Wear it Wednesday | 10 Ethical Fashion Brands that Empower

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For the first 10 days of August, I was campaigning with 10 Free Days fundraising for an organization called Our Daughters International. To encourage others to vote with their dollars I put together a list of 10 ethically made brands that empower! There are far more than 10 brands that do good through fair wages, safe workplaces, and equitable treatment of employees but this list is a start!

Sseko Designs

To celebrate #10freedays fundraiser I am going to share 10 ethical fashion brands that empower artisan makers! We are kicking off #10freedays with Sseko Designs, this woman owned business launched to enable high potential, talented young women to go on to university. These young women work for Sseko during the nine month gap between secondary school and university, saving part of their income for university. This University Bound team recieves life skills training,  are paired with a professional mentor, and get valuable formal work experience.

In addition to the University bound team, Sseko also employs 61 full time women from all walks of life and that face a challenging job market. By creating a an environment of dignity, honor, and dedication, Sseko Designs provides the opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.

Sandals lined up on the ground

The Good Tee

On the second day of #10freedays, we are looking back at a recent collaboration I had with The Good Tee.
Next to oil, the apparel industry is the planet’s most destructive industry. However, there’s a way to bring to market products that are ethically produced, sustainable, and certifiably “good”, and that’s where we come in. The Good Tee was created to make it easier for you to purchase guilt-free, responsibly made fashion basics. Their fair trade certified tees are designed and delivered to you with the environment and ethical manufacture in mind. How they do this:  through the good and honest relationships we maintain with our partners and through 100% transparency of a supply chain which The Good Tee tracks throughout its lifespan –  from farm to finished garment right through to delivery. Donate to my 10 Free Days fundraiser and shop The Good Tee (use code stylishlyshelby for 15% off).


ABLE

Today, I’m sharing about ABLE is an ethical fashion brand that employs and empowers women as a solution to end poverty. We’re deeply devoted to quality – both in the products we make and the quality of life we aim to provide. They invest in, train, and educate women so they can earn a living, break the cycle of poverty, and thrive. Based in Nashville Tennessee ABLE works with artisans locally to produce their jewelry and and their leather goods, clothes, and shoes are made by manufacturing partners in Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and India. Around the world, they work with entrepreneurs who share in similar values.


Mata Traders

We are almost halfway through our 10 Free Days fundraiser and 10 Ethical Fashion brands that empower! Mata Traders mission is to ‘fashion a better world’ by creating designs that celebrate a woman’s originality and empower her to use her dollar for change. Mata Traders merges uncommonly vibrant style with fair trade practices to make an impact on global poverty – bringing fair wages to artisans in India and Nepal. I especially love the traditional techniques that Mata Traders uses making their pieces unique while preserving the traditions of artisans. They have beautiful woven and soft knits with fun prints and embroidery details. This dress from last spring is on frequent rotation in my wardrobe.

Shelby wearing Mata Traders Dress, under a gray cardigan, with mustard flats in front of green field.
May 12

Pact Apparel

Today is the halfway point of the #10freedays fundraiser and the 5th ethical fashion brand that empowers! Basics are a must but where do we find basics and stylish basics that do good? Pact Apperal to the rescue, I recently added a few new styles to my wardrobe from Pact including a bodysuit! This has been a staple for my wardrobe on the hot summer days and I am looking forward to enjoying it into the winter too! I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to dress this not so basic up during the warmer months. 

Travis and I also love Pact Apparel underwear, they are buttery soft and have lasted well over the year! My Pact bralette and sports bra are 2 of my favorite bras in my underwear drawer and wear them every time they are clean.


Sela Designs

How does a business do good? For Ashleigh Becker, jewelry maker, and entreprenuer that mean donating your profits to organizations that are doing the hard work. Ashleigh creates all the beautiful designs of Sela Designs in her basement at her home in Wisconson. She is donating all her profits from August 1-10 of her sales to 10 Free Days fundraiser! Sela Designs was created as a give-back brand but contrary to other give-back brands, Sela Designs gives 100% of their profits to various charitable organizations.
Ashleigh makes it easy to wear beautiful handmade jewelry, made in the USA with locally sourced natural materials that you know will do good! Fall inspired pieces are on their way I hear but in the mean time I will be rocking my favorite Daisy earrings and these gorgeous cork Rory earrings for as long as I can! Which style is your favorite?


Daria Day

Only 2 days left for the #10freedays fundraiser and the last 2 brands of the 10 ethical brands that empower!
Many people believe in the power of crystals, and different crystals provide different energy. This beautiful Yellow Quartzite Joyful Spirit from Daria Day is thought to provide clarity in decision making, sharper memory, and protection from depression during dull weather. (Something I think we could all use during this pandemic.)
Daria Day ethically sources all their materials and works with women artisans in Northern Pakistan to polish and assemble their one of a kind pieces!


The Root Collective

On the 8th day of #10freedays and 10 ethical fashion brands that empower, meet The Root Collective a brand focused on people by creating ethically made fashion pieces. I am a huge fan of their stunning flats and ankle boots. The Root Collective also makes beautiful bags and accessories, made by local artisans in Guatemala using traditional techniques in back loom weaving, and shoe making for legacy made pieces for you to wear and love for years to come. I wear my Gabby flats often and always get compliments, plus they are comfy to wear for a long period of time!


Noonday Collection

Day 9 of #10freedays and 10 ethical fashion brands that empower!
Ethical and Fair Trade made accessories are the perfect place to start shifting how you buy and Noonday Collection is the OG when it comes to sourcing ethically made goods from around the world! The brightly colored beaded pair of Maasai earrings are one of my favorite Noonday pieces, each pair are unique and it’s a surprise when you arrive which pattern and color you get. Made by women of the Maasai nation in Africa using traditional techniques and patterns to their tribe. For someone who tends to sport more neutral and earthy styles, these are bold and always catch people’s attention. 
In contrast the the Maasai earrings, the Demi Hoops are timeless, subtle and feminine. I love being able to share who and how both sets of earrings were made to everyone who asks. 


Elegantees

Last day of #10freedays and the last brand of our 10 ethical fashion brands that empower!
Elegantees is an ethical fashion brand that employes restored women from human trafficking by @ourdaughtersinternation the organization we have been fundraising for over the last 10 days. Elegantees provides a living wage to their seamstresses, by earning more than the minimum wage these young women are less likely to become victims of human trafficking. 
2020 has been a tough year for many businesses, Elegantees has stayed committed to their employees and the sewing center in Nepal. When goods stopped traveling internationally, founder & designer Katie created a collection to be made at an ethical workshop in NYC to help support and provide wages to the team in Nepal. With borders opening back up for business, new pieces from Nepal are arriving and the seamstresses are back to work.

There are many ways to fight human trafficking:

  1. donate to organizations fighting human trafficking like 10 free days for Our Daughters International
  2. buy ethically made, this provides a fair wage to artisans ending the cycles of poverty that human trafficking thrives on
  3. talk about it and continue learning

Looking for more ethically made brands? Check out the Ethical Shopping Guide, Here

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