As ethical fashion is growing ever more diversified, there are more completely ethical outfits to wear. One of the biggest obstacles to buying ethically is most often simply knowing where to look. We’re all familiar with (and often geographically close to) the high street shops, and will walk past these brands on a daily basis. But finding that cool sustainable brand you came across on Twitter once four months ago is decidedly more troublesome. That’s why we love nothing more than to mix and match ethical outfits from our favourite principled fashion brands, to champion their wonderful work. Plus, it’s like playing dress up, and that’s never not fun. This week we’re focusing on summer outfits designed to deal with all sorts of summer weather, from blistering city heat to blustery sea breezes. Enjoy, dolls!
- The Kikli Classic Sleeveless Tunic Dress, Victoria Road, £94.09. This cute little number is custom embroidered and 100% cotton. It’s available on Victoria Road, who pride themselves on ensuring every person involved in the creation of the products they stock is treated with dignity and respect. And this particular tunic is ethically made in Lahore in Pakistan, by clearly incredibly talented artisans. It’s both unusual and classic at once, and could easily be paired with jeans for those chillier days.
- Big Heart and Hook Cuff, SeeMe, £96.41. The minimalist vibe of this stripped back bracelet contrasts with the busy embroidery on the dress but complements the simplicity of the tailoring. SeeMe are more than just a pretty jewellery brand though; these pieces are made by women who were victims of violence, but are now trained in Tunisia and Turkey to create jewellery and earn their own money without needed support or charity. So not only are you getting a bracelet, but you’re empowering women too. Worth every penny.
- Dorothy Nude Courts, Beyond Skin, £125. These girly courts are decorated with a bow and delicate trim, and are lined with 100% recycled faux leather with a vegetable polymer coating. They ooze class on every level, and would work well with the subtle jewellery and detailed embroidery on the dress. All our shoes are beautifully handmade in our factory in Alicante, Spain. And the icing on the cake is you can get £10 off these beauties using voucher code kittens10 this week only (Monday 4th July until Friday 8th July)!
- Inca Chambray Jumpsuit, Lowie, £159. This piece was handmade in a small, ethically run factory in Shenzhen, China and was hand-stitched in Lowie’s London studio. It has a finely detailed geometric print, a design that is based on the traditional Inca Cross. It has side pockets which seriously makes such a difference to everyday life! The waist tie slims the waist, and it can be dressed down with a denim jacket and sandals in the day, or with heels and statement jewellery in the evening. Or you could go for our outfit idea, dressing it as smart casual.
- Double Wrap Bangle, Made, £30. Made is an organisation designed to help people through safe, sustainable employment. They employ 60 artisans in Kenya to create their simple but effective designs, and they’ve had great success in reaching a broader audience, as their pieces are also available on ASOS. This particular bangle is made with silver plated brass, but it has a warm hue to it, which I think will match well with our metallic espadrilles.
- Skipper Ivory Hat, Pachacuti, £72. Alright, you got me. This is technically a man’s hat, but who can tell? I like the striped cotton band too much to ignore it. Pachacuti won the Observer Ethical Awards back in 2011, and is an internationally recognised certified Fair-trade hat brand. It was founded in 1992 by Carry Somers, who also is also founder and director of global social justice movement, Fashion Revolution. That is one impressive CV!
- Eska Gold Wedge Espadrille, Beyond Skin, £99. These relaxed wedge sandals are made using a selection of Italian fabrics, alongside our staple recycled faux leather lining. Like all of our shoes, they are PETA-approved vegan, no less. The gold material isn’t too overpowering, and can be matched with skirts, trousers and jumpsuits from across the colour spectrum without clashing. Get £10 off them now with code kittens10!
- Long Sleeve Raglan Print, Daniel Silverstein, £86.35. This jumper has the saturation levels turned up on full, injecting instant colour and energy into this look. This designer’s latest collection is called ZWD, standing for Zero Waste Daniel. No prizes for guessing that it’s comprised of 100% pre-consumer cutting room waste (it does what it says on the tin). What you might not have guessed is how each of these fragmented collages of textile waste could become such slick, razor-sharp pieces, ideal for turning heads and standing out from the crowd.
- Lila Jeansrock, ArmedAngels, £58.47. This clean and simple denim skirt is made using 94.4% GOTS certified organic cotton and 5.6% spandex. Throughout their designs, they use modal and tencel, that we’ve mentioned before on our blog for having sterling sustainable credentials. They’re currently working with the Fair Wear Foundation and Fairtrade to implement their high standards throughout their supply chain at every level. This denim skirt is a classic piece, and would benefit your summer wardrobe and the people who made it.
- Stud Earrings Geometric Triangle in ZigZag, Lucie Ellen, £8.50. We spotted Lucie Ellen’s sweet little jewellery designs in the tail end of last year when the Observer Ethical Awards 2015 were announced, and Here Today Here Tomorrow was a runner up, and they stocked Lucie Ellen. They’re made using just wood, varnish, glue, paper, and silver-plated steel, and they come in an entire rainbow of colours, and then some. She’s currently on her holidays so isn’t taking orders, but do add her page to your bookmarks all the same.
- Maggie Rose Gold Flatform, Beyond Skin, £120. Following on from the urban vibe of the jumper, it felt only right to choose flatforms to go with it. And our Maggie sandals are the (rose) gold standard in sustainable shoes. They’re fitted with padded insoles and flexi soles and are super comfy, fit for wearing for weeks at a time (excluding sleeping and showering, of course). Don’t forget, you can get £10 off these sandals at the moment with code kittens10, so snap up your pair post haste!
- Mikki Top, Amour Vert, £66.19. This chilled tee with its delicate eyelet detail is ideal for those baking hot days. Amour Vert has a whole host of simple sustainable basics. Amour Vert translated from French is Green Love, so it’s safe to say they love all things eco. This could easily be a live-in top for this summer (weather permitting!)
- Classic Hoop Earrings, Made, £20. Another piece from Made, that’s every bit is wearable as the piece before. You cannot go wrong with hoop earrings (unless you play sport, in which case, you can in fact go very wrong with hoop earrings. Be safe, folks). They’re crafted from local African gold-tone brass, and are have an 8.5cm drop, so they’re a decent size.
- Anja Skirt, Amour Vert, £51.19. This straight-forward navy and white striped figure-hugging skirt is the perfect piece for perfecting that casual summer look. It’s smart enough to be dressed up with more jewellery if need be too.
- Panama Classic, Greenpacha, £90.34. Greenpacha combines design, sustainability and philanthropy. It gives 2 per cent of every purchase to the weaving community of Sigsig in Ecuador, and it’s made a splash in the surfing world already. Wear on the beach when you’re just in swimwear or match it with a full outfit to keep your face sunburn free.
- Tommy Ivory Faux Leather Sandal, Beyond Skin, £89. These sweet strappy sandals have a sleek faux leather bow with an added metal detail, matching the silver of the hoop earrings. These cuties are in the sale right now, with £36 off! Heck, you could even use the kittens10 voucher code for an extra £10 off, bringing the total price down to £79. Match with painted toes and you’re golden.
Images courtesy of Amour Vert, Greenpacha, Made, Lowie, Pachacuti, Daniel Silverstein, Victoria Road, SeeMe, ArmedAngels and Lucie Ellen. Please note that the prices on the items from Europe or the USA were correct conversions into sterling at the time of publishing, but British Sterling is all over the place right now, so it’ll be subject to erratic and frequent change!