It was a fun exercise for me to look through my closet and decide which ethical clothes were the ones I reach for the most! Most of my closet is thrifted, so I limited myself to selecting items where I could direct you to the ethical brand behind the item.
When I stumbled on this convertible pantsuit on Instagram, I was smitten. I had seen this convertible concept on bridesmaid dresses and at one point, I contemplated sewing my own convertible dress. The reality is that a bridesmaid dress is not very versatile. This pantsuit, however, is. I have reached for this when I don’t know what to wear because it is elegant enough for a fancy event, yet isn’t necessarily a fancy item, depending on how you style it. And, pockets. The pantsuit is made of surplus fabric (which is fabric that is excess from other factories and designers) and cut and sewn in Denver, Colorado.
This fair trade, hand woven polka dot skirt with coconut shell buttons instantly stole my attention. It’s a simple silhouette that is as at home with a button-up chambray as it is with a t-shirt. The simple polka dots lend themselves well to being mixed with other patterns or just with a solid colored shirt. And again, pockets. Seeing the theme?
If I had to pick one shoe to wear for the rest of my life, I think it would be these. Let’s be clear, I don’t wear heels in everyday life. Rarely even for special occasions. I’m fairly tall and I don’t love towering over those in my vicinity. Enter the smoking shoe style. It is casual enough to wear with jeans but doesn’t look out of place with a skirt or dress. It’s a simple flat shoe and that lends itself to working well in many different situations. I love the ‘vintage’ gold stylings for a little added interest than your average black or brown! Made in Ethiopia, these shoes provide employment during the 9-month gap between high school and university where high potential young women are able to earn and save enough money to pay for college tuition.
4. People Tree Billie Stripe Tunic in Navy Stripe (similar)
This was one of the dresses that I selected to wear for Dressember and it was one I reached for again and again. I had so many ideas on how to wear it and didn’t even exhaust all of the ideas I had. THAT is a reliable, versatile staple for me! It is made from organic cotton by a company that practically started the conversation on ethical clothes, People Tree.
I always feel so comfortable in this tunic that I reach for it often. It’s breezy and lightweight enough to wear with shorts but put together enough to tuck into a pencil skirt and wear to work. And again, those coconut shell buttons are just beautiful! The delicate floral design is hand printed using a masterfully carved wooden block in India by women paid a fair wage AND preserving traditional art forms.
Honorable Mention: Elegantees Kilee Tunic in Black
Ellie already mentioned this one in her post, but it is a favorite of mine as well and deserved honorable mention for how often I wear it! It’s cut in a way that makes it easy to wear with leggings or jeans. Elegantees provides meaningful employment for women in Nepal rescued from sex trafficking. Remember, you can get 10% off any Elegantees purchase with our code ‘DressWellDoGood’!