Hello, hello, friends! Lately, I’ve felt in the mood to do a research deep dive and get back to educating myself [and, subsequently, you all reading this] on sustainability and ecological mindfulness. One particular subject that I have been very interested in learning more about is the impact of delivery services like Amazon on the environment; is online shopping and delivery better than traditional retail methods of obtaining our groceries and goods?
I am constantly on the hunt for new influencers to connect to that share similar values of ethical fashion and conscious living with me. Here’s a master list of 21 Sustainable Fashion Bloggers you need to follow today! They’ve also kindly provided tips to starting your sustainable fashion journey. Happy Following!
When defining sustainability, many minds might jump to the idea of ecological sustainability – satisfying the needs of present generations without affecting the ability of future generations to fulfill their own needs. However, the environment and the natural resources it provides do not exist within a vacuum; there are people on this earth, and they tend to extract the resources on it. Because of this, a sustainable future only exists at the intersection of these three elements: planet, people and profit.
Mata Traders was kind enough to send me their Sydney Dress Bikes ($86). This dress is so quirky, cute and adorable for the springtime. With a classic retro silhouette, it definitely is something I could get away with wearing at work in the office during the summertime. The length hits me just above my knees, and it is the most gorgeous rich navy color. Plus, the bike detailing makes the dress super flirty! Pair the dress with a straw bag like this one from Redemption Market, some strappy matching sandals and, finally, a hat. And voila! The perfect spring look for picnics in the park or bike riding in Charleston (is it weird that’s what this dress reminds me of?).
The best part: Mata Traders has an incredible commitment to sustainable, slow fashion and Fair Trade practices. I love love love their mission: “The Mata Traders mission is to ‘fashion a better world’ by creating designs that celebrate a woman’s originality and empower her to use her dollar for change. We merge uncommonly vibrant style with fair trade practices to make an impact on global poverty – bringing fair wages to artisans in India and Nepal.” They’re part of the ever-evolving, rapidly-growing fashion revolution, and I love that.
Mata Traders commits to:
- Preserving art forms
- Fighting gender inequality
- Empowering women in India & Nepal
- Making a global impact on poverty
- Combatting child labor
By employing women in India & Nepal, they are able to do all of these initiatives. These women are part of marginalized communities, and their focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment makes an incredible impact on not only these women’s lives, but the entire community. Their employment packages also include health care, paid maternity leave, retirement pensions and daycare.
In addition, the social workers on staff help out with the artisans’ personal needs, “from opening a bank account to situations of domestic violence and dealing with HIV/AIDS” (MataTraders.com). Literacy classes, computer training, regular workshops on topics like hygiene, nutrition and parenting are also offered to these artisans.
The Fashion Revolution
This brand, amongst a plethora of others, are part of the Fashion Revolution. Next up, you should read about the revolution towards slow, ethical fashion if you haven’t gotten around to it yet: The Fashion Revolution.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission off of your purchase if you use my link. However, don’t feel compelled to use my link — I’d just love your support for this sustainable brand. If you’d like to read more on my disclosures and codes, please click here.
Finally, I’d love to know your favorite sustainable brands! Here’s a list of 5 others that I love. Leave a comment below letting me know which ones are your favorite.
I’m trying to be more environmentally conscious and mindful about the brands I choose to put my money towards. I love the idea that, with your money, you can vote for the type of world you want to live in. Don’t support unfair living wages? Don’t buy from that brand. Hate animal testing? Don’t buy from that brand. Really disagree with a business owner’s ethics? Don’t buy from that brand.
In a strategic communications course I took in the spring, one of our course topics was corporate social responsibility. We talked about how brands and companies contribute to the world around them, and how (specifically Millennials and Gen Zers) are more and more concerned with a brand’s mission and values. We want to buy from brands that contribute to a better world as a whole.
And… brands aren’t dumb. Brands know that we want cruelty-free products. They know we value products that don’t diminish the communities they’re produced in. These companies know we don’t want to spend our money to continue the cycle of poverty in third world countries. So what do they do? They use public relations and brand messaging to convey the good they do for our world, hoping that it will wipe out the mass production, cruelty, exploitation, etc. that they cause.
Greenwashing is the act of brands and businesses to make unsubstantiated, misleading claims about the environmental benefits of their products. This tactic makes us believe that we’re making an impact with the products we’re choosing when it’s not proven that we are. It’s business. And it’s cruel.
These brands make claims that they are non-toxic, eco-friendly or natural, and in reality — they just aren’t. This is a marketing ploy that is used to swindle you into buying a product that is no better for the environment than the rest.
The Red (or Green?) Flags of Greenwashing
There are a ton of different strategic words these brands use in order to carry out this marketing ploy on us all. These terms are not regulated, meaning that a brand can literally use them even if it’s just not true. The reason for this is because most of these things are blanket subjective terms — what may be considered “natural” to you may not be “natural” to me. What distinguishes a pure product from another? Plant-based could mean that there’s one plant used or all plants used.
Organically Becca put together this list of “red flags” you should watch out for when you’re looking for products that are actually natural and good for the environment:
Naturally essenced or fragranced
So, when taking a look at these products on the shelves in the store, be sure to take a peek at the back of the product. Read the ingredients for yourself. Are the ingredients things you recognize? Or are they mostly ingredients you don’t?
Ingredients To Look Out For
Concerning ingredients range from micro plastic to different types of oils that are completely decimating rainforests around the globe.
Here’s your short list of ingredients to keep your eyes peeled for:
Polyethylene (micro plastic)
Stearic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol
Cyclopentasiloxane (silicon oil)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Methylparaben & Propylparaben
Top Greenwashing Companies
It comes as no surprise, to me at least, that the top greenwashing brands in America are electricity and power brands. However, there are still so many beauty brands in particular that claim to be natural and organic, yet are far from it. They use green and white packaging, use alluring buzzword terms that sucker us all in.
I’ve included a short list for you, but then I’ve gone into more depth about the types of non-green qualities if you’re interested to see why I’ve included them in this list. Just remember: all of this is subjective. I myself am mostly concerned with animal testing and human exploitation, as well as unsustainable business practices and production. I’m not as concerned with the natural ingredients, although some of those practices have landed them a space here on this list as well.
The Short List of Greenwashing Beauty Brands
The following are not linked to products, but instead an explanation as to why they’ve been included on this list. Please click on a link to read a fellow bloggers’ deep-dive investigation into the unethical or unsustainable practices these brands are guilty of.
- Estee Lauder
- Moroccan Oil
- The Honest Company
- Covergirl Natureluxe
- Herbal Essences
- Johnson’s Natural
- Josie Maran
- Korres Natural Products
- LUSH Cosmetics
- Nivea Pure & Natural
- Simple Basics
- Tarte Cosmetics
- The Body Shop
I’m going to go more in depth on a ton of these different companies as time goes on, but this seems like a good starting point to present the dangers and reality of greenwashing. Many of these companies are companies I personally have bought from; they’re raved in Sephora reviews and generate millions of dollars per year. However, just being aware of the harmful effects they have not only on the environment but your body as well can help to stop the mass consumption of these products.
Which brands would you like me to do a full deep-dive into first? ‘Cause you know that’s where I’m headed. Let me know in the comments!
The time has come for the long-awaited Fashion Revolution! Not only does this revolution ensure a more ethically-sourced, kinder world, but it also encourages the slow fashion movement to abolish wasteful mass production. It is a movement rooted in love for the environment and (most importantly to me), love for other people.
The Fashion Revolution is comprised of people around the globe who are committed to changing the fashion industry’s values and the environment. They’re the designers, academics, writers, business leaders, policymakers, brands, retailers, marketers, producers, makers, workers and fashion lovers. They’re the industry and the public. The world’s citizens. Me and you.