The Best Ethical Fashion Brands in the USA
When you think of ethical fashion, you might think of tie-dye t-shirts and baggy linen pants. But there’s more to ethical fashion than these now outdated stereotypes. With consumers demanding to know ‘who made my clothes?’ brands big and small are changing their practices.
For a brand to be ethical it needs to be paying its workers a fair living wage, providing a safe working environment and refusing child labor. There are now certifications that help brands identify factories working to these standards and as consumers we should look out for these too. So keep an eye out for Fair Trade certification, or for artisanal products, the Nest Seal.
These certifications apply mostly to the developing world. Countries like the USA and the UK have laws that prohibit unethical practices, instead manufacturers are audited to ensure they are meeting health and safety standards.
Many fast fashion brands, however, are still not meeting basic practises, and producing their garments in unsafe environments to keep their costs down.
Today, only around 2% of clothing purchased in America is actually Made in the USA. Back in 1960, 95% of the clothes purchased in the USA were made here.
So, to help you shop ethically - and local, we’ve compiled a list of fantastic small fashion brands producing ethically, here in the USA.
Women owned and American Made! Nube turns otherwise wasted materials (like unused polyester) into recycled activewear. Consciously created, we love their materials and small footprint.
Telason produce traditional blue, raw denim jeans - that means no chemical processing or washing - and a whole tonne of water saved. Not only are their jeans made in the USA - the pocketing, thread, buttons, rivets and leather patches are also made in the USA.
Vetta are the champions of capsule wardrobes, producing multi functional garments that can be worn with all of the other pieces in their collections. Not only is their business model sustainable, they produce all of their clothing with eco-friendly fibers like Tencel, in small batches here in the USA.
Gamine products are made with 100% natural textiles and thoughtfully produced by seamstresses in Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, New Hampshire & Massachusetts. Designed by women, made for women and produced to last we love Garmine’s ethics.
Browse Garmine Workwear
We couldn’t talk about USA made, ethical production without mentioning Teddy Locks. From fiber to finishing Teddy Locks socks are made entirely in North Carolina - by local and family run businesses. By working directly with the supply chain our socks are fully traceable.
Shop Teddy Locks
By Meg Ahearn