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The Coziest Ethical and Sustainable Sweaters for Winter

Pink Chenille Sweater and Denim Jeans Cup of Charisma Blog 3

Happy Tuesday, friends! Houston has had some temperamental weather. This weekend was as high as 80 and tonight we’re back in the 50s! Needless to say, I would love for Mother Nature to just make up her mind and let the winter settle in. I’m traveling to South Florida this weekend to be with family for the next three weeks. While I won’t need merino wool or chenille, I can’t help but cozy up in the meantime and enjoy the cold front. I’m trying my absolute best to make Cup of Charisma a resource for sustainable brands and brands that give back to a cause (like my sustainable boot guide from fall), so today I’m rounding up several brands that fit that criteria. I hope you enjoy these cozy sustainable sweaters for winter.

Pink Chenille Sweater and Denim Jeans Cup of Charisma Blog 3

Did you know fashion employs 45 million women worldwide, and most of them cannot meet their basic needs with their earned wages? According to ABLE, only two percent of fashion workers make a wage that meets their basic needs, but if brands absorbed the cost of bringing workers to a living wage, it would likely only cost between 1-3 percent of the cost of the garment. Without further ado, let me introduce you to the brands featured in today’s post.

Shop the Sustainable Sweaters

Learn More About the Brands

ABLE

ABLE is a lifestyle brand focused on ending generational poverty by providing economic opportunity for women. ABLE’s founder, Barrett Ward, lived in Ethiopia and noticed a troubling trend. Generational poverty was driving young women into prostitution. Ward decided to create a brand that employs them and helps solve this issue one job at a time. ABLE is now a one-stop shop for ethical fashion, offering leather goods, handmade jewelry, denim, clothing, and footwear.

Everlane

I could write a love letter to Everlane. The brand practices what it calls “Radical Transparency,” and shares extensive about production costs, fair factory wages, and product sourcing on its site.  Everlane researches and works with the best factories around the world. Each factory is given a compliance audit to evaluate factors like fair wages, reasonable hours, and environmental friendliness. Everlane doesn’t compromise on its goal, which is to work with factories with a score of 90 or above.

(An important point to note: while Everlane is transparent in pricing and wages, the brand is still working on advancing its use of eco-friendly materials. According to the blog Eco Warrior Princess, Everlane does not use organic or fair-trade cotton. The brand is focused on human rights and the fair treatment of animals.)

People Tree

Now on to a brand that DOES use organic cotton… People Tree! First off, I love the name and just recently discovered this brand through some research. People Tree has been making ethically sourced, fair trade, sustainable clothing for more than 27 years. The brand claims to have developed the first integrated supply chain for organic cotton from farm to final product. Among its many accolades, People Tree was also the world’s first clothing company to receive the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product mark in 2013.

If more brands were like People Tree, you’d have to wonder what condition our world would be in today. Not only is a majority of the cotton is certified organic, but the brand uses safe azo-free dyes and recycled products. People Tree even ships many products by sea, instead of air, and weaves fabric by hand to reduce its carbon footprint. While People Tree goes through great lengths to be sustainable, the brand is a little on the costly side (a common factor when shopping ethical brands).

Accompany

Think of Accompany as your sustainable personal shopper. The brand scours the globe for one-of-a-kind finds with a story behind them. The handmade pieces and ethically-sourced items are made by Accompany’s artisans with some direction from their team. This simple act creates jobs and provides artisans to modern consumers who are interested in their good. These handmade creations are undoubtedly conversation starters and possess cultural embodiment that has been passed down over generations.

H&M

“I don’t believe that providing fashion on a large scale and working in a sustainable way needs to be a contradiction,” stated Anna Gedda, H&M’s Head of Sustainability in its 2017 sustainability report. H&M has had a controversial presence amongst sustainability bloggers who have accused H&M of greenwashing, arguing whether or not the brand’s transparency and promises are enough. The company has made strides with its Conscious Collection and as a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative, an organization that promotes higher standards in cotton farming. (Lots more information on the controversial sustainability of H&M found here. I wanted to include on this list because there ARE lots of options to choose from and the brand does have pros.)

Treasure & Bond

Honorable mention for Treasure & Bond, Nordstrom’s charitable brand that gives back. Built into the mission of the Treasure & Bond brand is the promise to donate 2.5% of net sales to charity, a promise that delivered a $1 million donation to YWCA in 2017 and has directed more than $2.4 million to charities since 2014. This year, Treasure & Bond is collaborating with WE Charity to support programs empowering young people. The verdict is still open on the brand’s eco-friendly practices, but I do love a good feel-good brand when I see one. I also really appreciate Nordstrom’s transparency to share its annual donations with the public.

Have you worn any of these brands before? Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments! 

XO,

Jillian

Photos by Banavenue Photography

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