Friday, September 29, 2017

Sustainable Fashion Fall & Winter 2017-2018 Picks

How to Engage with Ethical Fashion

We are awash in images of new fashion for the FW17 season, and the designs are gorgeous.  But how can we enjoy style fun without contributing to the egregious waste and exploitation of the fashion industry, especially when fast fashion makes it easy to embrace every trend?

Sustainably chic in a Karina dress!
One way I try to limit my fashion footprint is by supporting sustainable, ethical fashion brands.  The documentary The True Cost was instrumental in changing the way I looked at the clothing I buy.  I'll be honest ... the film is shocking.  It reveals the ways fast fashion depletes the earth's resources and utilizes what can only be described as slave labor in horrific and even deadly working conditions.  I had begun to wonder why I could buy a pair of shoes for only $14.  The answer? Because the industry had found a cruel, wasteful way to cut costs.

That just didn't sit well with me.

I realized that while our global economy is praised by politicians and big business as good for American corporations and consumers, it actually means that most of the goods we buy in America are made elsewhere, often in appalling conditions.  It's not just fashion, either.  Almost everything we purchase -- from mobile phones to furniture -- is manufactured in settings with far less worker protections or environmental consideration than laws would allow here.

So how do we even begin to make a difference without buying nothing, moving to a cabin in the woods and eschewing the modern world?

Think collecting, not consuming.
These on-trend print pants? Over ten years old!
As conscious consumers we can can channel our objections into our shopping choices.  For me, that means being more thoughtful about my fashion spending.  I buy far fewer pieces than I used to.  I only purchase items I know I'll wear (or repurpose) for many years.  I also make sure to buy as often as possible from ethical brands who approach fashion in ways that benefit rather than harm.

Does embracing ethical style mean you have to pare down to wearing only a few basics?  No!  While slow fashion brands have a tendency to trend minimal -- which is great for collecting wardrobe items that multitask -- there are many who stand out with unique design, artistic prints and all of the things that make dressing up so much fun.

Here are a few of my sustainable fashion choices for Fall/Winter 2017-2018:

Dreamy, Ethereal Prints from Symbology

When you purchase a piece of clothing from Symbology, you are making an investment in a one-of-a-kind item that empowers women worldwide.  Here's how the company describes itself:

Symbology employs women artisans from India and the West Bank, each bringing beautiful cultural artforms to our collections. Symbology aims not only to produce beautiful clothing but also to preserve traditional art forms in each garment — from Indian block printing to Palestinian weaving and Native American embroidery.

We believe that the well-being of our artisans is central to who we are as a company, which is why we pay each of our artisans a livable wage, allowing them to provide for their families. We believe that through sustained work opportunities and involvement in the design process, our artisan partners can affect change not just in their own lives, but our world.

Symbology's artistic prints and flowing fabrics are truly outstanding.  Here are my favorites for Fall/Winter:

Don't you love the cut on this one?  Find it here! 

This one fits right in with all of the Italian designer prints.  Find it here!

A perfect alternative to the ubiquitous black top.  Find it here! 

There's that cut again -- and look at the color!  Find it here! 

I really want this for holiday parties!  Find it here!

Beautiful Karina Dresses

Regular readers know how much I love Karina Dresses.  Karina's latest prints for Fall/Winter are as luscious as I've come to expect.  If you have been loving the plaids, houndstooth and floral prints all over the runways this year, you'll love the latest selection.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Find it here!

Find it here!

I love all the houndstooth this season.  This one has just the right retro style.  Find it here!

I just love how modern this print feels.  Find it here!

I had to have this one, because it reminds me so much of a recent Gucci print.

Upcycled Designs from PreLoved

I can't stop recommending this amazing Canadian company!  Offering clothing made from vintage sweaters, deadstock fabrics and other reclaimed materials, PreLoved is one of my favorite sustainable fashion brands.  Here are some goodies to consider for your Fall/Winter wardrobe:

Patchwork gorgeousness.  Find it here!

I love the lace detail on the hem.  Find it here!
I had to have this one because I really do wear my heart on my sleeve.  Find it here!

For those of you interested in finding out more about the sustainable fashion movement, check out the Ted Talk featured at the top of this post.  When you have a few hours to spare, be sure to watch The True Cost.  For my fashion readers out there, these are the sustainable fashion books I like best:

Want to leave a comment or recommend a sustainable fashion brand? Head over to the Chic Contraire Community Forum (it's always available in the tab at the top of the blog) to start a conversation!

Happy Fall/Winter ethical style, contrairistas!