The Best Sources for Ethical Clothing & Accessories for Every Budget
I’ve spent a tonne of time getting to know companies that provide ethical and sustainable clothing. This is a list of my current favourites that I've personally tried, categorized by the amount of money you’ll be investing. While there are many more awesome brands out there, I only recommend ones that I have personally tried. You can always check Flopsy Life for updated versions of this list – I’ll be updating it regularly as I try more brands! I also run a shop on the blog with handmade and thrifted high quality pieces in natural fabrics or from ethical brands – check it out here!
LOCAL THRIFT STORES
Depending on where you live, thrift stores like Value Village or Salvation Army have everything you could possibly imagine for extremely low prices. The only catch is that you never know what you will find, and you must be willing to hunt and dig through some duds to find a gem.
LOCAL CONSIGNMENT STORES
Consignment shops are where people go to sell things that they don’t want to just donate. Most shops have rules on what they will take, meaning pieces need to be good quality and in season. You can find some great pieces for good prices, and is a great place to look for higher end lines without buying in to mainstream fashion.
CA MAKES BUN PINS
I am obsessed with these handmade bun pins. They hold my insanely thick hair all day without causing breakage or giving me a headache (like regular buns sometimes do – hair is heavy!). You can find tutorials on her site with different ways to use these as well!
To check them out go to: www.camakes.com
Thinx makes period panties. Seriously. They’re perfect for backup to tampons or cups, or you can free bleed into them (like a pad). I’ve done a full out review of them here if you want more in-depth info.
To check them out go to: http://ref.thinxify.me/h4mOM
$50 - $150
This is one of my absolute favourite companies! Every single piece is handmade from linen that is locally made in their town. They have good prices and remarkable customer service. They will custom make any piece to whatever measurements you need, regardless of your size! Their designs are classic and minimalist, meaning they will fit perfectly with other pieces in your wardrobe and never be out of style. Most of my wardrobe is from this line. This is also what I’m wearing in most of these photos.
To check them out go to: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/notPERFECTLINEN
SHOP FLOPSY LIFE
I sell clothing too! I run an online shop carrying a curated selection of new handmade clothing and high-quality preloved clothes. I focus on natural fabrics like silk, cotton and linen. Many of my pieces are under $50. I also carry a range of sizes suitable for different body types.
To check them out go to: www.flopsylife.com/shop
An online second hand shop out of Vancouver, this is where you can find high quality, beautifully curated vintage. They always have a great selection of oversized sweaters and fisherman knits, and have a distinctly bohemian/ Californian vibe. You can often find sales if you follow them on Instagram.
To check them out go to: www.bohemegoods.com/
This Canadian brand produces simple, elegant pieces to wear whether you are lounging or going out. The entire is ethically made and is beautiful in its simplicity. Her sizes also reflect different bodies – a L fits what many brands would label XL or XXL.
To check them out go to: www.makenewcollections.com/shop-1
Woven cotton pieces that are ridiculously soft, generously oversized, and beautifully simple. Made out of cotton, these pieces are breathable and great for layering year-round. Most pieces will work for sizes up to 20.
To check them out go to: www.uzinyc.com/newsite
This is another second hand shop out of Vancouver. You can shop in person, on Garmentory, or through Instagram on @heyjudecollection. This is one of my favourite shops for minimalist cuts and colours in silks, cottons and linens. They also have a pretty good range of sizes – I often just email what I’m looking for and they’ll let me know when they find something similar.
To check them out go to: www.heyjudeshop.com
THE NUDE LABEL
Nude Label is one of my favourite underwear company. I love that they have only a handful of ethically made pieces, done in beautifully muted colours and natural fabrics. Their sizes fit many different bodies. I own everything from them – their bodysuits, bras and high waisted underwear. At a size 14 with a DD chest, I hover between their L & XL. This is the first no-underwire bra I’ve found that works for me, and is the brand I recommend most to my clients.
To check them out go to: www.thenudelabel.com/en/categories
This little online shop specializes in Turkish towels and ethically made clothing. They carry the most beautiful designs in thick Turkish towels, which are perfect for anything and everything. You can wear them as a scarf, use them as a blanket on road trips, and of course, as a towel. I also love their handwoven robes worn as a layering piece (my favourite combo is with a silk tee and linen pants).
To check them out go to: www.oddbirdco.com
This New Zealand company is an oversized minimalist’s dream. Every piece is ethically made, most out of organic cotton, and their sizing is generous. I love their “Building Blocks” range, and their lounge pants are a wardrobe staple for me.
To check them out go to: www.kowtowclothing.com
Chalice Grove, a small Calgarian company run by a remarkable woman, is one of my favourites for jewelry. She hand makes each and every piece using a magical combination of crystals and stones to help bring healing to your everyday life. From beautifully exquisite malas, intricate necklaces and simple bracelets, I wear one of these pieces every day. I love her intention bracelets, a simple design with tiny crystals on a silk string. You set an intention, tie them on, and leave them until they fall off – they serve as a never-ending reminder of self-love.
To check them out go to: www.etsy.com/shop/chalicegrove
This little shop out of Victoria, BC is run by the wonderful woman behind Hendrik Lou. She curates a collection of vintage and thrift pieces (as well as smaller ethical brands) with minimal lines and qunique details in natural fabrics for all different sizes.
To check them out go to: www.shop-open-house.com
My other favourite source for undergarments! Hanna Broer hand makes each and every piece out of organic cotton, and is able to customize if you need!
I love her size range. She makes beautiful, sensual, and minimalist pieces for women up to size 20 or 22. This is the brand I recommend to women who are super curvy and are tired of uncomfortable pieces that don’t celebrate their bodies.
To check them out go to: www.hannabroer.com
LE LOU ULA
Le Lou Ula handcrafts the most magnificent jewelry. Minimalist yet maximimalist, refined yet abstract, they’re magical, wearable works of art.
To check them out go to: https://lelouula.com/
Elizabeth Suzann was the brand that made me aware of the ethical clothing movement. Each piece is handmade in Nashville, TN out of natural fabrics. Her clothing sizes reflect real women’s bodies, and her style is simplistically beautiful. They also carry up to size 16 (although with the cuts and styles of their clothing, I would say many pieces can work up to size 18 or 20).
To check them out go to: https://elizabethsuzann.com/
These are the knits my dreams are made of. Hand knit out of the warmest, softest alpaca wool, the shapes of these cardigans are unique perfection. They also work for any body type or size – it’s like it’s magical.
To check them out go to: www.hendriklou.bigcartel.com
With a Japanese aesthetic and natural fabrics, Black Crane makes beautiful, exquisite clothing that works for many different body types. Because of the shapes and fabrics they use, their pieces stand out while still fitting in with the rest of your wardrobe. For most of their line, size large works for up to size 14 or 16.
To check them out go to: www.blackcrane.net
This Canadian company carries essential knit pieces like kimono sweaters, shawls and scarves that can be used as blankets. They work with women in Peru who have a history of dealing with domestic violence to help create new opportunities for them, and they sustainably source their materials. These sweaters are also free size, meaning they work for everyone regardless of what size you wear!
To check them out go to: www.bareknitwear.ca
Based in New York, Ilana Kohn makes some of the best jumpsuits I have ever seen. While some of her pull on sizes can be difficult to gauge size online, most of her pieces are generously oversized and work for different body types. I bought one of her jumpsuits to wear when my endometriosis flares up, as I can swell so much I look several months pregnant. No matter how swollen I am, I still look amazing in it – I love it.
To check them out go to: www.ilanakohn.com/
These unbelievably beautiful, comfortable clogs are handmade to order in San Francisco. They use ethically sourced leathers from US tanneries, and use solid wood bases. What I also love is that the entire team is women! Their entire philosophy is to make a pair of shoes, just for you, that you will love and wear for a lifetime.
To check them out go to: www.bryrstudio.com
SEVILLA SMITH SHOES
These hand lasted leather shoes are well worth the investment. Made without heel or toe stiffeners, each shoe is hand lasted specifically for each person that buys a pair. These are the most comfortable things that have ever been on my feet. I like that you can choose the leather and heel height, making something that is just for you! It truly is a gift to wear these shoes, and I can easily see them lasting a lifetime.
To check them out go to: www.sevillasmith.com/collections
ST. AGNI SHOES
This Australian company operates on the philosophy that “less is more” and aim to minimize their environmental and social impact. They work directly with artisans, source their leather from local farms, and ship their products in reusable dust bags. They make shoes that are comfortable to wear all day, every day, and aren’t so expensive that you’re afraid to wear them. They are my favourite for simple slides and gorgeous flats.
To check them out go to: www.st-agni.com
ORA LEATHER GOODS
Ora Leather Goods creates beautifully minimal leather bags that will last a lifetime. Using unique upholstry and leather working techniques, her bags are made to last. I carry a bag we collaborated on in my own shop, and I wholeheartedly recommend all of her pieces if you’re looking for one bag to serve multiple purposes in your own life.
To check them out go to: www.oraleathergoods.com
CHARLIE AND LEE
This Vancouver based shop is one of my go-to sites for a beautifully curated selection of ethically and sustainably made clothing. They carry brands like Black Crane, Esby Apparel, and Ace & Jig, as well as Canadian brands like Bare Knitwear and Llyod.
To check them out go to: www.charlieandlee.com
This Calgary based shop, now online, focuses on handmade or ethically and sustainably produced clothing by North American companies. You can find many of the brands listed here in this shop. I actually help out here, and am very proud of the selection we have and the range of sizes we carry – many pieces will fitvup to a size 14 or 16. With a minimalist bohemian aesthetic, natural fabrics and great companies, this shop is one of my absolute favourites out there.
To check them out go to: www.fieldstudyshop.com
This line is super minimal, and ridiculously perfect. All pieces are made in Vancouver, BC out of eco-dyed linen. I love that they can be layered so many different ways throughout the season, making them perfect for any Lifetime Wardrobe!
To check them out go to: www.beatonlinen.com
All of the dresses Christy Dawn creates are ethically made in the USA out of deadstock fabric. They only produce a small amount of each dress and new dresses are released weekly, so make sure you follow them on Instagram to get a preview of what's coming when, since they sell out pretty quickly! The fits are super flattering, the patterns gorgeous, and they've recently started expanding their sizing to fit more body types!
To check them out go to: www.christydawn.com (ps: if you use this link before May 22, 2018, we each get $30 off!)
Your Bag of Holding
These sweet little fanny packs, clutches and totes are all handmade to order out of high-quality leather in Vancouver, BC. I love that they're adjustable and can be worn either around your waist (perfect for traveling) or as a crossbody bag. They also have enough room to fit all the essentials for a day without weighing you down.
To check them out go to: www.yourbagofholding.com
Hackwith Design House
HDH is one of the best companies for women of all sizes. All their pieces are made ethically in the USA. Their pieces are minimalist, timeless, and pay exquisite attention to detail. They also have a designated plus-size line that actually fits the way it’s meant to. To put it in perspective, I usually fit into most brands’ largest sizes, but in HDH I’m a L or XL and they got up to +4. Some of their fabrics are blends, but most are natural. Also, I do find their pants fit small so make sure to double check measurements. That said - I live in their linen blazer, I love their swimsuits, and am obsessed with their wrap dress and jumpsuit!
To check them out go to: https://hackwithdesignhouse.com/
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