I have been trying for so long to get this post up (I actually don’t know how long, yes it’s really been that long)… Just before Christmas last year I had been pondering over my fashion choices and wondering where on earth the materials from my clothes were sourced from, if they had been created in an ethical manner, and also what kind of messages those businesses were actually conveying. A lot of the time I simply had no answer to those questions so I took it upon myself to do a little Google research and boy did I hit the jackpot.
…Wool and the Gang are my favourite purely because they facilitate you with what you need to learn a new skill and the accomplishment of creating your own clothing is so rewarding you won’t want to buy another jumper ever again.
Now, my ethical fashion round-up is ever so slightly different from the norm – I’ve included my favourite small (and large) businesses in the fashion industry that are either ethically made or simply carry an ethical message. Firstly I want to take a quick look at making your own clothing…
Last year I really got into knitting – it seemed like the most Paleo thing to do at the time considering I had the fitness and diet side down to a tee, I even switched up my beauty routine to be au naturel. So, it was only natural to grab those knitting needles and yarn and start knitting a couple of snoods and a hat. The feeling of creating my own clothing was phenomenal and overwhelming. Initially I was drawn to Wool and the Gang purely because their knitting kits looked hella cool. This wasn’t some sort of granny knitting movement but a movement of knitting gangstas. Yes, I’m really that shallow and I can only apologise for this.
Thankfully I realised that all of their yarn is actually ethically sourced…
Their new ‘Heal The Wool’ yarn uses pre-consumer waste yarn fibres – they don’t use additional dye either which saves water and energy. ‘Wool Me Tender’ is sustainably produced and biodegradable, ‘Jersey Be Good’ is made from fabric roll off-cuts from Turkish fashion factories, and ‘Billie Jean’ is 100% upcycled yarn made from pre-consumer denim scraps from production at denim mills.
If you’ve been watching my Instagram stories then you’ll already know that I’ve been in the midst of knitting myself a vest from 1 singular ball of the Billie Jean Yarn and using one of their free patterns – I was literally a few rows off finishing before I ran out as you will see in the picture below.
There’s a knit/crochet kit (and yarn) for everyone at Wool and the Gang, so if you’re new to the whole knitting thing don’t worry – just pick up a beginner kit (I’d recommend the Lil’ Snood Dogg kit) and get knitting! They also supply a whole host of tutorial videos on their site which is a huge help when you get stuck, and their customer service team also get back to you promptly if you can’t get your head around using the tutorials alone.
Out of all of the companies I have listed, Wool and the Gang are my favourite purely because they facilitate you with what you need to learn a new skill and the accomplishment of creating your own clothing is so rewarding you won’t want to buy another jumper ever again. Don’t worry though if you don’t think that you have the time to knit you can also pick up a few pre-made pieces at a slight extra cost.
Wool and the Gang have a huge sale on until the end of today – there’s 20% off knit kits and most yarns have up to 40% off so get shopping now!
Founded by Molly Gunn, Selfish Mother is an online clothing shop meant for the whole family. Molly believes that fashion should give back – you should feel good wearing what you wear but also be able to do good by buying it too and that’s why every time you purchase one of their #GoodTees designs they donate £10 to their chosen charities (£5 from a child’s design).
My personal favourite is their HUMAN ‘Boyfriend’ Sweatshirt which I bought last year, and I felt super happy knowing that £10 of that sale went to THE REFUGEE COUNCIL. You probably saw me wearing it A LOT over Christmas – it’s super comfy and kept me mega warm all winter.
Selfish Mother currently support; Women for Women International, KIDS, Help Refugees UK, The Refugee Council, Mothers2Mothers, Starlight UK, YAZDA, Prostate Cancer UK, Stand Up To Cancer, Tommy’s The Baby Charity, Save the Children, Little Green Pig, and Breast Cancer Haven.
To find out more about the amazing work that Selfish Mother do, click here.
Calling all disco mermaids, yogis, and party animals out there – Tirade 13 are a little East London-based company that lovingly hand make THE most amazing catsuits, leggings, and bomber jackets that will throw a gigantic sparkle explosion into your wardrobe. I am über in love with their Black Disco Mermaid Catsuit which is a bargain at just £65 and would look amazing on its own in the summer or layered up with a nice baggy jumper in the spring! They offer catsuits in sizes Small (UK 8/10) and Medium (UK 12/14) but also offer a bespoke service where other sizes and lengths are available on request too so anyone can grab themselves an outfit that will truly suit them. Men, you’ll be pleased to know that they do men’s bomber jackets too!
If you’re a performer, a hoop lover, a festival goer, or just someone who loves to partay then you’ll LOVE what Tirade 13 has to offer!
With the tagline ‘Not Your Grandmother’s Embroidery’ Raging Bush are certainly not for the prim and proper fashionista – and not for the average British grandmother either. With slogans such as ‘Pussy Grabs Back’, ‘Not Your Baby’, and ‘Pussy Power’ their garments are sure to turn heads, making a big fashion statement that’s actually worth making. Raging Bush offer a range of hand embroidered patches, denim jackets, and even protest signs (my favourite being F*** White Supremacy) with a big feminist punch. They are US-based however they do seem to ship worldwide – so super hooray there!
Help fight good causes and spread female empowerment all over the worlds by shopping with Raging Bush!
Rosa Bloom are another unique fashion company that make the most beautiful pieces of clothing with an ethnic feel. All garments are handmade in Bali, and much like Tirade 13 they cross that border between costume and ready-to-wear street/festival fashion. If you’re a fan of sequins and Mara Hoffman-esque geometrical prints then you’ll love Rosa Bloom. Designer Rosa Hirsch-Holland runs a twice yearly pop-up in London so keep your eyes peeled! Her work has also been showcased in editorial fashion shoots for Vogue and it’s really not hard to see why.
Whether it’s sequined hot pants you’re after or a sultry kimono you won’t be disappointed with what Rosa Bloom has to offer!
Strange Clothing Co. is a creation of an old college friend of mine and it’s AMAZEBALLS! Pat creates highly illustrated independent street and alternative fashion wear and it will rock your bloody socks off! The designs are so ornate yet incredibly modern and you’ll find every kind of women’s and men’s casual clothing items to bandanas, snapback caps, and even shoppers. My favourites are the Strange Sunrise Tie Dye and Gazelle Wide-Neck Bamboo tees, both of which are currently on sale!
Each illustrated piece is super unique and really cheap too – prices range from £2.50-£25.99 making it super affordable forward fashion.
Help a brother out and give Strange Clothing Co. a little looksie.
Love Specs are literally the most heart warming company I have ever found. They sell the most awesome heart-shaped diffraction glasses that literally make you see hearts everywhere – letting you see the world for how it should be – filled with love. What’s most important is that they give 100% of their profits to the Love Support Unite fund. They’ve gained a lot of support from Glastonbury and the Secret Garden Party as well as music artists such as Rudimental and Katy B.
Love Specs is a fundraising arm of Love Support Unite, which is an award-winning charity currently based in Malawi. Love Support Unite simultaneously provide education, healthcare, and skill set training to ensure that every child and young adult has the opportunity to survive, develop, grow, and succeed.
Love Specs are brilliant for festivals and of course fireworks! But you can also order large batches for parties and weddings – you’ll get 2 pairs of the original white Love Specs for the bride and groom and then 100 paper Love Specs.
Help raise money for an awesome cause with Love Specs and spread the love!
Much like Raging Bush, Otherwild sends out a highly feminist and equal rights vibe which I love! You’ve probably seen their ‘The Future is Female’ T-shirt in a fair few women’s right’s march photographs across the US – and what’s super amazing is that 25% of the t-shirt sale proceeds are donated to Planned Parenthood.
Otherwild have design studios and retail spaces in NY and LA that sell a curated selection of goods from various jewelers, ceramicists, herbalists, quilters, to farmers and so many more! Basically their site makes me feel like the UK fashion market heavily sucks ass right now and I think it’s time to book a flight outta here.
SeaSoul & Snow are a fab little site that sells some ace curated content including their own apparel made from 100% cotton with phrases such as “Let’s Flow”, “Strong Women = Strong World”, and “Kindness. It doesn’t cost a damn thing. Sprinkle that s@#t EVERYWHERE.”… Uhhh amen to that my sisters! But you’ve probably already seen their ever so popular ‘Kale’ and ‘Coconuts’ collegiate prints too which help to promote a healthy lifestyle. You’ll also find an exclusive sweatshirt from I Quit Sugar’s Sarah Wilson with the slogan ‘Sugar Sucks’ emblazoned across the front. It’s also made from 100% combed organic cotton so you know that bad boy is super snug and soft.
For feel good clothes that throw a little joie de vivre into your life head on over to SeaSoul & Snow.
So that’s the end of my little ethical clothing round-up – who do you like to buy your clothing from and why? Feel free to drop a comment using the comments box below!