eco fashion: ethical basics, briefs + bloomers

Nature thrives when there is balance in what we consume and contribute.
— Founders of Liass

even the birds + the bees wear ‘em! actually, it’s the boys + the girls that are wearing them. well most of us do, and if you’re looking for a pair of eco, ethically-produced + vegan underwear, consider yourself covered. get it?

here we have ten fab sustainable lingerie + underwear labels offering sweet, stylish + sexy choices: with fabrics chosen based on their environmental footprint, durability + longevity. each eco company has vetted and chosen factories that ensure their workplace is free of child labor + forced labor, their workers are in a safe working space, and each worker is paid a living wage.

why should you choose organic cotton and textiles? cotton is a pesticide laden crop. “approximately $2 billion worth of chemicals are sprayed on cotton crops worldwide every year, half of which are designated toxic by the world heath organization.” with these finished fabrics placed directly next to our most sensitive body parts + directly on our skin {the body’s largest organ}, our bodies absorb these chemicals. there are lots of good reasons to choose organic. and ladies looking for safe hygiene products, this one’s for you.

check out the bottom of this post for more information about why it’s important to create a greener, cleaner wardrobe that keeps you and your loved ones, farmers and the garment workers safe and healthy.

alright frisky friends, check out your new favorite basics!

1. amaella lingerie // uk

from co-founders lara + julie: amaella is made by people we know and care about using the finest quality gots organic cotton and free from toxic chemicals. at amaella, we are about carefully crafting timeless classics that you will love for ever. we are proud to be running a social enterprise with the mission of encouraging ethical practices in the fashion industry by making our clothes using sustainable and ethical sources. we want to bring some patience into our impatient world – a world in which customers see clothes as disposable.

materials: organic cotton // designed in the u.k., made in the u.k. + portugal

2. baserange // denmark + france

from co-founders marie-louise + blandine: founded in 2012, baserange is a line of modern basics with an emphasis on clean lines and easy silhouettes. the company utilizes both natural fibers and recycled content. baserange believes that a commitment to clean production will minimize environmental impact and benefit both the producer and the user.

materials: bamboo + organic cotton // designed in toulouse + copenhagen, made in porto + odemis

3. liass // new york

from founder emelie: growing up in scandinavia, nature, and sustainability has always been close to home. it’s important for us to create with nature and our future in mind. we strive to leave as little impact on nature as possible and encourage our customers to do the same. we have thoughtfully sourced our fabrics from u.s.-based suppliers with similar values to our own.

materials: organic cotton, soy fibers derived froom production waste {made from soybean hulls} + recycled polyester // designed in nyc, made in new york in a women-owned factory

4. olly lingerie // france

from co-founders clémentine + mathilde: an eco-conscious underwear line inspired by a simplified and mindful every day. we imagined the lingerie of our dreams: pretty, comfortable and above all, eco-responsible. at olly, we are convinced that every woman has the right to wear lingerie that takes care of her body. olly uses gots certified organic cotton and nontoxic oeko-tex certified dyes.

materials: organic cotton // designed in france, made in hungary

5. people tree // uk

from founder safia: a pioneer in sustainable fair trade fashion, our story started in 1991. we launched our first fashion range to meet the global organic textile standard certified by the soil association and were the first fashion company to be awarded the world fair trade organisation product label. these certifications guarantee people tree’s dedication and compliance to the principles of fair trade, covering fair wages, good working conditions, transparency, environmental best practice and gender equality. {editors’s note: be sure to read safia minney’s slow fashion books slave to fashion + naked fashion}

materials: organic cotton // designed + made in the u.k.

6. pico // uk

from founders phoebe + isobel: pico produces essential, everyday goods, which can be traced right back to the source. we began with the first things to be put on in the morning - super soft and simple, everyday underwear. we work directly with a small fairtrade factory in southern india, using organic cotton sourced from fairtrade farmers’ cooperatives. underwear for men & women.

materials: organic cotton // designed in the u.k., made in india

7. underprotection // denmark

from stephan + sunniva: we love women, all kinds, all sizes and our goal is to make you feel as beautiful and comfortable as possible. We use sustainable materials and support fair working conditions as fair wage is a human right. we have set out to challenge the conception of what sustainable fashion can be, and each season we will prove to you that it really can be everything we wish for! We want to make a difference by giving our customers the possibility to combine ethics and aesthetics when shopping.

materials: banana leaf fiber, recycled polyester, lyocell and organic cotton // designed in denmark, made in india

8. organic basics // denmark

from alexander, mads f.r., cristoffer, mads h.r.: our number one rule for making clothes is to design everything to last. that means investing in quality fabrics and workmanship - but it also means designing with simplicity and function in mind. we only work with trusted, certified factory partners - these are the good guys. they have the same sustainable vision as us - and follow it through by continuously reducing their environmental footprint. underwear for men + women.

materials: organic cotton, recycled nylon + silvertech // designed in denmark, made in turkey, portugal, austria + italy

9. woron // denmark

from sustainable sister duo arina + anya: vegan underwear and fashion favorites that will stay in your wardrobe season after season. our aim is to create the lingerie pieces that will be the first thing you want to put on and the last thing you take off! it is comfort without sacrificing feminine shaping, fashion or style - and style without sacrificing sustainability. we are very passionate about our work and it is very important for us to feel good about every step we take. we are sustainably conscious from the crafting, to the handling of each product and finally to the timeless design that can stay in your wardrobe season after season - year after year.

materials: organic cotton + modal // designed in copenhagen, produced in hungary

10. pansy // california

from laura + rachel: pansy is an organic cotton underwear company. born from a need for comfy dreamy ethical undies, their organic cotton is grown and milled domestically and their underwear are designed and sewn locally. our products are made entirely of organically grown natural fibers and sewn in california without a sweatshop in sight. they are dyed without the use of toxins and made with lots and lots of love.

materials: organic cotton // designed + made in the usa


wear fair, wear organic

{don’t forget the tip} “farmers’ exposure to herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides, and growth regulators have caused occupational illnesses and pesticide poisonings that amount to 3 million cases per year, resulting in twenty thousand poisoning deaths. not only to the workers and the farmers directly exposed to these chemicals suffer, but the land also accumulates these toxins.

“the result is soil toxicity, which makes growing crops harder and releases chemical run-off into our waterways. in addition, the textile industry affects the quality of the soil, as farmers try to keep up with demand and plant the same crop season after season, depleting biodiversity and natural crop rotation integral to soil health.”* land is a precious resource that we, as citizens, need to protect.

our demand for more goods equals a greater strain on our earth, depleting a precious resource and poisoning both water + air. remember, eco boys + girls, our everyday choices, decisions + buying habits have lasting effects. if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. and if you’re ready to buy, buy clean, green options like those listed here today.

looking for more options? here are two great eco roundups from my green closet + curiously conscious.

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

eco round up: white hot, ethical style

fashion revolution week is upon us, and today, i’ve compiled eight ethereal pieces in ivory + pale hues. creamy delights for all of you sustainable style lovers. i’ve used pics from my summer trips through the south of france as the romantic backdrop, so you can travel through marseilles + frolic in the mediterranean sea while perusing delicious ethical brands. check out wednesday’s post in which i’ve shared seven simple steps to join the fashion revolution for citizens + activists interested in protecting planet earth + all of its inhabitants.

1/ mara hoffman organic cotton dress, local eclectic shell earrings, indego africa straw bag, nae vegan slingbacks

2/ sezane open back dress made in bulgaria

3/ harley jae linen top + skirt and top handmade in canada

4/ tribe alive organic linen romper handmade in india

5/ all the wild roses boho dress handmade from remnant cotton in vietnam

6/ maison de mode billowing skirt handmade in ghana

7/ reformation tencel scoop neck dress made in los angeles

8/ by the sea organic cotton seaside dress handmade in india

{don't forget the tip} conventional products + clothing carry toxins that are absorbed through our skin and can negatively impact our health + the health of the workers producing the goods {the chemicals in coloring dyes, scouring agents + industrial detergents have been linked to skin rashes, hormone disruption + cancer}. choose sustainable apparel from responsible fashion labels whenever possible, and ask your favorite retailers whether their apparel is made using natural, non-toxic textiles + dyes.

remember eco boys + girls, ethical fashion is about voting with your dollars as a conscious citizen + consumer. only shop when you need to, and shop your closet first. oh, and if you’re feeling adventurous, pop into a vintage shop or thrift shop. there are always treasures to be found!

images via eco, ethical co’s

ethical fashion: join the fashion revolution

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remembering rana plaza

today we commemorate the 1,134 garment workers who lost their lives on april 24, 2013 when the rana plaza factory in bangladesh collapsed. thousands more were maimed + injured. nervous workers had stepped out on this day after cracks in the building were detected, but they were ordered back into the building by management despite structural neglect of the building + safety hazards. why? for the production of low cost clothing: to meet the demand for fast fashion.

here's what you can do to become a part of the solution

today, workers still toil long hours in unsafe working conditions around the world to make clothes, shoes + accessories. put your activism pants on + let the world know you will be a voice for those who can’t be heard. here are six simple steps to join the fashion revolution:

1. take a pic

take a picture of yourself wearing one of your favorite items of clothing turned inside out, with the label in full view. hop on social media and post the pic asking fashion labels "who made my clothes?" use hashtags #whomademyclothes #transparency #livingwage #fashionrevolution #peopleoverprofits

2. abstain

an important way to contribute involves what not to do. over consumption feeds the demand for apparel manufacture, with shoe + clothing companies racing to meet customer demand and forcing factory workers to labor for long hours in dangerous conditions to meet production deadlines. so this, my friends, is the moment to embrace quality over quantity. remember: loved clothes last. shop less + shop your own closet.

3. act

beyond conscious consumerism, learn how to engage decision makers by calling representatives and sending emails to government officials. fashion revolution encourages us to take immediate action in the political sphere + to become active citizens in the campaign towards policy + legislative change. 

become more politically involved by thinking beyond ethical purchases. to contact your government leaders in the u.s.a., simply enter your zip code here for state rep’s or here for state senators, then click on the “contact” page and write from your heart.

4. ask

one of my fave clean fashion advocates is livia firth. livia has an informative instagram account, and she + her staff answer questions about the world of sustainable living + ethical fashion to help you on your journey to greener, kinder living. to learn more, follow slave to fashion by safia minney, a pioneer in fair trade fashion + labor rights activist; labour behind the label, an organization that campaigns for workers’ rights in the clothing industry; and clean clothes campaign, a global alliance dedicated to improving working conditions + empowering garment factory workers.

5. read

the most seminal book i've read since embarking on this sustainable living + ethical fashion journey is to die for: is fashion wearing out the world? by journalist, environmentalist + slow fashion activist lucy siegle. each chapter changed the way i think about my consumer habits and how i choose to spend my money, time + energy. knowledge is the start to making thoughtful decisions as an active citizen.

elizabeth cline is the author of overdressed: the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion. this is an engrossing + edifying read, and she just published her second book, the conscious closet, which you can pre-order now.

6. research

remember to look for fair trade labels to ensure decent working conditions + fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. if you can't find a label, be sure to ask a manager or customer service representative. when you walk into a restaurant, you are able to ask about the ingredients in your menu offering. in the same way, you should be able to walk into a shop {or browse online} and find out more about the clothes you may invest your money in. if a retailer doesn't respond to my email inquiries, then i shop at those companies where transparency is a part of their mission.

7. watch

each year, i recommend the documentary true cost by director andrew morgan. this film is about “the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the fashion industry is having on our world.” this movie introduces the hearts + hands that stitch our clothes, and it will forever change the way you think about your purchases as a citizen.

learn more about the families + brave survivors of the rana plaza disaster. financial donations to fashion revolution can be made here to continue the work of disseminating information + spreading awareness. your voice matters. policy makers + fast fashion companies must know that low wages, environmental degradation, unsafe working conditions + factory disasters are unacceptable in the work places where fast fashion companies offshore the manufacturing of their products. demand transparency + let your voice be heard.

{image via fashion revolution}

{eco boutique} the rescued collection: an eco, online thrift shop

the propensity to rescue dates back as far as my mind can reach. and not just defenseless animals. dusty, old books? i want them; i'll read them all. antique furniture left in the alley next to my flat? guess who's coming home with me tonight? clothes that no one else wants? i'll dust them off + wear them or reconstruct them. i see value in almost everything.

there's a little online eco boutique called bead + reel that you may already know about {i wrote about it previously here on finny + dill, singing high praises for this woman-founded + woman-run retail shop: that's right, it's entirely run by one fierce woman}, but did you know that owner sica schmitz has created an online resale shop that sells only vegan + ethically made wares? sica also won the sustainable business council's small business award this year. here's what the animal activist, shrewd eco entrepreneur + one of my fave everyday heroes had to say about acknowledging women's accomplishments + why size doesn't matter:

before we hear words of wisdom from sica, a woman with a powerful will, i wanted to take a moment to introduce you to her fantastic new online second-hand shop that she has incorporated on bead + reel, her fab retail website. this is no ordinary collection of pre-loved clothes. the rescued collection is made up of eco, ethical + vegan wares only. which means you can purchase gently used + like new apparel, footwear + accessories from some of the best sustainable fashion labels for a fraction of the original price. 

the average american throws out 70 pounds of textiles each year, according to the council for textile recycling.

and it's so very easy. just drop the free shipping label into your cart, press send; within 24 hours you'll receive the ups label which you can print from home, then ta da! send your package via post, then receive a payment via paypal or keep the credit to purchase a shiny new bauble or that new set of strappy heels you've been eyeing. trust me, this is a great way to save money on eco items you'd like to invest in or to save your garments from the belly of the whale: and my that i mean the landfill. 

and now sica speaketh the truth. sica talks size, and why it doesn't matter: it was very intimidating to enter this competition as a one-person, $100,000 business competing in the same category as $1 million companies with teams of employees. there is a vast difference in resources and capabilities, and i am well aware of that. but for a small sole proprietorship to win means that any individual has the power to build their own business and to start creating their own unique impacts. don't wait until you're "big enough" to change the world; you, yourself, are capable of it right now.

as a woman whose company honors the earth by stocking only products that are made with respect to our natural resources, to people + to animals, i loved what she had to say about the importance of trees:

one of my friends asked how much money came with this award, and i had to laugh. this award offers only recognition, and a tree. a beautiful "giving tree" - a ming aralia, and it was probably the most meaningful award i could have received. my father used to give away thousands of trees every year to my hometown community - little douglas fir seedlings, free to anyone who would love them. his friends and clients and strangers would plant their jace trees - named in his honor - on their properties, and some people had decades worth of jace trees growing at their homes. he died 5 years ago, so he never got to see bead + reel or the tree that i won this week. however, his jace trees live on, a beautiful and constant reminder that our impact on the world doesn't end when we leave this earth. so give trees, and plant trees, and live the kind of life that continues to grow, even after you are gone.

and finally, sica reminds us why female leadership matters: 

bead + reel is an entirely woman-founded, women-owned, woman-run business, and it is only in acknowledging more women's accomplishments that we can start to shift towards a reality where there are as many large companies run by men as by women.

thank you to sica for her work as a pioneering entrepreneur  + a rockin' role model. 

{don't forget the tip} when i first learned that people across the world dispose of used clothing, i was completely discombobulated. the average american throws out 70 pounds of textiles each year, according to the council for textile recycling. that just won't do. there are many options for recycling your gently-worn apparel + footwear. don't send those gently used items to the landfills, instead give them new life by donating them or selling them. now get ready to shop small. want to know what other options exist for redirecting the destiny of those perfectly wearable clothes in your closet? check out this post at litterless. 

{eco apparel: wearing organic cotton top by groceries apparel + fair trade jeans by monkee genes; find your own fair trade treasures at bead + reel}

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{fashion revolution} take action: ask "who made my clothes?"

today marks the beginning of fashion revolution week, which brings people together from all over the world to use the power of fashion to change the story for the 75 million garment workers who toil in the apparel industry every day in perilous + unsafe working conditions

Fashion revolution is a movement towards transparency, ethics and sustainability in the world of fast fashion.

fashion revolution seeks to inspire people to think differently about the clothes they buy + wear. they ask citizens + consumers to explore the cause + effect relationship between our purchasing habits and the lives of those who make our clothes. fashion revolution encourages each of us to use our money and our voices to transform the fashion industry into a force for good. 

today we commemorate the 1,134 workers who lost their lives when a garment factory in bangladesh collapsed. thousands more were injured. nervous workers had stepped out on this day after cracks in the building were detected, but were ordered back into the building by management. why? for the production of low cost clothing.

here's what you can do to become a part of the solution

put your activism pants on + let the world know you will be a voice for those who cannot speak. here are six simple steps:

1. take a pic

take a picture of yourself wearing one of your favorite items of clothing turned inside out, with the label in full view. hop on social media and post the pic asking fashion labels "who made my clothes?"

2. abstain

an important way to contribute involves what not to do. over consumption feeds the demand for apparel manufacture, with shoe + clothing companies racing to meet customer demand and forcing factory workers to labor for long hours in dangerous conditions to meet production deadlines. so this, my friends, is the moment to embrace quality over quantity. shop less + shop your own closet.

3. act

beyond conscious consumerism, learn how to engage decision makers by calling representatives and sending emails to government officials. this provocative + clear-eyed article by alden wicker of eco cult urges us to take immediate action in the political sphere + to become active citizens in the campaign towards policy + legislative change. 

become more politically involved by thinking beyond ethical purchases.

4. ask

one of my fave eco heroes + clean fashion advocates is kate black. kate has a column on her blog magnifeco "ask kate" in which you can send questions about the world of sustainable style + ethical fashion. she provides honest + practical advice for compassionate living.

5. read

the most seminal book i've read since embarking on this sustainable living + ethical fashion journey is to die for: is fashion wearing out the world? by journalist, environmentalist + slow fashion activist lucy siegle. each chapter changed the way i think about my consumer habits and how i choose to spend my money, time + energy. knowledge is the start to making thoughtful decisions as an active citizen.

6. research

remember to look for fair trade labels to ensure decent working conditions + fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. if you can't find a label, be sure to ask a manager or customer service representative. when you walk into a restaurant, you are able to ask about the ingredients in your menu offering. in the same way, you should be able to walk into a shop {or browse online} and find out more about the clothes you may invest your money in. if a retailer doesn't respond to my email inquiries, then i shop at those companies where transparency is a part of their mission.

learn more about the families + brave survivors of the rana plaza disaster. financial donations to fashion revolution can be made here to continue the work of disseminating information + spreading awareness.

{artwork by ev / image via fashion revolution}