Hey, friends! Today we are entering uncharted territory for Minding My Soul by discussing…clothing? Yes! It’s safe to say this space is evolving to be way more than a food blog; and for this inaugural apparel post, I’m discussing a few eco-conscious clothing brands that have become wardrobe staples over the past year.
But, first things first: I want to acknowledge that the word affordable can definitely be both subjective and relative. Everyone has their own price point in terms of affordability — especially with clothing. In this context, the use of affordable is to imply that the clothing is on par with many popular mainstream brands.
I know firsthand that the idea of eco-conscious fashion can spark a worry of higher costs; and there certainly are many sustainable apparel brands whose prices are out of reach for the average budget (myself included). But the point of today’s post isn’t to discuss those ultra expensive eco brands. Instead I want to share with you my 3 favorite affordable brands of eco-conscious clothing.
These three brands of choice are my go-to’s for everyday comfort, functionality and effortless style — each one filling their own niche. But rather than preface with a few reasons I like these brands, I’ll just discuss them in detail individually. So here we go! Brand one:
I first learned of Everlane about two years ago through none other than… targeted facebook ads. So creepy sometimes, am I right? I was an avid Madewell shopper at the time, but after clicking the link I became instantly intrigued by the simplicity (and price) of the Everlane clothing. But I was skeptical. How was the quality? Why do they never run sales? How was the fit? Sustainability and eco-conscious apparel just really wasn’t on my radar at the time, so I didn’t buy anything.
Flash forward about a year, and I was starting to think more about the sustainability of my clothing. I decided to buy a pair of jeans and a couple of their cotton basic t-shirts and whoa . Since making that purchase last January, I haven’t bought jeans from another store — but I’ve bought 3 more pairs from Everlane. I could probably (read: will) write an entire post on my love for their denim.
The quality and the comfort of Everlane’s clothing is top notch, especially when it comes to denim and basic staples. Their basic cotton t’s run in a variety of styles and fits, all at a great price point (most are under 30 dollars). Their work pants are also one of my favorite products. At $50, they are less expensive than similar styles from stores like GAP, J.Crew and LOFT, with great structure and enough stretch to do yoga — seriously.
Is Everlane perfect when it comes to sustainability? No, but they make eco-conscious clothing more accessible. They also pride themselves in transparency of their worker’s environments, supply chain, materials and pricing. As a company, they are continually evolving and improving in terms of products and their sustainability. Everlane as a great starting point if you are looking to begin making eco-conscious apparel purchases.
I struggled a bit in deciding if I should list Patagonia as an affordable clothing option. If you’ve ever purchased a fleece from Patagonia, you already know that they’re often priced over $100. But I decided that talking about Patagonia was a great opportunity to open up the conversation on the idea of sacrificing quantity as a means to afford better quality.
I started to pay attention to my clothing purchases and the amount of lower quality clothes I owned (and never wore), and started to wonder: why do I have enough clothes to not wear the same thing twice in one month, but I often where the same sweater twice in one week? It didn’t add up. So I started believing in the idea of buying clothing less often and in smaller quantities in order to afford items that have a slightly higher (but still about average) price. And if I’m going to spend my money on clothing that has a higher cost, then it’s going to be on a brand like Patagonia.
Patagonia uses sustainable materials, comes with a lifetime guarantee (encouraging you to send your items in for repair), and is certified fair trade. So for about the same price as a fleece from the North Face, you can get an ultra cozy fleece from Patagonia — made by someone who was paid fair living wages in a safe environment.
Clothing from Patagonia is high-quality, comfortable and very versatile. Their fleeces are perfect for errands, work, outdoor activities or just lounging. I have 2 fleeces on heavy rotation right now, especially during these colder months in the Northeast. Their price point might not allow for frequent purchases, but the quality is far supreme to similarly styled/priced companies. 100 times over, I’d say that Patagonia was worth the investment.
Pact is a company I also learned about through targeted internet ads, and I’m so glad I did. This eco-conscious clothing brand focuses on cotton basics, underwear and loungewear. Their clothing is made with GOTS certified Organic Cotton and produced in Fair Trade certified factories.
Similarly to Everlane, their clothing is at an incredible price point. In fact, much of their product line is priced lower than non-sustainable competitors — even while being certified fair trade and organic. Their cotton underwear is $9-12 typically, with lower prices during occasional sales, while a pair from VS can run as expensive as $18+. I don’t know about you, but this definitely got my wheels turning about the insane profit margins of mainstream (unethical) companies.
Aside from affordability, Pact clothing is super soft and comfortable. I’m totally obsessed with their cotton underwear, leggings and socks — and I’m anxiously awaiting the launch of their organic towel line this spring. If you haven’t tried Pact, or have even heard of them, I recommend checking them out a-s-a-p.
As I said in the beginning, affordability is relative; but a major component of intentional living is making intentional purchases. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to support eco-conscious clothing brands without breaking the bank. Making the switch might just mean you buy less — less items and less frequently. By ensuring you love every single item in your closet, you’re decreasing the likelihood of that item ending up in the donate bag.
You might have noticed already, but sustainability and intentional living will be a major point of focus on the blog this year. My wellness journey has taken a shift towards making small changes that positively support not only my body, but the planet too. I’d be remiss if Minding My Soul didn’t continue to reflect my personal wellness/life journey.
Your voice matters! I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer your questions on sustainability. Comment below or connect with me via the contact page or my facebook page. As always, thank you so much for reading!