Fair Fashion

4 Ethical Ensembles to Get You Through the Holidays, from Party to Work to Weekend

The holidays can be such a whirlwind! Keep your style on fleek with these ethical fashion swaps for high-fashion pieces for Party, Work and Weekend!

B o l d   G e o m e t r i c   P r i n t s

SUNO_SS2015

SUNO Spring/Summer 2015 Ready-To-Wear

The 2014 LVMH Prize for Young Designers finalist SUNO is designed by filmmaker Max Osterweis and industry vet Erin Beatty. Known for their clever use of prints, the brand was launched as a way for Osterweis to utilize his collection of African textiles. SUNO is based in New York and is a favorite of Michelle Obama (NBD). While they are known for celebrating the artistry of the cultures their textiles originate from, the lack of information on their sources and factory practices make it a little difficult for conscious consumers to jump right in.

ACEJIG_NOMAD dress

Ace & Jig Nomad Dress

Ace & Jig is based in Brooklyn, New York and is comprised of duo Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson. The pair bonded over their love of antique textiles and passion to create timeless, effortless clothing. Ace & Jig work very closely with their manufacturers and textile specialists in India and travel there several times a year to work one-on-one to create authentic fabrics. They also provide free childcare for their workers, as well as using reclaimed water to grow organic produce for their employees.

D a r k   T w i s t e d   E v e n i n g   D r e s s 

RICKOWENSLILIES_34 dress

Rick Owens Lilies 3/4 Drape Dress

American fashion designer Rick Owens has built an alternate universe of elegant monsters that look like they’ve stepped out of a gothy Mad Max movie. With fans such as A$AP ROCKY, it’s easy to see how Rick’s dark aesthetic and figure-flattering drapes have become the darling of the fashion world. But unfortunately for ethical fashion girls, Rick Owen’s rock-and-roll savage style also means that he uses furs and leathers liberally in his designs.

KOWTOW_VOLUTE blk dress

KOWTOW Volute Dress in Black

KOWTOW is a New Zealand brand with a penchant for beautiful minimalist pieces. A true believer of the fairtrade process, founder Gosia Piatek is involved with the whole supply chain from farm to factory and visits the Kowtow factory in Kolkata every 6 months to monitor sampling and production. Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified cotton as certified by the Fairtrade labelling Organization and SKAL International. For a full rundown of Kowtow’s extensive fairtrade practices click here.

O f f i c e   C h i c   D r e s s 

DVF_ZOE dress 34slv

Diane Von Furstenberg Zoe Dress

There are few things as iconic in the history of fashion as Diane Von Furtenberg’s wrap dress. A young socialite at the time she came up with her oft-copied frock, Furstenberg’s dresses were unique in the sense that they weren’t expensive—or couture. Made of gentle jersey, the dresses from the house of DVF are known for being practical, pretty, and just a touch of sexy. Basically, the perfect outfit for being at the office as well as going out for happy hour drinks afterwards! Diane Von Furstenberg is a dedicated philanthropist and has been slowly (but surely) making the transition to running a greener business, but as of yet it’s difficult to divine which products are sustainable and which are not.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mata Raiders Maggie and Mary Dress

Mata Raider founder Maureen Dunn conceived the brand after a backpacking trip to India. The brand partners with several women’s cooperatives in India and Nepal to help train, employ, and empower hundreds of women in marginalized communities. Mata Traders is a proud member of the Institute of Green Business Certification, Fair Trade Federation, Green America, Local First Chicago, Chicago Fair Trade, and Think Green Live Clean.

W e e k e n d   P l a y s u i t

TRINATURK_denim suit

Trina Turk Denim Jumpsuit

Contemporary clothing line Trina Turk takes inspiration from the multicultural mix of creativity, architecture and landscape of California, it’s home state. Turk’s signature style can be seen best in the vibrant colors and relaxed fits that she favors for her designs – a look she likes to call “California Modernism.” But despite her cheery brand of optimism, it’s difficult to find concrete information on Trina Turk’s sustainable business practices.

ALIGOLDEN_denimsuit

Ali Golden Denim Jumper

Originally a graphic designer, Ali Golden fell in love with pattern-making and went on to found her eponymous brand known for its effortlessly stylish clothes. All of her pieces, from accessories to dresses, are handmade, with Golden herself drafting and cutting patterns and creating samples. Ali Golden is a part of the Bishop Collective, an online boutique that specializes in fashion that is guaranteed to be produced domestically in factories that provide safe and healthy working conditions.

Soyo Hong (b. 1989, Seoul, Korea) is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. An artist and writer in NYC, she is a regular contributor to digital platforms such as Animal New York, Hopes&Fears, and Ratter.