Big thanks to Kate for our next post on ethical shopping: workwear brands made in the United States, Canada, and Europe! Readers, how important is ethical shopping to you? Do you have any favorite workwear brands that are made in North America or Europe? – Kat
We introduced our ongoing series of posts on ethical shopping with a roundup of several brands that are made in the United States, mostly small and/or independent labels, and startups — like Dobbin, Bailey44, and Zady. Today we’re sharing a list of bigger, mainstream brands for workwear — names you’re more likely to recognize — whose clothing is entirely, mostly, or partially made in North America or Europe. (As several readers correctly pointed out, the U.S. doesn’t have a monopoly on ethically-produced clothing.) And here’s our guide to fair trade and ethically-sourced clothing.
Looking at a company’s website, it can often be difficult or impossible to find out where the clothing is made, so we hope this list will be helpful and save you some time as you shop for workwear that’s ethically produced and easily accessible to the average shopper. (Pictured: Karen Kane A-Line Jersey Dress, available at Nordstrom for $89.)
Major Brands Made in the U.S.A. or Europe
- Eileen Fisher: On its website, the company explains its impressive Vision 2020 plan, which focuses on the human rights aspects and environmental impact of its supply chain. Eileen Fisher seems much more transparent about its production than many other companies; read more here. Currently, about 20% of production takes place in New York and Los Angeles.
- Everlane: Everlane manufactures its clothing in the U.S., Europe, Vietnam, and China; its factories and distribution centers are listed on its website, and you can see details and photos for each.
- H&M: Here’s another company that avoids vague language and actually presents specific information about its current production and goals. H&M Conscious explains its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices (more details here). Besides reading the 2014 sustainability report for H&M, you can potentially learn far more than you may ever want to know about the company’s inner workings, including its human rights policy, extremely detailed compliance data for its suppliers, and its animal welfare policies.
- Igigi: All of the company’s clothing (sizes 12-32) is made in San Francisco.
- Jason Wu: More than 90% of the Jason Wu Collection is manufactured in NYC’s Garment District; handbags and shoes are all handmade in Italy.
- Karen Kane: The company produces 80% of its clothing in Los Angeles — including the dress pictured above.
- Modcloth: Many items available at Modcloth are made in the U.S. — you can browse through 1,300+ of them here, although the sorting options aren’t exactly ideal if you’re looking for a particular type of item.
- Nanette Lepore: Most clothing is made in NYC (perhaps 85%); the website states that “some of [their] favorite shoe styles” are now manufactured in L.A. Unfortunately, they don’t indicate which ones — but those shoes’ insoles are clearly labeled “Made in Los Angeles.”
- Nicole Miller: In a recent interview, the designer said that her company produces 70% of its clothing in New York City — that doesn’t include sweaters and knitwear, and some silk garments.
- Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus: You can search their websites for “Made in U.S.A.” — although it appears that some of those items are made from “imported fabrics,” with no additional information given.
Smaller Brands Made in North America (Part 2; see Part 1)
To add to our first post in this series, we’ve rounded up additional small brands/labels that are made only in North America; most are suggestions from Corporette readers.
- Curator: All clothing — which it claims will be the “work horses of your wardrobe” — is made in San Francisco, much of it from organic fabrics.
- Nina McLemore: All clothing — available in sizes 0-18 and petites and designed for “senior professional and executive women” — is made in factories in NYC from “European fabrics in natural fibers and fine Asian silks.”
- Catherine Scholze: These workwear basics for “curvy executive and professional women” — like pencil skirts and lined tailored pants — are entirely made in the U.S. (mostly NYC and Vermont) in sizes 8-20.
- Iris Setlakwe: Almost all (90%) of the brand’s clothing, which is designed to be easily mixed and matched, is made in Montreal from fabrics imported from Europe.
- Tianello: All clothing is made in L.A. from natural fabrics.
- Wallis Evera: All clothing — most is suitable for workwear — is designed, cut, and sewn in Canada, and much of it is made from hemp fiber, an eco-friendly material that’s biodegradable and renewable. The company also uses certified organic cotton, lyocell (from eucalyptus trees), and humane silk.
- With Love, US: All items are made in the U.S.; the website includes a directory of brands “dedicated to produce in the U.S.”
- Why Don’t More Fashion Brands Manufacture in the U.S.? [Fashionista]
- What Does “Made in the U.S.A.” Really Mean? [Fashionista]
- The Myth of the Ethical Shopper [The Huffington Post]
- Find out about whether your favorite brands engage in trafficking and other labor abuses [Free2Work]
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