H&M is quite vocal about their sustainability efforts. The company has been releasing yearly sustainability reports since the early 2000s. Their 2021 report details their approach to sustainability and goals for circular and climate positive practices. But is H&M all talk?
One pillar of H&M’s sustainability efforts is their Conscious Collection. This clothing line within the brand is marketed as a sustainable fashion collection that uses eco-friendly materials. In its advertising materials, the brand states, “Our Conscious products contain at least 50% recycled materials, organic materials or TENCEL ™ Lyocell material- in fact many contain 100%.”
Hold onto your hats, because if you read that previous paragraph and thought “this sounds too good to be true,” then you are correct…
The Lawsuit Against H&M
Chelsea Commodore, a marketing student and H&M customer, filed an advertising lawsuit against the fast fashion giant in July 2022. Commodore alleges that H&M is guilty of greenwashing its products. Greenwashing is when a brand makes themselves or their product appear eco-friendly via false information or deceptive advertising. Commodore argues in the lawsuit that H&M “misrepresented the nature of its products, at the expense of consumers who pay a price premium in the belief that they are buying truly sustainable and environmentally friendly clothing.”
In this day and age, many of us are attempting to shop more sustainability and are more selective of the brands we bring business to. H&M, aware of this rising demographic of conscious shoppers, saw a business opportunity. Instead of creating a truly eco-friendly line, the brand used smoke and mirrors and marketing ploys to attract customers.
H&M Greenwashing Examples
H&M’s previously mentioned Conscious Collection reeks of greenwashing. One example of greenwashing marketing H&M engaged in is the sustainability scorecards placed on many of their products. These scorecards were designed to flag which H&M pieces are sustainable, and the cards shared facts about the materials used to create the garments. These green tags were meant to draw in eco-conscious shoppers. An investigation from Quartz, however, revealed the information on these sustainability scorecards was fictitious. One alarming find from this investigation is that one dress contained a label saying H&M used 20% less water than average when producing the garment, when in reality it took 20% more water to produce the dress! The scorecard told a straight up lie.
In the lawsuit, Commodore is also calling out H&M for not actually using sustainable materials for their Conscious Collection clothing. Many of the clothes from the Conscious Collection line are made from polyester, a synthetic material that is not biodegradable or recyclable. Polyester is also known to shed harmful microfibers.
*It is important to note that H&M has pulled its Conscious Collection both in store and online, with the collection being completely removed from stores by the end of October 2022.
H&M’s Business Model
Another part of the problem lies in H&M’s business model. The brand’s low-cost, high-volume, trend-driven business model is not conducive to green business practices. H&M’s business model involves creating clothes cheaply and in high volumes, as is typical for fast fashion companies. Frequent and large-scale production of clothing is not sustainable or eco-friendly. Even if H&M’s Conscious Collection were eco-friendly, a few better choices among the brand’s estimated 550 million garments produced annually is not really sustainable at all.
Even the brand’s clothing donation initiative is problematic. H&M stores feature donation boxes where shoppers can recycle their old garments in exchange for a store coupon. The donated clothes are then sorted into three categories: Rewear, Reuse, and Recycle. Rewear clothes become secondhand clothing; Reuse clothes are turned into new products, such as cleaning rags; Recycle clothes are recycled into new textile fibers. This seems like a noble program, right? The fact is, however, this clothing recycling program promotes throwaway culture. Instead of investing in quality items that can be worn season after season, throwaway culture promotes constantly swapping out one’s wardrobe by throwing away/recycling old items and buying new replacements. The donation program rids shoppers of consumer guilt by convincing them that constantly buying new clothing is okay since they are donating old items. It is also worth noting that only 0.1% of clothing donated to programs like H&M’s actually gets recycled into new fibers.
H&M’s low-cost, high-volume business model also raises questions about the brand’s labor conditions and practices. On their website, H&M conveniently explains that they outsource production and therefore do not have control over worker salaries. The brand does, however, offer up a plan on how to increase wages for garment workers, including educating workers on their rights, monitoring wages, and engaging in collective bargaining. However, there is no proof that every employee receives a living wage. H&M has also faced criticism on the working conditions in factories where their clothing is produced. H&M has 42 suppliers in Myanmar, where there have been reports of wage theft and sexual harassment. Like H&M’s grand sustainability plans, there seems to be a lot of talk about improving working conditions, but not a lot of evidence of improvements occurring.
Is H&M Sustainable? The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that H&M is not a sustainable brand. Their sustainability efforts, while sounding good on paper, appear to be another sad case of greenwashed marketing. If the brand is serious about making a change, a new business model is needed for H&M to truly become an eco-friendly, sustainable company. For the time being, H&M will not be recognized as a sustainable company.
Looking for a sustainable gift ideas for clients or for employee appreciation? Or maybe eco friendly gifts for wedding guests or large groups? There are tons of great options that not only make thoughtful and useful gifts but also align with your sustainable business values.
Check out and support these lovely small businesses that offer corporate, personalized, or bulk gifting options that are better for the planet:
(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)
EarthHero offers ready made gift boxes feature sustainable home and lifestyle products as well as a huge section of goods that can be made into a custom gift box. They also have reuseable items and sustainable swag such as water bottles, coffee cups, pens, notebooks, bags, chargers, and more that can be customized or branded.
EarthHero offers an easy-to-use custom gift box builder or you can also contact them for order and info.
Good Earth Gifting is a Canadian company that solely focuses on sustainable curated gift boxes. You can select from their themed boxes such as ‘Snacks’, ‘On the Go’, ‘Self-care’, ‘Cocktail, ‘Kitchen Essentials’ and more. Alternatively you can customize a box yourself or have them build a box for you.
You can order boxes or contact them for other corporate gifting options.
Let’s face it, many corporate gifts just become unwanted (and unsustainable) clutter, solve that problem by going digital!
Libro.fm audiobook credits are unique because they partner and share profits with independent bookstores. They have a huge selection of fiction and non-fiction audiobooks, bestsellers, and curated collections/recommendations so your gift receivers are sure to find titles they’ll enjoy.
Libro.fm offers gift credit bundles (1 credit = 1 audiobook) ranging from 2 to 24 and you can contact them about other bulk credit options or bulk order of a specific audiobook.
Puzzles are a classic holiday activity and these offer something new and environmentally conscious!
Goodfit’s puzzles are exclusive and designed in collaboration with artists. Plus each puzzle is made from 100% recycled cardboard and donates 10% to an organization or charity of the artist’s choosing.
They offer bulk discounts and you can contact them about personalization options.
Experiences make the best sustainable gifts and Tinggly’s gift vouchers mean everyone can pick their own experience.
They offer both hotel stay/getaway vouchers and experience vouchers which can include things like guided tours, spa packages, adventure and adrenaline experiences, culinary excursions and many more.
Tinggly’s vouchers can either be sent as an e-voucher or in a gift box which can be custom branded. The gift boxes are 100% recycled and all experiences as well as shipping are carbon offset. Plus Tinggly gives back to reforestation and plastic cleanup projects.
Wabanaki Maple‘s maple syrup is aged in oak, whiskey, and bourbon barrels to develop unique complex flavours. Or if you want to give a beautiful traditional maple syrup they have that too.
Wabanaki Maple is an Indigenous, female-owned small business that carries on the history and tradition of maple syrup harvesting and refining. Their products are made locally in Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), New Brunswick.
You can contact them about corporate and bulk orders.
Speaking from experience, Unbelts unisex stretchy belts are incredibly comfortable and make a great gift. Their Intrepid Belt is ethically made from recycled plastic bottles and comes in 15+ colors and styles.
For bulk order and corporate gifting Unbelts has custom packaging and logo printing available.
Sḵwálwen Botanicals is a Canadian Indigenous brand making small batch skincare using cultural plant knowledge and showcasing ingredients responsibly foraged on the pacific coast. Their products are a beautiful gift of indulgence and self-care.
Sḵwálwen Botanicals offers bath salts and soaks as well as some of their balms and salves for bulk gifting so you can customize a gift bundle. They have discounts available for orders of 60+ units.
Location: Canada, ships to Canada and US
Candles always makes a lovely gift and for more sustainable options look for vegan, coconut and/or soy wax, and cleaning burning candles. Here are some of our favorites that also offer corporate gifting and bulk order options:
After a summer of home renovations and wearing dirty painting clothes most days, I’m not only excited to be settling into our new place but also to wear cute clothes again!
I’ve been navigating weight fluctuations over the past few years but for this capsule in particular I let go of many pieces that no longer fit and invested in some better fitting items, and pieces that will work through weight fluctuations.
For some of us, it’s difficult to remember what shopping was like before the Internet. But, there was a time when in order to buy something, you had to drive to a store; fill your hands with merchandise in various sizes; try it all on in a badly lit dressing room with a flimsy lock or, even worse, a curtain that didn’t close all the way; and then purchase it while a cashier tried to get you to open a store credit card. That also meant that in order to return something, you had to drive to the store again and interact with a real-life person who, hypothetically, could deny your return. The whole process was time consuming and a little intimidating. Of course, people still shop in-person today, but there is a difference between voluntarily shopping on a lazy afternoon at your favorite local boutique because you want to, and going through this process because you have to.
Online shopping has certainly made our lives easier, but this convenience comes at the price of returns. Product returns are costly on our wallets and the environment — a fact purposely swept under the rug by retailers.
The Point of No Return
In the retail business, returns are referred to as “reverse logistics,” and the open secret is that most companies don’t have a good handle on what to do with all of these products once consumers decide they don’t want them. According to a 2021 article by Amanda Mull in The Atlantic, while retail stores have return rates in the single digits, online retailers can have return rates anywhere between 15 and 30 percent. This rate is on the higher side for clothing retailers because of a term Mull refers to as “bracketing” — the practice of consumers buying one size larger and one size smaller than their typical size to check for the best fit.
The reliance on returns is what we could call the “Zappos effect.” In her article, Mull relays the early success Zappos had in enticing consumers to buy an item that is notoriously difficult to buy online by offering free shipping, free returns, and a “the customer is always right” attitude. The company experienced such exponential growth that it could afford this business model, and soon, other companies followed suit until it became standard practice. By constantly offering free shipping, free returns, and regular discounts, which are actually just baked into the retail price of the item, companies set up a system that incentivizes consumers to return products.
However, now companies have dug themselves into a hole that they can’t get out of. Recently, The New York Times wrote about liquidation warehouses that started springing up in late 2021. Due to the pandemic, companies such as Target, Walmart, and Amazon experienced skyrocketing sales, since people spent money on goods rather than services. With supply chain issues leading to empty shelves, companies ordered products months in advance to try to keep up with demand. And then the demand suddenly dropped due to inflation, leading to warehouses of goods being sold at a loss. Add that to record-high losses due to returns — with record sales comes record returns — and there is simply too much junk out there for any major company to know what to do with.
It is impossible to know exactly how much merchandise is disposed of, as the supply chains are so complex they are almost impossible to trace, but Mull states that it is estimated by industry insiders to be around 25 percent of all returned goods. So, roughly one out of four of the items you have returned to an online retailer have ended up being incinerated or thrown into a landfill. While this is an issue that should be regulated on a government level, the number of returns we make as consumers is something that we have power over.
Tips on How to Reduce Returns
Buy secondhand when possible. Buying an item secondhand keeps clothing out of landfills. Explore thrift stores or sites like Poshmark or Depop before buying something new.
Consider trying on items in person. If you are near a physical store location, visit in person so you can try on different sizes at one time.
Even if you buy online, return in person if you can. Returns made in person are more likely to actually end up back on the shelf.
Don’t buy multiple sizes of the same item. While buying more than one size when online shopping is convenient, it means you are guaranteed to make a return, and that return does not just “go back on the shelf.” Take detailed notes of your body measurements and compare them to the brand’s size chart. Read reviews to see if an item runs true to size or not. You can even email customer service for advice on what size to get if you are still unsure. If you increase the chance that you get it right the first time, you can decrease the chance of a return.
Revisit brands you know. While it can be fun to explore new designers, if you know a brand tends to fit you well and makes good-quality clothing, it is a safer bet than one you haven’t tried before.
Shop smaller brands. Indie designers and small brands are less likely to be able to afford the high cost of tossing returns and are incentivized to resell inventory.
Buy two of something you love and wear often. Do you find yourself always wearing the same pair of jeans or shoes over and over again? Consider buying a second pair, and better yet, buy them lightly used. Styles are discontinued all the time, so you will save yourself the need to search for their replacement in the long run. Further, owning two of the same item actually makes your items last more than twice as long, since recovery time between wears extends the overall lifespan of your items.
Do you have any other tips on how to reduce returns? Let us know in the comments!
Typically when we think of fast fashion, H&M, ZARA, Forever 21, Primark and Topshop are usually top of mind. However, there are a lot of other brands that can’t as clearly be identified as fast fashion. We looked into some popular brands to make a call on which classify as fast fashion and which don’t.
How do we define Fast Fashion?
While some brands, like the ones mentioned above, can be easily identified as fast fashion solely based on their extremely high volume of clothing sold at cheap prices, others seem to live in a more grey area. Here is the other criteria we used to determine if a brand classifies as fast fashion or not:
How often do they release new styles? (eg. 4 collections per year vs. new products weekly)
Is the focus on quantity over quality?
Is the brand heavily trend-driven?
What is the price point?
Do they have info and transparency around their manufacturing and sustainability initiatives? (Also keeping an eye out for greenwashing)
Is ASOS fast fashion?
Yes, ASOS is fast fashion. They add up to 7,000 new styles to their website every week—a ridiculous amount of clothing and clear indicator they are a fast fashion brand. ASOS has published sustainability targets but only for its own brands, which in FY2021 comprised 40% of sales. The rest of their sales come from 850+ other brands that they work with.
Is Athleta fast fashion?
We’re honestly on the fence with Athleta. They seems to make a decent quality products and have some good initiatives. However Athleta is owned by GAP Inc. and while they are doing things better than other brands under the GAP umbrella, such as using more sustainable materials, receiving B Corp certification, and manufacturing some garments in fair trade factories, their parent company GAP Inc. is a clear fast fashion manufacturer with many ethical issues. So if you’re looking for activewear, we recommend checking out these brands instead.
Is Adidas fast fashion?
Yes, Adidas is fast fashion. The sportswear brand produces a large volume of clothes and is lacking transparency around wages as well as being accused of wage theft.
Is Aritzia fast fashion?
Yes, Aritzia is fast fashion. While their price point is higher than other brands which may lead you to think they aren’t, Aritzia is still producing an excessive amount of clothing, constantly adding new styles, and is highly trend-driven. Even though they have a few small sustainability initiatives, Good on You found “no evidence Aritzia is actively reducing its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain” and well as “no evidence Aritzia ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain”. Aritzia also received a score of only 20% on Fashion Revolution’s 2022 Transparency Index, and transparency is just the starting point for ethical production.
Is Costco/Kirkland fast fashion?
Yes, Costco is fast fashion. When we think of fast fashion Costco usually doesn’t come to mind however according to Insider “Costco has become an unlikely $7 billion fast-fashion destination”. While we definitely wouldn’t call Costco clothing trendy, they do produce and sell a large volume of clothing (both their own Kirkland collection and other brands) and have a high turnover of product. Costco also has very little transparency around ethical and sustainable sourcing and manufacturing. Additionally they have not signed the International Accord and recently were named in a report has having engaged in unfair trading practices in Bangladesh during the pandemic.
Is Everlane fast fashion?
No, we don’t consider Everlane fast fashion, however we find their “radical transparency” suspect and wish they were actually bring transparent where it matters. We also think they could me doing more regarding sustainability and ethical manufacturing. Check out our ethical alternatives to Everlane instead.
Yes, GAP is fast fashion and they also own Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta (see above). Gap Inc. produces a high volume of clothing and has faced many labor controversies over the years – most recently GAP Inc. initially refused to pay workers at the start of the pandemic and lobbed against the Garment Worker Protection Act. (source)
Is Lululemon fast fashion?
No, we don’t considerLululemon fast fashion, however they also don’t have great ethics and sustainability standards. We’re not labeling them fast fashion due to the fact they have a strong focus on quality and their garments are not highly trend-driven or “disposable”. But they’re still not a “good” brand as there have been accounts of unethical manufacturing and accusations of Lululemon greenwashing.
Yes, Madewell is fast fashion. Again we have a brand producing a high volume of clothing with a lot of turn-over and little transparency. Madewell does seem to have some better initiatives such as a few Fair Trade Certified products but this is only a small % of their production.
Madewell is also owned by J. Crew and J. Crew is fast fashion too.
Is Nike fast fashion?
Yes. Nike is fast fashion. While Nike has had many labor and sweatshop controversies over the years they do seem to be cleaning up their act and offering more transparency. However they still produce a high volume of clothing and have a fast fashion business model.
Is Roots fast fashion?
No, we don’t consider Roots fast fashion due to their quality, price point, and some sustainability initiatives. HoweverOxfam Canada notes that Roots works with many third-party manufacturers and has very little transparency around their supply chain and code of conduct. So we also wouldn’t recommend shopping from them, if you want to support Canadian brands instead check out this list of fashion brands in Canada.
Is Shein fast fashion?
Yes. Shein is fast fashion and has become the leading brand of an even worse ultra-fast fashion model. Learn more about why Shein is particularly bad and what ultra fast fashion is here.
Yes. Urban Outfitters is fast fashion, including subsidiary brands under URBN, Anthropologie and Free People are all fast fashion. All these brands are highly trend driven and produce an excessive volume of clothing with new garments constantly in stock and high turn-over of styles. They are lacking in transparency and two years later these brands still haven’t paid for orders placed at the start of the pandemic.
As sustainable fashion enthusiasts, we’re used to hearing about all the ways we can reduce our personal impact on the planet and fight for a better industry. It’s (finally) becoming understood that the best thing we can do as empowered consumers is to buy less, opt for secondhand when possible and make the most of what we already have.
But what happens when we do need to buy something new? Clothing and textile production isn’t going to stop anytime soon, so it’s time we start looking at solutions that don’t simply minimize harm, but that actively restore and renew the planet. Regenerative clothing is the result of a growing movement aimed at improving global farming practices and reversing the impacts of climate change. Pioneered and still led today by indigenous cultures, regenerative agriculture offers us a precious opportunity to transform industries and help save the planet in the process.
What does ‘Regenerative’ mean with Cotton and Clothing?
You might not think about it when getting dressed, but our clothing is intricately linked with agriculture. Cotton doesn’t just magically appear in a factory to make cotton T-shirts, for instance! So, in order to understand regenerative clothing, we first need to understand regenerative agriculture.
Any clothing made from a natural material first started out as a crop in a field, and large amounts of precious resources like land, water, labour and sometimes pesticides are used to bring those crops to harvest. Although we typically consider natural fabrics better for the planet, they still have a significant impact on the environment and the people that produce them. Considering how much clothing is produced every year, it’s crucial that we create these materials as responsibly as possible. That’s where regenerative agriculture comes in.
According to Regeneration International, “regenerative agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity — resulting in both carbon drawdown and improvements in the water cycle”.
Why is this so crucial? Most of us know that there is too much carbon in the atmosphere and in our oceans. But did you know that, through industrialized farming practices and other activities, we have damaged our soil to the extent that we’ve removed an estimated 50-70% of the soil’s original carbon? As the Centre for Food Safety explains, “carbon is constantly cycling through different spheres as either a liquid, solid, or gas. Human activities—including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, the draining of wetlands, and repeated tillage— have disrupted the carbon cycle, taking it out of balance”.
Regenerative farming practices can help restore this balance by removing carbon from the atmosphere and putting it back into soil. Not only is this vital in slowing global warming, it also leads to healthier crop yields, natural ecosystem restoration and increased biodiversity, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The regenerative agriculture movement is informed by pre-industrial practices and refined by modern day science, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation says. Instead of viewing a farm as a factory, regenerative agriculture sees it as an essential part of a larger ecosystem. The goal is to move away from the current status quo, which prioritizes high yields and profit over sustainability, and is extremely damaging and extractive. That being said, there’s no one-size-fits all solution. Every region will require a tailored approach that considers its unique climate and ecosystem
How does Regenerative Agriculture differ from Organic Farming?
You might be wondering how regenerative clothing differs from organic clothing. Once again, we start with the crop. Organic programs focus mainly on the removal of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, as well as ecological balance and improved working conditions.
While the production process of organic materials does have a lot of benefits over conventional, it isn’t exactly harmless. One major criticism of popular organic programs is the cost of entry. Farmers are often faced with large admission fees and complicated guidelines that can make adoption difficult. In addition, it can take a few years before a farm is officially certified organic, which means the pay off can be delayed and uncertain. Another concern is that as the demand for organic products increases, more land will be needed to meet demand, which could lead to deforestation and displacement of local communities. This is because compared to conventionally grown crops, organic farms can have smaller yields. So in order to produce the same amount for our food and textiles, more land will be needed overall.
Is ‘Regenerative’ better than ‘Organic’?
Large-scale organically grown crops can still take a toll on the land they’re cultivated on, and producers often don’t do enough to address declining soil health, loss of biodiversity and overall carbon emissions. Put simply, organic production is more focused on the inputs involved in farming, and not enough on the overall impact. Organic farming also doesn’t address a lot of the major issues with conventional agriculture. For example, in order to control weed growth, many organic farmers rely on intensive tilling leading to decreased soil health, explains the Centre For Environmental Farming Systems.
Regenerative techniques go far beyond organic standards in that they account for the entire ecosystem and soil health.
How can I support Regenerative Fashion?
Luckily, we’re beginning to see more brands incorporate regenerative agriculture into their decision making. While Patagonia is probably the most well-known proponent, there are some other great companies like California Cloth Foundry, Christy Dawn, Coyuchiand Eileen Fisher that are prioritizing regenerative fibers in their designs.
Certifications will also play a big part in the growth of regenerative fashion. California-based nonprofit Fibershed offers a Climate Beneficial verification, given to brands that incorporate carbon-capturing practices, improve biodiversity and restore healthy ecosystems. One example of this is their Climate Beneficial Wool, sourced from land stewards who are enhancing carbon drawdown with practices that regenerate soil health.
Another program currently underway is the Regenerative Organic Certified Seal. To receive this verification, a company must be certified organic. The program is based on three main pillars: soil heath and land management, animal welfare, and farmer and worker fairness. These types of programs ensure that consumers like us have the information we need to make informed choices, and most importantly, that farmers and producers have access to the tools they need to protect the environment.
All that being said, it’s important to remember that certifications are rarely a perfect solution. Similar to organic, regenerative agriculture certifications can be challenging to navigate and require significant funding. Many communities and producers, including indigenous land stewards, have been regenerating the earth for generations on their own. So in addition to looking for certifications, we should prioritize traceability, transparency and a commitment to regenerative practices when buying new clothes and material. Check out this video to learn how a small-scale wool farm is actively restoring the land it’s on, proving you don’t need to be certified to make a difference.
Regenerative agriculture offers us an exciting opportunity to have a positive environmental impact through production. What other climate positive practices have you heard of? Let us know below!
This post was kindly sponsored by wearwell and contains affiliate links, however all opinions and experiences are my own.
My wardrobe is unfortunately not at it’s peak. A lot of favorite clothes and unique pieces no longer fit and I’ve defaulted to a uniform of leggings, sweats, tees, and sweaters the past couple years – comfy but not inspiring. So when the opportunity came to try a sustainable personal styling service I jumped on it. As a work-from-home mom with not much time for shopping and also feeling in a style rut, I was curious to try it out and hoping to get some inspiration from the stylist.
Wearwell is a US-based marketplace of clothing and accessories from brands with vetted ethical and environmental values. They feature some of my favorite brands such as Tonlé, People Tree, Miakoda, Thought, and Mata Traders, as well as other brands I wasn’t as familiar with but also seems to have solid ethics and sustainability initiatives.
In addition to being a hub for sustainable fashion, they offer a membership which gives you discounts, perks, and access to their personal styling service. You can either get 4 seasonal styling sessions as part of their annual membership or purchase personal styling sessions whenever you like.
My Personal Styling Experience
First you need to fill out wearwell’s style quiz which is pretty straight forward and covers some basic things about what you like and what you’re looking for.
They will also keep your location, season, and climate in mind when making selections. You can even request your stylist picks certain pieces for a specific occasion or event if you have something coming up.
First Virtual Styling Session
My stylists picks quickly arrived in my inbox within a couple business days. I was quite happy with the first picks – some good staples and a couple pops of colour. I’m honestly pretty impressed that all the pieces they chose were things I would wear and also items that could fairly easily integrate into my capsule wardrobe. The only pick that wasn’t a good fit for me was the backpack and just because it’s made of leather, I think the style is quite cute.
I appreciated that instead of picking random items my stylist, Meg, considered how the pieces would go together so if I was getting a few items they would work well.
It also felt so nice to see clothing picks and know that it’s all from slow fashion brands I would actually want to support. Very different from my usual experience of looking for outfit inspo but 95% of the pieces don’t at all align with my values.
When booking the stylist I didn’t expect to be surprised by anything though. I figured the stylist would find items that I’ve already thought about or considered in some form or another. But… those amber trousers! The colour and cut is something I would have skimmed over when shopping and not thought much about, however now I can’t stop thinking about them. It was exactly the push and inspiration I was hoping for from this experience. I am very seriously considering adding them to my wardrobe, the only thing holding me back is that they’re made of denim and after years of soft, stretchy pants I’m not convinced I want a pair of jeans again. ? But I’m going to think more on them or maybe look for a similar colour in a different material.
Second Virtual Styling Session
About a month later I booked a second round of virtual styling. I wanted to have another set of selections before writing this review.
Again I think Meg did a great job! She nailed a good mix of versatile items, but also pieces that have interesting or unique details – like the very whimsical tiger print on the wrap top. Again all the pieces would be able to fairly easily integrate in my wardrobe.
I appreciate that she also thought about practical considerations, such as asking if I care about having bra coverage or not. You can give your stylist feedback to help with nailing future picks.
Going forward I would remove “accessories” from my list of items though because while I like them, I don’t tend to wear many different accessories so in hindsight it would have been better for to get another clothing pick instead of an accessory recommendation.
Is wearwell Personal Styling Worth it?
Overall I was really happy with my wearwell virtual styling experience. I got out of it exactly what I hoped for – some style inspiration and clothing recommendations that would work for my wardrobe from conscious fashion brands.
If you are someone who:
doesn’t have time for or doesn’t like shopping but wants to support sustainable and ethical brands
feels a little lost with your personal style
wants to get started with or explore more ethical/sustainable fashion options
then virtual styling can be a great way to get some guidance and inspiration, or basically have an expert shop for you!
It’s also a very nice bonus as part of their membership perks if you are a regular wearwell shopper. Why not get some stylist recommendations?
The only downside for me is that wearwell is currently only shipping within the US. So since I’m in Canada, if I fall in love with a piece my stylist picked I have to try and find it elsewhere.
If you would purchase from wearwell regularly then the annual membership at $8 per month (which includes a 10% discount, 4 seasonal styling sessions, and other perks) is definitely they way to go and could quickly pay for itself. Alternatively if you’re looking for just one styling session, you can purchase that on it’s own too.
If I lived in the US I could easily see myself using both the styling service and ordering clothing through wearwell, especially hard to find international brands like People Tree, and the membership being well worth it. Hopefully they’ll expand to Canada soon! ?
Although if you are in the US and interested in a membership, wearwell kindly shared a discount – you can use coupon code MYGREENCLOSET for 50% off an annual wearwell membership! So you can get their seasonal styling, a 10% discount, and free shipping for just $4 a month.
So overall I was very happy with how my personal styling sessions went and will likely be adding some of the stylist picks or (similar versions of) to my wardrobe.
How are you feeling about your personal style and wardrobe? Would you try a slow fashion virtual styling service?
We’re currently in the middle of a huge home renovation project so unfortunately I wasn’t able to make a capsule wardrobe video this season. So here is my summer capsule in picture form! I also like this format because it can be nice to visualize everything together.
I definitely wouldn’t say this is my best capsule. Many of my favourite summer pieces no longer fit (like sadly my two summer-staple jumpsuits) and because we’re working on the new house most days, shorts and a tee are my go-to outfit. It’s a more practical and less “fun” capsule wardrobe, however I still included some of my favourite dresses and a few colours so things don’t get boring.
While I no longer aim for exactly 33 items (most of my capsules are 30-35 pieces) this one came out to a nice 33 including the 3 pairs of shoes I wear during the summer. I’m also waiting on a tank top to arrive which is the gap.
The online retailer might be convenient, but supporting it is hurting the planet and our people.
Amazon started as an online bookstore where we could all get access to our favourite authors with the click of a button, but now it’s become the biggest retailer on the planet with customers in 180 countries, selling everything from diapers to TVs and including services like video streaming and smart home technology.
Here are five reasons you should stop shopping on Amazon.
Amazon treats workers badly
This New York Times investigative report from 2021 found that hourly workers who worked for the company for more than three years were encouraged to leave so they could be replaced by fresh faces who were eager to work. Employees are constantly tracked and evaluated based on their amount of T.O.T., or “time off task”. Some workers only find out about their shift the day before, while other workers raised issues of racial inequality in the workplace with unfair pay across demographics and one worker being called “not smart or articulate” after a protest. Workers have too few bathroom breaks, which are timed. All of this was made worse by the demand presented by the pandemic.
Amazon drivers have said that they are told to deliver 250 or more packages a day (which works out to two minutes a package per eight-hour shift) and due to this incredible pressure to perform to the high standard being held by Amazon, many drivers don’t take lunch or bathroom breaks, often have to speed to keep up with the pace of same-day-delivery and put themselves and others in danger — all to keep their jobs.
Amazon also uses third party companies to deliver some of their packages across the US, and they use this as an excuse to distance themselves from problems arising from their problematic working conditions. When an Inpax driver delivering Amazon packages hit 84-year-old Telesfora Escamilla and caused her death, Amazon’s lawyers said: “The damages, if any, were caused, in whole or in part, by third parties not under the direction or control of Amazon.com,” in a court filing, effectively washing their hands clean of the entire issue. This detailed Buzzfeed article is a thorough investigation of how drivers are put in danger, treated unfairly and how third party companies are paying for it.
Amazon evades taxes
Amazon is exploiting people while not paying their fair share of taxes to the countries and communities they operate in.
For example, Amazon made €44 billion in Europe in 2020 but paid no corporation taxes. How? According to The Guardian, the company reported a €1.2bn loss even though they had a record breaking year in terms of income. The company’s European division (EU Sarl) was also “granted €56m in tax credits it can use to offset any future tax bills should it turn a profit”, the Guardian article stated.
A simple search for fashion on the e-tailer can bring back a flurry of results that contain counterfeit items parading as high-end items — even though their prices and reviews are obvious clues that they’re not the real deal. The Washington Post says Amazon execs have spent “hundreds of millions of dollars and hired thousands of workers to police its massive market of third-party firms that use the e-commerce site to sell their goods”, so why does this keep happening? According to the article, it’s due to Amazon’s encouragement of cheaper prices, their drive to offer a massive selection of products, and their priority of profit over good business practices.
The company often houses “luxury” items in their warehouses, but they’re hardly ever inspected to see whether they’re the real deal. Of even more concern, luxury items aren’t the only fakes in their warehouse — safety items, baby food, and cosmetics have also been found to be counterfeit.
Amazon is ruining the book industry
The reason your favorite novels are cheap on Amazon? The company is evading taxes, avoiding publisher and author payments, and neglecting safe labour practices, says Social Justice Books. Amazon forces many publishers to reduce prices of books and e-books with bullying tactics, all so the company can lure customers onto their website through cheap books — and then offer them discounts on bigger, more profitable items.
It’s shady all around, and much better to support your local bookstore or online indie bookseller!
(Or if you enjoy audio books – switch from Audible, which is owned by Amazon, to our fave Libro.fm. They partner and share profits with local, independent bookstores!)
Amazon has a huge carbon footprint, and company leaders lie about it
The online retailer said that “activities tied to its businesses emitted 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020 — the equivalent of burning through 140 million barrels of oil”, according to an article in Fortune. Amazon’s carbon footprint has increased every year since 2018 (the first year the company reported this metric) .
But this isn’t even taking into account that Amazon has been undercounting its carbon footprint for years, according to Reveal News. While most retailers have been counting carbon emissions from all of its merchandise, Amazon only counts items that have the Amazon brand label, which only makes up 1% of all its online sales. Amazon even counted 29% less carbon emissions from employees than Target even though their workforce is now triple the size. The company, “vastly undercounts its carbon footprint, accepting less responsibility for global warming than even smaller competitors,” according to Reveal News.
Back in September 2019, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company’s commitment to fighting climate change with the goal of reducing carbon emissions and becoming carbon-neutral by 2040. Amazon was to issue reports of its emissions regularly and set forth a timeline for the company to be run solely on renewables by 2030, but can this really be done considering that they’re not being honest about emissions to begin with?
Instead of supporting the tech giant and contributing to climate change, poor working conditions and tax evasion, try shopping local. There are lots of small businesses that make great products at a great price who will appreciate your patronage.