New shoes are one of my favorite things in this world. As a fashion blogger, I’m faced with the unique challenge of encouraging people to purchase new accessories, which gives me a lot of power to influence behavior away from mass consumption and fast fashion to ethical brands and investment pieces. Style isn’t the ability to buy, but the privilege of choosing what you want. We all have the power to lessen our impact on the environment with every dollar we spend. Buying from sustainable brands is one of the most important tools you have as a consumer.
When it comes to new shoes, it’s important to shop carefully. From sweatshop scandals to carbon pollution, many mainstream consumer brands aren’t exactly ethical. Luckily, there is a growing number of brands that create fashion-forward designs that are good for your soul and your soles.
Wanna know a fun fact about Joanna? She loves handbags. Early in our friendship, we bonded over her incredible emerald Gucci Dionysus bag. When she approached me to write about handbags, we immediately agreed that the focus should be on ethics and sustainability.
Ever since I watched The True Cost documentary about fast fashion, I’ve been obsessed about knowing whether the people that make our clothes and accessories have fair wages and environmentally safe working conditions. When I’m researching a new bag to buy, I want to make sure the brand thinks about their products and how they are created: ideally, I’d like a bag that’s stylish, and ethically made with as little waste as possible. I also think about cost-per-wear; I’m a big fan of investing in high-quality, ethically made pieces that I can keep forever instead of fast fashion.
The ethical fashion brands on this list make it easier to fill your closet with things that will make you look and feel good.
AURA AURA is an experiential portrait practice of Detroit-based creative, Eileen Lee. Eileen and I have been internet friends for a very, very long time. I invited my good friend Becca to get her aura portrait photographed with me as soon as Eileen opened her Seattle pop-up. I decided to let Becca tell her view of our aura portrait sessions. AURA AURA is a pop-up aura studio located in Seattle and Detroit. Book an aura portrait session here.