Over the years I’ve become better aware of the fashion industry and the stress it causes on the environment – more specifically fast fashion. Between polluting the waters with dyes, textile waste, and mass production, mix that with our obsession for the latest trends and you’ve got yourself a major environmental problem. As someone whose interest in style strives to go beyond consumerism, it’s come to my attention that shopping for the latest trends is not the way to be at the top of the fashion game. It is for this reason, I’ve chosen to shop less fast fashion. There may be a couple of buys here and there — from fast fashion brands — but for the most, I choose not to. Instead, I do my best to support up and coming brands and independent designers whose focus remains on ethical fashion. Yes, it costs more, but in the long run, it’s worth the purchase – especially when you shop for something you know you’ll wear for years to come rather than an impulse buy. Ahead, a few of the brands and online retailers I’m happy to shop.
With their funky soles and quirky silhouettes, Nicole Saldaña shoes have grabbed the attention of many — including myself. The New York-based brand offers an ideal mix of contemporary-cool styles the ‘90s girl in you surely will covet. From chic utilitarian boots to lug-soled Mary Janes, Nicole’s designs are the ultimate in ugly-cute shoes. Back in 2017, the former Opening Ceremony designer explained how New York was behind the inspiration for her first collection. “It just felt like the right time to re-energize this idea of being a designer in New York, and designing things that are approachable and have longevity,” she told I-D. “I really want people to be able to love the shoes and to wear them — to run around the city and live and work in the shoes.”
Yenny Bastida is the creative mastermind behind sustainable brand Yenny Bastida. Based in Venezuela, Yenny works with local women, who own their knowledge of handknit techniques to create feminine silhouettes in statement prints and colorful fabrics. Since launching her namesake brand in 2003, Yenny has cultivated an all-female team of hardworking individuals, many of whom who have families to support. I love that her designs are modern yet timeless, which for me is now an important detail to note when shopping for clothes.
There’s nothing I love more than basics, and I find Everlane carries a vast array of versatile styles made from ethically sourced materials. They are also reasonably priced – especially for how much use we get out of basics. And their pieces are made to last a very long time. I’m especially fond of their cropped pants and straight-leg denim, but if we’re talking more personal – their underwear is great too. Furthermore, if you head over to their website you’ll notice they’re big on transparency, and you can see a deeper breakdown of their factories and how designs are made.
According to its website, “Selva Negra represents drive, holistic energy, united empowerment, careful craftsmanship, and engineered comfort.” Influenced by their Latina heritage, designers Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero joined forces after meeting in Brooklyn post graduation to create covetable and sustainable products made in Los Angeles. Their garments will set you back between $190 and $375, but rest assured you’ll be wearing a unique high-quality piece of clothing that’s bound to get you many compliments. On their website, you’ll find everything from linen wide-leg pants, to airy gingham dresses and chic, structured jackets you can wear time and time again.
For all those of you who get a kick out of vintage shopping like myself, meet Thrilling (if you haven’t already). Thrilling simplifies online vintage and secondhand shopping “one city at a time.” Here, you can either shop by store, or by articles and I have to say everything is so damn cute. Their selections include high-end and designer goods as well as more affordable and lesser known brands such as Madewell and Vince Camuto. If you’re all about truly unique and one-of-a-kind pieces, then Thrilling will surely become one of your faves. Just remember, if you love something, be sure to add to cart as it might be gone next time you check!
Lisa Says Gah
Lisa Says Gah is one of my favorite retailers. Not only do they make their LSG collection, but they also sell many amazing brands, most, if not all, of which are women-owned. On their site, you’ll find pieces from Paloma Wool and Maryam Nassir Zadeh to Baggu and Miista and many, many more. On top of that, they also carry vintage pieces which is another reason for me to love their curated site. As if that weren’t cool enough they also have this thing called Muse Monday, where every week they feature women creatives, who are making a name for themselves through the arts.