ethichal and sustainable brands with stitch fix
Good hYOUman Gemmah Cotton Blend Be Kind Graphic Knit Top, $44
Warp + Weft Agness Distressed Frayed Hem Short, $64
TOMS Monica Suede Espadrille Wedge, $90
ABLE Leather Foldover Bag, $148
NYDJ Jane Linen Cargo Capri Pant, $109
As I move more and more towards taking the switch away from fast fashion, I've been wondering if my love for Stitch Fix might be something I would have to leave. I decided to put them to the test and see if they could fulfill a request for a fix of only sustainable and ethical slow fashion brands. I gave no other requests for type or style and just relied on my tried and trued stylist that I've used for a few years now.
As I am coming to find out, the words "sustainable" or "ethical" in the fashion world are similar to when you hear the words "natural" or "organic" in the food world. There is a diverse usage of these words and when it comes to fashion it ranges from brands that give back or have positive missions, to environmental impact, fair wages, and size inclusivity. A brand can focus on one of these and be poor in the other areas. What I am thankful to see are companies who are trying and are transparent in their efforts.
In my fix:
In this fix I received a bag from ABLE, a company near and dear to my heart that supports women locally and globally by providing sustainable wages and healthy work environments. They are also working to transform the fashion industry by calling companies to publish their wages, not their average wage, but their lowest.
Warp + Weft was a new brand to me. They are a size inclusive company for men, women, and children with an aim 'to change the industry in every way to represent the inclusive, aware and environmentally conscious customer " with a commitment to fair wages, reasonable hours, and positive working conditions. Also, becasue their operations are vertical, they cut out the middle man and can sell slow fashion denim at fast fashion prices. I'm really excited to get to know this company more.
TOMs is a brand I think a lot of us know. The buy a pair give a pair model. I actually don't know a whole lot about their manufacturing practices and have had trouble finding that information alone through internet searches. Similarly is the brand Good hYOUman. This brand does a lot of giving back with collaborations with some great foundations and are all about creating a "community of good hYOUmans," I just don't know much about their behind the scenes community. So both of these companies have good substance for sure, I just don't know anything about wether they have a positive economical or environmental impact outlook.
NYDJ is the only brand I received in this fix that I had a hard time finding any information about in regards to their employment or production. My stylist said she did some research and found that they are working hard to partner with their vendors and suppliers to end slavery and trafficking - but I think this is actually a statement that they are compliant with the California Supply Chain Act (2010). However this is a company that is "for women - all shapes, all sizes, all women" and provides sizes 00 - 28. So, this could be a company that is doing all the things right behind the scenes, but the transparency just isn't there. My current personal rule of thumb is that if you can't easily find information, it's probably one to steer clear of.
So all in all, it seems like Stitch Fix is taking some steps towards more brands with a commitment to ethical and sustainable impacts. But in my opinion, they aren't quite there if you are in a place that you are only wanting to build a wardrobe of ethical and sustainable items. My tips would be to make it clear to your stylist that you want companies in your box that fit your standards. Let them know what specific ethical brands you already love (and also the brands you don't love - ones you know aren't playing fair and clean in the fashion world). Also, help stitch fix grow in this area by requesting transparent brands who are conscious of the impact their employment and products have on people and the environment.