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Fashion

An Ethical Brand Guide – Holiday Shopping Edition

It is officially December 1st which means that the search for the perfect gift has begun. Between having to find the right gift, wrap it and survive that brief period of being nervous about whether someone is going to love it or hate it, gift shopping can be quite challenging. Not to mention, while being on a time crunch of 25 days, it can be easy to forget what you are purchasing and who you are purchasing it from. With overconsumption and unethical production at their peak during this season, it is important to look at the impact the brands you are buying from have on the community and on our planet.

But, fret not. My gift to you this holiday season is a short list of companies that are cute, long lasting and will make you feel good about your purchases since they have a positive impact on our world.

Here are 6 companies that undoubtedly made it on the nice list this year:

Clothing

Brand: Kotn

Price: $-$$

Kotn is a simple and sustainable clothing brand that is focused on creating timeless pieces that last. They are a certified B Corporation with the fourth highest B impact score of apparel brands in North America. Kotn is focused on making a positive impact on our planet by limiting their waste and resources, recycling water and materials and utilizing only OEKO-TEX® non-toxic certified dyes and plastic-free packaging. Kotn is the perfect place to shop for cozy loungewear and cotton winter gear this holiday season!

Brand: Patagonia

Price: $$-$$$

Patagonia is an apparel brand that is passionate about supporting environmental non-profit organizations that aim to support our natural resources during the current climate crisis. Patagonia’s “Earth tax” is a 1% for these nonprofits and for the planet. They have also partnered with various sport activists to drive individual initiatives all around the globe. Patagonia’s apparel is made with 100% organic virgin cotton and 82% of their clothing line is Fair Trade Certified™ sewn. What’s more? They even offer products that are used so that you have the option to give your loved ones a recycled piece of clothing that is better for the environment. Patagonia’s products are high quality with a quality… this truly is a company that you will not feel bad about supporting this year.

Jewelry

Brand: Arlokea

Price: $-$$

Arlokea is a Black, female owned, fair trade jewelry brand that is not only committed to environmental sustainability, but is also looking to support materials, workers and suppliers that support marginalized individuals. The company advocates for activists who are working to fight social justice related issues and inspire positive change in their communities. Using the profits from their jewelry, Arlokea supports initiatives in the education, health and community sectors by contributing to various charities and scholarship funds. Their jewelry line ranges from brass, to gold and silver pieces with both classic and unique designs.

Brand: Laura Lombardi

Price: $$-$$$

Laura Lombardi is a New York made jewelry company focused on sustainability, while only using recycled and upcycled materials for their products. The brass used in their jewelry is 100% recycled and all plating is completed in a zero-waste closed filtration system. Laura Lombardi is focused on philanthropy and donates to several organizations including: RAICES, Black Women’s Blueprint and National Bail Out. Their gold and silver jewelry comes in a multitude of designs ranging from simple hoops and bands to unique, thick chains. With every purchase this holiday season, Laura Lombardi will be donating a portion of their profit to Indigenous Food Lab and Soul Fire Farm.

Home Goods

Brand: Repose Home

Price: $-$$

Repose Home is a WOC owned business that was founded during the pandemic with a focus on showcasing and uplifting the art and talents of BIPOC artists, designers and creatives. Their website features stories by the artists so that you can see who is making your home goods and just how they go about it. Given the fact that their pieces are handmade by these featured creatives, Repose Home is far more sustainable in comparison to companies whose goods are mass produced. With their product selection ranging from art prints to textiles to tableware, you are sure to find that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift this holiday season.

Brand: Itemerie

Price: $-$$

Itemerie is a home goods store that sells products for every room in your home. They pride themselves on their wide selection of products that are identified by their unique labelling system which allows shoppers to see whether their product is handmade, fair trade, made in Canada, all natural, non-toxic, zero-waste, plant based, 100% recycled, and/or vegan! With a wide variety of cute, 100% non-toxic and ethically made products, Itemerie is a great place to do your holiday shopping!  

Jasmine Rana

Dalhousie '24

Jasmine is a Campus Correspondent and the President of Her Campus at Dalhousie University. Majoring in marketing, she is extremely interested in content creation and story telling, as interpersonal connection and relatability is extremely important in today’s world. When she isn’t working on creating content she can be found out at brunch, planning her dream home via Pinterest, or listening to her new favourite song on repeat for the next week.
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