Updated: Jan 5, 2022
Hi, I am Sabrina Riback, a 17 year old fast fashion advocate, sustainable fashion connoisseur, and extremely passionate individual. Due to the world we live in today, shopping sustainably is most definitely not accessible for all, and not nearly as widespread as it should be. Ethical brands are struggling to gain consumers, individuals don’t know what “fast fashion” entails, and the common companies are greenwashing and claiming to have “sustainable” lines as a marketing tactic. Not only did Covid put many small brands out of business, but all the strides being made in production and efforts to control waste amounts have vanished. We took one step forward and 3 steps back. Modern day supply chain issues are not only worsening this issue, but aiding it. This is what our world has come to, and change needs to be made. It starts with you! Together, we can all come together as individuals and use this platform to make change. Small business owners can share tips and gain traction via the forum page. Like minded individuals can interact and ask questions, and together, together we can come together to make change. You can help build out this initiative just by interacting. Complete the programs and challenges. Repost them on your social media to not only track your journey, but provoke POSITIVE shopping habits for you and your personal community. Awear is a movement, one that will finally spark change. Do good, help someone out, respond to a comment, make your own introduction post, start a challenge, refer a friend, interact on social media. Be the change you wish to see. A fast fashion fact a day, keeps the waste away!
Here are a few small ethical brand features. Everyday these brands are making strides to use greener materials, ethical production habits, reduce the carbon footprint, and boycott those carbon emissions.
To start Agite Closet will introduce themselves and their brand
Hi, We’re a small project based in Dublin/Barcelona selecting second-hand clothes from around Europe to offer the consumer a more sustainable way of consumption.
Myself and my friend/business partner, Miguel, started the project. We Both have more than 15 years of experience working in fast fashion retail companies but have chosen to change our direction and focus to promote sustainability and circular economies.
Here is more about us:
We’re selling our curated selected items online through agitecloset.com also you can find us on social media in IG, Facebook, and Tiktok. @agitecloset
I am Kait, the owner of byAprilAndAugust, a women’s clothing and accessories shop. I also have another shop which branches off the main one called BabyAprilandAugust which sells, you guessed it, baby clothing and accessories.
The name behind my shops is based on two cardinals, a male and female, that would stop by 0ur home. It was a particularly difficult time for us with family illness, the stress of the pandemic, and worries and fears. Every time the flashes of red feathers appeared amidst the snow at our feeder we felt a strong sense of hope that just like them we were cared for- takes care of. It was really special, and eventually we named them April and August. For me those names became a symbol of that special feeling I got when I would see them knowing I was cared for. Thus my shops became byAprilAndAugust in hopes that my creations would bring that same sense to others - that they were cared for.
My shops started with very simple goals in mind: to create cute items in a sustainable way that can be refashioned and given new life. I sew all my creations on my sewing machine in my home in South Dakota. At first I was shopping for fabric at thrift stores as my business first started. I would wash and cut up outdated dresses and give them new life. Eventually there became a need for me to have more of each fabric available so I had to move on to getting fabric from local fabric shops who take great care into how they source their materials. I then create items using all fabric scraps in a variety of creative ways.
The latest news in my Etsy shops is that I have decided to add a custom fit and fabric option to almost all of my listings. Now I work with you to ensure you have the fit you need and fabric you want as well. I confirm fabrics with you from a variety of different options depending on the availability from my local fabric shops. I’m really excited about it and I’d love to make something uniquely you!
You can find both of my shops on Etsy at Etsy.com/shop/byAprilAndAugust and Etsy.com/shop/BabyAprilandAugust
My ultimate favorite part of having these shops is seeing my creations become a small addition to some of the most special moments in peoples’ lives. My creations have been used in newborn pictures, baby arrival outfits, and special occasions of all sorts, and every time I LOVE it! I look forward to hearing from you! Please let me know if there is a gift I can help you give that would make your special person feel cared for. ♥️
Another great ethical brand that does a lot of good for the community is Lotus Tribe Clothing. Lotus tribe clothing is making strides every year to become more sustainable and more ethical.
Some of their highlights include they use natural plant based fabrics (90% cotton with only 10% spandex), they ship in plastic free packaging, and plant a tree for every item we sell (15,000 and counting). Their styles work well to layer making them transition from one season to the next, and one look to the next. Whether they want to go from errands to the yoga studio, wearing a stretchy mini skirt over their yoga pants, or go from summer festival to fall looks with boots, our designs are made to provide flexibility. Plus the tie dyes and solids mix and match to make a never ending selection of outfit possibilities, meaning you can own less pieces in your wardrobe, buying less, using less resources.
Here is their page to learn more about them! Use code AWEAR for 10% off your purchase!
Next, here is PVB The Label.
PVB the Label is a swimwear brand that focuses on sustainability and positivity. What makes us sustainable? All of our suits are made from fabric that is made from recycled ocean waste. All our packaging is completely biodegradable. What makes us positive? We created a strong community of women that supports other women. We want females to feel comfortable in their skin when they are wearing a swimsuit.
I founded PVB The Label for many reasons. As I was in school for fashion marketing, I was doing a lot of research on how much waste is coming directly from the fashion industry. I wanted to create something that potentially made a big eco friendly impact. Another reason why I started PVB The Label is that I feel like there are so many women in this world that don't have a positive community to be apart of. Our website has a group chat of women to communicate.
Readers can find us at pvbthelabel.shop and @pvbthelabel on Instagram and TikTok.
Shopemelita is another great swimwear brand who will introduce themselves now!
Emelita is a leisure swimwear that focuses on versatility. We create suits that you can choose to wear however, whenever and wherever you want- to your morning swim, your afternoon errands, and even dinner with your friends.
Our brand puts our own spin on seasonality of the swimwear. We encourage our customers to wear their suits not only at the pool and the beach, but also apart of their everyday outfits. Our goal is to motivate shoppers to think smart and buy less and better, which is why we created high quality versatile swimwear that you can wear anywhere and anytime in so many different ways. Our suits are made in the USA and our packaging is 100% plastic-free. We only use compostable, recyclable, and reusable materials to ship our products.
We believe that sustainability is a long process but a necessary step which we are continuously working on our brand by revisiting our design, manufacturing, and shipping procedure on every production run.
Growing up in the Philippines made up of thousands of islands. I always loved being by the sea in my bikini. When I moved to LA six years ago, it amazed me how I can be in the downtown area and by the sea in only a 30 minute drive. This inspired me to make suits perfect for beach and city living.
Readers can find us on instagram and tiktok @shopmelita and our website is www.shopemelita.com
Following we will introduce Natalie, the founder of CottonCrab Clothing.
Hello, I'm Natalie, founder of CottonCrab Clothing, lovely to e-meet you!I am a sustainable, ethical, vegan clothing brand, with people & the planet at the heart of everything I do, and my lovely customers. All my products use 100% Organic Cotton. The products that have a small amount of Polyester(up to 15%) are made up of Recycled Polyester from used plastic bottles. I have two areas of the company. Made by Me where I have took a little adventure into designing and making products myself and all other products are made by my lovely eco friendly printing company Inkthreadable.
The two companies who supply my products are committed to manufacturing in a responsible, sustainable and ethical way under the strictest environmental certifications respecting the people that make the clothing and the world that we live in. They are industry leaders in this area. They are Continental Clothing & Stanley Stella. Both suppliers are: GOTS certified. GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard. It is recognised as the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. They are also OEKO-TEX® certified which ensures no chemical substances that are or could be harmful to health and the environment are used throughout production. They are also PETA certified. They do not conduct or commission any animal tests on any processes or products. All products are made from 100% vegan materials. The facilities where my suppliers make the products are certified by the Fair Wear Foundation which ensures products are made in an ethical way with companies respecting the men and women making them. Some of my products are made in manufacturing facilities powered by green renewable energy.
Everything used to package my items is 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable.
The vinyl I use for my designs is REACH compliant, Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 Class I certified and VEGANOK certified.
I founded CottonCrab Clothing in August 2020 with a commitment to provide authentic, fair priced, long lasting clothing that people feel cozy, comfortable and good in and that do good too! Together as one big community understanding and respecting the journey the clothing and the people that make the clothes that we wear everyday have been on. This was after reading a news article during the pandemic regarding garment workers and the injustice and poverty pay they face and receive despite making clothes for the biggest fashion designers and retailers in the world whose profits were soaring during this time and still are. I was sitting on furlough from my employer trying to understand this which I still can’t. I am a people person who feels passionate about the way in which others are treated and I wanted to create something which would give something back to these hard working individuals.
5% of purchases are donated to NGO The Circle’s Living Wage for Garment Workers Project. The Circle is a non-profit organization founded by singer-songwriter and activist Annie Lennox in 2008. The donations will help in their commitment to create a fairer fashion world. You can read more at https://thecircle.ngo/living-wage/
Readers can find more about me below:
My website is www.cottoncrabclothing.co.uk
My Etsy Shop is: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CottonCrabClothing
My socials are:
I have attached a photo of my most recent item, my Christmas sweatshirt which is made from 100% recycled materials. From the 30th of November until the 7th of December I am offering a free Christmas Gift with every order. I am also doubling my donation amount to 10% over this time too!
The code is AWEAR for 10% off 😊You can also use that if you see anything you like!
Next we will hear from etsy shop, Lineages.
We started our brand in hopes of protecting the art of handloom. When we started out, we could hardly find weavers who were willing to make fabrics for us on the traditional loom. So, we finally convinced one old-age weaver, Mr.Nagesh and that's where our brand really started.
We sell beautiful customized dresses for women. As we all know, custom made dresses are expensive to get tailored in the States and other countries. So, we wanted women to get what they wanted. This effort is something we love to put in because 'a dress made for YOU is always special' right?
When it comes to sustainable fashion, we try our best to protect the environment around us. We sell only 100% cotton clothes, with coconut shell accessories (buttons,buckles,beads,etc). We reduce the carbon footprint by sourcing all the fabrics needed at once. Even though cotton is not the most sustainable fabric, these dresses will last long if you take care of them.
In this light, we even brought in handwoven linen. We're taking baby steps right now which will grow bigger with time :)
Readers can find us on Etsy (Shop name - Lineages, Owner - Sanjana) and on Instagram (@lineages_co) :)
Doing good for sustainability doesn’t just mean shopping sustainably or purchasing an ethical item. Nor does it just mean taking a trip to the thrift store or upcycling. Sustainable shopping means all of these things. And you can support it in many ways rather than just purchasing and consuming. In fact, you should be consuming only what you need in efforts to combat waste. These sustainable fashion influencers are providing amazing education and fast fashion tips. Keep reading to learn more about them. And remember, follow @alwaysbe_awear on instagram, tiktok, and twitter for our personal tips and tricks!
Now, let’s introduce Alex, the creator of More Green Times ethical clothing company.
More Green Times sells ethical and sustainable clothing. They prioritize being green. Here is how they do so!
We operate using a Print on Demand business model. We only print your order after you place it, minimizing waste and carbon emissions. Our clothes are ethically made in Bangladesh, in factories audited by the Fair Wear Foundation. T-shirts and vests are made of 100% organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Sweatshirts and hoodies are made of 85% organic cotton and 15% recycled polyester certified by the Global Recycled Standard (GRS). All our clothes are printed with vegan and eco-friendly inks, using Direct to Garment (DTG) printing technology.Besides, our packaging is plastic-free, fully recyclable, and compostable.
I believe that companies exist to serve people and the world, and not the other way around. We're a small and independent business doing our bit to reduce our environmental impact. Every item you purchase plants a tree, thanks to our partnership with nonprofit organizations.
Readers can find me at:
Now we will learn more about Una Terra.
In Una Terra, we combine conscious consumption and fashion, to protect the Earth. We create trendy and practical clothes with minimal environmental impact.
In 2019, we launched a unique “Family-Look” collection of designer clothes created for pets and their responsible owners. At the moment we focus on creating matching waterproof vests and jackets, but we plan to expand our range of products in the future.
Our clothing is very practical. Thanks to waterproof fabrics and a hood it protects pets and their owners from wind and rain. So, regardless of the weather, it is suitable for walking your dog in the city, forest, and park. At the same time, you can wear these clothes for any social occasion or party and impress your friends with a stylish look.
Before Una Terra, I worked as a marketing manager at Microsoft and obtained the position of COO in EdTech. At the same time, I was engaged in the rescue and protection of pets living on the street: fed them, cured and found new owners for homeless pets. Currently, I have three dogs and four cats taken from the street. So, I decided to create a business from which I can donate to volunteer centers for homeless pets. From my perspective, all offline businesses should be sustainable because we all have only one Home.
There is a widely-spread misconception that sustainable fashion is simply about using second-hand materials. It doesn’t have to stop there.
For example, in addition to using innovative eco-friendly RPET fabrics, we also utilize the WeaReSpinDye® coloring method. It allows to reduce the water consumption by 75%, reduce the chemical consumption by 90% while still ensuring colorfastness
Our clothes are produced on a small, environmentally friendly production, not exceeding the officially allowed number of working hours, and we cut down on using (or rather, wasting) real fabrics for producing samples.
We are here to make a change and we encourage other brands all over the world to go sustainable.
We believe that Una Terra (unaterra.co/) clearly shows that saving the Earth doesn’t have to be hard. It's about small, but consistent and conscious steps. Even your pup can make a difference.
Here is the link to check out their shop! www.etsy.com/shop/UnaTerraSustainable
Our final brand is Kasi Bamboo! An ethical streetwear clothing line!
My brand is based around the idea that clothing should be sustainable, affordable, and of course, comfortable. KASI BAMBOO is an eco-friendly unisex, streetwear clothing line. I chose to keep all the apparel and accessories as neutral as possible.
I have actually heard from more than one person that I have created the "dream t-shirt". Which I think is incredible! I personally wear a Kasi Bamboo tee everyday. Life is too short to be uncomfortable. What's great about the KB clothing is that you can dress it up/accessorize or you can wear it to bed lol and I do both. My family and friends have mentioned to me recently that they wear one of the tees to bed every night and switch to another tee for the day.
There are a number of reasons why I choose to work with bamboo:
-Anti-bacterial (Kills bacteria. Keeps skin healthy)
-Naturally breathable (Wicks moisture away from the skin)
-Anti-odour (Keeps you feeling and smelling fresh day-long)
-Sweat absorbent (Pulls moisture from skin, keeps the body dry)
-Soft on the skin (Bamboo fabric is similar to the softness of silk)
-Naturally UV protectant (Blocks harmful rays and protects the skin)
Perhaps one of my favorite things about bamboo is that compared to other fabrics that require labor, water, and tilling (which is incidentally claimed to be one of the leading causes of climate change), bamboo just grows naturally! It's a self regenerating grass that doesn't need to be farmed and so no pesticides or fertilizer are used. It is also great for capturing carbon in the air. Bamboo grows naturally in the wild without any kind of chemical treatment and is naturally smooth. Our clothing is easy to care for and gets even softer as you wash it. As mentioned, bamboo itself is a self regenerating grass that requires no harmful farming practices. All of the shipping materials used are biodegradable. All production is eco-friendly certified and everyone involved is paid fairly. A portion of sales is donated to a company that plants trees and bamboo in the peruvian rainforest. My brand was founded after doing a lot of research into fast fashion. While in university I wrote many papers on the damage that the fashion industry (specifically fast fashion) is causing on the environment. The more research I started doing into fast fashion, the more upset I got. I'm sure you already have this info but these are a few of the points that really made me want to create a brand that was eco-friendly but still comfortable - a brand that paid everyone fairly for their work but something that was affordable for all. And honestly, I really wanted to create something that was both timeless and long lasting (hence the neutral aspect).. that way, the clothing would hold up for years and not need to be constantly replaced thus minimizing textile waste.
Textile production skyrocketed in the 90’s when ‘fast fashion’ was introduced and we went from 2 seasons to 52 micro seasons. Since then, the fashion industry has become one of the worst pollutants to the environment next to the oil industry. It is estimated that global clothing sales will triple by the year 2050. In order to cut production costs, approximately 97% of clothing items are made overseas. Garment workers in developing countries are some of the lowest paid workers and live in extreme poverty on about $2 a day. Not only are workers being treated like modern day slaves, the fashion industry has put our environmental under a massive strain.
Every year, an estimated 80 billion garments are produced. 35 kg of which become textile waste from clothing that is worn on average seven times before being disposed of . The chemicals used in cheap clothing production account for 23% of chemical use worldwide. Much of which is getting unsafely dumped outside the factories producing the clothing. It is estimated that 1kg of cotton can take up to 20,000 liters of water to produce. Synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester release thousands of microfibers into the water when they are washed. These microfibers are eaten by fish and then end up in our food. After being disposed of, synthetic clothes can take up to 200 years to decompose which account for 72% of clothing that is produced globally. It is estimated that a family of four will throw away an average of 30kg of clothing each year which is the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is wasted every second.
Fast fashion chains such as Zara, Forever 21, H&M etc will go to a factory and tell them that another factory can produce an item for a dollar less than they are offering. If that factory wants to keep the contract, they have to meet the lowered cost or the fashion chain will go somewhere else. Costs have to then be cut somewhere in production. If the factory agrees to this they will pay the workers less per hour, use cheaper materials and dyes, and often dump toxic chemicals production has created as cheaply as possible. The decrease in contract payments has also led to the inability for factory owners to afford safe working conditions causing factories to fall apart and catch fire. In 2012, two clothing factories in Bangladesh burnt down and collapsed killing over 1000 workers. The people who work or live near factories are at a high risk for health hazards from the toxic chemicals that are dumped carelessly, ending up in food and drinking water.
And then there's this other element to it... With fast fashion, the cheap prices allow virtually anyone to purchase the latest styles and feel rich. Then you have the advertising companies come in and manipulate consumers’ emotions, convincing them through ads that they should not be happy because they are missing something but they will be happy after they purchase product X. The ability for one to purchase that $5 shirt, for example, in turn makes people feel rich. However, this “purchase high” is short lived. A "purchase high" lasts a week at best and, because the cost of clothing is so cheap, the consumer can purchase another item soon after to get the same high. Once the item has lost its luster it is quickly and cheaply replaced/garbaged. Shopping has become entertainment. As consumers, we have been fooled by advertising companies to think that buying things makes us happy. The cycle repeats over and over. These bidding wars create unrealistic expectations on stores and brands who now need to produce faster and cheaper or they will lose their business. And this is all done to make a few people very rich (for example, Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara, is worth 73.5 billion dollars). Then you have these westerners wearing that $5 shirt a few times before it ends up slowly decomposing in a landfill while the workers overseas are hardly able to feed their families with the poor wage. I feel like if more people knew this, less people would be shopping at Zara, etc.
I created Kasi Bamboo as a way to combat all of the negative aspects of fast fashion. Anyone that knows me knows how much I dislike all of the fast fashion houses. After doing years of research I came to the conclusion that maybe the answer might be a bit more simple than I thought. Shop less. Buy clothing that is sustainably made and lasts for years. It's great to aspire to create eco-friendly clothing ... but that's only half of it. Everything we create will inevitably create some form of a production trail in its wake ... the goal is to cut down on overall production and keep the clothing you do buy for as long as you can. We are consuming like never before and we are seeing some pretty disastrous effects of that in our environment and honestly, our overall well being. People are constantly looking for that next purchase high, many without realizing they’re craving it. I wanted to create a brand people can trust in all aspects to hopefully get people away from supporting fast fashion. I have always wanted to make a positive impact on people's lives and in the world.
To learn more about us be sure to join the mailing list on my website to keep up to date with new product launches and for new customer discounts:)
In the next month, I will be launching 100% organic bamboo sheet sets (4 pieces), kids tees and hoodies, toques, and sports bras!
Instagram: @kasibamboo & @kasi.k
Next, Isabel Varela will introduce herself and her sustainable efforts.
My brand is more for serving the community. I am a life coach, public speaker, and sustainable artist. I teach women how to beat shopping addiction by growing their self-love, self-respect, and live more sustainably. My mission is to empower everyone to build a better relationship with themselves and their clothes for our planet. I currently am offering 1:1 Life Coaching and have a waitlist that you can join for my B.R.A.V.E. Method Course that I will be launching the following year, 2022. In this course, I will teach women how to shop more sustainably and live more sustainably. I also offer KeyNote and Speaking packages for any online or in-person event, organization, conference, and more. I speak on mental health, debt, self-love, and sustainability. Please check out my website at isabelvarela.com for more information. As an artist, I work with various non-profits to create large upcycled mixed-media sculptures using clothes that would have otherwise gone into a landfill. My art highlights the destruction the fashion industry has caused our planet and offers solutions.
I am currently educating my community about sustainability and how to live to help us and the planet. All of the art I create comes from textile scraps, clothing found in trash cans, and found objects.
I founded my brand because I was part of the problem when I first created my womenswear brand. I did not care about the waste I was producing or whether or not I was paying my workers fairly. I was also part of the problem because I had $100k in just clothing and would throw my clothing in the trash or wear things once. After my wake-up call from the Universe, I turned my life around, paid off my debt, became a sustainable fashion advocate, and more.
Now I share my award-winning documentary nationally to let others know that they, too, can overcome all adversities in their life. I am speaking on a rarely discussed topic, which is shopping addiction. It is very prevalent in our society and needs to be addressed because with the way the world continues with how we consume, we will not have a world to live on.
You can join my community on Instagram and Facebook at @IAMISABELVARELA, and you
can follow my YOUTUBE channel in my link tree in my bio on Instagram.
Lastly, we will feature a sustainable influencer, Maud!
Hi, I am Maud, I am from the Netherlands and I have a TikTok account dedicated to sustainable fashion. My posts are mainly focused on showing that you can say no to fast fashion and still wear cute outfits without having to spend a lot of money. I love to go thrifting, I buy clothes from sustainable brands and if something does not fit me, I resize the item so I don't have to throw it away. I started my page because I am really into fashion, but I don't want to support fast fashion brands like Shein. It can be really hard to start, because you have to totally change the way you shop. I started my account to help other people find sustainable clothes and show them that clothes from thrift stores can be cute and sustainable fashion doesn't have to be expensive. You can find my account on TikTok, it is called @sustainablestylenl. Xoxo!
Thank you to all the brands that contributed. Definitely go check out their pages and support them! Remember, you don't have to purchase anything to support them. A follow, a subscribe, a like, and a comment will always help them out! Go check out the forum and post any questions you may have! Check out the about page to learn more about Awear and my brand. Remember to follow us on social media @alwaysbe_awear !