I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm committed to becoming more thoughtful about what and where I shop, taking into consideration which brands I support and the impact my purchases have on the environment and the industry as a whole. More than ever, I want to feel good about my shopping choices.
To help me move in a more conscious direction, I sat down with someone who knows a lot about clothes that look as good as they feel. Enter Cassandra Dittmer. After working as a traditional celebrity stylist with the likes of Laura Dern, Bebe Rexha, and Donald Glover, and others for nearly a decade, she's branching out to work with a wider array of clients to identify the values they want to see represented in their wardrobes (AKA me).
Dittmer has an array of styling services ranging from sourcing specific items for her clients such as a new winter coat or a dress for an upcoming event to complete closet overhauls, and my work with her fell somewhere in the middle. We created a sustainably-sourced digital boutique—basically a curation of items from the seven brands you're about to discover here which Dittmer hand-picked for me based on things like my personal style and the values I want to see represented in my wardrobe. I knew I wanted to focus on three aspects: sustainable production, ethical working conditions, and prioritizing Black and women-owned businesses, all of which are represented in this list.
Not only do these additions stand to move my closet in a more thoughtful direction but each one is an exciting new-to-me brand that I'm simply can't keep all to myself. Ahead, discover what makes each label exciting to a sustainable stylist like Dittmer and shop my picks from them.
"I am obsessed with everything Gimaguas is creating. There is not a ton of information about exactly how the brand is crafted. I do know that it was started by two Spanish sisters who design and run the entire label. They create handcrafted and unique items. They definitely have a mystique to their brand. I think the square neck and polo-style tops are both really unique, but timeless pieces. They are both so classy, cozy, and elevated."
Gimaguas Pink Chess Cardigan ($147)
Shop the matching knit tank ($89).
Gimaguas Disco Waves Black Pants ($82)
Gimaguas Marco Polo Navy ($148)
"NORR brand really encompasses the Danish modern woman. Everything is always very minimalistic, but still intriguing and interesting. NORR has a very special commitment to the environment and to improve the regions they work in. They focus heavily on materials and the standard of their suppliers helping integrate sustainable fabrics and reducing the use of harmful chemicals. I know leather is controversial, but this company has an amazing commitment to making it as sustainably as possible. I love this set together, but it also amazing worn separately. I love this skirt paired with a turtleneck for fall. This would probably look amazing with your black square-toe boots."
NORR Alba Leather Button Up Shirt ($345)
NORR Alba Leather Wrap Midi Skirt ($315)
NORR Chelsea Long Sleeve Knit Top ($85)
"Sometimes finding the right basics can be tough. There are many sustainable brands that make “basics” nowadays. As the ground is a bit more trod- den in this category, I hold the brands to a very high standard in ethics. Public Habit is doing some of the best work. They have an on-demand model that eliminates waste and warehousing costs. They do an excellent job building their community around transparency. Their website clearly explains the pros and cons of each fabric as well as sharing specific details of their factories and supply chain. I am a big fan of the hand on their cashmere. I also love the cut on this turtleneck. It’s cropped enough but can still be tucked into high waisted pants easily. Their items are perfect for fall layering and NYC weather!"
Shop Public Habit:
Public Habit The Peggy Half-Zip Sweater ($230)
Public Habit The Cindy Midi Dress ($140)
Public Habit The Chunky Cashmere Turtleneck ($140)
"Everything from the fabrications, trims, pattern making, and sewing, every contribution to Izayla is crafted in Los Angeles. The owner, I’sha Dunston, takes pride in domestic craftsmanship while ensuring ethical compensation for all of her freelance contractors. A future plan for Izayla is to provide employment opportunities for all women in Los Angeles.
She pioneers on “made to order” to ensure waste is kept minimal and works to let each customer know that their garment is made with love. She purchases fabrication, trimmings, and stores the inventory for selective styles on a needed basis. I’sha is very hands-on with every element of her business such as sketching, fabrications, fitting samples, meetings with showrooms, and connecting with people that she sees as an asset to her brand.
Izayla is a brand I just discovered recently. This jumpsuit is a total statement piece. I actually just worked with her last week to incorporate a couple of these items into a new campaign. This is the type of item you wear from work to dinner, traveling, and beyond. I love the easy, but flattering shape."
Izayla Tie Front Jumpsuit ($375)
Izayla Off the Shoulder Bodysuit ($250)
Izayla Wool Straight Leg Trousers ($875)
"Gestuz describes the brand as subtly disrupting and updating the classics which just sort of makes me happy. The brand focuses on sustainable materials, production, and the well-being of their workers. Currently, about 40% of their collections are made from recycled materials. They also specifically state that they are looking for ways to further improve. I really appreciate when a brand takes such a strong, but vulnerable stance on their current business pulse. I love the buckle detail, overall fit, and color of these jeans. They are a modern, not too skinny cut that can pair well with many tops and jacket combos from your existing wardrobe."
Gestuz Loraligz Blouse With Long Sleeve ($129)
Gestuz Naloagz Blazer ($651)
Gestuz Alpiagz Knitted Cardigan ($165)
"OVNA OVICH (— овна -ovna feminine — ович -ovich masculine) is an independent label based in Auckland, New Zealand, with a devotion to making environmentally and socially sound womenswear of effortlessness and elegance. Female-designed, small runs, and the designer maintains complete control of the supply chain to my understanding. I know you were looking for easy pieces and I love drape on this oversized blazer. So simple and chic to pair with minimal jewelry, your favorite pant, and a t-shirt or turtleneck. Her Materials are selected for their naturally renewable and sustainable characteristics. This blazer is wool which is renewable, fire-resistant, and does not require chemical inputs. Also, the buttons are made from the seed of a palm tree."
Shop Ovna Ovich:
Ovna Ovich Kahlo Dress ($368)
Ovna Ovich Ya Blazer ($378)
Ovna Ovich Virginia Top ($192)
"Sustainability, craft, and empowerment lie at the heart of Sindiso’s label. She works very closely with NGOs in developing handmade textiles for her collections. Everything is handmade in South Africa. I love the quirky and interesting patterns on all of her items. She has everything from beautifully structured suiting to really French-looking dresses. This suit has incredible shape and structure. I am obsessed with her patterns and love the white bootie paired with her white dress."
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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