I am very proud of that post title. My puns are improving. I feel like Barney in HIMYM - "do you STILL not read my blog? It's gotten a lot better!" I've been rewatching the series for about the fourth time.
So anyway, what am I writing about today? Today we're talking about essentials. Think about this: I know you've got a type of clothing item that you can't live without. Everyone does. Whether it be a type of shirt, comfortable leggings, hats, or sweaters...there's a thing that you love, you feel comfortable in, and you just don't imagine your wardrobe without. It's the item that, if you were a cartoon character, you'd always be wearing.
I would say for me that this item is sweaters of all types. I love being warm and cozy all the time and I'm annoyed if I'm not, so for me, the best way to achieve that is by having a sweater either on or with me. I'm like one of those small cold dogs whose owners make wear clothes or something.
Aside from me, I knew this had to be a thing for other people, too - so I asked! I made a story on Ethigirl's Instagram (@ethigirlblog, you know what to do) and asked everyone to reply with the one item of clothing that they absolutely could not live without. And people responded! Passionately! I am clearly not the only one who feels strongly about a category of clothing.
So in this post here today, I thought I'd share a few items that seemed to resonate the most with the Ethigirl community. Plus, I wanted to offer options as to where you can buy these things ethically and sustainably! AND A FINAL NOTE...There may be a couple discount codes in here, so be sure to take advantage of those ;)
Before we jump in, a quick note - I always say this because I think it's important, but the best way to be a more conscious consumer is to simply buy less. That is, always use up the items you have to their very fullest before buying something new! But when you are in the market for a new investment staple piece, consult this resource!
COZY SOCKS! (Lucy Wilkie - Montréal, QC)
Lucy loves a pair of cozy socks! And I am with her - there's nothing better. They make an amazing statement. But can you buy fair trade socks, you might ask? I'LL DO YA ONE BETTER!
The Brand: Conscious Step sells fair trade, organic, and vegan socks! Not only this, but you can actually cater your sock purchase (lol) to the causes you're most passionate about. That is, depending on the style, a percentage of the profits actually goes toward charities and organizations that support various issues. Some examples include animal rescue, education, tree planting, and disaster relief! These make awesome gifts for the holidays (but also to yourself because you deserve it).
Price: A pair of Conscious Step's socks will probably run ya around $15-$20. However, you can get 10% off your purchase by purchasing them from Etik & co, a Canadian fair trade clothing company launched by my friend Loic de Fabritus. And if you are Canadian, buying them from here will save you exchange rates and expensive shipping, too.Simply head to the site here and sign up for their email list to get some awesome emails and save some money on some COOL SOCKS!
HATS! (Christopher O'Conner - Arizona, USA)
Christopher says, "I personally love wearing hats, and right now my hair is long and hard to maintain sometimes, so it's easy to just throw one on when I'm in a hurry!" I totally agree - hats are an IDEAL way to hide messy hair, and as the weather gets colder we approach beanie season.
The Brand: Krochet Kids is THERE FOR YOU! KK offers gorgeously handmade beanies of all kinds. I have spoken here before about them and will probably do so again, but KK is an amazing social enterprise whose goal is to provide women in Peru, Uganda, and India with opportunities to succeed by offering them a stable career, sewing skills, and childcare. All of Krochet Kids' profits are reinvested into their cooperatives in order to create more sustainable change at a grassroots level.
The Price: KK's prices are quite affordable, and they have sales sometimes too. The typical beanie will cost you between $20-$30; however, if you have a bit more of a budget, I would absolutely will you to check out their World's Greatest Beanie, which is made sustainably in Peru and was funded on Kickstarter. Watch the video about the beanie here to find more about their amazing work. Furthermore, I am able to offer you a discount of 10% off with my code ETHIGIRL through this link!
FLANNELS/BUTTON-DOWNS! (Liam Morrison - Halifax, NS)
According to Liam, "I usually wear what I wear because it goes with just about anything! They're really comfy and super easy to mix and match with!"I 100% agree. What's awesome, first of all, is that this is an item that is extremely easy to thrift. Seriously, people, walk into any thrift or secondhand store and I guarantee there will be flannels literally begging you to take them home with you.Less dramatically, however, I also have an ethical option for you to choose here!
The Brand: United By Blue is an outdoor goods company which makes wanderlust- and adventure-filled products that will inspire you to stop watching Netflix in bed and go hiking instead (NOBODY STEAL THAT PHRASE. I'M PUTTING IT ON A T-SHIRT). As far as the good they do, UBB focuses a lot on ocean conservation efforts by pledging to remove one pound of trash from our waterways per item purchased. To do this, they host cleanups all over the United States, where community members can come out and help. Furthermore, they strive to make their products from sustainable materials that will not undo the conservation work they are so committed to.
The Prices: UBB sells high-quality flannels and button-downs for right around $80. This is expensive, but if it's an essential for you (ie you find yourself reaching for this item once a week), then it's totally worth it if you can afford it. And what's more is that if you love one of their items but do not have the income to buy it all at once, UBB will allow you to split it up into separate payments without any interest or added fees! Yay for making sustainable more accessible. <3
SNEAKERS! (Sahar Abdalla - Toronto, ON)
Sahar says, "Comfy running shoes - I'll get ugly ones so long as they're comfy."And at university, comfortable shoes are a MUST. You walk so much all the time and if you don't have comfortable footwear your feet will want to kill you. :( Lucky for you, though, you don't have to wear ugly ones! I have a stylish option that you can wear every day.
The Brand: Etiko is an Australian fair trade brand that sells organic and vegan investment pieces. Their motto is "wear no evil" - and I completely agree! And with shoes this nice, you won't have to. They sell hi-top and lo-top sneakers in a variety of colours that will remind you of Converse.
The Price: Have I got a deal for you! As I mentioned, Etiko is an Australian brand, which can get confusing with exchange rates and especially shipping (Australia is pretty far my dudes). But thankfully, you can pick up a pair of Etiko sneakers from Etik & co, the same marketplace which sells Conscious Step socks, for right around $90 Canadian! Shoes are something worth investing in and, to be honest, these fair trade ones are nearly the same price as a name brand pair made in a sweatshop. What's more is that with the 10% off discount I discussed earlier, you can get them for even cheaper!
SCARVES! (Mollie Symons - Montréal, QC)
Mollie's favourite things are "beautiful, cozy scarves!" And who can blame her. As the weather gets colder, too, all we want is to block out the cold in any way possible. SO LET'S DO IT ETHICALLY AMIRITE!
First things first, scarves are extremely easy to thrift. At any vintage store you should be able to find something super funky and save a bit of money doing it. Otherwise, though, there are several other great options for scarf-hunting online!
The Brands: First, Bloom & Give offers beautiful, handmade scarves in intricate patterns with the goal of allowing more girls to attend school in the Global South. They work carefully to locate already-founded projects which are doing a whole lot of good, then offer their resources in order to accelerate that work.
Second, Krochet Kids (who I mentioned before) sells minimalistic scarves that will go with everything.
The Prices: Bloom & Give is definitely more on the investment side, with the typical scarf costing around $60-$70, but some costing as low as $45. Krochet Kids' items will be a bit more affordable at an average of $30-$40. However, with KK I can offer you 10% off by using my discount code ETHIGIRL through my affiliate link here!
The last thing I want to say is that although these items might be a bit more expensive than you're used to, I promise they are not only better for the earth and its people, but also seriously better quality. The fit will make you feel good and the materials used will be comfortable and easy to wear. Not everyone has the disposable income to spend all at once on more expensive products, so hopefully this post also provided you with some more accessible resources and options like thrifting, discount codes, and more affordable brands. These also all make fantastic holiday gift ideas.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you're looking forward to some fun and festive content coming soon for the holidays!
With love and sustainability,