In the past couple of years, one of my goals has been to distance myself from fast fashion brands due to the negative impact they have on our planet. With this, I often sit and ponder who makes the products I wear and use, and in what conditions they work in. In many cases, the answers aren't so good. Through this conscious journey, I have come across a number of ethical and sustainable brands that care for the environment in ways so deep, that their entire business model relies on it.
Here are some ethical and sustainable brands I have been loving.
tonlé is a clothing brand that has been pioneering the zero waste fashion movement. Their clothing, accessories and homewares are made from reclaimed materials that other manufacturers deem as waste. Their products use natural dyes that are safer for those who make the pieces, as well as those who wear them. tonlé's workshop is based in Phnom Penh where the team earn fair wages and benefits, are provided with equitable vacation packages, complimentary lunch, training opportunities, and team retreats. You can read more on their fair trade practices here.
I first discovered tonlé while scouring the internet for sustainable fashion brands in 2020, and have been living in my tonlé clothes while staying at home, since. Their clothes are timeless, high quality, pair well with other pieces in my wardrobe, are breathable, comfortable and feel so good.
Llani is a gorgeous, slow fashion accessories brand that is inspired by worldly travel and Indian artisans. Llani's collection includes intricately embellished slides, slippers, and accessories. The pieces are mindfully made in Indian factories that are female founded, or family owned. I came across this brand last year after returning from India, and have been obsessed with it since. With a stunning selection of colors, uniquely designed products, and delicate fringes and beadwork, Llani is my go-to brand for stunning stay at home style.
Akind is a Scandinavian fine jewelry brand that produce minimalistic gold jewelry and lab grown diamonds. Akind use recycled solid gold to create all of their pieces, and are actively committed to sustainability. Their jewelry is made in Andalucía, Spain in factories committed to fine craftsmanship and ethical methods. I wear two Akind rings, everyday. They are clean and elegant, and compliment the rest of my jewelry. I don't need to remove them when showering, they are comfortable, and they look effortlessly beautiful.
Passion Lilie is a fair trade, slow fashion brand designed with comfort and fit in mind. They release two main collections a year, which are inspired by ancient Indian artisanal techniques, and the colors of nature. Their timeless pieces are made of organic cotton, along with their selection of home goods and accessories. Sustainability is part of Passion Lilie's ethos. They work with partners in India who are committed to paying fair living wages, create safe and healthy work environment, and invest in the overall wellbeing of the artisans they employ. They noticed a lack of female tailors in the industry and have worked to develop a complimentary program to train four women a year on garment production, who are then offered a job at Passion Lilie.
I have a number of their face masks, the most comfortable tapered cropped pants, and a couple of their throw pillows as pictured above.
Astor + Orion
Astor + Orion is an eco friendly sustainable jewelry brand based out of Seattle, with an ethical manufacturing facility in Bangkok. Their jewelry is intricately designed and of high quality. Every item in their jewelry collection is cast from recycled metals such as sterling silver or surgical stainless steel and finished in silver, rose gold or 18k gold. Astor + Orion's manufacturing facility in Bangkok has been deemed as gold standard by the Thai government, and a model for other factories to follow. If that's not enough, Astor + Orion also donates a portion of their proceeds to The Cal Arts Community Art Partnership which offers free after-school and school-based arts programs for youth, supporting the creative community.
I love Astor + Orion pieces as they can be worn everyday. I love wearing their earrings with loungewear at home for a casual but put together look.
Gitti is a conscious beauty brand based out of Berlin with a vision to change the beauty industry, and make the world more sustainable. They specialize in vegan nail colors using natural ingredients, and are against animal testing. You may question why a nail brand would not to be vegan? Shockingly, many brands use crushed scale insects and fish scales as color pigments. In fact, most nail polishes on the market today contain ingredients that are toxic. These harmful and dangerous substances can put your health at risk after just a single application. Gitti's plant based and water based formulas change this entirely, and offer a safer and more conscious alternative. Their packaging is made of glass, labels made from vegetable material sugar cane ethanol, and trays and envelopes from recycled paper.
As someone who has always loved and used nail polish from a very young age, I was shocked by the noxious cocktail of toxic ingredients used in the nail polish industry, and the effects it can have on your body. I have since thrown out so many big name brand polishes. If you want to try a safer and cleaner alternative, I am happy to offer a 15% discount on all products using code anika15 at Gitti.
If you have been following me, you will already know how much I love the Indian inspired skincare brand AAVRANI. AAVRANI's products are clean, mindfully made and sourced ethically and sustainably. It's a brand thats female founded, uses glass, recyclable cardboard and paper packaging, and donates 2% of annual proceeds to Shanti Bhavan School in India to educate underprivileged girls. AAVRANI is all about skincare thats non-toxic, cruelty free, vegan, and proudly made in the USA.
If you would like to try AAVRANI and get 15% off your order, you can use ANIKAPANNU at checkout or click this link.
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