Benefits of Slowing Down

Daily life is increasingly fast-paced with more work and life demands plus the mental energy it takes being always connected through our phones and social media. Additionally consumption has sped up and we’ve been seeing an increase in cheap, disposable products over quality and craftsmanship. I don’t think this speed is physically, mentally, or financially healthy and also puts more pressure on our planet and resources.

For years I’ve been working on slowing down different aspects of life, from the food I eat, to my wardrobe, to how I spend my time. Sometimes I’m great at being mindful and intentional, sometimes it’s a challenge, but it’s still been one of the best things I’ve done.

This post is in collaboration with Son de Flor who creates beautiful, timeless, slow fashion linen garments. Their wrap dress is featured in the photos.

Linen wrap dress from Son de Flor


Slow Food

The slow movement really began and grew legs through food. People started realising processed, packaged, and fast food, while convenient, doesn’t nourish our bodies or minds in the same way. I think food has a beautiful ability to connect us to the environment and cultures we live in, and to the people around us through sharing meals.

The benefits of slowing down - making food from scratch

My approach to slowing down food is to cook meals from scratch whenever possible and try to source whole, healthy ingredients, especially local and organic when I can. For me a perfect evening is cooking dinner together with my husband or friends and sharing the meal together, chatting over drinks into the evening.

The benefits of slowing down - baking chai-spiced banana bread/cake
Spiced banana bread/cake

Slowing down my approach to food not only means we eat healthier and more sustainably but I also get a lot of enjoyment and accomplishment from cooking, trying new recipes, learning new skills, and making something delicious for myself and others.


Slow Fashion

This is the area I focus on most with My Green Closet and honestly, slowing down my wardrobe and changing my fast fashion shopping habits has really changed my life. Our clothing has such a far reaching environmental and social impact, from the materials used, to the workers who make the textiles and cut and sew the clothes, to the wearer and how the garment is cared for and disposed of.

Linen wrap dress from Son de Flor with Alice + Whittles rubber boots and Swedish Stockings socks

Having clothing that you love and can wear for years not only greatly reduces the environmental and ethical impacts of your wardrobe, but can also help you develop your personal style and find more joy and contentment with your clothing. This is in direct opposition to fast fashion which is built upon constantly shopping and disposing of clothes and therefore needs you to always want more and newer pieces. I have an ebook/workbook all about quitting fast fashion and slowing down your wardrobe if you’d like some guidance with that process.

Son de Flor is a great example of a brand who takes a slow fashion approach to their garments. They have a season-less collection with all the pieces designed to be timeless classics. Their garments are made from locally sourced linen, which is one of the most sustainable fibres, (I’ve talked before about how much I love linen) and are Oeko-Tex certified as well to ensure no harmful chemicals or dyes were used. Their production all happens in the EU, with many garments made-to-order (which reduces waste), and they ship everything without plastic packaging.

Linen wrap dress from Son de Flor

I love their dresses and this linen wrap dress is a romantic style that I’m sure will become a wardrobe staple for me. It’s been comfortable and easy for pregnancy, and I expect the wrap style will also be very helpful for easy nursing when the baby arrives. They also have other really gorgeous dress styles to check out!


Slow Living

Slowing down your life and how you spend your time can be amazing for stress-relief, mental clarity, physical health, happiness, and so much more.

Studies have found that trying to do too much at once not only means you give less attention to each task but can also increase stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue. On the other side “mono-tasking” (focusing on one thing at a time) helps us not only perform our tasks better but is also better for our mental health. Being mindful about what we’re doing with our time can be challenging with such fast-paced lifestyles, but the benefits definitely make it worth the effort.

It’s important to make time for things you enjoy (and try to do them without distractions). We all need time for relaxation, self-care, and to “recharge” – it’s helpful to plan that time into your day or week instead of putting it on the back burner.

Slowing down and reading

The things I personally find most beneficial for a mental break from work and daily life are going for a walk, reading, or doing a creative project. Even if it’s just for 15-20 minutes, it can really help.

I also think it’s incredibly valuable to your relationships to plan time with your partner or family/friends – ideally turning those phones and distractions off and just enjoying each other’s company.

The benefits of slowing down

We have also experienced amazing benefits from slow travel – really spending time and experiencing a place instead of zipping from sight to sight and trying to do as much as possible. It has made our travels so much more relaxing, enriching, and memorable.

Finally pregnancy has been a big lesson in slowing down for me, as my pregnancy progresses simple things have become harder and more tiring forcing me to slow down. I’m trying to mentally prepare for when the baby comes and we have way less time than we currently do, but I still want to try my best to slow down and enjoy all the moments.

Linen wrap dress from Son de Flor


No matter how chaotic your life is, even incorporating small moments of mindfulness and trying to slow down where possible can be beneficial. From what we consume, to how we spend our time, there are so many areas where slowing down not only positively impacts our personal lives but can also positively impact our relationships, community, and planet.

I’d love to know in the comments if there are things you’re working on slowing down and being more mindful of!

Huge thanks to Son de Flor for partnering with me on this post. You can check out their beautiful linen, slow fashion pieces here! Also see how other people style their Son de Flor garments or share your own with #MySondeFlor

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15 Organic & Sustainable Underwear Brands

We already have a great roundup of sustainable bras, so now we’re focusing on your 🍑 and have collected some comfy, organic, eco friendly, and ethical underwear brands.

You can find underwear brands from the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe.

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

Knickey

Image credit: Knickey

My favorite comfy, organic cotton underwear. Knickey has 5 classic cuts in a nice palette of neutrals plus some limited edition fun colours. They also have the credentials to back up their conscious commitment, with GOTS, Oeko-Tex, and Fair Trade certifications.

I love their soft, organic fabric and lightweight elastics. The mid and high rise styles are my go-tos.

Size Range: XS – XXXL

Values: GOTS certified organic cotton, Oeko-Tex certified, Fair Trade certified, sustainable packaging, body-inclusive models, take-back recycling program

Ordering: Based in USA, ships to America and Canada


Image credit: Organic Basics

Organic Basics

Also included in my bra round-up, Organic Basics has a great selection of bottom styles made from various sustainable materials.

Organic Basics has a solid set of certifications and sustainability initiatives and is a good example of brand transparency.

Size range: XS – XL

Values: sustainable materials, GOTS certified organic cotton, certified factories (various certifications), production transparency, carbon offset, gives back

Ordering: Based in Denmark, ships international


Image credit: Pantee

Pantee

Image your fave comfy tee as undies! Pantee upcycles unsold deadstock t-shirts giving them a new life as cute and comfy sustainable underwear.

Size Range: XS – XL

Values: reclaimed materials, ethically made in Bangladesh, plastic free packaging, gives back

Ordering: Based in UK, ships international


WAMA

Eco & ethical underwear roundup - WAMA hemp briefs

WAMA’s underwear is made from a blend of hemp, organic cotton, and a little spandex and comes in a few classic cuts.

Their underwear is super comfy and durable – WAMA’s boxer briefs are my husband’s favourite pair of underwear.

Size Range: XS – 2XL (women), S – 3XL (men)

Values: sustainable materials, vegan brand

Ordering: Based in USA, ships international


Image credit: KENT

KENT

We didn’t think it could be done, but Kent makes 100% plastic-free, fully compostable, organic cotton underwear!

KENT offers undyed and natural, plant-dyed styles, as well as a black colour option dyed with GOTS certified dyes. They use plant-based and latex-free elastics, and sew their underwear in LA.

I love how soft their material is. They are classic, comfy underwear but compostable!

Size range: XS – 3XL

Values: sustainable materials, GOTS certified organic cotton, Fair Trade certified organic cotton, sustainable packaging, made in USA

Ordering: Based in US, also ships to Canada, the UK, and Australia


Image credit: Mary Young

Mary Young

A variety of sexy, casual, and sporty styles and cuts all ethically made in Canada from mainly bamboo fabric and nylon mesh.

They have both a Canadian site and US site.

Size Range: XS – 2X

Values: some sustainable materials, Oeko-Tex certified (bamboo), made in Canada

Ordering: Based in Canada, ships international


Image credit: Pact

PACT

PACT makes comfy organic cotton undies in a variety of cuts. They have great packs and deals if you order multiples which makes them a good affordable option.

I have a pair of their boy shorts which are super comfortable.

Size Range: XS – XXL

Values: organic cotton, fair trade certified factories

Ordering: Based in USA, ships international


Image credit: Tizz & Tonic

Tizz & Tonic

Organic cotton undies in fun prints and colours. If you love cute styles, quirky prints, and bright color definitely check them out!

Tizz & Tonic‘s pieces are all made in small batches in their studio in Germany.

Size Range: XXS – XXL

Values: organic cotton, digitally printed, made in-house in Germany

Ordering: Based in Germany, ships international


tentree

One of our family’s favourite brands, tentree also has a small underwear collection. Their underwear is made from a soft, lightweight Tencel and organic cotton blend and very comfy.

Size range: XS – XL

Values: sustainable and recycled materials, B Corp, public code of conduct for manufacturing, carbon neutral, gives back

Ordering: based in Canada, ships to North America, EU, UK, and some international


Image credit: Uye Surana

Uye Surana

Looking for something sexy? Uye Surana makes beautiful lacy and mesh lingerie. Their pieces are ethically made in small batches from a variety of materials (some sustainable, some not).

Size range: XS – 3X

Values: small batch production, some reclaimed materials, scrap recycling, body-inclusive models

Ordering: based in US, ships international


Woron

Soft, minimalist briefs made from Lenzing modal and organic cotton. Woron is a Danish brand that focuses on sustainable essentials.

Size Range: XS – XL

Values: sustainable materials, Oeko-Tex certified, consciously made in Hungary and India, vegan brand

Ordering: Based in Denmark, ships to Europe, America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand


Image credit: HARA

HARA

Hara has a beautiful selection of colourful undies made from naturally-dyed bamboo.

Their products are all made in Australia.

Size range: XS – XL

Values: sustainable materials, natural dyes, Oeko-Tex certified fabrics, consciously made in Australia

Ordering: Based in Australia, ships international


Image credit: Thunderpants

Thunderpants

We have a lot of classic and neutral styles on this list so I wanted to include Thunderpants for those that love fun prints!

Thunderpants uses organic cotton and they manufacture locally in both the US and NZ.

Size range: XS – L

Values: organic cotton, made in USA

Ordering: Based in USA, ships international


Boody

A great accessible option with many retailers around the world. Boody‘s underwear is made from certified bamboo that is sustainably farmed. Their products are produced in WRAP certified factories.

Size range: XS – XL

Values: sustainable materials, Ecocert certified, Oeko-Tex certified, FSC certified, WRAP certified, vegan brand

Ordering: Initially based in Australia but now with many branches internationally



Stores with Multiple Brands

Also be sure to check out these stores for ethical underwear:

Made Trade

Made Trade also has a great selection of ethical and sustainable underwear and bras including brands like Knickey, Thunderpants, and Mary Young.

DoneGood

DoneGood‘s conscious marketplace includes some organic and ethically-made underwear.




Also check out our bra round-up! Many of the brands featured have bottoms as well. 🙂

Are there any eco undies we missed that you love?

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Last updated: June 6, 2022

How Quality Saves you Money

Since trying to live more sustainably and consciously I’ve had to re-learn the way I view price and budgets. Before I would go with whatever the lower-priced option was but now I’ve learned that it’s not always actually cheaper.

This post is in collaboration with BuyMeOnce who has an incredible, curated selection of products which have been vetted and researched for their durability and longevity.

When you factor in the longevity and cost-per-use of products, prices start to look very different. For example a relative recently mentioned that they have to replace their non-stick cooking pans about every 3-4 years; they typically pay around $45 CAD for a decent-quality pan. Comparatively we’re looking at investing in a Finex cast-iron skillet (which is recommended by BuyMeOnce). The 12″ size comes to about $265 Canadian which is significantly more, however the skillets also come with a lifetime guarantee (and are ethically made!). If we use the pan for the next 30+ years we’ve paid $265 meanwhile my relative has paid more than $385 replacing their cooking pans and about 8 pans have ended up in the landfill (most non-stick cookware isn’t recyclable). Plus if we look at the greater environmental impact, those 8 pans also used significantly more energy, chemicals, and resources to produce.

Cast iron Finex skillet with a lifetime guarantee
This gorgeous cast iron skillet has a lifetime guarantee

Can everyone just drop hundreds on a pan? Definitely not, and it’s a decision we’re really weighing in our budget, however there’s no denying it’s a better “deal” long-term.

I think with investment purchases you have to focus on the areas and items you use most. We really enjoy cooking meals at home and do it basically every day, so cookware is something we prioritise investing in. While someone who doesn’t cook much wouldn’t see the same value in cookware and might want to invest in a different area.

For a less-drastic price point, let’s look at my favourite topic, clothing. I know quite a few people who replace basics, like a black tank, about 3 times a year. Often because the garment has quickly become misshapen, the fabric is wearing out, or the colour has faded, and as I recently experienced poor quality clothing can very quickly deteriorate and become unusable. Now proper clothing care is also extremely important with helping clothing last, however you need good quality fabric and construction to get longevity from your wardrobe.

Comparing a few different fast fashion brands, a basic cotton tank seems to sell for about $6. On the other hand, BuyMeOnce recommends a tank which costs $38. I’ve found a good-quality tee/tank can last at least 3-4 years with proper care. So to break down the cost: for about 3 years the good-quality tank costs $38 but for the person who replaces their tank around 3 times a year they’d need to buy 9 of them which would cost $54. It not only is more money but also a lot more time spent shopping for those tanks. From an eco/ethical perspective the cheap tanks are also a lot more damaging since more resources, energy for both manufacturing and shipping, and labour (likely at unfair wages) went into producing all those shirts, and then there’s all the textile waste after.

I’ve had this tank for over 3 years and it’s still holding up well and fits great with good spandex retention.

It’s important to note though that avoiding heat – washing with cold water and air-drying – drastically increases the life of your clothes because heat breaks down spandex and the fibres very quickly, as well as causes fading. So even with high-quality clothing, you still need to care for them so they can last a long time.

Paying a bit more for high-quality products, like a spatula, can save you money long-term.
My GIR spatula which I found through BMO comes with a lifetime guarantee!

It can mentally be very difficult to pay more for something. As I talk about in my psychology of shopping video, our brains weigh pleasure and pain when it comes to making a purchase – paying more means more “pain”, while feeling like we’re getting a good deal gives us extra dopamine. So intentionally paying more for a product is hard for our brains which is why we need to think of it as a long-term investment.

Money and budgets are always difficult with sustainability because high-quality and consciously made products do often cost more (although you can also find amazing quality products secondhand at very affordable prices). There is a lot of privilege involved in being able to spend more on better quality items, and it’s not something everyone can do. However if you have even a small budget to work with, focus on the areas where you’ll get the most benefit from investing in a better product – these are likely the things you use regularly and/or the items you have to replace most often. Focusing on these areas will give you the greatest impact with your budget and cost-per-use benefit of a better quality product.

I’d love to hear what things are most worth investing in for you!

Be sure to check out BuyMeOnce to find durable and long-lasting products for all areas of your life.

Also you can read more about how to identify good vs. poor quality products.

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18 Ethical & Sustainable Swimwear Brands to Dive Into

Relax and play at the pool or beach in a sustainable bikini, one-piece, or sports swimsuit! 👙🏖

What is ‘Eco Friendly’ Swimwear?

We usually advocate for natural fabrics, however when it comes to a sustainable swimsuit synthetic fabrics offer benefits. Synthetic materials like nylon don’t retain as much water and dry a lot faster, making them more practical and comfortable for swimming – no one wants a soggy suit. The best option is to look for good quality swimwear made from recycled materials like fishing nets and water bottles. Also try to select styles you know you’ll get a lot of wear from and avoid trendy pieces that will only last a season.

For this roundup we also tried to look for brands who keep their production volume small — or better yet, make each bathing suit to order — and have a transparent and ethical supply chain with fair wages. 

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

Jump to sustainable swimwear brands based in:
USA
Canada
UK & Europe
Australia


Recycled Swimwear Brands in America

Eco & Ethical Swimwear - Hackwith Design House (recycled materials, made in USA)
Image credit: Hackwith Design House

Hackwith Design House

Hackwith Design House‘s swim collection is all made in-house at their studio in Minnesota from recycled polyester. Many of their styles are available in plus size.

Size Range: XS to +4.5

Values: Recycled materials, made in-house, made-to-order, plus size, made in America

Ordering: Based in USA, ships international


Image credit: Wolven

Wolven

Wolven is a swimwear and active brand with bright, kaleidoscopic prints and colours. Their swim collection is made in China (read more about their manufacturing) from OEKO-TEX certified recycled PET made from plastic bottles.

Size range: XS – XL

Values: Recycled and OEKO-TEX certified materials, carbon neutral certified, gives back

Ordering: Based in USA, ships international


Image credit: Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective

A favourite for sustainable activewear, Girlfriend has now added swimwear to their collection. They offer flattering cuts in a variety of colours and have one of the most inclusive size ranges from a sustainable brand!

Size range: XXS – 6XL

Values: Recycled materials, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified fabrics, SA8000 certified factory, plus size

Ordering: Based in USA, also ships to UK, Australia, and Canada


Image credit: Bold Swim

BOLD Swim

BOLD Swim has sexy and classic styles with some plus-size designs. I wanted to include them in particular because, unlike the other brands who use recycled materials, they actually make their suits from a special “biodegradable” nylon fabric called Amni Soul Eco®. Like with most proprietary fabrics it’s very difficult to get more information about how exactly it works, but the brand claims it will biodegrade in landfills.

Size Range: S – 3X

Values: Sustainable materials, plus size, BIPOC-owned, sourced and made in Brazil

Ordering: Based in USA, ships international


REVVV Swim

Looking for sustainable swimwear for water sports or surfing? REVVV set out to make swimwear that is both sporty and stylish – focusing on functional, comfortable and supportive designs. Their swimsuits are made in NYC from recycled nylon.

Size Range: XS – XL

Values: Recycled materials, made in America

Ordering: Based in USA, ships only within US


Jessica Rey

For those looking for fuller coverage or more modest swimwear, Jessica Rey has a great selection of feminine and retro-inspired styles. Their suits are all made in a fair-wage factory in Los Angeles from recycled nylon.

Eco & Ethical Swimwear - Jessica Rey (recycled materials, made in America)
Image credit: Jessica Rey

Size Range: XXS – 1X

Values: Recycled materials, made in America

Ordering: Based in USA, ships international


Made Trade

Made Trade is a conscious boutique that carries a fantastic selection of ethically made and sustainable swimwear brands to check out, as well as other clothing and home goods.


Sustainable Swimwear in Canada

Image credit: Londre

Londre

Londre has a variety of minimalist yet unique and sexy swimwear cuts and versatile/multi-wear designs. Their swimsuits are made in Canada from recycled plastic bottles and they also have a take-back recycling program.

Size Range: XS – 5XL

Values: Recycled and OEKO-TEX® certified materials, recycling program, plus size, gives back, made in Canada

Ordering: Based in Canada, ships international


Image credit: Nettle’s Tale

Nettle’s Tale

I first heard about Nettle’s Tale years ago when they were crowdfunding to launch the brand and loved their celebration of body-diversity. They take fit very seriously and all their suits are locally made in Vancouver from recycled polyester, plus the sale of each swimsuit donates 10% to a select charity.

Nettle’s Tale is also one of our top 10 ‘Made in Canada’ brands!

Size Range: XS – 4X

Values: Recycled materials, gives back, plus size, made in Canada

Ordering: Based in Canada, ships international


Eco & Ethical Swimwear - Saltwater Collective (recycled materials, made in Canada)
Image credit Saltwater Collective

Saltwater Collective

This sustainable swimwear brand uses ECONYL®, a material made from regenerated nylon that comes from abandoned fishing nets and other pre and post industrial plastic waste. Saltwater Collective‘s one- and two-piece suits are all made locally in Toronto.

Size Range: XS – 3XL

Values: Recycled materials, made in Canada

Ordering: Based in Canada, ships to some international countries


Image credit: Selfish Swimwear

Selfish Swimwear

A brand founded on body positivity, sustainability and quality. Selfish Swimwear takes a slow fashion approach, designing and producing swimwear to last years. They have a range of cuts depending if you want to show more skin or fuller coverage.

Their sustainable swimwear is ethically made in Montreal from ECONYL® (nylon made from recycled plastic). In line with their commitment to longevity, Selfish Swimwear also offers a repair service.

Size Range: S – XXL (+ made to measure for an extra fee)

Values: Recycled materials, made in-house, repair/mending, BIPOC-owned, made in Canada

Ordering: Based in Canada, ships international

Image credit: Minnow Bathers

Minnow Bathers

Sporty cuts in a variety of colours and artistic prints, Minnow Bathers designs one collection a year which is locally made to order with a focus on reducing waste.

Size Range: XS – XXXL

Values: Recycled materials, made-to-order, gives back, made in Canada

Ordering: Based in Canada, ships international


Sustainable Swimwear in Europe & the UK

Eco & Ethical Swimwear - Anek. (recycled materials, made in Europe)
Image credit: Anekdot

Anekdot

Anekdot swimwear is made from upcycled surplus/deadstock fabrics and materials or ECONYL® recycled materials, either in their Berlin studio or a nearby Polish factory.

Size Range: XS – XL

Values: Upcycled and recycled materials, made in Germany or Poland

Ordering: Based in Germany, ships international


Image credit: Tide and Seek

Tide and Seek

United-Kingdom-based brand Tide and Seek was founded by a surfer motivated to design swimwear using plastic waste. All of their suits use REPREVE fabric made of recycled plastic bottles. 

Size range: XS – XL

Values: Recycled materials

Ordering: Based in the UK, ships international


Eco & Ethical Swimwear - UND (recycled materials, made in Italy)
Image credit: UND

UND

An Italian brand with sleek cuts and mesh details, UND uses a recycled plastic lycra for the main parts of their suits and their suppliers are all part of an energy efficiency program.

Size Range: S – L

Values: Recycled and OEKO-TEX certified materials, made in Italy

Ordering: Based in Italy, ships international


Eco & Ethical Swimwear - Reset Priority (recycled materials, made in Spain & Italy)
Image credit: Reset Priority

Reset Priority

This Barcelona-based brand has a collection of colourful and unique swim styles. Some of Reset Priority‘s suits are made from recycled nylon, and they use OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified fabrics as well as Xtra Life Lycra® which prolongs the life of the garment.

Size Range: XS – XL

Values: Some recycled and certified materials, made in Spain and Italy

Ordering: Based in Spain, ships international


Image credit: Margaret and Hermione

Margaret and Hermione

A playful swimwear brand from Austria, Margaret and Hermione makes swimsuits with their own prints using ECONYL® recycled nylon and EVO®, a plant-based fabric. They use recycled and sustainable materials for all their packaging and their suits are all handmade in Croatia.

Size Range: 34 – 42 (XS – XL)

Values: Recycled materials, sustainable packaging, made in Croatia

Ordering: Based in Austria, ships international


Recycled Swimwear in Australia

Shapes in the Sand

This Australian brand makes sustainable swimwear styles in their own prints. Shapes in the Sand uses OEKO-TEX certified ECONYL® recycled nylon and EVO®, a fabric made from castor bean oil; takes a zero waste approach to their fabric cutting; uses plastic-free hygiene liners; and manufactures everything in Australia.

Eco & Ethical Swimwear - Shapes in the Sand (recycled materials, made in Australia)
Image credit: Shapes in the Sand

Size Range: AU/UK 6 – 14 (XXS – XL)

Values: OEKO-TEX-certified recycled and natural materials, zero fabric waste, made in Australia

Ordering: Based in Australia, ships international


Eco & Ethical Swimwear - Elle Evans (recycled materials, made in Australia)
Image credit: Elle Evans

Elle Evans

Elle Evans is an Australian brand also featured in our sustainable activewear roundup. They have a mix of fun prints and solids in ECONYL® recycled nylon, and all swimsuits are made to order (mostly by Elle herself!) in their in-house studio.

Size range: XXS – XXXL

Values: Recycled materials, made-to-order, zero fabric waste, made in-house, gives back, made in Australia

Ordering: Based in Australia, ships international


Enjoy the water! 🌞

Last updated: June 6, 2022

Seasonless Fashion is the Sustainable Future

Fashion has always had seasons. Initially brands just created 2 collections — for spring/summer and fall/winter — then it turned into 4 seasonal collections, then multiple deliveries throughout the season, and now with fast fashion new collections are on the floor every week. The clothing industry needs to slow down for the sake of our planet and garment workers, but instead of just going back to 4 or 2 fashion seasons, why not ditch the seasonal collections altogether?

These pieces are staples in my capsule and I wear them throughout the year, even while pregnant!

(Update June 2022: This post was kindly sponsored by the slow fashion brand MATTER, which is sadly no longer in business. I loved how they had a seasonless collection. Instead of producing large collections every few months they had a core selection of garments which they occasionally added styles to or offered existing styles in different fabrics/colours.)

The Many Benefits of a Seasonless Clothing

Well Designed Garments

If you have to create 30-100 new designs every 3 months or less, how much time and energy can you put into each one? Having seasonless collections allows designers to fully work through and test new styles. When I was doing assistant design, fitting, and pattern work with fashion brands, it was common for designers to include styles they weren’t totally happy with just because they had a minimum number to hit and a tight deadline. Some brands also end up having to rush styles due to the tight deadlines so they don’t have time for proper fittings.

MATTER work jumpsuit

For example MATTER’s ‘work jumpsuit’ (pictured), took 15 months to design, test, fit, and develop the final pattern! 😮 This kind of attention and work put into one style would’ve been impossible if it wasn’t for their seasonless model.

It also means designers can create pieces that work with their existing and best-selling styles. Instead of coming up with a totally new collection, designers can focus on augmenting the existing collection — maybe a new bottom that works with the popular tops or a layering piece to go with the best-selling dresses. Brands can work on creating a more versatile and functional collection instead of trying to sell a whole new set of clothes every season.

Less Pressure on Factories

Another huge benefit is that factories can have consistent, paced production. Factories often have incredibly busy periods with lots of pressure and overtime to get all the garments ready for the season, and then quieter periods before the next season’s production ramps up. Manufacturing outside of this seasonal rollercoaster would not only be less stressful for workers but also provide more continuous, stable employment since currently some factories just hire temporary staff for the busy times.

It also gives brands the ability to work with artisans and craftspeople. Using traditional techniques like Ikat dyeing, block printing, and hand-weaving takes more time than fast fashion’s quick turnaround can allow. Unfortunately we’re losing a lot of these beautiful textile arts and cultural methods with current industry demands. Slowing down fashion and allowing longer production cycles means that brands can support and share handmade, artisan textiles, making their pieces unique and imbued with a rich history of textile craft.

Reduce Impulse Purchases

A seasonless collection gives consumers more time to think about purchases. If a style is only available for a short time, you tend to feel as though you have to buy it immediately which can result in impulse purchases that might rarely get worn. Having time to think about getting a piece means customers can make sure it’s a good investment for their wardrobe without the pressure that it might disappear soon.

I often get asked where I got a certain item of clothing, and the style will no longer exist because it was from last season or last year. I love that with a seasonless collection I can recommend favourite pieces I’ve had for a while and they’re still available.

Less Waste

Fashion creates a ton of textile waste and a good portion of it is pre-consumer or production waste. Brands have to order a certain amount of fabric and it might not all get used; for example, a brand could have too much fabric for the amount of clothing being cut, or they might cancel or change a style. This “deadstock” or “roll-end” fabric will typically end up collecting dust somewhere. However, with a seasonless collection, even if the brand has to order a larger amount than their production needs, they can continue to use the fabric in future production runs — it won’t be “last season’s fabric” and go to waste.

We Can Ditch Fashion Shows

Maybe you see this as a con, but personally I think they’re completely unnecessary today. It used to be that buyers would attend fashion shows to order next season’s styles and customers would get a preview of what’s coming up. Now fast fashion has totally changed the game — knocking-off trends from the runway and having them in stores a few weeks later.

Sure, a fashion show is a fun event to attend, but with the cost of models, a venue, makeup/hair, stylists, dressers, lighting, and so much more — is it really worth it for some publicity? Forbes estimates a 10-15 minute runway show can cost anywhere from $200,000 to over $1 million, with the payoff being celebrity and influencer attention.

I appreciate that a lot of the smaller conscious brands I support don’t prioritize putting on a huge, expensive catwalk show and instead choose to spend their budgets in ways that better align with their mission and values — such as paying their workers fairly, reducing their environmental impact, and showing not only the final garments but giving us insight and transparency into how they’re made.

Helps Develop Your Personal Style

Picking up whatever current trends are in the stores is an easy way to build an “in style” wardrobe, but you’ll also be spending a lot of money, creating tons of waste and pollution, and wearing basically the same clothes as everyone else. Doing this also doesn’t seem to make people happy or satisfied with their wardrobe — everyone I’ve talked to who truly loves their clothes has cultivated their own personal style.

Seasonless fashion also means the removal of seasonal trends so consumers can focus on the styles of clothes they love instead of feeling pressured to update their wardrobe with the latest fashion.

I also think removing the constraints of trendy looks helps you to get creative with your clothes. For example I really enjoy finding different ways to wear my MATTER matching set.

No Clearance Needed

To get ready for the next season, brands have to get rid of stock. They’ll usually try to sell as much as possible on sale, but there’s often still leftovers. Some brands will sell these to overstock stores (which I think encourages over-production by giving brands the opportunity to have someone else deal with their excess garments), or in extreme cases brands have actually been found burning any remaining stock rather than selling them at a discounted rate.

With a seasonless collection, brands don’t have deadlines to get rid of product and don’t create overstock waste. They can offer discounts if they choose or to show appreciation for their customers, not because they have to get rid of out-of-season clothes.


To be honest, I can’t see conventional fashion brands ditching seasons anytime soon because with it
they always have new product to push and it helps them sell more clothes. However, I think a seasonless collection fits perfectly with the values espoused by the slow fashion movement. It’s wonderful to see prominent conscious brands taking this route and I hope more brands will follow.

What do you think about seasonless fashion?

15+ Sustainable Bags, Purses, & Backpacks

Bags are tricky when it comes to sustainability – there are a lot of different materials and they all have pros and cons. Leather comes with a slew of tanning, ethical, and cruelty issues while the vegan options typically are plastic or have plastic coatings (learn more about what types of leather alternatives there are and the environmental pros/cons in our Vegan Leather Guide). So there are different things to weigh when deciding on a sustainable bag.

I’ve rounded up some brands using a variety of materials and producing their purses and bags in a more eco friendly way to help you find the best option for your needs, style and values.

As with my other round-ups, there is also a mix of USA, Canada, and European based sustainable bag/accessory brands.

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

DoneGood Marketplace

DoneGood is fantastic for finding conscious brands in one place, they vet the brands on their platform and you can also filter by values to find what you’re looking. They have curated a large selection of fair trade and ethically made bags and wallets in a variety of materials from recycled and upcycled options, to handwoven fabrics, to leather, and vegan options. Our top picks from DoneGood to check out are:

  • Looptworks – variety of upcycled bags made from things like sails, wet suits, seat belts, coffee bags, reclaimed fabrics and more
  • Deux Mains – upcycled inner tube and leather bags and accessories made by female artisans
  • Nisolo – ethically-made, minimalist, high-quality leather handbags and goods
  • Mayamam Weavers – colourful handwoven cotton bags
  • Catrinka – artisan made bags with unique accents

Bags Made from Cork

Cork seems to currently be one of the better options for sustainable bags. It’s a natural and renewable material (although cork materials typically come with a synthetic backing) and it can be flexible and durable similar to leather.

Eco friendly cork knapsack from Corkor
Image credit: Corkor

Corkor

Made locally in Portugal, Corkor‘s eco friendly bags use FSC® certified, sustainably harvest cork. They have a great range of styles and natural colours, and also are PETA-Approved which ensures there are no animal products used throughout the production.

(Use code MYGREENCLOSET for 10% off!)

Products: backpacks, crossbodies, handbags, clutches, messenger bags and wallets
Values: vegan, natural cork material, FSC® certified, locally made in Portugal
Ordering: based in Portugal, ships international


Sustainable tote bag from Rok Cork
Image credit: Rok Cork


Rok Cork

A Canadian brand who manufactures their bags in family-run workshops in Portugal from Portuguese cork. Rok Cork has a variety of classic, sustainable purse and handbag styles but made from cork with interesting colours and details.

Products: totes, satchels, crossbodies, and wallets
Values: natural cork material, ethically made in Portugal
Ordering: based in Canada, ships international


Image credit: Svala

Svala

Cute vegan handbags made locally in LA. Svala has a cork collection as well as a Pinatex line and some PU pieces. Their convertible backpack/purse in particular seems like a great idea!

Products: totes, crossbodies, backpack, clutches, and wallets
Values: natural cork material, Pinatex, made in LA
Ordering: based in USA, ships international



Bags Made from Recycled Materials

I think recycled materials are the most sustainable option since no new materials have to be created (saving a lot of resources and energy) and it also saves existing materials from going to waste.

Sustainable sports/travel bag from grünBAG - made from recycled sails and seat-belts
My sport/travel bag made from recycled sails and seat belt straps

grünBAG

Using almost entirely re-purposed and recycled materials (like tarpaulin, sails, advertising banners, and car safety belts) grünBAG makes a collection of long-lasting and functional bags.

I own one of their travel/gym bags and both my husband and I use their toiletry bags and they are not only really functional but also amazingly durable.

Products: backpacks, shoulder bags, sports bags, and cases/pouches
Values: recycled materials, made in-house or in an atelier in Poland
Ordering: based in Denmark. ships international


Image credit: Elvis & Kresse


Elvis & Kresse

Elvis & Kresse use innovative and long-lasting materials like repurposed fire-hoses, printing blankets, and parachute silk for their sustainable bags, they also have a collection made from leather off-cuts. As another sustainable feature they offer lifetime repairs on their products.

Products: shoulder bags, clutches, travel bags, and wallets
Values: recycled materials, made in-house or in a factory in Turkey, gives back
Ordering: based in UK, ships international


Image credit: Mariclaro


Mariclaro

Upcycled bags using unique materials such as vintage car interiors, seat belts, and aviation materials. All Mariclaro bags are made in their studio in Ontario, Canada.

Products: messenger bags, laptop bags, briefcases, backpacks, travel bags, and wallets
Values: repurposed and upcycled materials, made in Canada
Ordering: based in Canada, ships international


Sustainable backpack made from recycled ocean plastic


GOT Bag

With a mission to clean up the ocean, GOT Bag not only makes functional, water-resistant backpacks and bags from recycled plastic, but they’re fully involved in the supply chain – employing fisherman and citizens directly to help clean up and collect plastic. Their bags are thoughtfully designed for adventurers, students, or everyday functionality.

Products: backpacks, hip bags, sports bags, wallets, laptop cases and pouches
Values: recycled materials, warranty and repairs
Ordering: based in Germany, but they have both US and EU online stores



Bags Made from Sustainable Leather

Leather isn’t something I personally buy new for ethical reasons, however I understand that other people like it for the look and durability. So here are a few brands producing leather bags in a more sustainable way (and using safer tanning methods – chrome-tanned leather is something you want to avoid):

Regenerative, vegetable tanned leather, sustainable bags from CGC
Image credit: CGC

CGC (Central Grazing Company)

Of all the leather brands out there, CGC stands out for their transparency and sustainability. They have a traceable supply chain, work with farmers to focus on regenerative farming, and only source hides from AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) farms. The leather is vegetable tanned and the bags are made in the US.

Products: currently 1 handbag style
Values: traceable and certified, supports regenerative farming, vegetable tanning, made in USA
Ordering: based in USA, ships within USA


Image credit: O My Bag


O My Bag

Based in The Netherlands, O My Bag has a wide-variety of styles made from leather that is locally sourced near the tannery; it comes from either local meat by-products or from cows that died a natural death, and then goes through an “eco-tanning” process. The bags are then ethically made in one of their factories.

Products: large selection of women’s and men’s bags
Values: “eco-tanned” leather, transparent and fair production, carbon-offset shipping emissions
Ordering: Based in Amsterdam, ships international


Image credit: Ms. Bay


Ms. Bay

Purses and handbags made from fish-leather, sourced as a by-product from the food industry (which would otherwise be thrown away) that is then vegetable-tanned.

Ms. Bay also uses recycled linings and packaging, and manufactures their bags in SA 8000 as well as some fair trade certified factories in India.

Products: crossbodies, clutches and wallets
Values: rescued/recycled materials, vegetable tanning, certified factories
Ordering: based in Belgium, ships within Europe



Eco-Friendly Bags Made from Textiles

Image credit: Malia Designs

Malia Designs

Variety of bags (even laundry and yoga bags!) made from natural fabrics as well as upcycled feed and cement bags. Malia‘s bags are fair trade and made in Cambodia, they also donate to support children and fight trafficking in Cambodia.

Products: wallets, totes, crossbodies, clutches, yoga and travel bags
Values: rescued/recycled and sustainable materials, fair trade, gives back
Ordering: based in USA, ships to Canada and USA



Vegan Bags Made from PU

I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m not a fan of Matt & Nat and their greenwashing, so I wanted to share at least one alternative for vegan synthetic bags. It’s actually been incredibly challenging to find brands in this category that have good quality, and are transparent about their ethics and manufacturing. I think other materials are definitely preferable to synthetics, but I also I wanted to share “Matt & Nat style” vegan-leather bags that at least aren’t PVC (which is a lot worse than PU). Although if you know of any better brands in this category please let me know!

Vegan purse from Angela Roi
My Angela Roi cross body I’ve had 6+ years

Angela Roi

I purchased a cross-body years ago from Angela Roi when my main criteria for bags was just that it was vegan. I’m happy that, with a little care, the bag is still a major workhorse in my wardrobe and my go-to bag.

Angela Roi makes their vegan, polyurethane (PU) bags in Korea and in my experience they are quite high-quality. While I really like my Angela Roi bag, when it needs to be replaced I will likely try to find a more sustainable material and brand that is more transparent about their ethical standards. Style-wise they are a great alternative to Matt & Nat though!

Products: crossbodies, shoulder bags, and handbags
Values: vegan
Ordering: based in USA, ships within USA (although you can also order internationally from these stores)



Sustainable Bags Made from Other Materials

Image credit: AAKS

AAKS

Colourful bags made from raffia (a fibre from raffia palm leaves). AAKS bags are all made in Ghana by fairly-paid artisans using a traditional hand-weaving technique. (Bags also have leather details)

Products: shoulder bags, crossbodies, and totes
Values: natural materials, made by local artisans
Ordering: based in Ghana, ships international (for free)


Image credit: HFS Collective


HFS Collective

HFS Collective uses a variety of eco-friendly materials such as recycled and deadstock materials, Pinatex, raffia, organic cotton, and more. The bags are all made locally in Los Angeles.

Products: belt bags, crossbodies, and wallets
Values: vegan, sustainable materials, locally made in LA, gives back
Ordering: based in USA, ships international


Do you have any favourite sustainable bag/purse brands I missed?

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Updated Jan 12, 2022

Spring/Summer 2019 Capsule Wardrobe

It’s a new season and time for a new capsule! This one’s a little different for me though as it has to be a maternity-friendly capsule, so it has some new pieces you haven’t seen before.

The video above talks through my planning and some of the new pieces, and below is a list of all the items included.

This capsule does have more pieces than I would usually have in a spring or summer capsule wardrobe because I’ll have to remove a few of them in the next couple months as they’ll no longer fit, but I wanted to include them for now.

Spring/Summer capsule wardrobe outfit
Dark red maxi dress, beige cardigan and grey/brown jacket.

(please note this list contains some affiliate links)

Tees & Tanks

1. Beige long tank – Sustain (more about how Sustain uses natural dyes)
2. Dark green knit tank – old/DIY
3. Blue maternity tank – secondhand (ThredUp)
4. Navy tee – Lanius
5. Black v-neck tee – Funktion Schnitt
6. Grey maternity tee – secondhand (ThredUp)

Tops & Shirts

7. Grey knit jumper – People Tree
8. Black top – Boody
9. Pink sweatshirt – Encircled
10. Long grey shirt – ArmedAngels
11. Striped oversized shirt – secondhand
12. Flower-dyed blouse – DIY

Bottoms

13. Grey joggers – Miakoda
14. Black leggings – Miakoda
15. Linen skirt – secondhand (Eileen Fisher)
16. Green maternity pants – secondhand
17. Blue linen maternity shorts – secondhand (ThredUp)

Spring/Summer maternity-friendly capsule wardrobe

Dresses & Jumpsuit

18. Grey and black tank dress – old
19. Grey tee dress – Kowtow
20. Floral linen dress – handmade/DIY
21. Grey/purple gathered sleeve dress – Love Justly
22. Green/grey flared tee dress – secondhand
23. Dark red maxi dress – secondhand
24. Navy Ikat jumpsuit – Matter

Layers & Jackets

25. Rust cardigan – Eileen Fisher
26. Beige cardigan – old
27. Black plaid draped shirt – secondhand
28. Grey/brown oversized jacket – Naz
29. Denim jacket – secondhand
30. White draped jacket – old

Accessories

31. Beige shoulder bag – Angela Roi
32. Blue/grey backpack – Matt & Nat (please read my post about why I no longer support them)
33. Navy toque – Sitka
34. Paisley scarf – secondhand

Also thank you to Swedish Stockings for kindly sending me a pair of their recycled maternity tights, they’ve been really useful especially since spring can still be pretty cool here. (The knee-high socks in the video are also from them!)

Spring/summer maternity capsule outfit
Black leggings, beige tank, rust cardigan, and grey/brown jacket.


Putting together this maternity-friendly capsule was a new experience and I hope it works out the way I planned, however each capsule is a learning experience and you get better as you do them; so I’m also going to be flexible if things don’t work out and I have to make adjustments.

I’d love to know what you think of my spring/summer capsule 🙂

Also if you’re a supporter on Patreon, be sure to check out the exclusive thrift haul video I made for this capsule wardrobe!

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My PCOS Journey & How I Got Rid Of My Symptoms Naturally

posted in eating, Thoughts 9

This post is different than the topics I typically cover, however I wanted to share my experience with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) because after being diagnosed I found hearing and reading the experiences of other women with PCOS to be invaluable. I learned so much and was able to not only manage my symptoms but also conceive a child which we’re so excited to welcome this August.

Our baby arriving this summer

Before we get into it though, there needs to be an important disclaimer that I am not an expert, doctor, or healthcare professional. All I’m sharing is my personal experience but everyone’s body and health is different and it’s of course important to do your own research and talk to your healthcare provider about any lifestyle/diet changes, symptoms, treatments, etc.

Before Being Diagnosed

I was actually diagnosed with PCOS quite late compared to other people – about a year and a half ago when I was 29. Being diagnosed with PCOS was actually a relief to some extent; whenever I was not on birth control I had an extremely irregular period, although doctors just told me it’s normal and nothing to be concerned about.

When I was a teenager, my first doctor prescribed me the pill to make my cycle regular. Later when I transitioned off hormonal birth control to get a copper IUD my highly irregular period came back. My doctor again said it was nothing to worry about although none of my doctors ever looked into it or did any testing.

While the IUD did make my periods less irregular it still wasn’t a normal 28-day cycle but I’d been told multiple times by different doctors that it wasn’t a concern so I assumed that was just the way my body and cycle was.

Years later it was time to remove my IUD; I didn’t have a great experience with it since it made my cramps a lot worse but I also wasn’t keen on going back to hormonal birth control. I had been reading a lot about FAM (Fertility Awareness Method) and BBT (Basel body temperature) charting and since my husband and I were also discussing starting a family in the next few years it seemed like something worth trying.

Tracking your BBT is something I would highly recommend. Even though it’s not very effective as birth control if you have PCOS or an irregular cycle, I found it helpful to have that data for my diagnosis, symptom managing, and trying to conceive.

Basal Body Temp (BBT) charting to help manage PCOS symptoms

My PCOS Diagnosis

After I started BBT charting I realised exactly how extremely irregular my periods were (often 2 – 3 months apart). Also during that time we were talking more about our future family plans and so I started doing research into irregular periods, infertility, and conception. I had heard of PCOS before but all I knew was that it involved ovary cysts and knew nothing of other symptoms. My research on irregular periods pretty quickly led me to information about PCOS and the more I read about it and the symptoms it seemed to fit with many things I’d been experiencing.

I made an appointment with my Gynaecologist and when I explained to her I wanted to be tested for PCOS her immediate response was, “you don’t have PCOS” – no tests, just by looking at me she made that call.

After being told my whole life my irregular cycle was no concern I wanted some kind of explanation – I asked her why I have such highly irregular periods and being able to show her my BBT charts was helpful because she actually acknowledged they were very irregular and told me most people call a few days off irregular, not months. However even then she said that since I didn’t have other symptoms like excess weight or acne (and I’ll talk later about why I didn’t appear to have those symptoms) I didn’t have PCOS. I pushed her to see if we could just do the ultrasound anyways to make sure and she thankfully agreed.

Then I was up on the ultrasound table on her office, she beings to look around, and immediately says,
“OH, your ovaries are covered in cysts!” 🤦‍♀️
(although it’s also important to note that you can still have PCOS without visible cysts)

So I was diagnosed with PCOS. She recommended going on the birth control pill again, which I wasn’t too keen about, and/or possibly Metformin, which I wanted to learn more about. I felt both relieved to finally have some explanation but also concerned and wanting to learn more about what dealing with PCOS might involve both for me and our family.

Managing Symptoms

The first thing I did out of the doctor’s office was search “treating PCOS”. I read about the drug options but also started finding women talking about how they naturally managed their symptoms through diet and exercise. This was more up my alley and something I wanted to at least try before taking the hormones or medication for it.

Sugar

One thing I learned was the relationship insulin has with PCOS and how cutting out refined sugars, white flour, and high-glycemic foods can help alleviate symptoms. I decided to jump right in and test this out – I went on a sugar-free/low GI diet for a few months. I figured even if it didn’t help my PCOS it still was a healthy thing to try.

At first it was definitely challenging to make diet adjustments and changes but I got my period the following month, the month after, and the month after that – which was unheard of for me! My BBT charts also showed quite regular cycles and I was blown away by how quickly this change took effect.

I still try to avoid sugar where possible and eat low GI, although I’m not as super-strict about it and will occasionally have treats. However I’ve had a regular cycle since I started cutting out sugar until I got pregnant and I really believe being careful with sugar was the best change I could have made for my PCOS.

Avoiding sugar was the best thing I did for my PCOS symptoms

Something great that also happened is after time I no longer even crave sugar. Most desserts (like these cupcakes) I know will now taste way too sweet and actually are unappealing. It’s amazing how your taste can adjust and now my ideal treat is something only very lightly sweetened or not sweet at all.

I also now have a new doctor (since we moved) and when she asked if I was taking anything or doing anything to manage my PCOS symptoms, I mentioned avoiding sugar and she confirmed that it was one of the best things you can do for PCOS and also to prevent diabetes since PCOS can increase your risk.

Diet

In addition to avoiding sugar, a lot of resources I read also recommended eating lots of whole fruits and vegetables and reducing dairy, red meat, and some other animal products.

I’ve been vegetarian since I was about 18 and over the last decade have also been eating more and more plant-based. My main reason for doing this is for a more sustainable and ethical diet, but I also noticed skin and health benefits by eating this way. I don’t know for sure, but I think this is why some of the other common PCOS symptoms like acne and weight gain didn’t show up as obviously on me, since I was already eating a pretty healthy and PCOS-friendly diet (minus paying attention to sugars).

A lot of PCOS diets also recommend prioritising anti-inflammatory foods, which again involves eating lots of whole fruits and veggies, and also making sure to get healthy fats and oils, like nuts and omega 3s. It also involves avoiding inflammatory foods like sugar, refined carbohydrates, fried foods, and lots of processed foods.

Another change I made was to make sure I had healthy snacks on hand if I got hungry, as I learned it’s important to eat regular meals so your blood sugar levels aren’t fluctuating too much.

blueberries are a great PCOS-friendly snack

Exercise

Exercise is of course beneficial for everyone, but regular exercise along with a healthy diet seem to be the way many people successfully manage their PCOS symptoms. I used to be the kind of person who would work out when I felt like it, but reading how beneficial regular exercise was for PCOS made me commit to a more consistent exercise schedule and go for walks whenever possible.

The exercises I enjoy that work best for me are a mix of cardio on the elliptical or bike, swimming, yoga, some body-weight exercises, and walking.

Avoiding Hormone-Disruptors

If you’ve followed my channel or blog you know that I’ve gone through a beauty detox and try to only use products with natural, safe, and healthy ingredients. Many beauty, cleaning, food, household products, and even clothing can unfortunately contain endocrine disruptors like Phthalates, BPA, PFCs, and more. Since PCOS is hormone related, it makes sense to avoid hormone-disrupting chemicals.

I think because I’ve been consciously avoiding these chemicals over the last 5 years it’s also helped my PCOS. I can’t be sure it’s related but I know avoiding these chemicals at least is healthier and won’t make it worse.

Moving Forward

I’m currently pregnant, which before I started managing my PCOS symptoms I wasn’t sure was even a path for me. My main focus now is on a healthy pregnancy – regularly exercising and continuing to eat healthy and avoiding sugar (especially sincePCOS can also increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes).

I know my PCOS will never go away, but these changes have made me (and indirectly my husband since we workout and cook/eat together) healthier overall. I’m happy I’ve been able to avoid taking hormones or medication for it, plus making these diet and exercise changes has allowed us to start a family 💕. These changes are things I’m definitely going to prioritise and maintain for the rest of my life.



Again I want to emphasise that this is just my experience, I’m not a doctor, and it’s always important to consult your healthcare provider. I do hope though that if you are researching or struggling with PCOS you find this post helpful in some way. These are some resources you can also check out:

If you have any other good PCOS resources please share them in the comments too! Unfortunately I can’t find all the blogs and websites again that I read during my research.

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How to Tell Good vs. Poor Quality Products

One of the best ways to shop more sustainably is by buying good quality pieces. Not only will they last you longer and save the waste, energy, and resources needed to replace them, but even if you stop needing the item someone else can use it as well!

I’ll be sharing some tips to help you distinguish good quality not only in clothing but in many different kinds of items. However for a really easy way to find good quality products you can check out BuyMeOnce (who kindly sponsored this post 💚). They have a huge selection of products which they’ve tested and researched to find the longest-lasting versions available, and include many brands which also have a lifetime guarantee!

Does Price = Quality?

A common assumption is that a higher price means better quality and a lower price means cheaper quality. While there definitely is some correlation and truth to “you get what you pay for” this also isn’t a universal rule. Expensive things can break right away and budget options can also be very good quality.

It’s more important to look at the product, materials, and construction than to just make assumptions about quality based on the price. Although if something seems suspiciously cheap (like a $1 t-shirt) it very likely is poor quality.

Investing in good quality cookware
We love to cook so high quality knives and cookware are a priority for us

Signs to Look For

Materials

The material something is made from is a great place to start looking for signs of good or poor quality. Simply put, good quality products are made from good quality materials.

With fabrics and textiles you want to feel it and look for inconsistencies like lumps, snags, or holes. You also want to look at the weave or knit – generally it should be tight, even, and consistent (but it does depend on the style of the piece and if unique fabrics are being used for the design that are purposefully loose or inconsistent). Don’t just look at the main material either, trims and details can be a great way to check for quality – things like zippers, buttons, cords, elastics, etc. should function properly and feel durable.

For other products you want to know what materials are being used – is it solid or a mix of materials, and are the materials durable, like metals, or easier to break, like plastics.

Each product and material is unique, so do a bit of research into the materials used and whether it’s appropriate for that product and what are signs of quality specific to that material.

Linen duvet and pillowcases with a 50 year warranty - BuyMeOnce
These linen duvet covers and pillowcases come with a 50 year warranty!

Construction

While good quality materials are important, if the item is poorly constructed it’s still going to fall apart. The best places to asses construction quality are the seams or where anything is joined together. For clothing and fabric products you want to look for even, straight stitches that aren’t too far apart and tight seams. For other products look at how elements are joined together – typically poorer quality items will just be glued together, maybe even messily or with glue marks, while better quality construction often utilizes more durable ways of fastening such as screws.

I also think it’s helpful to inspect the “hidden” part of the item – so turn it inside out, look underneath or at the areas you don’t easily see, for example the lining of a garment or the underside of a piece of furniture. If these areas also look well constructed and finished that’s a great sign.

Repairing

Products that are easy to repair are a better investment (and more sustainable) than products that need to be completely replaced.

Check for brands that offer repair information or that sell kits/replacement components, or to make it really easy look for brands that will take care of any repairs for you or offer lifetime guarantees – BuyMeOnce is a great platform to find brands with lifetime guarantees and repair policies.

iFixit can also be a helpful resource, especially for electronics, to see how easy it is to repair or replace parts with certain products. They even give a “repairability” rating to products.

Cast Iron Skillet - Finex from BuyMeOnce

Reviews

Finally reviews are a great way to help determine good vs. poor quality products, especially when shopping online. It’s pretty straight forward: if a lot of people are commenting on the good quality or how long it’s lasted that’s great! Otherwise if there are a lot of comments about the item breaking or the poor quality, it’s probably better to look for another option.

While I don’t want to promote shopping through Amazon (you can read Ethical Unicorn’s great post for more info about why) it can be a good place to find a lot of reviews. For example we’re in the process of slowly figuring out what baby gear we’ll need for the new addition to our family this year; unfortunately BuyMeOnce doesn’t (yet) have cribs or car seats, so reading reviews on sites like Amazon has been helpful to find which brands/models are high quality and long-lasting. It can really pay off in the long-run to take a little time to read reviews both when buying new and secondhand products.

Make it Easy

BuyMeOnce is an incredibly helpful resource to easily find good quality products. The online shopping platform includes everything from clothing and accessories, to kitchenware, electronics, and lifestyle products. Their 2000+ featured products go through independent research and testing and each one meets their 5 criteria:

BuyMeOnce's product requirements


While it can take some extra time and maybe cost more to find and invest in good quality products, it actually pays off long-term because you’ll save time and money having to replace those items less often (or maybe never again!). Plus in our very “disposable” culture you’re taking the much more sustainable route and saving resources, energy, and waste by buying long-lasting products.

💚


You can also check out this post and video for more specific information about clothing quality.

15 Sustainable Bras for All Sizes

Bras are already challenging to find, which then makes ethical and sustainable bras even more difficult. Plus if like me you wear a “non-standard” size (for reference I typically wear a 30E) it can seem impossible. But I’m here to help!

This roundup includes ethical and sustainable bra brands from the US, Canada, the UK, Europe (EU), and Australia

You can also check out my video reviewing some of the bras I own, and here’s also a roundup of some organic and eco-friendly bra and lingerie brands to check out. 💚

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

Where to Find Sustainable Bras

Sustainable bra brands - Knickey organic cotton, fair trade bra
Image credit: Knickey

Knickey

One of my favourite underwear brands now also has an organic bralette line! They have classic and comfy styles made from soft organic cotton in a fair trade certified factory.

Knickey also has a virtual fitting room to help you get the best fit as well as their “first pair guarantee” to make shopping online easy.

Watch my review of their Keyhole and Scoop bralettes.

Size Range: XXS – XXXL
Values: GOTS certified organic cotton, Oeko-Tex certified, Fair Trade certified, sustainable packaging, body-inclusive models, take-back recycling program
Ordering: based in USA, ships to America and Canada



The Very Good Bra

If you’re looking for natural materials this is your bra! The Very Good Bra claims to be the world’s first zero waste bra – all components, even things like the elastics, labels, and hook/eye closures are naturally derived and the bra will biodegrade in your compost! While many eco brands just focus on the main material, TVGB goes the extra mile.

TVGB reinforces their fabric for added support so it’s a good option for something with more structure but I recommend paying attention and asking questions if you’re unsure of sizing.

Size range: 30C/32A – 38DD
Values: all natural materials, biodegradable
Ordering: based in Australia, ships international


Sustainable bra brands - Organic Basics, organic cotton bra
Image credit: Organic Basics

Organic Basics

Classic, comfortable wire-free bralette styles made from organic cotton and Tencel. Organic Basics, focuses on well-made, minimalist styles including some “invisible” bralettes made from recycled nylon and sustainable sports bra options.

Organic Basics has a solid set of certifications and sustainability initiatives and is a good example of brand transparency.

Size range: XXS – XXL
Values: GOTS certified organic cotton, certified factories (check out the various certifications each factory has here) production transparency, carbon offset, gives back
Ordering: based in Denmark, ships international


Image credit: Mary Young

Mary Young

Mary Young has a variety of colourful styles and sexy see-through cuts of bralettes, bodysuits, and lingerie all ethically made in Canada from bamboo fabric and nylon mesh.

They have both a Canadian site and US site.

Size Range: XS – 2X
Values: some sustainable materials, Oeko-Tex certified (bamboo), body-inclusive models, made in Canada
Ordering: based in Canada, ships international


Image credit: Savara

Savara

Sustainable, gorgeous and super comfy? Savara checks all the boxes! Beautiful, lacy options can be challenging to find in the sustainable lingerie space, however Savara has filled that gap with stunning bras made with strong values.

Their bras and underwear are made from Tencel and reclaimed and deadstock lace. The pieces are ethically made in a low waste factory.

Savara has a unique sizing model and design which uses adjustable back elastics to combine the comfortable and flexibility of a bralette with the adjustability of a bra. Their bras are specifically designed to accommodate size changes and weight fluctuations.

Watch my review of their Willow bra.

Size range: XS – XXL+
Values: sustainable & reclaimed materials, production transparency, carbon offset
Ordering: based in the Netherlands, ships international


Image credit: Earth and Elle

Earth and Elle

Earth and Elle set out to make sustainable and comfy organic bras and underwear – free from poky underwires, scratchy hooks and tight elastics. They use a soft and eco-friendly hemp and organic cotton blend fabric in a fully coverage cut that is both supportive and comfortable for lounging or everyday wear.

Earth and Elle’s pieces are made locally and they also use low impact dyes.

Size range: S – 3XL
Values: sustainable materials, small batch production, body-inclusive models, made in Canada
Ordering: based in Canada, ships to Canada, US, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand


Ethical bra brands - Uye Surana, size inclusive, made in NYC
Image credit: Uye Surana

Uye Surana

Beautiful, feminine, and sexy lingerie made for a variety of shapes and sizes. Their pieces are ethically made in NYC or a family-run factory in Colombia in small batches from a variety of materials (some sustainable, some not).

Size range: 28A – 42H + custom sizing
Values: small batch production, some reclaimed materials, body-inclusive models
Ordering: based in US, ships international


Free Label

Free Label’s longline bras are super comfy and supportive. The design is incredible versatile with many styles having reversible necklines and they can even be worn as a cute crop top!

Free Label ethically manufactures all their garments in Canada from a technical bamboo. They pay special attention to fit and designing styles to best suit (and support!) different bodies.

Watch my review of their Andie bra.

Check out our interview with Jess the owner of Free Label.

Size Range: XS – 4X (read the size chart carefully as their sizing is unique)
Values: sustainable materials (some), Oeko-Tex certified (bamboo), small batch production, body-inclusive models, made in Canada, gives back
Ordering: based in Canada, ships international



Luva Huva

Comfortable bralettes – all Luva Huva’s bras are made to order and they also offer custom sizes. Everything is made in-house in their Brighton studio, and they use a variety of sustainable materials as well as surplus/remnant fabrics and trims.

Size range: 30A – 40E + custom sizing
Values: sustainable materials, made in-house, made-to-order
Ordering: based in UK, ships international


Image credit: Colie Co.

Colie Co.

Cute and sexy sustainable lingerie. If you’re looking for unique designs this is a brand to check out!

Colie Co. uses a variety of organic, recycled, and deadstock materials and each piece is made to order in-house in their Portuguese studio.

Size Range: XS – XL + custom & letter sizing
Values: reclaimed & sustainable materials, low waste production, made-to-order, sustainable packaging, ethically made in Portugal
Ordering: based in Portugal, ships international


Image credit: Proclaim

Proclaim

Proclaim’s bralette comes in 3 nude shades! Made in Los Angeles from recycled plastic water bottles.

Size range: S – XL
Values: recycled materials, ethically made in LA, body-inclusive models
Ordering: based in US, also ships to Canada, Australia and the UK


Image Credit: Anek.

Anek.

Using all surplus, deadstock, and reclaimed materials, Anek. creates beautiful bra and pantie sets, locally made in Berlin or their factory in Poland.

Size range: XS – L
Values: reclaimed materials, ethically made in Berlin or Poland
Ordering: based in Germany, ships international


Sustainable bra brands - Nico
Image credit: Nico

Nico

One of the few sustainable bra brands who offer both underwire and wire-free styles. Nico uses mainly Lenzing modal and recycled cotton and their products are made in Australia or in their GOTS certified (working on fair trade certification) factory in India.

Size range: 30A – 36DD
Values: sustainable materials, made in Australia and GOTS certified factory in India
Ordering: based in Australia, ships international


Sustainable bra brands - Naja
Image credit: Naja

Naja

I wanted to include Naja because they are one of the few brands offering molded-cup bras. While not all their products are sustainable they do have an eco-friendly bra collection made from recycled synthetics and a zero waste collection made from reclaimed fabric.

Size range: 32B – 36DD (in eco bras)
Values: some sustainable materials, factory primarily employs single mothers
Ordering: based in US, ships international


Sustainable bra brands - Aikyou, organic cotton and fairtrade
Image credit: Aikyou

Aikyou

Specializing in sustainable bras and lingerie for small busts. Aikyou uses primarily organic cotton and their pieces are sewn in a fair trade factory in Croatia. They are also in the process of getting GOTS certified.

Size range: XS – L
Values: organic cotton, fair trade certified factory, vegan brand
Ordering: based in Germany, ships international


Looking for sports bras? Check out our top sustainable activewear brands.

Or maybe you’re looking for nursing bras? We have a roundup of those too!

And also check out our underwear round-up for your bottom 🍑

Are there any eco bras I missed that you love?

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Last updated: June 6, 2022

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