or writing--not necessarily in that order. You can check her out on Pinterest @restlessnights and Twitter.


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