This final week of Slow Fashion October, “Known Origins,” has been amazing so far — the comments on my last two posts alone are so fantastic; go take a look here and here if you haven’t read them — and then there’s the wealth of great contributions on the #slowfashionoctober feed, which will continue through the weekend. As always, I’m calling out a few on @slowfashionoctober, but it’s impossible to do such a rich conversation justice.
For today’s links, I had this grand idea that I was going to put together an extensive, categorized resource guide for us all to lean on and build over time, and got completely overwhelmed just trying to get it started! It’s a deeply daunting task. So I’m just going to share a few links that either I personally know and believe in or that came from you guys and I’m particularly excited about. And I’m going to ask that you leave more suggestions in the comments below. Even (or especially) if you’ve left them already on other posts or on Instagram, I would love to have them all on one page, so please repeat yourself!
What’s below barely even qualifies as a scratch in the surface, but it’s what I can do at this moment — I hope it’s of some use.
Please note that it is not my intention to imply that “made in USA” is automatically a clean bill of health — it’s not. The following are all companies with a stated mission of sustainable practices. Most of the “made in USA” ones actually do in-house production, but some are simply sustainable brands doing domestic factory production.
. . . . .
Made in USA:
• Alabama Chanin – one-of-a-kind garments hand-stitched by a network of independent sewers, using organic cotton jersey
• Han Starnes – clothes made the in the south (sweaters in Peru), with an emphasis on traceable materials
• Elizabeth Suzann — clothes made-to-order in their Nashville studio, plus transparency about many of the fabrics
• Imogene+Willie — jeans made in Los Angeles, generally of Japanese or North Carolina denim
• Jamie and the Jones – clothes made in their Nashville studio, many with locally loomed fabrics
• Lauren Winter – clothes made in their Portland OR studio with an emphasis on sustainable materials
• Pansy – organic cotton undies and bras, made in California
• State – upcycled smocks and garments sewn in GA and NYC of sustainable materials
• Tradlands – menswear-inspired clothes sewn in Chicago, emphasis on quality/longevity and timelessness
• Zady – garments with every detail of the supply chain spelled out on the product page
Responsibly made elsewhere:
• Ace & Jig — work directly with Indian weavers to develop their woven fabrics (top photo)
• Blockshop Textiles — work directly with Indian blockprinters to develop their printed fabrics
• Everlane – claim to use only the best overseas factories, less concerned about materials
• Patagonia – activewear with an emphasis on sustainable sourcing and fair-trade sewing
• Rêve en Vert – designer goods, limited to brands with sustainability at their core
. . . . .
Made in USA:
• Bryr – handmade in San Francisco of US leathers (European bases) (bottom photo)
• Cobra Rock Boot Company – handmade-to-order in Marfa TX
• Sven Clogs – made of US leather and sheepskin (bases from Austria and Sweden)
• L.L. Bean – their famous duck boots are still made in Maine
Responsibly made elsewhere:
• Jane Sews – work with artisans in South Africa (also small-batch clothing)
• Nisolo – work closely with artisans in Peru, offering above-fair-trade wages and job training
Really looking forward to what you guys will add to this batch, especially.
. . . . .
FABRIC / YARDAGE
• Hellgate Fabrics – natural-fiber fabrics from countries with fair labor practices
• Huston Textile – fabrics loomed in their Rancho Cordova CA mill
• Organic Cotton Plus – organic cotton plus hemp, wool and more
• TN Textile Mill – fabrics loomed in their Nashville TN mill
• Vreseis – fabrics woven from Sally Fox’s organic color-grown cotton
. . . . .
The thrilling thing is there are WAY TOO MANY great traceable/sustainable yarn options to even begin to list — which I don’t think I could have said even a couple of years ago. (Here’s hoping the same can be said of fabrics a few years from now!) I covered some ground in this yarn resources post last year, so please take a look at that — and at the comments on it for even more. And again, please mention your favorites in the comments below! We’re blessed that there are so many …
PREVIOUSLY in Slow Fashion October: Is it more expensive to make your own clothes?
For those interested in making their own shoes a good place to start is simple shoemaking.com
Thank you So Very Much, for your Thougtful list. Especially for sources of Fabric. Finding Fabric has been such a problem. Much appreciated.
The Root Collective sells shoes ethically made by artisans in Guatemala. And I’m hoping to save up soon for a pair of Aurora Co. shoes, handmade in upstate New York. Also, The Frye Company still has some boots and shoes made in the US (though a lot of them are now made in Mexico).
I have three pairs of shoes from Aurora Shoe Company and highly highly recommend them. Their leather comes from the Horween Leather company in Chicago. If you visit the shop in person, they’re significantly more affordable, and the folks that run the place are the nicest ever!
Thanks for list. Shoes are always difficult. I buy Lucchese cowboy boots made in US, but I’m sure they use undesirable dyes and chemicals.
I forgot to mention that Eileen Fisher makes some of her clothes here in US. Her jeans are made in California.
Thanks for the list – however, fabric is woven, not loomed :-) (I’m a weaver).
Fo throse who live in or near Minnesota: Next weekend, November 4, you could spend a lot of money and go to VK Live. OR, you could go to the lcoally produced Fall Fiber Fest in Hopkins MN at the Eisenhower Community Center…admission is free…where almost every single thing sold will be locally made/ raised/ and or processed.( Its one day only, so you can still get your VK fix if you have to)
I’m a sucker for those gorgeous clogs!
Swedish Hasbeens claim sustainable and ethical practices. I prefer their styles to Svens. They are a little larger scale though (can buy on Amazon for example) so not sure if claims are legit.
For the Canada-dwellers amongst us, I just discovered that Lee Vosburgh at Style Bee has assembled a great directory (calling it a list wouldn’t do it justice!) of Canadian clothing, home goods, accessories, etc. sources: http://www.stylebee.ca/2016/09/30/canadian-responsible-shopping-guide/
Oh, wow. Thank you so much for this, Olivia. I’ve never seen a list of Canadian sources before.
A few people have mentioned Eileen Fisher and I wanted to add that they’ve recently become a B-corp. you can read about it here: http://www.bcorporation.net/community/eileen-fisher-inc
Their score isn’t high but hopefully they’ll work on that. What I find amazing is that they recently switched to a B-corp structure as part of their “Vision2020” plan to become sustainable. Changing the corporate structure is really putting their money where their mouth is and makes me believe they’re serious and not just green washing. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with that.
One of my best friends works in development at Eileen Fisher, and is on their newly formed sustainability board, and from what she tells me they are very serious.
ooh thank you for the fabric findings!!!! so good to know where the fabric came from, these resource lists are amazing KT!
my pet project lately has been making my own underwear. I’ve been experiencing some ~discomfort~ with polyester/stretch lace and I thought instead of purchasing 7 pairs for 30$, I can spend 30$ on a high quality fabric and make fewer pairs. When they are ready to retire, hopefully I’ll be a better sewer and can make a more durable pair!
Anyway, I purchased cotton/spandex jersey from OCP but I need elastic for the leg and waist bands. I wanted to emulate this pair of custom underwear from hopeless lingerie (ethically sourced and made in australia) which uses the softest japanese elastic. It’s matte and doesn’t have a “wrong side” but it’s so soft and comfortable. If anyone knows where I could get some, please let me know!!!!
I went to purchase satin elastic at a *specialty fabric store in chicago/evanston* I found yardage of plain, white elastic that, while not as sumptuous as the japanese elastic, will work for my first pairs. I bought all of it, maybe 8 yards. I spoke with the manager about getting more and he said “I think that is all what we will have, I don’t have any more in the back” so I inquired about ordering more and he said “I don’t think I can do that, I buy it in lots from a guy who deals excess textile waste so whatever we have out is what we had in the lot purchased. I don’t know the manufacturer of that particular elastic” and my jaw dropped!!!!!! I instantly thought of those huge pallets of excess clothing and wondered if this elastic has already made two trips across some ocean just to get sewn into some undies that I’m trying to cobble together!!
More made in USA clothing:
Una http://www.una-shop.com/ (produced in Seattle)
Curator http://curatorsf.com/ (produced in San Francisco)
California Tailor http://www.californiatailor.com/ (produced in LA)
Raleigh Denim Workshop http://raleighdenimworkshop.com/ (produced in Raleigh)
Sugar Candy Mountain http://www.shopsugarcandymountain.com/ (produced in California)
Lu http://thisislu.us/ (produced in Seattle)
Made in Canada clothing:
Dagg & Stacey http://daggandstacey.com/ (produced in Toronto)
Jennifer Glasgow https://jenniferglasgowdesign.com/ (produced in Montreal)
Ursa Minor Studio http://www.ursaminorstudio.com/ (produced in Montreal)
May I add Swan Creek Shoemakers, custom shoes hand made in Toledo, OH. check out the website. The Shoes are custom made for each foot. Ann sets up appointments for foot measurements around the north Ohio and Southern MI area for now. She as several styles for women and men.
Style Bee recently issued a great reference guide for slow fashion Canadian shopping. On the yarn side, I would love to try the new PureWash line from Tanis Fiber Arts, using methods that are eco-friendly. Traditional superwash methods are not that great, it is interesting to see that a few more options are becoming available.
For shoes I’d like to add: Piper Sandals, handmade in San Antonio and I loooove mine, although I’m pretty sure they use the toxic shoe glue, they have high quality leather and offer resoling. SOM (Sense of Motion) makes minimalist sneakers in Colorado, again I love the fit and the shoes can be resoled, although they use synthetic materials. Those are not stylish but perfect for hiking etc. And I just ordered a pair of boots from Po-Zu in the UK, far from my backyard, but I’m amazed by their innovative use of natural materials for every part of the shoe and no-glue construction. Their shoes are much more stylish too. I’m really hoping they’ll hold up well, we’ll see!
For fabric, I have a big list of sustainable/local sources on my blog here: https://tashamillergriffith.com/2015/10/29/sustainable-american-made-garment-fabric-i-found-some/
I’m really looking forward to seeing these lists grow!
For responsibly Made in the U.S.A ready-to-wear, I’d recommend Gamine Co. jeans, Jungmaven T-shirts (wearing one today–they use hemp and cotton, some organic), and Bikyni swimwear. I sew but these are all types of garments I’m less interested in making for myself, so I’ve been very happy to find these companies.
Soft star shoes and Quoddy shoes are US made.
Cant wait to see this list evolve!
My favorite responsible clothing brand is Aiayu: https://www.aiayu.com/ They use GOTS certified cotton and work with WRAP or SA8000 certified factories in Bolivia, India and Nepal. And they design beautiful, high quality stuff.
And even though they hold no certifications, I would like to mention Swedish Fillipa K for their transparency standards. In their online shop there is a ‘who made it’ tab by each garment, disclosing name and street address of the factory ti was made in, how long they have been a supplier and if the factory was visited by their supply team. Filipa K also runs an interesting site at http://filippakcircle.com/ with some interesting articles debating how to move further in creating a sustainable fashion industry.
I’ll second Priscilla’s mention of Soft Star Shoes. I also like NativEarth shoes in CA. I have several pairs from the latter that I have had for years and they wear like iron.
To DIY your own shoes, Sharon Raymond at Simple Shoemaking has lots of great instructional materials and videos online. She emphasizes using eco/upcycled materials, and offers some supplies and kits on her website, as well as lists of resources for ethical materials in the US.
Wellema Hat Co. Slow fashion/oldfashioned bespoke hatmaker. I just happened to look up his website today because my dh needed some heirloom hats he inherited cleaned, and I had seen the shop while driving around town. (The shopowner recently relocated to Altadena, CA from Santa Barbara.) He lives and breathes slow fashion/lifestyle. Materials sourced in the US. The info video about him and his business on his site is absolutely soul inspiring. http://www.wellemahatco.com/story
Oh – forgot about leather belts…
I’m afraid I haven’t got anything to add on the US front, and since I make most of my clothes I don’t have many retailers handy in my head, but I can add a few U.K. and Canada sources!
Gossypium: makes activewear out of organic cotton (and I think some synthetics).
Arc’teryx: I got a parka from here, and I remember going with them because I had looked on their website and it seems like the manufacturing is done in Vancouver with sustainable synthetics.
Margaret Howell: Mostly made in the U.K. and Ireland, leather goods sometimes in Italy or Portugal. Really celebrates traditional British fabrics. There’s an exhibition of Mourne textiles in their London flagship right now! Very £€$, but they have really great sample sales twice a year.
John Smedley do fine-gauge knitwear in their north of England factory.
Alex Eagle – made in London (at least some of the collections).
Sea Salt makes some (all?) of its clothes in the UK. So does Finisterre.
MADE Jewellery is from women’s collectives in Africa.
Veja is French, make trainers ethically.
Swedish Stockings make closed-loop hosiery from recycled nylon and accept old ones back for recycling.
The Guardian has a general database of U.K. Ethical brands: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/ethical-fashion-directory-uk-clothing-brands-fairtrade-vegan
In London, many of the shops on Berwick Street (Soho WC1) carry traditional made in England (and Italy) wool suiting fabrics. I find Misan Fabrics and Cloth House to be the best. Cloth House also stocks some organic fabrics, ethically made and naturally dyed Indian cottons and silks, as well as some Japanese linens and synthetics.
I forgot, Loop Knitting in Camden Passage, Islington carries a number of UK-made known origin and/or small batch yarns, and their assistants will point them all out to you if you ask in store or by email.
Unfortunately, Arc’teryx is largely not made in Canada anymore. The super high end technical gear is but I think the average item isn’t.
Ah, that’s good to know! I got this parka years ago, haven’t checked since then. It’s a thing I only plan to buy once in my life.
Thanks, I’m also in the UK and this info is great!
For shoes you’ve got to add Aurora Shoe Co. : https://www.aurorashoeco.com/. I love my “new mexican” sandals. There’s Cydwoq too, but they are very pricey. Thanks for doing this, it helps!
No. 6 clogs are also manufactured by Sven!
This is great! Thanks for putting it together.
Hemlock Leather out of Duluth MN makes handmade shoes and accessories. Hackwith Design House is doing beautiful clothing out of Minneapolis. Wilson and Willy’s, also out of Minneapolis, is a great source too. And I’ve been really inspired recently by the American Edit’s podcast “Why do we have things?” (hopefully they will be doing more episodes)! It’s fascinating to get a deeper look into the lives of the small business owners who are trying to “make it” in so many senses. Even if not every maker is on the Slow Fashion mindset fully, the struggle for transparency and sourcing comes up over and over again.
Just popping in to say that this week’s posts have been FIRE, and today’s is no exception. My first comment on this blog a couple of weeks ago was pretty critical, and while some of that critique still stands (as I noted previously, directed inward as well as outward), I do really, really, really take away a lot from this site. From information on resources (today), to close looks at the economics (Wednesday), to artisan interviews and profiles (Tuesday), to knitting beauties (that sleeve detail tho – basically all you need; Thurs), to analysis + explanation + confrontation of unanswered questions (Monday) – all good stuff. Thanks, Karen.
If you are looking for shoes that are ethical and vegan, mohop (From USA) and Matt and Nat (Canadian) are both great options. And if you are looking for some clothing that’s a bit crazier, Black Milk Clothing, purveyors of amazing crazy-print dresses and leggings, make all their clothes in-house in Autstralia. They have repeatedly stated their determination to ensure all their seamstresses are paid a living wage and work in fair conditions.
Clothing made in USA from start to finish:
Women-specific work pants: http://redantspants.com/
I would like to recommend RTW clothing brand Kowtow (kowtowclothing.com) 100% fair trade certified organic cotton clothing… New Zealand based company manufacturing in India with living wage and other considerable benefits to employees … They make georgeous statement cotton pieces, beautiful cotton knits AND lovely basics like t-shirts, leggings, undies. I have acquired a number of basics over the past few years and can attest to the quality and really like their cool aesthetic edge.
Made in Canada sports bras and breast prosthetics / uplift mini prosthetics by Janac… shipped to customers around the world. janacmastectomywear.com Thanks for this site – always something interesting going on here!
Known origins are what Fairdare is all about! We have a big long list of our favorites listed under ethical brands over at fairdare.org!
Thank you for this link!
Yes! Soulemama just had a post on them, which includes a code for free shipping. Cheers!
I’m going to celebrate my Canadian peeps making seriously beautiful and carefully crafted items…
Ursa Minor Studio in Montreal
Naked and Famous Denim
Horses Atelier in Toronto
Ovate in Montreal
If you’re in Calgary and looking for menswear, then def check out North American Quality Purveyors in the charming neighborhood of Inglewood and for shoes, you’ll find ethically made and eco-conscious brands at Gravity Pope on 17th Ave.
And I’m going to shout out to my French folk…
Le Slip Français
And send kudos to some other faves…
Zkano and Little River Sock Mill of Fort Payne, Alabama, renewed sock capital of the world!
Ayten Gasson Lingerie in England
Gloverall Duffle Coats in England
Not Perfect Linen in Lithuania
Did you see this article about the LL Bean boots? I bet you did. Now I want a pair…
…and I was about to say I don’t need more boots, but I live in the upper Midwest, where boots are every day attire like nine months of the year, typically.
I can’t believe it’s the end of October! Your weekly posts have really set me thinking about so many issues, many of which I felt I couldn’t articulate in a timely manner. But that’s okay because I’m carrying all this with me through November, December, and on. Love the community the discussions have created and am so happy to be part of it (even when I couldn’t get my act together to respond).
Naot shoes are made in Israel using Italian leather for uppers. It started in a Kibbutz in 1942.
I’ve always sort of felt guilty but powerless about shoes, since they are not a thing I can make myself, I’m super picky about what I like, and I wear them hard so have to replace them fairly often. It’s been really exciting to check out some of the companies listed/mentioned here and I definitely feel empowered to make better choices going forward.
Soooo… I signed up for the nisolo “5 for 5” club and have never felt so good about $500 (eep!) spent on something to wear. I was initially hesitant because it seems a little too good to be true, but if I even get 3 pairs of shoes out of it I’ll break even and if I end up getting all 10 it will have been a great investment. I’m over the moon about the first pair I’ve picked out, and am already looking into leather care products to keep them nice.
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Add to responsibly made elsewhere: http://www.ishivest.com/
For shoes there are: Aurora shoe co. https://www.aurorashoeco.com/ and Cydwoq https://cydwoq.com/ (pricey, but way cool)
I would like to highly recommend Cydwoq shoes. Their shoes are all designed and handcrafted at their factory in Burbank, California and they try to use environmentally friendly materials as much as possible. I live in Canada, but have purchased several pairs of their shoes on sale from local stores and they are fantastic quality.
I have also been very pleased with 3 dresses I have worn for several years from Mata Traders in Chicago. They are a fair trade fashion company.
You could also add Canadian designer brand LNBF “leave nothing but footprints”. Their sustainable, organic bamboo fabric is to die for!
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