You know where to buy fast fashion—it's in those ads, one mere click away on your computer. Or, likely, at a shopping center near you.
However, if you want to find ethically-made, sustainable, and eco-friendly wear, the options aren’t as abundant. (Nor as easy to find.) But, don’t fret, we did the legwork for you...and created a mini-guide to 10 great local designers who are doing double duty: producing fab fashion, while also doing their part in saving the world.
Linda Balti of Amour Vert—which means “Green Love” in French—began her business when learning that fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. The company believes that “a woman should never have to sacrifice style for sustainability,” so their products are made in the United States, using sustainable fabrics, non-toxic dyes, and a “zero-waste philosophy.” When you buy a t-shirt, they will plant a tree in North America; over 145,000 have been planted so far. // 437 Hayes St. SF; 2110 Chestnut St., SF; 1840 Fourth St. Berkeley; Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto; Lido Marina Village, 3412 Via Lido, Newport Beach, amourvert.com
Handcrafted in Peru and designed by Michelle Shepard in San Francisco, Callina’s knitwear is ethically and environmentally sourced, made from local Peruvian alpaca wool, and Oeko-Tex STANDARD 100-certified dyes. The brand also supports the Mirasol Project, which in turn, supports local Peruvian communities through the sale of their alpaca yarn. // calinastyle.com
Cuyana—which means “To Love” in Quechua—was founded by Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah, who both hold dear the notion that less is more. The items the brand makes are seasonless, made from natural fabrics, for global locales. Their Lean Closet movement helps you minimize your wardrobe while also donating to a great cause. When you make a purchase, Cuyana will send you a bag that you fill up with unneeded clothes, and through non-profit H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Erase Abuse Related Trauma), these garments go to women making a fresh start in life.) // 291 Geary St #201, Union Square, cuyana.com
When Mike Natenshon wanted to recreate his favorite old t-shirt, the ideation for Marine Layer was born. The brand’s signature fabric is MicroModal, a eco-chic textile made from recycled beechwood. The pulp production is self-sufficient, and, when knits cannot be sourced from San Francisco or Los Angeles, Marine Layer turns to oversea sewers that are still sustainable or ethical. // Bay Area stores: 2209 Chestnut St., SF; 498 Hayes St., SF; 855 El Camino Real, Suite 14, Palo Alto; 1901 Fourth St., Suite 106 Berkeley; 377 Santana Row, #1020, San Jose, marinelayer.com
Inspired by traditional garments from around the world, Mira Blackman’s clothing is made from all-natural, heritage, and handmade textiles. In fact, Blackman, whose company is based in Oakland, partners with a fair trade, woman-run weaving collective in Uganda, which uses 100% organic cotton. As for the production, she minimizes waste through her design, and lets the fabric reveal its destiny, resulting in unique pieces. // mirablackman.com
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