This has been a big post on my mind for about a year now, and I finally took the time to put it all together for you in continuation with February’s theme of “Living with Intention!”
I have been truly convicted recently of choosing to support more ethical, fair-trade brands. When I use the word convicted, I truly mean that—this is something that has really been pulling at my heart.
Choosing ethical food companies has always been a big interest of mine and a huge reason I try to always purchase grass-fed or farm raised meats and dairy. Not only is the nutritional aspect so important, but also the ethics and the environment.
This past year, I have been reading and researching the topics of fast fashion, something that if you google will quite literally make you sick to your stomach! Your eyes will be open to the modern day slavery and horrible conditions that still exist.
Here is the deal—the brands you choose to purchase from each and every day do NOT just impact you.
Somewhere in this world there are families, children, mothers and villages making your sheets, your socks or your morning cup of coffee. Factories are not just machines, there are faces and humans behind them.
Now, is everything in my home or even the items in my online shopping cart fair-trade and ethical? No! First off I don’t have that kind of money, and second sadly we live in a world where that isn’t really possible. But I am working on being more intentional and that is truly what matters!
The next time you need something, ask yourself is this brand doing good in the world, not just for my comfort, but for the worker and their comfort. To be honest, ethical and fair-trade brands really aren’t that much more money and from personal experience, the quality is amazing. When you purchase items of good quality and items you truly love, you will love them for years and in the end, you will actually save a lot of money!
Here is my encouragement to you—take a little time today to see beyond your daily cup of coffee or the sweater you slip over your head each morning. Be intentional with your resources and the brands you choose to invite into your home.
Below are 10 of my personal favorite ethical brands, many of which are textile related as sadly that industry is often the worst when it comes to fair-trade and working conditions.
10 Ethical Fair-Trade Brands Worth the Investment
Cuyana means “to love” in Quechua and is one of my absolute favorite fashion brands as their pieces are simply timeless—there motto speaks my love language “fewer, better things.” With each purchase, they will send you a bag and return shipping label so that you can fill up the bag with items from your closet you aren’t using, through their non-profit partner H.E.A.R.T.
“Your donated clothing will be given directly to women who will be able to gain fresh starts through your generosity. You will receive a $10 credit towards your next Cuyana purchase. It’s about doing more with less in our closets — and doing more for others who are in need.”
After moving, I needed new sheets and bedding and have been looking into organic bedding for quite some time now. It wasn’t until I stumbled across Coyuchi that I finally found a brand I could fall in love with, and trust me, I totally fall in love with their sheets each night.
From a nutritional standpoint, organic cotton sheets are very important so that toxins are not surrounding you all night long. Ethically, my bed is a place I find rest, and knowing that my bed linens were ethically made and fair-trade created a restful atmosphere for me.
“We take expert care to ensure that everything that bears the Coyuchi label is produced and processed to the strictest environmental standards in safe and humane conditions, from the farm to the factory to the store to your home.”
Having personally been to the Primally Pure headquarters, I can tell you that your products are made with love and care in a very joyful environment and 100% natural and safe for your skin!
“We try out best to make conscious decisions about the products we create – only using natural + non-toxic ingredients, selecting ingredients that were farmed organically and at a fair wage, and using sustainable packaging whenever possible. Specifically, we uphold these values by sourcing many of our ingredients locally, using primarily certified organic + fair trade ingredients and by using recycled newspaper shreds to pack orders and glass jars/bottles to house the majority of our products.”
The Citizenry partners with artisans from all over the world, from Mexico to Ireland from Peru to Uganda. 10% of proceeds are invested back into the artisan communities through grants offering equipment and education, thus creating sustainability for the artisans and their families.
I truly love their designs for the home and how transparent they are as a company!
“Through our commitment to providing fair wages, happy working environments, and sustaining grants, our artisan partners are able to take their crafts and their businesses to new places.”
Pact knows that “conventional cotton is the world’s dirtiest crop” and is determined to change this dirty industry. They are dedicated to creating apparel with no toxic dyes, no toxic pesticides, no child labor and no sweatshops!
If you are a legging or cozy clothes type of person, you will love their super soft clothing! PLUS their prices are totally affordable!
“Growing organic cotton keeps farmers and their families safe. They are not exposed to toxic chemicals in the field or through their food and water supply. It also means farmers grow more than one crop which supplements their food and income.”
I absolutely LOVE their mission “nourishing foodie, farmer and field” something I think a lot of us can relate to! Alter Eco is dedicated to creating delicious chocolate and goodies for you, but also making sure that the environment which these products come from is ethical and sustainable.
And their truffles are made with coconut oil!
“This means the producers have been paid a price that ensures sustainable production and living conditions, along with a premium to support the growth and advancement of the cooperatives and their communities. Alter Eco sources 100% of its products from small-scale, farmer-owned cooperatives. Empowered farmers working for themselves invest their money directly into improving food production and living standards.“
Everlane works with factories all across the world and I love their transparency with showing us pictures of their factories and workers! I always say, I trust companies that are willing to photograph their behind-the-scenes.
“We visit them (the factories) often, and build strong personal relationships with the owners.
This hands-on approach is the most effective way to ensure a factory’s integrity. As an added assurance we also require stringent workplace compliancy paperwork.”
Everlane believes in radical transparency, showing the true cost of each part and process involved in the making of your items—as you shop, you will notice every item has a cost breakdown!
Patagonia has long been dedicated to corporate responsibility and ethical working situations and one of the first adopters of using recycled materials and switching to organic cotton. They are dedicated to reducing waste, cleaning up the supply chain and advocating for happy working environments because they (and I for that matter) believe that that matters when creating products!
I love that they are closed on Black Friday, have bike-to-work days and even have childcare on site for their employees!
“Fair Trade is one of the first tools we’re using at Patagonia to raise workers’ wages, improve their standard of living and move them closer to earning a living wage.”
You all know I am a dog and coffee lover! Grounds for Hounds knows that just about as enjoyable as your morning cup of coffee is the wagging tails of our furry friends! Their coffees are quite delicious and sourced from Fair Trade certified cooperatives to ensure that the growers receive fair compensation for their crops
“20% of all proceeds received by Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. will be donated to our rescue partner located closest to you. We strive to support the hard-working rescue organizations in your community with funds generated by your purchase, which will help give our sheltered friends the second-chance that they deserve.”
I love this company for snacks, especially their freeze dried fruit as it contains no added sugar and comes in a great bag, perfect for traveling or the car.
“Natierra seeks out the finest ingredients produced in accordance with organic and non-GMO standards, as well as fair trade standards when possible. This responsible sourcing promotes empowerment for small-scale farmers and their families through fair wages, working environments and better access to proper healthcare and education. Natierra strives to develop and provide opportunity by promoting ethical partnerships in all stages of production, from farmers to employees to consumers.”