Growing up in Berkeley, I have always had the thought that where you spend your money is like casting a vote for humanity and the planet. I am not one to shop for Black Friday. I actually wait until sales are over to shop full price. Why? Because it decreases that sense of urgency that stresses me out and places value on what matters most: my mental wellbeing. It can be hard to distinguish wants from needs, but if you slow down, take a pause and rethink your wardrobe, you can make positive choices.

As a maker, I value artisans for their true value. I don't plan to host any sales for Bambini Del Mare aside from one, every year, on a date that is special to me. Creating a sustainable brand means you are okay with growing slower, and seek connections with like-minded suppliers, buyers, and makers.

Over the Thanksgiving break, I had an opportunity to discover some new brands that have positive ratings on Good on You, a rating system site for brands that I now use before any purchases. I ordered myself some wonderful pieces I plan to have in my closet for the next decade, and I hope you find a new brand you will love too.

  1. Zero Waste Daniel

Daniel is an amazing artist based out of NYC creating really unique and beautiful designs. There is a lot of comfortwear being sold in his shop now with eclectic and bold prints.

Here is a beautiful quote from his site: "Living zero waste is also a way to “vote” with your consumer dollars and make sure you are contributing to a regenerative economy and working with like minded businesses who value sustainability and equality as core principals of business and humanity. By avoiding single use items, as well as “fast” goods, we stop funding corporations built on wealth, gender and race disparities simply by shopping here versus there."


       2. Tonle

I discovered Tonle when I saw a breathtaking model come up on my IG feed. They are a local brand (based out of the SF Bay Area), and create gorgeous clothing that flatters any shape. From dresses to skirts to jumpsuits to tops, they have it all. They value inclusivity, honesty, and reciprocity and have a revolutionary Open Closet program, where you can trade gently used clothes from their collections.

Here is an excerpt from their site: "We believe that every scrap of fabric, every action we take, and each piece of clothing we create has a purpose. Using fabric others consider waste, we create beautiful products designed to last, mitigating fashion’s impact on the planet."


       3. The Tiny Closet

This shop is my jam! As someone who suffers from mental fatigue easily and has spent time in the floor of Kinokuniya Books overwhelmed, I actually prefer fewer options. This is where The Tiny Closet comes in. This brand is Black-woman owned, and offers very few options, which I love. I ordered The Curator dress as I love to look one of a kind. Based in LA.

Natalie is the one person behind this brand and here is a quote from her site: "All garments are sewn with care by the same hands, start to finish. No assembly lines here. And as I plan to expand, I will continue to make sure The Tiny Closet operates ethically and sustainably in virtually everything that I do, from electricity use to tools, to mindful employment and of course, the fibers, dyes and textiles used."


      4. Label By Three

Based out of Phoenix, AZ, Label by Three has a minimalist aesthetic which I love. Run by three women of color, their designs are effortless and in beautiful colors, from deadstock fabrics.

Here is a quote from their site: "Every piece is thoughtfully designed to be versatile enough for different body types & personal styles, emphasizing a minimal aesthetic to be paired with items you already own. Our goal is not just to make clothes that you will love, but to make clothes that will last, so you can love them for longer."


      5. Arnsdorf

Based out of Australia, this is definitely a new favorite. The simple colors and unique silhouettes draw me in. There are a few items I plan to purchase from them in the new year. I love that they are trans-seasonal and never go on sale.

Here is an excerpt from their site:

"We release well considered trans-seasonal collections, producing limited runs of each item, along with our permanent collection.

We don’t hold excessive amounts of inventory and we never go on sale. We believe in creating a new form of long tail for fashion. For those who like precision, we have a store in Melbourne where our personal stylists can tailor your pieces to your body. We take the time to get to know you and the wardrobe you are building. We also offer lifetime repairs on our garments."


      6. Les Récupérables

Located in France, Les Récupérables was started by Anaïs DW, who noticed overconsumption has increased the amount of clothing that entered the landfills. She launched her brand and works with local manufacturers to upcycle using high quality fabrications. Her styles are superb and so classic, making you to consider how many pieces you should add to your wardrobe! She even offers mending and repairing workshops.

Here is a translated excerpt from their site: "We are part of the circular economy by adopting the principles of upcycling. Vintage linen, luxury rolls and technical materials are purchased from French manufacturers. Our creations are therefore in limited and environmentally friendly series."


     7. Lois Hazel

Australia in for the win. More and more ethical brands are showing up from the Southern Hemisphere and I can't help but wonder why we are so behind. He shop offers lovely hats, tops, dresses, and masks in beautiful muted colors.  Lois has worked in high fashion and has interned in NY and Amsterdam and it shows in her work. There is also an amazing upcycling program on her website called Upparel, which is new to me.

Here is an excerpt from her site: "Each collection incorporates dead stock, organic and traceable fabrics to ensure we are doing what we can to minimise waste as well as continue our commitment to a more sustainable industry. Considered design details offer multifunctional wardrobe pieces that feel luxurious and comfortable, taking the Lois Hazel women through seasons, climates and style pursuits."

Hopefully, you found a new favorite brand. If many of these names are new to you, I encourage you to check out Good on You for more inspiration.

Until next time!





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