An Easy Guide to an Ethical Wardrobe by Katie Jost

This blog is written by Katie Jost of Freedom Array.


Since you’re reading this, you are likely already aware of all the reasons why fair trade is so important to the fashion industry, such as protecting human rights, supporting fair wages, and caring for our environment. Today it is easier than ever to build an ethical wardrobe, and you don’t have to change your sense of style at all to do it! Some may say there is a stigma about fair trade fashion, that it is somehow less fashionable, not as high quality, or that you have to really go out of your way to find it. All these things couldn’t be further from the truth! Many brands manufacture high quality, contemporary clothing within reach, that also follow fair trade principles. Best of all, a lot of them can be found at the places you already shop. Know anyone that still needs some convincing that fair trade fashion is just as good (or actually better) than ordinary fashion? Simply forward them this list of brands and encourage them to start shopping!


Best for: T-shirts and tops (womens)

Where to find it: Nordstrom or amourvert.com

What’s to love: Amour Vert is a San Fran based brand made from eco-friendly materials. The collection is manufactured within a few miles of their office, so they can visit the factories to ensure fair wages and treatment of the people who work there. The local supply chain also keeps the carbon footprint down.

Best for: Sneakers (mens and womens)

Where to find it: Shopbop/Eastdane and Anthropologie

What’s to love: Fair trade is one of the three fundamental pillars VEJA is built on. They work directly with the cotton and rubber producers to set fair prices and have regular audits at the factories to make sure they meet their strict standards.

Best for: Athleisure and workout wear (womens)


Where to find it: Athleta stores nationwide and athleta.com


What’s to love: They work with Fair Trade Certified™ factories which enables Athleta to enhance its commitment to empowering women by supporting the female-dominated workforce in the manufacturing facilities with which it sources.

Best for: Underwear (mens and womens)

Where to find it: Nordstrom

What’s to love: Everything is made exclusively from fair trade organic cotton and their factories have the highest certifications for ethical labor.

Best for: Fleece outerwear (mens and womens)

Where to find it: Nordstrom and Patagonia stores nationwide, Patagonia.com


What’s to love: They make many of their products, including all fleece, in fair trade certified factories. Patagonia has more fair trade certified styles than any other brand.

Best for: Knit basics (mens and womens)

Where to find it: Amazon, Whole Foods


What’s to love: Every piece is made from fair trade organic cotton, they use fair trade certified factories and everything in their collection is super affordable.

Mary Llano