While so many stylish products have entered the fair trade market since RTFT began in 2004, it can still be difficult to leave the house ethically dressed from head to toe. For too long, the decision between price, style and source has forced shoppers into a corner. Does this sound familiar? A product has a great story and social mission, but is too simple in design or belongs on the bottom of the NOT HOT list or the floor of your mom’s closet. Or you find a beautifully hand painted organic fair trade silk dress, but it will cost you your rent.
Living in Brooklyn, proud home to the Etsy empire and a bevy of talented entrepreneurs, I see amazing locally made products popping up everyday. But it wasn’t until a recent trip to California, where I uncovered another layer of homegrown fashion that made me rethink how “Made in the U.S.A.” and fair trade products can symbiotically blend to bring what ethical shoppers everywhere have craved for far too long: choice.
As important as it is to ensure production abroad is safe and fair, it feels like it has also never been more important to create jobs at home. And with so many new labels made here in the good old U.S.A., consumers can now choose great cuts and styles for foundation pieces and pepper them with vibrant, exotic fair trade accessories made ethically abroad (like RTFT bags!). Here are our top 5 picks for the best building blocks of a made in the U.S.A worry-free wardrobe. Enjoy and please share your favorites with us!
ethical fashion tip: check the label for made in the usa or other sweatshop-free options like american apparel or alternative apparel
Hiking in Hither Hills Park
Locavore Summer Salad @ 18 Bay, Shelter Island
Sunset Beach Hotel, Shelter Island
Girl in Mexican Embroidery @ Ruschmeyers
Sunset @ the Montauket