How to Judge a Brand's Sustainability

Sustainability has so many different sides and positions to take. There are so many definitions for sustainability that it can get confusing. I know I've told y'all before that it's impossible to be perfect and it can be daunting to look for the "perfect" sustainable brand. (I personally don't think it exists). So, I look for a brand that checks some of my sustainable boxes- the more the better! I call it a "Sustainability Spectrum". In order to be on the spectrum a brand needs to check at least two of my boxes.

My sustainable boxes are (for new pieces) :

1. Made by labor that is treated well and paid a fair wage: preferably in a country that has strict and enforced labor laws. I also like it when the pieces are made in the same country that the brand has it's headquarters in, i.e. American brand, made in America.

2. Made with natural/organic material: I've got a post defining organic and synthetic materials here.

3. Timeless/Classic style: This is important because one goal of sustainability is to wear your clothes for a long time. You want to be on point- not last year. The longer you hold onto a piece the better, you are reducing clothing waste and fast fashion’s hold over you.

4. Quality Workmanship: to me clothing is an art form and should be treated as such. I try to look for quality of workmanship when I'm shopping. Luckily for me my mother sews and taught me what to look for in a well made garment. If you don't know how check out Elizabeth Cline's book "Overdressed" she outlines how to look for quality when you are shopping.

I’ve been working on a running list of brands that fall onto my sustainability spectrum, which you can find here.

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