After a chilly Columbus Day Weekend, autumn has finally arrived (on the East Coast, at least). It is time to pull those boxes out from under our beds, unpack our winter clothes, and figure out what needs replenishing or replacing. That wool sweater that shrunk in the wash last February? Yes, it’s time for an upgrade.
As you decide which items to purchase to round out your wardrobe this season, consider a few from the ethical shopping collection I’ve put together. Each of the companies represented is either eco-conscious, 100% organic, or free trade, or its sales directly support an important social mission. Check out these gorgeous fashion picks and products, then learn more about how they’re contributing to developing a more just world.
1. Refined Sheath Dress for the Office, Fashion Conscience
This organic cotton dress is the gray power suit dress that every woman needs for her corporate wardrobe . It’s simple, easy to accessorize, and leaves you feeling put together and powerful!
We Love Because: It’s made from eco-friendly hemp. The stuff’s not just for braided necklaces anymore.
This beautiful coat is on the top of my fall wish list. Yes, camel was huge last winter, but it’s a classic color that never really goes out of style.
We Love Because: KRISTINIT uses sustainable practices from start to finish of each design.
3. Statement Bag, Fashion Conscience
This bag comes in a lovely selection of fall colors and would look great hanging from the crook of anyone’s arm.
We Love Because: You’d never be able to guess that it’s completely vegan (i.e., made from strictly animal-free materials).
4. Warm Scarf, Noonday Collection
Nothing says fall like a beautifully bulky scarf. The light gray option would match any fall jacket and would transition easily into the wintery months.
We Love Because: Purchases from Noonday help support adoption programs around the world.
5. Cozy Sweater, Ecolissa
Once this sweater is in your wardrobe, all you’ll need is a warm fire and a cup of hot cocoa. #wholepackage
We Love Because: The piece is inspired by traditional Cowichan design from British Columbia.
A girl can never have too many pairs of jeans, right? Well, with a pair like this, you might not even need another. Skinny, dark wash, long length—you’re all set.
We Love Because: These jeans are 80% made of recycled textiles.
7. House Shoes, Kellygreen Home
These might not be the most flattering footwear you’ve ever seen, but there’s no denying that they look incredibly comfortable. Plus, The Hobbit comes out this holiday season—so it’s the perfect time to add something elf-inspired to your wardrobe!
We Love Because: Each pair comes with a QR code with information on the Chilean artists who crafted them.
8. Waist Belt, People Tree
With all of the fall layering you’ll be doing, try a nice waist belt to cinch it all together.
We Love Because: It comes from a pioneering fair trade brand.
9. Silk Top, Future Standard
Speaking of layering—this top would look fantastic with some REUSE jeans and a belted chunky sweater!
We Love Because: It’s made from sustainable silk and it’s comfortable to wear!
10. Cute Clutch, Sseko Designs
I love the simple design of this clutch. It’s the perfect size for carrying around your phone and wallet for a Saturday night out or brunch on Sunday afternoon.
We Love Because: It supports college-bound women in Uganda.
Soap isn’t quite a wardrobe item, but it is an essential for feeling good. Raven + Lily makes some beautiful products, and these soaps look utterly luxurious.
We Love Because: The proceeds go towards literacy programs for women artisans and their children in Northern India.
If you are new to shopping ethically, be sure to check out my friend Jamillah’s how-to on starting to build a more conscious wardrobe on her blog, Made to Travel . Changing your shopping habits doesn’t need to be overwhelming—it’s a step-by-step process you can do over time.
Based in New York City and constantly dreaming of the rest of the world, Meredith manages her globetrotter's itch by exploring sustainable economic development in emerging markets through fashion. Previously a style blogger and currently a jack-of-all-trades for Musana Jewelry, Meredith's also got a love of statement jewelry and a weakness for a strong cup of Ugandan coffee. Keep up with her work on Twitter @musanajewelry or drop her a line at [email protected].More from this Author