Before we head into 2014, I'm excited to take a look back at some of the amazing, eco-friendly and made in the USA discoveries I have been lucky enough to make over the course of 2013.
Writing this blog has opened up my eyes to so many creative, talented designers who are using kind, thoughtful materials and treating their workers with respect and dignity. This post is by no means an exhaustive list of the the companies I want to highlight-- for example, I LOVE sustainable designers Ace and Jig and Heidi Merrick, but I could only pick ten favorites, and here they are:
#10 Bailey Hat Company for JCrew Fedora
JCrew has been doing more collaborations lately, mostly for men, but sometimes for us ladies, too. This hat is made here in the USA of 100% felt, which is a very eco-friendly, sturdy, recyclable fabric. Add to that the hats "packable" feature, and it's perfecto. This fedora (see how I styled it HERE) is on sale and available right now for a deep discount that makes it $47 with code SHOPHAPPY.
Be sure to try out JCrew's handy "made in the USA" search button functionality to find more collaborations that support American manufacturers and craftspeople. For some reason, you can only find this magical button after clicking on "Men" and looking in the left column under "shop by category"-- the same link is not available under "Women," perhaps because the Bailey hat is the only women's item that is made in the USA?
Dear JCrew: more collabs with artisans and American manufacturers, please! You can do it!
#9 The Vera Wang Sheath Dress
I was so pleased to learn that this Vera Wang dress was made here in the USA. Sadly, it's seems very difficult to find dresses by Vera Wang that are made here. Most that I found when writing this post were made in China or otherwise, "imported," so even though I love this dress, it only ranks #9. See how I styled it HERE and HERE.
There is, however, an eco-friendly way to wear this and many other dresses like it, and that's by using Rent the Runway. It's a wonderful way to wear the perfect dress to a special event at a fraction of the cost, and then send it right back so that someone else can wear it, too!
#8 Kelly Wearstler
Kelly Wearstler was another refreshing made in the USA discovery. I love her design aesthetic, and of course I'd rather support someone who is still making some clothing and a good part of her jewelry stateside, so this Secondi find was very exciting. See how I styled this top HERE, and take 25% off of all of her sale items on Shopbop right now with code EXTRAOFF25.
I teamed up with photographer Jason Hornick, surface designer Aaryn West, and dancers from Capitol Movement to shoot and style these super-fun, colorful leggings. Teeki leggings are made in Los Angeles from recycled plastic bottles, if you can believe it, and the ones I'm wearing are super soft, stretchy, and confortable. Highly recommend. See how I styled them HERE and HERE.
#6 Koral Jeans
This relatively new jeans company makes stretchy and comfy jeans. They don't make this color-blocked version anymore, but they have plenty of other fun options and the fit is great. They are the jeans version of my Teeki leggings.
See how I styled them HERE and HERE, and take 25% off any pairs on sale at SHOPBOP with code EXTRAOFF25.
#5 Clover Canyon
I had no idea that trippy pattern players Clover Canyon made their clothing in the USA. Easily found at larger retailers like Nordstrom but just as likely to pop up in that local, fashion-forward boutique you just discovered, this a a great brand to depend on for some serious statement pieces if you're the adventurous type. See how I styled them HERE.
Reformation repurposes vintage and surplus materials to limited edition collections each season. Each collection is made locally in their own New York and Los Angeles studios and then sold directly to their own physical stores or online customers. The bag in the left photo is made from vintage fur coats and vintage leather, for example. The plaid shirt on the left is made from surplus fabric.
What I like about this line is their local production and the knowledge that each piece was created using fabrics that were already in existence--it's a lighter footprint than ordering new fabrics each season, and re-styling out of date garments is, of course, eco-fab. See how I styled my favorite pieces HERE and HERE.
#3 Amour Vert
Although this organic, chambray shirt dress was a recent purchase, I've been an admirer of Amour Vert for quite some time. They employ a zero-waste design philosophy and use only organic and sustainable fabrics along with low impact dyes to make their line in San Francisco. They check so many eco-friendly boxes that a purchase from Amour Vert is a no-brainer for any ethical fashion enthusiast.
Describing themselves as s Cali-cool meets Paris chic, they have casual dresses, party dresses, button down silk shirts, and even a few trousers to choose from. What I love most is that each season, their designs only seem to get better and better. I loved their holiday line, and I strongly recommend checking it out.
See how I styled my newest Amour Vert purchase HERE.
#2 Pikolinos Sandals
Pikolinos sandlas are handmade in Spain using natural processes, and the particular pair I found are part of their fair trade "Masaii Project." More than 1,600 Maasai women embroider Pikolinos’s leather with their typical patterns, colors and designs. Once they are embroidered, the products are sent back to Spain, where the shoes and bags are finished and distributed. Each Maasai woman earns a fair wage for her embroidery work, and when a collection is finished, the community receives an extra payment recognizing the men's and children‘s collaboration and involvement.
All of their leathers contain casein, a protein found in milk that adheres to leather pores and produces greater shine. The leather is not covered with any type of resin nor protective plastic film. Additionally, at Pikolinos.com you'll find shoes with Cyclonatura, a 100% hypoallergenic, ecological and metal-free leather.
Brands that are dedicated to high quality craftsmanship and socially empowering collaborations get a big thumbs up in my book. And for the record: these are the most comfortable sandals I have ever owned. They are like butter, and never needed to be worn in. They feel so good to wear, in all the ways that count. See how I styled them HERE and HERE.
#1 My Stella McCartney Ankle Boots
Like all of Stella McCartney's offerings, these shoes are vegan-friendly and made under ethical conditions. I found this pair second-hand at Secondi, but I always look for her sales because I like supporting a company that devotes so much thought to constantly improving the kindness and sustainabliliyy of its products. A browse through their sustainability policies and efforts is worth a few moments of your time.
These ankle boots rank #1 bc they are definitely some of my most-worn, well-loved shoes EVER. They were last seen all over this here blog (HERE with a cashmere sweaterdress, HERE, with some major floral graphic prints, and HERE with black, white and nude).
Do you have any favorite eco-friendly clothing or accessory finds that you'd like to share? Please do tell in the comments, or drop me a link on Facebook- I'd love to hear from you!
Shop picks from my 2013 favorites: