Socially Conscious: Our Top Favorite Local Fair Trade Clothing Brands
You choose certified organic produce, shop for fair trade coffee and chocolate, and use recycled, eco-friendly products whenever possible. But what about your clothes? Many of us don’t think too much about the origins our wardrobe, preferring to focus simply on what’s in style at the moment. But your clothing can affect more than your appearance. At The James, we believe that even little choices—like your wardrobe—can make a difference to the planet and its people. That’s why we embrace an environmentally thoughtful, sustainable approach to everything we do—and we love other companies that do the same. Here are three of our favorite clothing brands that put people first.
Fair and Fashionable
Mata Traders. This design-driven, fair trade clothing and accessories brand in Chicago aims to help to end global poverty and inspire ethical companies and consumers to change the fashion industry. Made by artisans in India and Nepal, its colorfully original designs provide a stable source of income for families in some of the world’s poorest communities. Our picks: printed dresses with a modernized vintage feel (including plus sizes), resin necklaces, sari scarves.
Modavanti. An online boutique, Modavanti stocks fashionable brands with an eye toward sustainability and fair labor.The company tags its goods with labels such as Made in the USA, Vegan, and Fair Trade, so you can shop consciously and stylishly. Modavanti also donates two percent of all its sales to partners, Nest (which provides Indian artisans with safe working conditions) and Charity: Water (which supports clean drinking water in developing countries). Our picks: organic cotton workout gear, alpaca wool sweaters, Indonesian flats with recycled rubber soles.
Reformation. This sustainable brand in New York and LA manufactures most of its products in its own sustainable sewing factory, staffed mainly by women and people from underrepresented populations—all of whom are paid more than minimum wage. Reformation also sources sustainable and surplus fabrics and vintage garments, and incorporates eco-friendly touches like renewable energy, recycled hangers, and 100 percent recycled packaging. Our picks: knit dresses, denim jumpsuits, suede mini skirts.