The Slow-Fashion Shopping Guide
Shopping is a sport (yeah, I said it) that can so easily get out of hand—competitive even. It feels like we are constantly striving to be the first to try the latest trend, score the best deals, and know about cool new brands before everyone else. After a while, the hustling becomes exhausting and your closet suddenly looks like a graveyard of fast-fashion impulse buys and trends that had the lifespan of an ant. Satisfied? Hardly. Despite all the "stuff" you've acquired, you still find yourself wanting more.
Halfway through the year, we take time "to slow down and take stock of where our wardrobes are and where we want them to be through the lens of slow fashion. Slow fashion is about consuming and creating fashion consciously and with integrity," said our lovely editor in chief, Kat Collings, in her letter to our readers introducing this month's editorial theme, slow fashion. Don't worry—we're not trying to shame you for indulging in a fast-fashion buy every once in a while. Instead, we are here to get you to start thinking about where your clothes come from and why. In case you're not even sure where to start, we started for you.
Ahead shop the slow fashion brands that are doing it right when it comes to this whole slow-fashion thing. Be in awe as you read the mission statements from the 10 brands ahead, and trust me when I say this list barely scratches the surface when it comes to designers and labels emphasising sustainability and giving back, but it's a pretty good jumping off point.
"Edun is building long-term growth opportunities by working with artisans, manufacturers, and community-based initiatives to develop high-end designer products that celebrate and challenge ethical and sustainable fashion. Edun's ready-to-wear and accessory collections are led by an internal creative collective based in New York. The collective works closely with different partners throughout the African continent and some international mills who are exploring new eco alternatives."
Shop here for: One-of-a-kind bags and statement-making ready-to-wear pieces
"Truss is proud to support Fondo Guadalupe Musalem through financial donation and mentorship. The foundation, based in Oaxaca City, supports young Oaxacan women, mostly from indigenous communities, so that they can carry out their studies and achieve personal development based on ethical values.
"FGM endows scholarships to the students, offering integral training on topics such as gender equality, women's rights, sexual and reproductive health, human rights, literature, history, environment, ecology, and subjects that may be useful in their academic training. These efforts empower the students to become leaders and agents of change at a personal, family, and community level.
"Additionally, there are medical and psychological check-ups to ensure that the young women have adequate health: The Hospital Clínica del Pueblo Anna Seethaler provides free medical services and the fellows are given personalized psychological treatment."
Shop here for: Durable (and cute) tote bags and the cutest belt bags maybe ever
"Reformation's design mission is to make effortless silhouettes that celebrate the feminine figure. The design process starts with us thinking about what we really want to wear right now. We source the most beautiful and sustainable fabrics possible to bring those designs to life quickly. We make our pieces from super-sustainable materials, rescued deadstock fabrics, and repurposed vintage clothing. As we grow, our goal is to push harder to create more sustainable fabric options."
Shop here for: That perfect dress and the softest basics ever
"Brother Vellies was founded by Aurora James with the goal of introducing the rest of the world to her favourite traditional African footwear while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs within Africa. Handmade in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco, Brother Vellies creates boots, shoes, and sandals in styles that maintain the spirit and durability of their ancestral counterparts."
Shop here for: The kind of shoes that make you feel happy no matter what and showstopping handbags
"We are committed to operating a modern and responsible business.
"We are agents of change. We challenge and push boundaries to make luxurious products in a way that is fit for the world we live in today and the future: beautiful and sustainable. No compromises.
"Each decision we make is a symbol of our commitment to defining what the future of fashion looks like. From never using leather or fur and pioneering new alternative materials to utilizing cutting-edge technologies, pushing toward circularity, protecting ancient and endangered forests, and measuring our impact with ground-breaking tools."
Shop here for: Quality investment pieces and forward-thinking silhouettes
"Rafa is a women's luxury footwear collection designed and hand-crafted by a group of 20 artisans in Los Angeles, California. Born out of a need for smart and timeless design that transcends trends, Rafa is committed to the use of local craftsmanship combined with top quality materials to create a collection of accessible luxury footwear. All our products are made using ecologically friendly materials and sustainable processes."
Shop here for: Comfy and cute block-heel sandals and ankle boots in colours unthinkable
"Inspired by the tradition of art breaking with convention, Wwake offers a new perspective on heirloom jewelry. With a thoughtful balance of tension and scale, Wwake recontextualizes jewelry into unexpected arrangements and modern silhouettes. Our pieces deliver the experience of art through simple and valuable objects.
"Our selection of jewelry is defined by our signature contour shapes, unexpectedly light stone arrangements, and otherworldly stones. All Wwake jewelry is crafted in New York with the finest quality materials and conflict-free diamonds. Wing Yau is a New York–based designer born in the Pacific Northwest."
Shop here for: Stunning opal jewelry and dainty layering pieces with a bit of sparkle
"We like our lines architectural, our designs functional, and our materials unsurpassed. Each piece is crafted in our own Los Angeles atelier, from sketch to pattern to production and photography, we oversee each step in the process to make sure it's done to our standard.
"Nothing leaves our facility without a thorough hand inspection. We buy local whenever possible to support the local economy. When we can't, we personally hand source the best of the best from Italy and Japan. This all-in-one manufacturing model assures that we pass on the best possible quality product to you.
"Our goal is to make the finest products possible, strengthen the local community, and minimize our global footprint.
"We strive to make beautiful things that make people feel empowered and inspired through their interaction with them."
Shop here for: The leather jacket you've been searching for for your entire life
"Every Christy Dawn piece is made by local artisans in Downtown Los Angeles, sewn with longevity in mind. We use deadstock fabric as to minimize our environmental footprint, and instead of creating thousands of garments at a time, we sew a limited number of pieces, numbering every dress we make."
Shop here for: Prairie-girl vibes and summer dresses galore
"At Everlane, we want the right choice to be as easy as putting on a great T-shirt. That's why we partner with the best ethical factories around the world. Source only the finest materials. And share those stories with you—down to the true cost of every product we make. It's a new way of doing things. We call it Radical Transparency."
Shop here for: Timeless basics and extremely comfortable shoes