Choosing “slow fashion” (as opposed to fast fashion) and avoiding sweatshop-made products is easier said than done when you’re shopping for clothing. For several reasons, it can be tougher than you might expect to buy clothing made under U.S. labor and environmental laws or purchase items ethically produced in other countries.
As of 2021: If you’re hunting for eco-friendly clothes to wear to work, check out major brands like Boden, Eileen Fisher, H&M Conscious, Karen Kane, Theory, and Ted Baker — Nordstrom also has a big section devoted to sustainable style! You can also check out smaller brands like Amour Vert, Cuyana, Everlane, Emerson Fry, Grana, Reformation and Wallis Evera.
Eco-friendly plus-size workwear can be even harder to find; as of 2021, these are the ones we know about…
- Eileen Fisher
- Everybody & Everyone (up to size 24)
- Girlfriend Collective (basics)
- Pomp (Power Of My People)
- prAna (some basics will work for work)
- Treasure & Bond
- TwoFold Clothing
- Ulla Popken
Why Slow Fashion is Complicated
- Of the clothing and shoes sold in the U.S. today, more than 97% is made overseas.
- It can often be difficult or impossible to find out where a certain item of clothing is made by looking at a company’s website. Clothing brands are all over the map in terms of policies and transparency.
- Even for items produced in the U.S., the fabrics and other raw materials may have been imported.
- Fair Trade certification can be granted by more than one organization. Each has a slightly different definition of the term.
- Ethically produced products often cost a lot more than “fast fashion” items.
Where to Find Slow Fashion Brands for Work
Looking for workwear brands that are responsibly produced and sweatshop-free? We have good news: We’ve already done the research so we can save you time. Pictured.
Our series of posts on slow fashion can help readers find the following categories of clothing:
- Post #1: brands that are made in the U.S. — mostly independent labels and startups
- Post #2: bigger, mainstream brands whose workwear is entirely, mostly, or partially made in North America or Europe (plus a few more from category 1)
- Post #3: fair-trade-certified brands, as well as clothing without the fair trade label that’s produced more responsibly or ethically than the average brand
- Post #4: slow fashion workwear brands, mostly independent labels
Quick Shopping Tips
Don’t forget to check out other Corporette shopping guides!
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Clothing rack images via Stencil.